The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Homesteading and Self Reliant Living => Topic started by: CdnGuy on September 05, 2009, 11:20:28 PM

Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 05, 2009, 11:20:28 PM
Note from Jack - I split this post off from Coldhavens orginal post about  modern survival focus because it was so outstanding I felt it should have its own thread as a stand alone.  One of the best conversation starters ever on TSPs Forum!

I don't mean to be so presumptious to think that I could as elegantly say what CH has said. There was something...I don't know...transcendent about that post. It just reverberates.

However, I would like to add my reasons for following a preparedness philosophy in my life. Maybe someone new to this way of thinking may find motivation in it. The stereotypical motivations of fighting the NWO or other things like that are so emotion based as to not be sustainable. But having a goal is sustaining. Well, without further ado....

Preparedness as a Retirement Plan

The concept of retirement is a relatively new one. Not so long ago, when we were a more agrarian based society, few people ever retired. Their daily duties just changed. As we grew older, we would take over running the farm, and then we would maybe step back and let our kids do that.  Maybe we would take over maintenance of the equipment or something little less physically demanding, but required experience. Maybe we would help out more inside the home. But flat out retirement to travel south or play golf all day was the domain of the ultra rich. Even then, most tycoons were still wheeling and dealing well into their 60’s and beyond.

Nowadays. with retirement plans tanking and pension funds bleeding out, we may find ourselves without the ability to retire once again. However, this time, we won’t have the farm to feed us and the multi-generational home to keep us occupied and close to our loved ones. If we’re very fortunate, we may be able to find a spot in a retirement home and sell our current homes to pay for it.

Me, I have a different plan. My plan depends on me getting prepared to take care of myself and my wife for as long as we are physically able. If my plan works, we’ll also be able to ‘retire’ early. That plan is preparedness.

When you think about it, if you can provide most of your own food, utilities, and medicine and your shelter is bought and paid for, how much money do you really need? Enough to pay the property taxes, run your vehicle, and take care of emergencies. Maybe you need some money for a bit of travel as well. But not as much money as two people working for more than 40 hours a week each generate.

It’s not hard to imagine a household income of around $100,000 a year or about $73,000 after taxes. (Remember, I'm in Canada. Our dollars are about 80% of the USD.) Now, we know a lot of people are going to have mortgage payments around $1400 a month, utilities of at least $400 a month, TV and Internet for another $200 a month, $500 for food, $400 for various insurances, $200 for gas for the vehicles…it goes on and on.

So just the cost of living consumes $3100 of your after-tax income. Yearly, that’s about half of your income. If you can pay off your home, produce half of your utilities, drop the fancy TV package and step down a notch on the Internet access (that’s a tough one for me) and produce half of your food, you cut that outlay to about $1100 dollars a month. At that point, one of you can effectively retire. Or, the two of you can work half as much.

So what do you do with the extra 20-30 hours a week? Do the soul-building things like work your garden, love your spouse, split some wood, read books, start a business, whatever! Now, you are working for you. And should everything go for a poop, you are completely prepared to live comfortably and well with little to no income.

I find the thought of retiring to my homestead around the age of 50 to be a much more motivating and positive thought, than to think of prepping to cope with worldwide disaster. Disaster may never come, but time always marches on.
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on September 06, 2009, 08:32:28 AM

Preparedness as a Retirement Plan


Brilliant.  And inspiring.  +1 CdnGuy.
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 06, 2009, 10:49:35 AM
CdnGuy,

Sounds like an upcoming show topic to me,  ;)  Awesome post!
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: sarahluker on September 06, 2009, 11:12:51 AM
Wow, thanks for the retirement thoughts.  We are worrying about the 401K right now.  This is a much better retirement plan to work on. 
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 06, 2009, 11:25:18 AM
Big praise guys, I'm honoured. Thank you.
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ColdHaven on September 06, 2009, 11:29:20 AM
Thanks for the post! That is a good goal to have. Afterall, a retirement plan is prepping, but you have decided to do it in another way. We tend to forget that many of the things we spend money on are luxuries. Long ago people provided almost everything for themselves, unless they did not have a certain skill, and then they would go to a professional who was well trained in that area. We now live in a society of professionals who have training to suit all our wants and grant us services that we do not think we have the time (or do not want to) learn. In turn we become more dependant on others without really even realizing it.

I like your retirement plan. It is one I hope to obtain myself, and I hope many others in this nation adopt your retirement plan as well.

+1
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 14, 2009, 10:48:12 PM
Thank you! I'll know that I have reached my goal when we only need money for taxes and books! Okay, maybe a bit more than that.

Thoreau heavily influenced my thoughts on this.

The world is my entertainment. I get to see a masterpiece in the morning and one at dusk, I listen to the sweetest music when my sweetie talks with me. I get to dine on the finest food, that most restaurants will never have. I will travel the world in books, and occasionally in an airplane or car.
My life will be my gym, my day my exercise. My repetitive work will be my meditation class. The orchestra will play daily in the wind through the trees and the sounds of wildlife raising young and flying by.

The problem with a lot of people today is that they expect the world to engage them - to come to them. Microwaves just aren't fast enough. I want to engage the world like we did when we were young. We got the other kids together to play ball, or bike to the swimming hole. We didn't have our parents calling us on the cellphone. They just flicked the front porch light. If we didn't see it, we heard about it within seconds. Our curfew was the streetlights.

I could go on and on and sound like the crusty old man. Yet I'm only 37. Has the world really changed that much so quick?
Title: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on September 15, 2009, 05:41:56 AM
+1 cdnguy
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CFG on September 16, 2009, 10:41:40 AM
+1 to Cdnguy and +1 to you too, Jack.  Great post, great show.  We had actually been planning to sit down and revamp our budget, so I'm going to incorporate your suggestions about financial planning into our meeting.  We are mortgage free as of 9/14, and in a position to start really taking control of our lives.  It is so good to be able to say that.

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on September 16, 2009, 10:54:47 AM
  We are mortgage free as of 9/14, and in a position to start really taking control of our lives. 

I can't tell you how good it makes me feel every time a TSP member says those words!  Rock on and claim your destiny now that you have control over it.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 16, 2009, 05:18:21 PM
+1 to Cdnguy and +1 to you too, Jack.  Great post, great show.  We had actually been planning to sit down and revamp our budget, so I'm going to incorporate your suggestions about financial planning into our meeting.  We are mortgage free as of 9/14, and in a position to start really taking control of our lives.  It is so good to be able to say that.

I don't know if I can do this, but +1 to Coldfishgirl for going mortgage free! How so? That karma goes around by showing people it CAN be done. Sweetie and I have to sit down and look at this ourselves to plot out how we can best accomplish it. Right now we're snowballing my incredible $500 credit card debt, another of her debts and then all we have is the mortgage and to create an emergency fund.

Part of our plan is that once we have the home paid off, or close enough depending on the market and other factors, we will mortgage it again to buy the BOL. That way the collateral is the home that we will move out of and rent, while the BOL is paid in full. Should something happen crazy in the market, we lose the home and not the BOL which is where we want to be anyway. This plan worked very well for my parents.

When they bought their last home, their cottage was paid off. So they took a medium sized mortgage. My dad did it over a 25 year term. Now, he was already 60 when he did this. He also had mortgage insurance in case of his death. Unfortunately, he died about 2 years later, suddenly. He had no prior health issues and had only taken 1 day off sick in  over 25 years of military service. Fortunately the house was paid for, everything was paid off and he left my mom in a solid financial position. Perhaps this isn't the gameplan everyone should follow, but in that case it worked out. Think creatively folks. Think things through.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: hd45hunt on September 16, 2009, 06:13:00 PM
Wow, awesome post CdnGuy.  This is exactly what I plan to do (just turned 38) within the next 5-10 yrs.  I want to work, when I want to work, not because I have to work to survive.  Listening to every one's different take on this subject helps one organize their thoughts and put a plan into motion.  Once again, awesome post.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 16, 2009, 09:41:39 PM
Thanks bro. I'm turning 38 too. For the longest time I had a vague idea of this on the periperhy of my mind. The last couple years of researching preparedness has helped to hone the idea. What Jack said is totally true, the world pitches this illusion of the whole Freedom 55 crap. That just ain't gonna happen. I kept telling myself for years that if I just got a good paying job and did what I was told, that would happen. Well, I saw where that got my dad. Dead about 15 days after officially retiring. BS, I says.

Make living your life.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: BerserkerPrime on September 17, 2009, 08:24:42 AM
Just when you thing that every topic has been covered 2,3,10 times, some Cdnguy comes along and plasts the notion out of the water! ;D

Great read, and great items for thought!

Berserker Prime
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Bad_Synergy on September 18, 2009, 08:50:57 AM
It is funny how commonality of preparation works,,, If you are prepared for a genuinely secure and strings-free retirement, you are more or less prepared for all but the worst SHTF scenarios.

