Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten Great Reasons To Retire on A Farm

My last post created more than cursory interest on the subject ranging from owning and living on a farm to goat rearing. I received enquiries and e-mails from people wanting to visit The Farm too.

I realise that farm life is not everybody's cup of tea, so this post is dedicated to those who have the intention of retiring to a farm somewhere, but are not convinced that it's the right thing to do. Well, I'm here to help you make it happen!

In this respect I find it easier to deal with women. So let me deal with them first: Women either love or hate farming. The few in the middle are forced into the life of slavery frugal and healthy living because of circumstances (which is unfortunate, but we can always hope that they will come to love farm life).

The majority of women who enjoy farm life despite the hardships are caregivers - they care for and devote (and I mean real devotion) their entire existence to the family. I follow the activities of more than two hundred such blessed souls through their blogs. This is a tribute to these lovely ladies and their lucky families.

With men it's a bit more complicated. First there's the ego issue. Then there's the dilemma - should it be the beach house or the farm house? Before I go on let me point out that this mid-week note is not for the rich and famous ( I don't think Leornado DiCaprio or Julia Roberts read blogs anyway), nor is it for the filthy rich who can retire when and where they like.

 I am dedicating this to Joe Public -  to people like you and me.

I am talking about wage earners who hopefully have saved enough of their after-tax take home pay plus their 401K or the Employees Providen Fund or their pension money, whatever the case may be, for retirement.

 Retirement doesn't have to be when you are 55 or 60 or whatever the 'official' retirement age is in your country. Retirement is when you are ready to lift up and take your nose away from the grindstone, look up at life and begin living it. And I say go ahead, get yourself a farm or an orchard and spend your retirement there.

     Consider the following:
  • If you are retiring away on your own, believe me, you will appreciate the space (literally and figuratively)
  • After the initial euphoria of the long-awaited retirement, which lasts about two weeks, you will find it tough going to get through the twelve hours daylight sitting around the house, and another twelve to get you through the night. There's only so much sleeping you can do. So it would be a great relief that you could be away from the house, not just for a few hours, but a few days, weeks or even months
  • The couch and TV remote will have one less competition
  • Consider this: you will be walking around in a vast open space with a pruner instead of a five iron in your hand - I find that a delightfully attractive alternative
  • You get more exercise, fresher air and the same sunshine you get on a golf course minus the stress and frustration.
  • As you walk you get to talk to your animals and your trees which don't talk back to you, unlike your golf buddies
  • You can still go fishing, in fact the river running beside your farm may be teeming with fish
  • You can stop and smell the flowers, as often as you like
  • If you have been working in the city, thirty years of inhaling polluted air is enough, isn't it?
  • Instead of walking your grandchildren in shopping malls, walk them around your orchard where they can feed the animals and climb the fruit trees. It's good for them, good for you too.
But you need to be ready and be committed. Don't say "one day I'll do it", instead say "I will have enough money by ......" (insert date), in order to retire to....." (insert name and location of farm). That's call a plan, not a dream.


Clarissa Draper said...

If I retire on a farm. I want to have a flock of sheep. I've wanted one all my life.

Chai Chai said...

Great post, totally agree.

masterwordsmith said...

Beautifully written from a heart that loves life! Thanks for being an inspiration!


NancyDe said...

Nice summation of the decisions and realities (and thanks for including me in the "caregiver" category!)

Grandpa said...

Clarissa, that's a wonderful idea, they'll keep you happy!

Chai Chai, masterwordsmith, NancyDe - thanks!

David Pederson said...

I get so jealous. I love this idea and would sure like to make it happen but I suspect by the time I can afford to buy a farm I will have "bought the farm" Still, your blog lets me enjoy the view. You are fortunate!

small farm girl said...

If you lived on a farm for most of your adult life, where do you retire to? lol. Never mind. hehehehe. Just never retire. lol

Grandpa said...

Hi David, thanks for dropping by. If you do move to a farm, make sure there's internet service - your readers, me included, will not want you to stop blogging!

small farm girl, may be I should have cleared the term "retirement" -I was refering to retiring from working for others, the 9 to 5 (more like 7 to 9 in practice) jobs.
One should never really retire, but instead continue with or look for activities that provide freedom and fullfilment.

Pat said...

Sage advice, Granpa. And I like the way you differentiate the 'dream' and a 'plan'.

My husband and I have done just that. He retired, and we moved. He goes fishing; I have my my art; and together we share our dogs and our garden. And we are happy.

There will never be 'enough' money, because no one knows how much will be enough. But there comes a time to live for you, and do the things you love. Not later, but a 'now' that is right for you.

Brilliant post :)

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Grandpa, enjoyed reading your two latest posts about life on your farm - walking and talking to your trees and animals = less stress and frustration made me smile and despite all the hard work I know you wouldn't want to be anywhere else by the sounds of it*!*

Grandpa said...

Hi Pat, thank you! I know many people out there are struggling to find a place - to settle down or to get away from it all - and I happened to find peace and fulfillment on a farm, so the pointers from my experience may help them make a decision. A habit of simple living and surviving on very little of course helps.

Bimbimbie, you are right, this is where I find peace and happiness. It keeps me fit too. I'm sure life under the gum tree is no different.

Akelamalu said...

I'm retired but not on a farm. I think I could do retirement on a farm. :)

Grandpa said...

Akelamalu, and why not. The biggest attraction for me is the wide open space and the surrounding jungle and mountains. And you can get all this for a tiny fraction of what it would cost in the city.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Great work Grandpa! And dont forget to add to your plan (not a dream a plan, wow I love that) either a little courage or a little foolishness... it will take you places you never thought you could go. Like a farm

Grandpa said...

OFG, thank you! You are right, the courage to take that plunge, the courage to change will be your turning point.
Of course many well-meaning friends will say: "You must be crazy...." Well, it is said that there's a fine line between madness and ingenuity - you have to exert yourself until you reach that line...*wink back*

Jennifer said...

I can't imagine being any where else other than the farm when my husband and I are retired. It is a wonderful life, much better than living in the city where we used to live.

Grandpa said...

Hi Jennifer, you are so lucky with such huge acreage, and lots of goats!