I particularly appreciate this thread.  At only 35 years old I already a medically retired police officer, stemming from a dog bite injury at work.  The odd thing is this seemingly tragic accident is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me – it propelled me to reevaluate my life, career and the ubiquitous false sense of stability that culture propagates. 

Given California’s ponzi scheme economic policy (where I live) it didn’t take me long to figure out that my retirement account was terminal ill.  This was the tinder that got me thinking about being a prepper, and since has given me my compass bearing - for not getting away from what I am afraid could happen, but for getting to where I want to go.

Great post CdnGuy,
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: EmmaPeel on September 18, 2009, 09:19:28 AM
We've always had it in the back of our minds that when we got old we did not want a house payment.  In the last couple of years, that has been reinforced by a few things.  1st at 37, my DH had a heart attack.  He survived and is doing well but lives on medication that isn't good for your body.  2nd, my mom retired at 56 years old.  She worked hard to have a good retirement sum come to her.  But, she spends more than she needs to and then the stock market tanked and she lost a lot of her money.   She's not prepared to make it long-term.  She's still got a mortgage and had car payments until recently.  3rd, I'm learning how dependent we are on our government and I don't like it.

So, as a plan for the future, including retirement, we want to be more self-sufficient.  We are working towards that as quickly as we can.  Once you make that decision, nothing seems fast enough.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: pacman on September 18, 2009, 10:20:25 AM
I too have found that I used similar methods to retire at 40; I have my property and investments. I bought all my tools and toys prior to making this type of move. I got debt free early and have made it a point to stay that way, single has not hurt either. I bought stake in several small up and coming business with different platforms to have a source of income. I act as silent partner and go to problem guy without taking a regular paycheck or having to work regular hours. I picked my retirement property based on price but also with cost of living factored in. I can with no other income live on my savings for years based on my plan and area of living.

The strange thing is I never knew I was part of this community. Surviving 20 years as Police officer 5 hurricanes and several tornados made me think preparedness, now I am glad to have the community support and new ideas. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on September 18, 2009, 10:32:56 AM
CdnGuy
Just listened to your first two podcasts! I'll pick up your third one in just a bit.
Great stuff.
You have a warm friendly voice and your slight accent make it fun to listen to.
Anyone who's spent any time around Canadians or folks from the upper midwest of the US will enjoy each time that little Canadian twang kicks in.
Your intro podcast was wonderful.
Your second podcast was very enjoyable and I really liked the detail you go into.
With the winters we have here in Ohio, I have some things a lot more in common with you than I do with Jack, considering what they call "winter" in Texas.  ;)
Keep up the good work.
I look forward to episode 3.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: cohutt on September 18, 2009, 12:12:01 PM

The problem with a lot of people today is that they expect the world to engage them - to come to them.

I agree.  Most people never stop to consider they have a choice so they let the machine run them vs the other way around.  They expect the world to make them happy and therefore usually find happiness only by accident (if they are lucky). 
I could retire now if I chose to, as defined above and in Jack’s great podcast on this.  I haven’t chosen to.
 The reality is that once I figured out that I could do it, that I had the freedom to make a change any time I wanted to, “work” became “play”. Doing something by choice is much less stressful than being forced to do the exact same thing; when you are no longer a slave to the machine then life is a game. 
Bottom line: Living a life with a preparedness mindset gives you something most people never get to experience- freedom.  Freedom isn’t necessarily being disengaged from the system; I believe the ability to disengage at a time of your own choosing effectively grants you freedom as well. 


+1 to CdnGuy, for sharing your "moment of clarity". 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on September 18, 2009, 01:27:47 PM
...  Freedom isn’t necessarily being disengaged from the system; I believe the ability to disengage at a time of your own choosing effectively grants you freedom as well. 
...

That's worth a repeat.
Well said.
+1 (and this time its not for all that hard work on your garden thread)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dudekrtr on September 18, 2009, 04:33:01 PM
+1 CdnGuy. Amazing. This is exactly what I have been thinking about for the last few months, with TSP shows leading the way. I just hadn't strung enough thoughts together to realize what was driving me. I was actually pretty sure it wasn't just fear.

Fear is a negative motivator, although it often does the job. There was something good, something right, something almost intangible about all this. It just resonated with me; and I think a lot of other listeners as well.

Thank you for putting the skin on the bones of my thoughts.  :)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 18, 2009, 08:04:25 PM
Put the skin on the bones....I like that!

TSP was a bit of a catalyst as well. I've been haphazardly going about the self-sufficiency lifestyle for a couple years. Then, just like Jack was saying, I got to thinking, "If I don't need to buy most of my stuff, and the stuff that I have is built to last, like cast iron stuff and a straight razor for example, would I really need to work that much?" Then I went from there.

Somebody said something about creating another stream of income, like through Internet marketing or something. I think that's a great idea. Any sort of business built on a passion of yours will do the job. How many times do you stop in a small town at a store and wonder how the heck the guy supports himself? Chances are he's retired from something else and the store is his hobby. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dudekrtr on September 18, 2009, 09:47:57 PM
I figure if I can find something that is fun to do, it won't be so much like work, and I can pull down a few bucks as well. But, if I can "prep" myself into a position of only needing to work one day a week, even doing what I do right now, with that much pressure removed, it might just transform that job into something a whole lot more enjoyable than it currently is.

I think a good goal would be to try to use the job only for the extras, not the necessities.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 19, 2009, 07:45:46 AM
CdnGuy
Just listened to your first two podcasts! I'll pick up your third one in just a bit.
Great stuff.
You have a warm friendly voice and your slight accent make it fun to listen to.
Anyone who's spent any time around Canadians or folks from the upper midwest of the US will enjoy each time that little Canadian twang kicks in.
Your intro podcast was wonderful.
Your second podcast was very enjoyable and I really liked the detail you go into.
With the winters we have here in Ohio, I have some things a lot more in common with you than I do with Jack, considering what they call "winter" in Texas.  ;)
Keep up the good work.
I look forward to episode 3.

What accent? I was just oot and aboot when I was taping that, eh?  ;D

The audio quality on the third episode sucks. Cross talk between my headphone wire and my cellphone charger wire. Episode 4 is way better, sound quality wise.
I totally would love snowy winter tips and such from our Northern U.S. friends.

Even though I truly love Canada, especially Alberta and the prairies, if the US was more stable, I'd really consider a move to somewhere like North Carolina. Somewhere with what I'd call a 3 season year.

I've always found the average American to be friendly and supportive, I don't know what the French are talking about. I also LOVE the original mindset of the United States of America. On a tangent, you folks need to go back to calling it the United States of America and not just the US or America. That should help reintroduce the concept that each state is a republic and responsible for itself.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dudekrtr on September 19, 2009, 09:23:41 AM
OK, I give up-podcasts? What have I missed?  Can you give me a link?  ???
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on September 19, 2009, 11:03:25 AM
OK, I give up-podcasts? What have I missed?  Can you give me a link?  ???


Sorry, I thought I posted it above but I didn't.

http://www.canadaprepared.com/ (http://www.canadaprepared.com/)

BTW, I listened to #3 and I loved it.
There was a sound quality issue, but the content was great.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 20, 2009, 09:25:30 AM
Sorry, I thought I posted it above but I didn't.

http://www.canadaprepared.com/ (http://www.canadaprepared.com/)

BTW, I listened to #3 and I loved it.
There was a sound quality issue, but the content was great.

Yeah, I got that figured out for #4. There was crosstalk between my phone charger and my microphone wire. So, I'll just make sure my phone is charged, or unplugged, before I do the recording.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: fred.greek on September 20, 2009, 07:06:03 PM
The powers that be want you to work, and be taxed, all your life…  and they want it impossible for your to pass to your children the benefits of your labor.

If you disconnect from the taxed economy, you’re still going to be required to pay your “property tax”. Consider:

Everyone in your neighborhood owns their home free of any mortgage.  All are fireproof and grow enough food to feed the family.  Someone from each homestead works enough to pay the property taxes, but otherwise each family more or less specializes in some craft, and the crops grown.  Since everyone gets along on the barter system, and no money changes hands, you ignore the rest of the taxing authorities. 

Wrong.

Your local “sales tax” authorities may consider all of your barter exchanges a commercial transaction, and demand their tax. 

The IRS  is also quite likely to consider your exchanges as commercial transactions, subject to income tax, self employment (Social Security & Medicaid) tax, etc.

And it can get worse.  Say the neighbor kid double-digs your garden, and you barter some of your canned goods in exchange.  If the tax authorities deem the kid your employee, vs an independent contractor you potentially owe minimum wage, tax withholding, and such other labor law requirements as are imposed in your jurisdiction.  (Our laws are “nuts”, and even the tax authorities DO NOT know what they say.)

Although no money actually changed hands in any of the above events, if they are deemed taxable you will have to obtain official currency somewhere to pay the tax officials.  Most likely, someone from each family will be forced to work at a “real” job to earn cash.

Government agencies, in particular the tax authorities, have a vested interest in fragmentation of families, friendships, and communities based on such.  If you are growing your own food, looking after your neighbors, helping each other, taking turns letting the kids gather at homes, and not hiring someone for these "services", the tax authority has no easy basis to establish and siphon off part of the effort.  Government agencies have a vested interest in discouraging people from taking care of themselves, or each other, and in CREATING problems, and expanding problems, to expand the scope of the solutions the agencies offer.
 
Tax law has crammed health insurance into the square-hole of being an employee benefit, a tax deduction to the employer, not taxable to the employee, but not in the best interest of the employer, employee, or the insurance company.  Until health insurance ceases to be primarily a benefit provided by an employer, it is going to continue to be a mess.  ANY government run program though is going to be a BIGGER mess.  Re the U.S. government, consider, it cannot even provide for day to day employee salary and keeping the lights on at government buildings, without BORROWING.  It borrows for everything else.  Does any sane person want any aspect of their life dependent on an entity that is so badly run?

Social Security (perhaps the greatest Ponzi scheme in history) tax has created an illusion of a retirement income, as have promised pensions from employers, rather than individuals setting up their own clearly owned and ongoing plans.  Take GM for example, it is broke.  Without cash coming in from the fed, which is borrowed, it would be bankrupt, and the planned big pensions and health care would be gone. 

Lower ongoing / outgoing costs.  I suggest the FIRST thing to eliminate it any reception of broadcast television.  It saps your after-tax money, and the time that is your life, that could be far better utilized.

Your IRA / 401(k) can be invested in rental real estate, a small business that you control, etc.  Google “checkbook IRA”, or “real estate IRA”.  Your IRA can own the home rented to your brother, and his IRA can own the home rented to you.  You can both of course charge well below “market” rent.  No tax consequence…  Your IRA can own a small business, where you work… How about a prepper business, an LLC that buys and sells say storage food, which the business must of course have a large stock on hand at all times.

Gold, silver, copper, nickel, grain, .22 LR, coupons good for dental work, WHATEVER, they are all currency for a local economy, just NOT what the government wants paid in.  For many purposes, you’re stuck having an emergency fund in dollars… But I again point to nickels, to the extent that you need some modest amount of cash about, why not nickels, which at least have the potential to climb as inflation becomes more significant.

The concept mentioned, of mortgage insurance, fits a hyperinflationary environment.  If all stays well, you earn and pay off the loan.  If the fertilizer hits the fan, the amount owed on the mortgage stays fixed, and your (hopefully) growing income lets you pay the loan off with the monopoly money (With apologies to Monopoly..)  My point, I guess, is that if you assume hyperinflation, life insurance, and inflation hedges, intended to pay off some fixed loan, are great. 

Life insurance as a generic pot of money, hopefully for your surviving loved one to live off, may be a sad joke.  As we’ve seen over and over, the politicians can inflate away any value of an insurance payout in terms of a currency…

There is “good” debt, and “bad” debt.  If you have debt to own a productive asset, it’s “good” debt, and like mortgage insurance to cover a place to live, insurance to cover a debt on a productive asset is a good thing.  Without the debt though, the insurance can be worthless.

My exercise, is my garden.  Must as it was back when I was a kid.  My neighbors have commented on the mess… on my doing the yard myself, rather than paying someone, as they apparently feel I should… I guess I should then go to the gym with them…

I recall one grandfather retired, and said he wasn’t going to do anything except watch the grass grow… Within a year or so, he was watching from below the grass.  The other grandfather was partially disabled from factory accidents, but kept busy at gardening, tinkering with stuff, small scale business, etc., and lived much longer. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 21, 2009, 08:37:50 PM
I can see you've thought about this a bit. Well done!

I was thinking something similar just today. My son lives with his mom. What would happen if we got to the point of self-sufficiency and I didn't make very much money because I didn't need the money? Would the gov't let me get away with sending him food and making him clothes? I don't think so. In fact, I suspect that they would label me a dead-beat dad, even though if my son lived with me at that point, he'd have everything he needed and then some. Plus some of the healthiest living available.

At what point does the system end and the human begin? I really don't know. It's a bit disheartening to think of, really, but at the same time all a person can do is all a person can do!

I guess the only way we'll find that answer is to reach self-sufficiency and see what happens.  ;)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: cougar on September 23, 2009, 08:09:01 AM
+1 Cdnguy!
I love this thread.  So many people putting into words what got me started here.  I looked around last fall when the economy was tanking and my retirement account was dwindling.  I'm in my late 30's and figured out i dont want to work til i am in my 70's (which is what retirement will be when we get there).  So we started doing the dave ramsey thing and as i looked at cutting expenses.  I quickly figured out the more self sufficient you are, the less money you have going out.  As i looked for podcasts on self sufficiency i came across tsp.  I continue to be amazed by this forum and the show.  I still put money in retirement that i wont be able to touch til i reach whatever arbitrary age the government says is 'retirement', but i am also stashing money elsewhere and making plans to slow down ('semi-retire if you will') before 50.  Your discussion of weaning down what it takes to live is a conversation my wife and i had several months ago. We are blessed to live on 5 acres several miles from town, so we are starting alot of this already.
 Again, thanks for bringing it here for discussion since reading about others thinking and doing the same thing makes it feel more doable.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 23, 2009, 07:37:06 PM
It is funny how commonality of preparation works,,, If you are prepared for a genuinely secure and strings-free retirement, you are more or less prepared for all but the worst SHTF scenarios.

Great post CdnGuy,

Yes! you get it! If you are prepared for the day-to-day disasters, you'll be prepared for larger scale disasters. That's something James Talmadge Stevens expounds upon. And Jack does too, of course! Oh, and me. And all the Mods.  ;D

Thanks for the compliment!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 23, 2009, 07:42:15 PM
+1 Cdnguy!
I love this thread.  So many people putting into words what got me started here.  I looked around last fall when the economy was tanking and my retirement account was dwindling.  I'm in my late 30's and figured out i dont want to work til i am in my 70's (which is what retirement will be when we get there).  So we started doing the dave ramsey thing and as i looked at cutting expenses.  I quickly figured out the more self sufficient you are, the less money you have going out.  As i looked for podcasts on self sufficiency i came across tsp.  I continue to be amazed by this forum and the show.  I still put money in retirement that i wont be able to touch til i reach whatever arbitrary age the government says is 'retirement', but i am also stashing money elsewhere and making plans to slow down ('semi-retire if you will') before 50.  Your discussion of weaning down what it takes to live is a conversation my wife and i had several months ago. We are blessed to live on 5 acres several miles from town, so we are starting alot of this already.
 Again, thanks for bringing it here for discussion since reading about others thinking and doing the same thing makes it feel more doable.
Wonderful! Glad to hear that you are headed in the right direction. I'm also glad to hear that you are truly diversifying your investments and not just putting it all in the financial paper market. Jack says it plainly - that is NOT diversifying. You've just bought different cuts of pork from the same pig. It's still all pig though.

One of the best things to happen to me recently was when the dog chewed through the satellite cable. Now I have found TSP and started my own blog. I don't think that would have happened sitting in front of the flickering-blue babysitter.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: wookie in the forest on September 24, 2009, 08:33:59 PM
I am glad to see that more people are going agrarian in one form or another. I thought I was the only throw back on this board for the longest time. I am not trying to insult or isolate but to emit happiness.

My situation is almost exactly what Cdnguy stated in the initial post. I have taken in the wife's parents who are both medically disabled (father is two year survivor of cancer and a 25 year survivor of a broken back) and mother in law is currently in the hospital getting back surgery. Why did we integrate/adopt her parents? Because we had seen how their lives had become sedentary and we had seen the repercussions of that with the great grandparents. Two years retired and in the dirt due to in-activity. That was not going to happen on my watch. So now we have live in babysitters and homestead executives that tend the little ones and mold the wooded ten acres in a legacy that will support all of us one day. Dad has progressed from suicide thru being sedentary after his first bout with cancer to teaching, creating, watching and growing my sons and our property (we think as a collective now) into something like a commune...

I do not want to work forever and be alone in the end. I want my children to learn in the best situation I can give them and maybe, just maybe, they will be able to take care of me while I create for their kids. I want to leave a means for freedom not an obligation to finish my debts. I want everything done: food, shelter, heat, electricity and education so that they can "opt in" on their  terms and not popular societies' opinion of what should be the status quo. I want Independence for all of us.

 As of this point I have nine people here (all family) that are pitching in and creating there own niches on the property. One of the rules is "do whatever you want, as long as it hurts no one and could help everyone". I have so much going on around here it gets mind boggling. I look around and I see two solar water heater projects, one earth oven in a test phase, two small gardens, one giant compost area, two ponds being built and I spotted a swale test over by the new apple trees and I have my animal projects. I just found out tonite about the water line being run to the back of the property. Apparently they want to make a campground/RV area with a community cook and relax area/building.

i just try to keep everyone focused on one or three goals so we don't waste time or money and keep it legal.

I think i will start a thread on this so as not to hijack. Where should I put it?

Chin up and shovel down...


Dave B
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ClarkB on September 24, 2009, 09:42:55 PM
The concept of preparedness as retirement is exactly the course I am trying to follow right now.  It would be nice to be 38 again, but that was twenty years ago.  Nineteen years ago I met my wife (who is now a mostly recovered ex-grasshopper), and ended up living in the 'burbs with my wife, stepkids, and  mother-in-law.  This was not my original plan, but I love the gal, so I lived in the suburbs, while being a nature loving ant at heart. 

Now, we are cashing in all of our retirement savings accounts (she has income from a government pension, from 31 years as a probation officer) and using that money, and the proceeds from the sale of our current house, to pay off debt and to purchase our dream homestead which costs twice what our present home is worth.  The new place is mostly self sufficient - wood heat, dual wells, septic, lots of wild game, and good garden and market farming potential.  We will have a mortgage, a small electric bill (for now), and property taxes.  If the economy rebounds (yeah, right) then all will be well and we will pay off the mortgage with our share of the prosperity.  if (hyper?)inflation strikes then our profit from the sale of food, wood, and hay will increase while the mortgage remains constant and we will pay it off with inflated dollars.  We will be able to survive without much of any outside electric supply.  This will keep us secure and happy, and provide a valuable asset to leave the kids at the end of the road.

For our situation, the property has an excellent single wide home for my MIL to live in, about 200 feet from the main house.  Assuming that my MIL (84 yrs old) will die before my wife and I, then in our decrepit years we can give free rent in the single-wide to a caretaker to do the physical chores, thus filling the role of the 'younger generation' in the earlier scenario of how family homesteads had different jobs for different ages, in order to help run the property.

I don't trust any other form of retirement.  Stocks, cash, social security, certificates, bonds, IOUs, etc. are just PAPER.  Lots of luck with that when the SHTF.  Land, ammo, gold and silver metal, fuel, and food will be the new wealth.  Now is the time to convert most monetary investments to real hard assets.  As for the "tax authorities" taxing any bartering - fat chance.  Without W2/1099 forms, receipts, a common form of exchange (currency), or bank records; we are on the honor system.  I guess the tax man would have to be standing in back of the barn when a dozen eggs gets traded for some welding, etc.  However, at that point in time I think the tax man may be quite busy himself bartering to feed his clan.  I wonder how the 'tax man' will report such activities in an honor system?             
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 24, 2009, 10:11:17 PM
I do hope that the new home that costs twice as much won't burden you with twice the mortgage. Maybe do some research on rates and consider locking in longer, even if the rate is a bit higher than the best rate right now. I'd be willing to bet we'll see 18% again in the next few years. Just like the early 80's. Just something to think about.

The unfortunate thing about counting on inflation dollars, is that the inflation in income seriously lags on inflation in prices. Trying to survive that stretch is what knocks most people on their keister.

You went through the 80's. This isn't anything you don't know, I know that. But for those folks that weren't around, or don't remember, hopefully this benefits them.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ClarkB on September 25, 2009, 09:03:57 AM
The mortgage will be more than we pay now, but the other costs of living will be less.  We will be getting a 30 yr fixed mortgage, so we won't worry about a change interest rates.  Yep, I did live through the 80's.  In cleaning our current house for the move I ran across a 'mortgage rate book' from 1980/81.  This was before PC's or the internet, so books with tables were used to estimate mortgages.  The mortgage rates in that book STARTED at 16%. 

We will work to pay off the new homestead ahead of schedule.  We plan on being small time market farmers, will have 20 acres in hay, and we will have a 120 acre forest for firewood and timber sales.  If inflation strikes then food costs will increase quickly, so we will rely on crop sales as one way to fill the gap.  I have no problem with participating in the underground economy and/or bartering.  We will be rid of virtually all consumer debt, so the mortgage and taxes will be the only bills.  If society really collapses then the government will have a hard time collecting taxes since they will be too busy saving their collective asses. 

Finally, there is the fact that I love the place we are buying.  It is 144 acres with field and forest, a trout stream, 3 waterfalls, deer, turkey, etc.  The three neighbors are a 150 acre farm that has been owned by the same family for 3 generations (they are staying), a 310 acre parcel with no house and a conservation easement that only allows one dwelling in the future, and a 570 acre state forest.  Therefore, about 6 people live in 1,000 acres, but it is only 30 miles from an urban center.  If an EMP hits, or hyperinflation shows up, then there is no place I'd rather be.  The rest of the time it is heaven on Earth, assuming you can survive 3 months of some of the roughest winters in the U.S.

So there is my retirement plan - Divest of all 'assets' that I don't physically control; convert all monetary assets to a homestead and become self-sufficient in food, energy, and shelter; and be able to physically defend the property in the case of an EMP, roving hoards, or complete social collapse.  It will also make a great and lasting inheritance for future generations.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Preppernation on September 26, 2009, 11:50:39 AM
Thanks CdnGuy, Jack and everyone else that has been sharing their dreams and success stories.

   We've been working toward this end as well. I have to admit to being a prepper for many years. However, having found thesurvivalpodcast.com I have been really ramping up. Jack has inspired us to fnally start DOING alot of the things that only made it to our "To Do List" previously. Thanks Jack!

   I've gotten so excited about what we have been getting done and trying to follow in the example that has been set by a number of influences over the last year, I have started a website to begin documenting the projects I've been working on. This is motivational for me and my family but also hopefully will inspire many to get moving on their own projects.

   When I started to listen to the podcast 6-8 months ago I couldn't believe that I was hearing all the things going on in my own head, coming off my IPOD... Only from the IPOD they were so much more organized. It was encouraging to hear a credible, rational voice telling me to get moving and that I'm not crazy!

   We have been using the "preps toward retirment" plan for a year or so. We have a BOL and have gotten some fruit trees started, irrigation lines ran to where the new garden will be beginning next spring. We have our own well and septic, we are on grid power but that will be our only utility bill. I have a couple of solar panels already purchased but not yet installed but they're available if something goes wrong prior to formal install., also the beginnings of our battery bank, charger, etc.

   My daughter is turning 17 in a week or so and I'm roughly the same age as Jack. We have a similar timeline on making a permanent move to our BOL shortly after our baby is squared away on schooling. Obviously, those expenses could slow us down a year or two but we will make the move in only a few short years.

   We couldn't justify the expense of building a stick built home on our 10 acres at this point, it all had to be mortgage free or no deal! So we ended up with what has turned out to be an excellent home - 1997 Singlewide mobile. I had no experience with these homes and have so far been extremely happy with it. Cost $19,000 including the move of over 200 miles and being reset on our land. Now I know that aint free but it was what we could do paying cash. I have seen this age of homes going for MUCH cheaper since but I'm not going to cry over it. 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths with all the necessities, laundry and large kitchen, paid for!

   We're on our way, one daughter and mortgage in the city stand between us and country living. Yes, I am well aware what this prized country living will mean - alot of hard work, I can't wait!!

If anyone is interested in seeing some of what we've gotten done and watching our place progress, check out the website -

www.preppernation.com (http://www.preppernation.com)

Keep up the good work everybody,

Prepper
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on September 26, 2009, 02:17:01 PM
preppernation:

Cool web site you have there. 

Now, back to the topic at hand ...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Sid on September 26, 2009, 09:20:46 PM
There are physical assets, and then there are paper assets.  A piece of productive land, a wood stove, a few milk cows, a few head of beef cattle, a wood lot, a chicken house, hand tools, a water well, gold and silver coins, guns and ammunition, an orchard, and the like are physical assets; these assets have intrinsic value from the use to which they can be put.  Social security, a pension, a 401(k) plan, a bank account, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, annuities, and the like, are paper assets, all of which depend upon the promises or obligations of others to give these assets value; they have no intrinsic value unless you plan to use them to start a fire.

To live through a period of economic collapse and survive, you are much better off to have real assets, and no debts, instead of paper assets or debts.





Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 27, 2009, 11:02:26 AM
There are physical assets, and then there are paper assets.  A piece of productive land, a wood stove, a few milk cows, a few head of beef cattle, a wood lot, a chicken house, hand tools, a water well, gold and silver coins, guns and ammunition, an orchard, and the like are physical assets; these assets have intrinsic value from the use to which they can be put.  Social security, a pension, a 401(k) plan, a bank account, stocks and bonds, insurance policies, annuities, and the like, are paper assets, all of which depend upon the promises or obligations of others to give these assets value; they have no intrinsic value unless you plan to use them to start a fire.

To live through a period of economic collapse and survive, you are much better off to have real assets, and no debts, instead of paper assets or debts.

Agreed. A bird in the hand is still worth at least two in the tree.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ColdHaven on September 27, 2009, 12:57:12 PM
Here is something to know. For some reason a big number with the IRS is 1,000. You can give a gift to someone up to 1,000 a year tax free. This is true on a piece of land being called a farm. If it produces more than 1,000 dollars worth of revenue then it is considered a farm, but then you are subject to taxes and such because of the sales. In order for them to tax you they would have to place an amount on what you have given to other people. These bartered items could be considered gifts, of which, the other person gave you a gift in return. They would have to have a provable itemized list of the things you gave each other as gifts in order to say you gave each other more than 1,000 dollars worth during the course of a year. When you are talking small money items like vegetables and fruits you would have to give a lot to each other, and they would have to be able to itemize each thing you gave...which of course they would not be able to do. If they did try to itemize what they can proove you can base it off the value you would get from a farmer's market which is considerably lower than grocery store prices.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: cohutt on September 27, 2009, 02:10:10 PM
Coldhaven,

Not to trying to split hairs but you can gift practically as much as you want to someone "tax free". 

Over $12,000/yr/recipient and your estate exemption is reduced by anything over $12,000 in that year.  I could gift you $100,000 tommorrow (haha in theory of course) and neither one of us would owe a cent in tax.  I'd think the reporting form is #741 or something like that where I report the excess of the $12,000 for future reckoning on my estate tax return.

Dish over $1,000,000 in excess of the exempt $12,000/tr/recipient cumulative and you would be in gift tax land but most of us won't ever have to worry about it.

On the rest-  Technically all bartered value is supposed to be reported as income.   Gifting with the expectation of receiving a gift in return isn't gifting, it is bartering.  Not my opinion, unfortunately these are the tax regs.  "Arms length" evaluation of gifts and a lot of other types of transactions are of interest to the IRS.     The IRS really expects us to report this  even if only a few dollars hahahahahahahaha. 

My point is if the IRS is on you that argument won't hold water.

The other thing to consider is what are known as the hobby loss rules.  They expect us to report all income from any side hobby like a gentleman's farming operation but then won't let us take a loss.  We have to prove it is a true business in order to take losses in excess of income.

Yeah it is stacked.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Lowdown3 on September 30, 2009, 09:53:47 AM
Folks have been doing this for years, we started well over a decade ago with the "homestead retirement" plan.

It's not that you want likely need ANY money, it's that you'll need so much LESS money.

When you actually own everything you have, no mortgage no car payments, when you have an AE producing your power, when you are growing/raising most of your food, how much LESS money would you need?

Yes the people that run to the doc for every sniffle and can't do some simple research on their own are still, and/or have chronic medical conditions are still going to have to pay for health insurance. However once your actually LIVING this way, i.e, not just talking about it, you'll find that your health will improve GREATLY.

Fresh air, the TV off, plenty of homestead work, the great outdoors to exercise in, eating food fresh from your garden, clean water without all kinds of chemicals in it, less air pollution, etc. all will contribute to better health conditions.

It's a great way to live, we've been at it a decade now and I wouldn't move back to the suburbs for all the money in the world. And of course if something actually does happen, people are going to die en mass in the cities and suburbs. And if nothing ever does happen, we are living for much less and experiencing much more freedom than the average city dweller.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: TexDaddy on September 30, 2009, 07:31:59 PM
Well, as of today, I am doing this for real. After 37 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days with the same company, as of 3:30pm CDT today, I am retired. Free at last, free at last....

The savings will be converted to real assets.  Debts, history. I can devote all of my energy to working directly for my family and me. I feel powerful.

The folks on this forum have contributed hugely to my ability to do this at this time. Plus, of course, working towards the goal, and a great retirement deal from my current former employer.

All I have learned here (homesteading, permaculture, emergency preps, etc.) provided the boost needed to get over the top. Thank you, to all that have helped.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: cohutt on September 30, 2009, 07:40:34 PM
Congrats TexDaddy!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: monkeyboyf on September 30, 2009, 07:51:14 PM
Congratulations,TXDaddy, when do you plan to move to the BOL? I have never been sorry that I retired after working since I was 14.  Work harder now, but it's for me.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: TexDaddy on September 30, 2009, 08:08:09 PM
Congratulations,TXDaddy, when do you plan to move to the BOL?
As soon as my wife will let us go. Progress little by little. At least, now I have only one boss. :D

Thanks Cohutt and monkeyboyf. It feels so good.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on September 30, 2009, 08:10:23 PM
Wow, TexDaddy.  Super cool.  Good for you.  Taking control of your life.  You'll never regret this.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dudekrtr on September 30, 2009, 08:13:27 PM
Well, as of today, I am doing this for real. After 37 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days with the same company, as of 3:30pm CDT today, I am retired. Free at last, free at last....

The savings will be converted to real assets.  Debts, history. I can devote all of my energy to working directly for my family and me. I feel powerful.

The folks on this forum have contributed hugely to my ability to do this at this time. Plus, of course, working towards the goal, and a great retirement deal from my current former employer.

All I have learned here (homesteading, permaculture, emergency preps, etc.) provided the boost needed to get over the top. Thank you, to all that have helped.

Absolutely awesome!

I propose a TSP toast- to TexDaddy- long life now made longer with new freedom! Cheers! (http://appleseedinfo.org/smf/Smileys/newsmileys/afro.gif)

[should we make this a tradition when anyone of us "pulls the plug"?]
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ian-FW on September 30, 2009, 08:14:55 PM
Retirement planning was pretty much what got me into survivalism in the first place. I realized in college that I really had zero desire to work for someone else 40 hours a week for 40 years of my life. The two ways out that I came up with were to either get a whole lot of money somehow, or not need a whole lot of money. I don't have any wealthy relatives to leave me fortunes, so I went with the latter plan. :)

I found a piece of land shortly before I graduated, and bought it with the bit of money I did have saved up (I'd kept that money in hand and gotten student loans, rather than pay for school out of pocket). After I graduated, I found a job that paid well (bartending), and started saving money. The first year, I paid off all my student loans. The two years after that, all my money went into a shoe box to pay for building my house. This spring I decided I had enough put away, quit the job, and moved up to the property to start building. I'm now about two months away from having the house finished to the building inspector's eye (hooray first-time homebuyer tax credit!). Then this winter I'll be going back to the city for another job, because I need to save up more to put in my alt power system (I was able to put in the well, septic, and house, but can't swing the power yet - and I have zero interest in getting a loan for it).

In a couple more years like this, I hope to have my house all finished, the greenhouse up and running, a nice workshop put up, and be able to sustain myself through my hobbies. It's easy to live beneath the IRS' standard deduction when you have no power bill, water bill, sewer bill, car payment, or mortgage. I can live for myself and pursue things I find interesting, rather than spend my whole life making money for someone else. I don't know why more people don't do the same thing...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: TexDaddy on September 30, 2009, 08:31:04 PM
I don't know why more people don't do the same thing...
Way to go. The reason is, we do not believe we can. Plus, we thought we needed more.

Thanks to y'all also, Heavy G and dudekrtr. I like making the toast a TSP tradition. Great idea, dudekrtr. +1
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 30, 2009, 10:22:19 PM
Well, as of today, I am doing this for real. After 37 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days with the same company, as of 3:30pm CDT today, I am retired. Free at last, free at last....

The savings will be converted to real assets.  Debts, history. I can devote all of my energy to working directly for my family and me. I feel powerful.

The folks on this forum have contributed hugely to my ability to do this at this time. Plus, of course, working towards the goal, and a great retirement deal from my current former employer.

All I have learned here (homesteading, permaculture, emergency preps, etc.) provided the boost needed to get over the top. Thank you, to all that have helped.

Very glad and encouraged to read this! Thanks TexDaddy!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 30, 2009, 10:26:01 PM
I can live for myself and pursue things I find interesting, rather than spend my whole life making money for someone else. I don't know why more people don't do the same thing...

Honestly, because most of us don't think of it. We get the "get a good job" mantra pushed on us. Once we are told to look for a job, we stop looking for anything else.

Does my heart good to hear about a younger person doing this. I assume you are younger - I could be wrong. It's all about the mindset isn't it?
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: hd45hunt on October 01, 2009, 09:18:19 AM
Congrats TexDaddy!  I agree about making the toast a tradition as one of us is able to pull the plug ;)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: EmmaPeel on October 01, 2009, 10:06:21 AM
Congratulations to those with freedom. 

I think, CdnGuy is right.  We are pushed from day one to excel.  To many, excelling means good grades, college, great paying job, nice house, new cars, etc.  I think one of the biggest this we can do for our children is to help them realize that this is not the only path to happiness and may not lead to happiness at all.  I don't think schools teach the ability or desire to learn.  It is my biggest wish that my girls have the desire to learn, to seek things out for themselves.  I feel this will lead to being able to see their path to happiness, no matter what it might be. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on October 01, 2009, 10:32:54 AM
Congratulations, TexDaddy... hope we can go to the range this month as a mini-celebration!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: TexDaddy on October 01, 2009, 10:34:27 AM
Congratulations, TexDaddy... hope we can go to the range this month as a mini-celebration!
I am looking forward to it. PM me when you are ready to go!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ultraist on October 04, 2009, 12:49:50 PM
Retirement planning was pretty much what got me into survivalism in the first place. I realized in college that I really had zero desire to work for someone else 40 hours a week for 40 years of my life. The two ways out that I came up with were to either get a whole lot of money somehow, or not need a whole lot of money. I don't have any wealthy relatives to leave me fortunes, so I went with the latter plan. :)

I found a piece of land shortly before I graduated, and bought it with the bit of money I did have saved up (I'd kept that money in hand and gotten student loans, rather than pay for school out of pocket). After I graduated, I found a job that paid well (bartending), and started saving money. The first year, I paid off all my student loans. The two years after that, all my money went into a shoe box to pay for building my house. This spring I decided I had enough put away, quit the job, and moved up to the property to start building. I'm now about two months away from having the house finished to the building inspector's eye (hooray first-time homebuyer tax credit!). Then this winter I'll be going back to the city for another job, because I need to save up more to put in my alt power system (I was able to put in the well, septic, and house, but can't swing the power yet - and I have zero interest in getting a loan for it).

In a couple more years like this, I hope to have my house all finished, the greenhouse up and running, a nice workshop put up, and be able to sustain myself through my hobbies. It's easy to live beneath the IRS' standard deduction when you have no power bill, water bill, sewer bill, car payment, or mortgage. I can live for myself and pursue things I find interesting, rather than spend my whole life making money for someone else. I don't know why more people don't do the same thing...


The steps you've taken seem similar to the ones I'm about to...
Have you documented your journey in excessive detail anywhere?
We're on the verge of this adventure, and I'm trying to take in as much info as I can before the plunge.
As a family of 6, there's a lot to consider.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ian-FW on October 05, 2009, 06:54:39 PM
Sorry - the only record out there is Joel's blog (http://"http://www.theultimateanswertokings.blogspot.com/"), which is far from comprehensive. I'd be happy to answer any particular questions you might have, though (either here or via PM).
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ultraist on October 07, 2009, 07:44:59 PM
I really don't have any specific questions per se, but rather am looking for a wide spectrum analysis that might bring up any issues I haven't thought about;  things that worked, things that didn't, things that came up unexpectedly...

In my personal situation, it began with a time / money logic loop that I had been stuck in, resulting in me spinning my wheels in terms of progress toward the end goal.  The way out of it (so far) has been to say "to Hell with money" and instead free up the time to take the necessary steps forward.  Now I'm at a stage where I'm committed to leap (leave the metropolitan city area, cut the mortgage in half, and work on personal projects and maybe do some remote freelance to pay the bills).  But before I leap, I'm taking a look to asses the situation to make sure I land right where I'm supposed to...

... if that made any sense.

I guess the short way of saying it is; I'm just trying to absorb as much data as possible before locking in the escape plan.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ian-FW on October 08, 2009, 07:26:17 AM
Makes perfect sense to me. Taking that leap is freakin' scary!

I would suggest that you take whatever time and cost estimates you've come up with, and double them. If you are good at estimating such things, then still add 50%. Unexpected expenses will always come up. A big one for me was finding a couple huge car-sized rocks in my excavation, and having to pay for a jackhammer backhoe to remove them. Also, it will take you much longer to do things than it "should". All sorts of things will take time away from your building, like weather preventing you from working, or needing to take time to help a neighbor out with their projects.

I've done pretty well with my budget, only being about 10% over at this point (although my whole house structure was a fixed cost, which made budgeting easier). I haven't been so lucky on time, though. I'm currently about two months behind where I had expected to be.

I would advise you not to make the leap until you have the savings built up to make some serious progress on building. You might feel like you're going stir-crazy in the city "just" saving up money, but better to do that for a while than to get a house half built and run out of money.

Finally, of course, have plans B, C, and D. Figure out what you will do when your building savings run out, because they eventually will.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ultraist on October 08, 2009, 08:46:48 PM
Those are good points.

I've been leaning towards finding some land with an existing house on it for some of those reasons.  Would like to build the dream home from scratch, but it'd be easier for the family if there was a home there to begin with.  Seems like it'll be a multi-step process.

Thanks!
Mike.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ntrngr on October 30, 2009, 09:55:05 PM

I could go on and on and sound like the crusty old man. Yet I'm only 37. Has the world really changed that much so quick?


Don't sweat it. One does not have to be old to think with wisdom. ...and once you start its kind of like a cloud burst.

You said all the things I've been thinking for 2 years (I'm 47 now). I'm a ways from getting it done but I get closer every day. I chucked at your "If everything takes a poop..." terminoligy.  I just hope I get pretty close before "everything takes a poop."

Thanks again.

-NetRanger
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: wookie in the forest on October 31, 2009, 11:28:27 AM
that is my greatest concern. I don't want to be caught with my pants too far down. A little  I can handle, but too much and we are FUBAR'd. We have alot to do and we fear only a few years to get it done. I want us as a country to survive a;though I can't say who would be left...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: quiet-man on November 07, 2009, 07:13:13 PM
When I was your age... I never looked far enough ahead to think beyond my retirement. I guess it's why I hope others consider your post. So, I'm retired. I'm doing OK, but I've been serious about self-reliance & preparedness since my early 20's. I can live cheaper, feel more confident, and have most of what I want because of that. However, when you get older, you'll find that a labor-intensive life-style  might be more than some can handle, especially if you're not accustomed to it.  This forum is a good source of knowledge and direction. I'm glad that so many of you have chosen a path apart from the other "Sheeple" we live among. Enjoyed your post.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: fndrbndr on January 27, 2010, 01:10:45 PM
This is an intriguing idea...pay off your house early, eliminate most of your bills and live self-sufficiently from there on out. Sounds like a plan.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: gawain12 on February 15, 2010, 04:30:25 PM
This is one of my favorite threads. Really inspiring and exactly what I had been thinking for some time right before I began listening to the TSP. It's really cool not to be alone out there in this.

I turn 31 in May. I am living in my first house, my BOL, out in the Shenandoah. It's awesome here, but still a little close to D.C. for my liking. Anyway, it had always been my desire to get it right the first time around on purchasing a house, you know, buying a home that I (we actually, as I have a wife and two kiddos) could grow in and live in for the rest of our life. Lucky for me, we found our house and my wife and I have grown to love it, even as we fix it up. Also lucky for me, I found the TSP which has provided lots of direction and ideas for moving forward and turning this place into a homestead.

I am presently watching my parents, who I love, are now retired, and in their late 60s, drown in debt because they refuse to abandon the entitlement lifestyle. It is sad to watch, but providing a clear yet unfortunate glimpse into what happens when you let living on credit consume you.

The sad upshot of all this is that had my parents kept their first house--an old farm house on an acre or two--it would have been paid for long ago, could pay cash for all their toys and wants, and likely not be on the verge of bankrupcy.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on February 15, 2010, 07:16:49 PM
Quote
I am presently watching my parents, who I love, are now retired, and in their late 60s, drown in debt because they refuse to abandon the entitlement lifestyle. It is sad to watch, but providing a clear yet unfortunate glimpse into what happens when you let living on credit consume you.

The sad upshot of all this is that had my parents kept their first house--an old farm house on an acre or two--it would have been paid for long ago, could pay cash for all their toys and wants, and likely not be on the verge of bankrupcy.

Oh man, I'm in pretty much EXACTLY the same situation as you.  I don't know about your parents, but with mine it's not an income problem, it a spending problem.

I'm hoping that in 5-10 years I can buy a house and rent to my parents at a low rate so at least when they're too old to work they won't have to worry about making rent.

My in-laws on the otherhand are the exact opposite.  My father-in-law was forced to go on a disability pension and only makes around 600 a month and my mother-in-law only works a part time minimum wage job, yet they have a great standard of living!

The reason is that they paid off their house early and never got into debt.

Thanks to this they can live very nicely in a semi-retirement manner with little income.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: gawain12 on February 17, 2010, 12:03:15 AM
"but with mine it's not an income problem, it a spending problem." --Cool Blue

Yes, that's exactly what it is with my parents. I think it has to do with the sense of entitlement that they grew up with: "I've worked hard all my life. I deserve this. I don't really want much in this life. I just want a few luxuries like normal people, etc." And numerous other rationalizations. This past week I told my mom, politely but stepping on her toes a bit, that they can no longer afford to live this way. They are no longer at the point in life where they can assume they can just pay it off later.

The other side of it is that, like many others in their shoes, they don't want to believe that the party is (or even could be) over and that the day of financial reckoning is coming nigh. I'd like to help them, but I know it's not realistic. Being the youngest, I can only lead by example and let them know that it is cancer to add debt on top of debt every year and tell them how great it is to pay off debt.

That said, my parents have always been generous to me. I want to help them as much as possible, but they just don't want to listen when I tell them not to buy me stuff on their credit card--repeatedly. I just shake my head, thank them and pray.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: jonathans on February 21, 2010, 12:58:07 AM
This thread and the show that Jack did on it have inspired me. I listen to the same show often while I work (earbuds). I have always been a "outside the box" type. I have always questioned EVERYTHING. I will do the needs and wants assessment, and I WILL use the system, to break free of the system.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: beachwalker on February 22, 2010, 04:42:32 PM
I have a 10 year plan. My warehouse/investment property will be paid off and throwing off income. My retirement accounts should be well into the mid six figures. Hopefully the house will have enough equity to pay for the house on the BOL.

I have re-evaluated my life. The desire to become self sufficient is over whelming.

The only thing that concerns me is the chronic heatlth problems (diabetes, etcc...)

I have considered a move to Canada as a health insurance backup plan...   ;D
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on February 23, 2010, 04:23:20 AM
I have a 10 year plan. My warehouse/investment property will be paid off and throwing off income. My retirement accounts should be well into the mid six figures. Hopefully the house will have enough equity to pay for the house on the BOL.

I have re-evaluated my life. The desire to become self sufficient is over whelming.

The only thing that concerns me is the chronic heatlth problems (diabetes, etcc...)

I have considered a move to Canada as a health insurance backup plan...   ;D

I'm sure once you achieve your goal your stress in life will decrease and your health will benefit.

Canada could use more people with common sense like preppers but be warned that although we give out free needles to junkies, diabetics have to pay for them in Canada.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on February 23, 2010, 05:37:36 AM
With the economic collapse of the USA propelled by the progressive political machine and fueled by massive debt, I have come to the conclusion that most Americans in their late 40's and up can't experience the type of retirement our parents had.

As I sit and contemplate my retirement fate as a 50 year old man, I realize that the retirement of the greatest generation, the silent generation, and even the one enjoyed by the first boomers is difficult at best to have; and more realistically it is unobtainable. So I am on a quest to find a way to enjoy my “golden years” to optimize the balance of my years of life to enjoy my family and create a true balance in my life. In doing this I hope to create a resource and reference guide for people like me and for the generations to come.

Let’s face it; social security is anything but secure. Pensions are virtually non-existent and my 401k has had more gains and losses than Oprah Winfrey. So I am seeking a way to create a lifestyle that will allow me and my wife to live a full and rewarding life with some self-reliance, until we leave this wonderful world for our next adventure.

The only way (un)social security can continue is from revenue from a national health care program or maybe cap & trade. Which is another step towards losing our freedoms. If you are 55 or less I feel you must prepare and develop self reliant skills and relationships because the money you have paid into this ponzy scheme is lost.

 I have been researching this "new" lifestyle for a while and I have got my wife on board. 1st we are working to have no debt, 2nd we are learning the storing & preserving of food, 3rd getting out of our rural condo and into a homestead and we are voting for our future at every election at every level. This is a scary time for pre-retiree's.

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: beachwalker on February 27, 2010, 01:58:54 PM
My goal in ten years is to generate at least half of my energy needs, 80% of my food, and be 100% mortgage free.

I find work enjoyable, when not accompanied with financial hardships. I could see working until my final day on earth, because I want to work.

My parents got married shortly after Korean War, lived in a garage apartment with nothing but hand me down furniture.

55 years later, they are worth a mint, though never living much above middle class means until the last ten years, and even then with an eye on the ball.

It is strange to see my parents in this economy. Aging and a bit scared! They still work everyday when they don't have too and they are both pushing 80 years old.

It will take this Great recession to shake Americans to our core and reboot the Depression era financial values of our parents and grand parents.

I have faith that even in this culture of "I wants" and easy debt, there are many  that will succeed. It is a valuable lesson for children to see their parents sinking under the stress of debt from hell.

I have been too priveledged and could have and should have done better by now, but I'm better off than many.

I don't believe we are headed into the abyss, but do feel like I've being stewed in a pot of steadily warming water. This slow boil effect will eventually mean much higher taxes to cover entitlements (Medicare, Social Security).

The savers and preppers have always adjust and finsh ahead of the spenders. This has been the case in every uncertain period of US History.



Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Glockman1980 on March 07, 2010, 11:21:23 AM
My wife and I turn 30 this spring and we close on our new 2.8 acre homestead on April 2.  I believe we can have our new house producing for us almost completely, and have our mortgage payed off by the time we are 45.  I love this topic of early retirement from "society's norms".  It has been difficult to convince my wife that this is attainable but I think once she has seen the result of our "profits" from having our house provide for US, she will be completely on board.  I have been working for someone else for 15 years, and have managed to compile debt in my early 20's that we are still trying to pay off.  In this 15 year period I have almost nothing to show for my debt.  We are not in far, but any debt is TOO much for me.  Anyway I'm rambling, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm so excited I had to tell someone.  ;)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: beachwalker on March 07, 2010, 03:16:10 PM
Social Security will always be there in some form, the problem is the value of that dollar, but then again  it is indexed to inflation.

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volker has floated the idea essentially they would add one month each year to the "retirement" age by two years and systematically over a peroid of 10-15 years would stabelize the SS system without raising taxes.

Medicare is the big elephant in the room. Social Security is a pittance IMHO.

People going in the direction of self sufficiency and are heavy savers and preppers will largely be unaffected.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: jonathans on March 07, 2010, 07:15:50 PM
How about this idea.
What about working only a few months a year. I'm thinking the winter.
I'm a sun lover. All I want to do in the winter is hibernate anyway. Might as well work.
Then, after few months of working, go into my semi-retirement on the homestead for the spring, summer and fall.

Working only until I reach my predetermined goal of near 10k, or whatever keeps the income tax as low as possible.
With my job, I could do that in less than 2 months.
I work for a contractor for the cable company as an installer. I install cable, internet and phone.
I would think they would hire me any time, especially if I gave them 110% for those few months.
I give "near 99%" now and I have a great rep with the company. I could go back to anyone who has employed me in the last 10 years and go back to work.
We are pretty much ALWAYS hiring. It's very hard to find people of the caliber that the cable company will accept (and accept their work) that will also put up with the work conditions and the hours (7 days a week now).
Satellite and cable installers are always needed all around the country.
I know you think, well they wouldn't want to be jerked around like that...
well, my answer is, they have such a high turnover, they contantly hire and train and lose money on people.
A few onf them stay in the business for an extended time, often going to greener pastures (satellite to cable and back..)
And even those guys will eventually get a good job offer and leave permanently. So it's really kind of a mercenary business.
If i maintain a good rep, I think they would accept it. I would be the only one doing it I am sure.
Plus, it would put me in a great mood/attitude. I could give 110% for a few months if I knew I had the rest of the year off.
I have to wait until my daughter is out on her own, to drop down to a retirement income. So I guess I have at least 7 years before I can do this.
Whadaya think?
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dudekrtr on March 07, 2010, 07:33:35 PM
I'm kind of in the same boat, about 7 more years for the oldest to turn 21.

But, I'd rather wander down to someplace warm for a month or two. The kids will be old enough to keep the house under control.

Then I would work, say, 1 or 2 days a week to reach the  appropriate income level.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: SailormanCGA72 on March 08, 2010, 12:26:59 AM
Retirement and preparedness go hand in hand for us.  I will be retiring from the corporate world in less than two years.  We have land that is paid off and we will sell out where we currently live.  The plan is to build a RV garage/workshop and live in the RV while we build our house.  We have done this before and while it doesn't work for everyone it works for us.  Fortunately even as I approach 60 God has blessed me and my wife with good health.

Our plans include a raised bed garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, beehives, a small vineyard, a greenhouse and enough cows to keep the land in agriculture tax exemption.  We plan on lowline angus cattle since they are smaller and easier to handle, a couple of dexter milk cows and a mixed bag of chickens, guineas, ducks and maybe some turkeys. Our gardening skills are pretty good.  We continued to eat things out of our garden all winter long.  You just have to plan for fall/winter crops, and do a lot of canning.  We already have a year of food stocked up in a couple of locations.

When we build, our plans include solar power, rainwater capture, greywater capture, insulated concrete form house, solar water heater, and as much permaculture techniques as practical. I've been a devotee of Bill Molison for years and have worn out the Permaculture Designers Manual.

We have worked hard all our lives, never took any handouts and don't expect any.  We are blessed to be close to debt free and with the military pension and 401K, along with raising our own food, we should be OK.  Any SS benefits will be an extra that I don't rely on. Anyway, that's our retirement/preparedness plan.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: bartsdad on March 08, 2010, 01:55:47 AM
A:
This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by bartsdad.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see  http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0)

B: This thread may really be the best thread on the forum so far.IMHO
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: OKGranny on March 08, 2010, 12:00:56 PM
Just adding our story. Twenty years ago my husband got seriously ill, medical bills devastated our nest egg and put us in debt badly. We stopped, took stock of everything and made a few decisions. We sold the fancy house in nice neighborhood, used what equity we had to pay off most of the medical bills and started looking for a place in the country. We found where we live now, it had beautiful land, an old single wide mobile home, and a burned out husk of a barn and a horrible well full of iron and magnesium (manganese? Whatever turns stuff black anyway). We spent 5 years making huge payments so we could pay it off in that time frame. When it was paid for we built a nice barn, a big shop building and witched for a good water supply, then had a new well drilled. During this time we had a huge garden, some chickens and guineas, and lots of horses. Then we decided to build a house. Since we were committed to no mortgage it took us nearly six years but we did it. Three and a half years later hubby became completely disabled. I can't imagine where we would be now if we hadn't made the change in life stlye when we did.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mmyersPA on March 14, 2010, 10:09:50 PM
A few years back, I started thinking "downsize and simplify".  I was inspired by a great friend, now deceased, who was in his 80s at the time.  He had given away all of his possessions and was living with his various children.  He had such joy!  I thought, now why do we go through life acquiring possessions, when joy comes from other sources?  He loved to get down in the dirt and pull weeds in my garden.  He told stories.  He loved.

Here's my story...

DH is retired.  I was laid off in October.  Been paying down the debt for 3 years, and have about 2-3 years to go depending on income (not the mortgage...just everything else).  I'm working on building multiple income streams.  I still have to get a regular J-O-B due to our current situation, but the goal is to have enough income from other sources in 5-7 years so that I only have to work for someone else if I want to. 

We have great gardening skills and other survival-minded friends.  We live on 2 acres, and could homestead here.  We have a small fruit orchard with about 10 trees: pears, apples, cherries, peaches, plums.  Also have perennial crops: asparagus, currants, blueberries, strawberries.  We save seeds, and added new heirlooms to our collection this year. 

We'd prefer to be further out in the boonies, so we're considering a BOL that will likely become a FT homestead over time.  Gotta deal with the debt first.  Also, taxes on our current property are $4500/yr...a bit excessive, so long-term homestead here may not be the best option. 

DH's parents were depression-era folks, and he grew up in a home that lived very self-sufficiently...growing food, reusing things.  I've learned a lot from him.  He can fix anything, and loves to cook.  (He's very good @ it).  He also does our canning.

P.S.  I think I need to learn how to hunt.  DH and his sons are big fans...I just think I should pick this up as a survival skill.  I haven't worked up a passion about it yet...





Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on March 16, 2010, 05:41:13 AM
At 51 & 52 respectively my wife and I are on our way to a differant lifestyle. Debt pay off is within reach, except for the mortgage which has 12 years if taken to term but we want to sell our condo and get land or a home with land. But that requires a mortgage again.

So do I take the longest loan possible to reduce the payment and know it will be there until I die or I can pay it off, or make it the highest payment for the shortest term that we can afford? My Time frame to go is 3 years to be out of the old and into the new.

I know all the benefits of my own land, in fact I had several great homes before thrown a curve ball in life I am just battling with the finance part all suggestions are appreciated. ;D
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on March 16, 2010, 07:17:39 PM
If I were you I'd try to pay off that mortgage as fast as you can.  One the best things you can do is live rent/mortgage free when your elderly.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: OKGranny on March 20, 2010, 12:31:38 AM
If I were you I'd try to pay off that mortgage as fast as you can.  One the best things you can do is live rent/mortgage free when your elderly.

True Dat!

We aren't elderly yet but if we had had a mortgage on this place when DH became disabled we'd be in a mess. Those huge payments required a lot of so called sacrifice of other things that turned out to be no sacrifice at all.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on March 21, 2010, 06:28:57 AM
True Dat!

We aren't elderly yet but if we had had a mortgage on this place when DH became disabled we'd be in a mess. Those huge payments required a lot of so called sacrifice of other things that turned out to be no sacrifice at all.
My concern is that to stay in CT near the children and to get the type of property we want we will have to maintain a mortgage into our retirement. Keeping the payment low will be the key.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on March 21, 2010, 01:24:46 PM
Well you could take a longer term so the payments are liwe but you can voluntarilly make higher payments to lay it off faster. Then if you ever need to lower the payment you won't be penalized.

I'd also recommend taking biweekly payments instead of monthly. Because of the way interest works this will shorten the lenght of your mortgage. It took 7 years off mine!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on June 15, 2010, 04:58:46 AM
 >:(
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Herve on June 26, 2010, 04:23:37 AM
wow! Great Thread! THANK YOU FOR PROMOTING FREEDOM!

I'm only 29  ;) and haven't worried so much about retirement until a couple of years ago, when we had a "consultant" coming at work to "advise" us about pension plans (living in UK, that's I think the equivalent of your 401k). I certainly won't let another manicured consultant trying to convince me I should let them in charge of my money so that they can invest in a portfolio of companies such as BP or God knows what, and without any oversight from me on what my money will be used for.

I am slowly taking in that I can only rely on myself and the people who are close to me for when I will retire. One of my nearly-retired colleagues at work has (had?) most of his pension plan with BP, and since what happen in the Gulf is now left with nothing. My father is still living in France, where all pensions are managed by the state, where it is just too evident that the government will default, won't be able to meet its obligation and won't be able to pay for everyone (they are trying to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62 and as a result got >1 million people protesting in the streets... hopeless!)

Thankfully I have no debt - unfortunately I have no assets either.

Thank you again for TSP, it really confirms what I was starting to consider!
It really helps to realise I'm not the only one thinking this way - normally I got the usual dismissal: don't worry it's not the end of the world sort of mentality.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on June 26, 2010, 06:24:40 AM
I'm coming around to thinking that your best bet for "retirement", as in you can no longer care for yourself, is the equity in your home.

Work on paying off your mortgage so you can "live for free" and then when it's time to go to the retirement home you can sell it to pay for your care.

Speaking of France, a friend of mine from France was saying that there is a private plan in France which is kinda like a reverse-mortgage but the payments continue until the death of the home owner.

The kick is however, that once the person dies, the house belongs to the financial company whether he died a week or 50 years after signing.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: kryptiea on August 10, 2010, 08:56:28 PM
Im not ready to make the jump yet I have a lot of work to do but as of now I owe less than 3k on my house I have no credit card bills my truck is paid for. What Im thinking of doing once my house is paid off is getting continuing the expansion of my garden doing food preps and getting some wind and solar going once that is done semi-retiring.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on August 13, 2010, 08:08:53 AM
kryptiea, that sounds so great! It all sounds like an excellent plan.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on August 13, 2010, 07:27:29 PM
Im not ready to make the jump yet I have a lot of work to do but as of now I owe less than 3k on my house I have no credit card bills my truck is paid for. What Im thinking of doing once my house is paid off is getting continuing the expansion of my garden doing food preps and getting some wind and solar going once that is done semi-retiring.

Good for you, I hope to be in your position soon!!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: dustyz on August 31, 2010, 06:59:16 AM
Awesome thread/topic!

This is the type of thing that drove me to TSP. I was out searching for other people with a similar mindset... cause I wasn't having much luck locally.

I just turned 31... and my wife is in her 20's. We bought our house just before marriage 5 and a half years ago, and have been paying extra from the beginning. It will be paid off in under 3 years now, if the plan continues. In the mean time, we've been studying and learning new skillsets and prepping. How to garden, how to preserve, how to create power/heat/energy, how to harvest water and filter it... while getting our orchard & trees planted, maxing out our IRA & 401k retirement plans, & storing useful tools and materials. I figure if we minimize the need for money later, we minimize the amount of time we need to work @ a job. The less time we work at a job, the more time we can spend at home in the garden, with family, and living the simple/good life.

That's why this site is so valuable... it consolidates much of our beliefs. It's nice to see others on a similar path.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Debra on September 10, 2010, 08:08:20 AM
I recently discovered TSP, and this thread convinced me to join the forums. "Prepping for retirement" has been my goal for several years now, ever since I realized that financial independence, self-sufficiency, and homesteading form a truly comprehensive "preparedness plan": if you aren't dependent on an external job or external food supply, you can weather a lot of storms. Plus, you have the flexibility to do what you want to do, instead of what you have to do.  

I currently live in a medium-sized city, but have a 40-acre off-grid property about a few hours' drive away. I go up a couple times a month to work on it, carpooling with my boyfriend who owns the parcel next to mine (on a side note, we often download TSP shows and listen to them on the drive! :) ).  Over the years I've put in a well, a septic system, solar power, and just passed the rough-in inspection on my house.  The property will be paid off next year, I'll be debt-free in just over two years, and I'm building on the property as I can afford it. My goal is to semi-retire at age 50 (8 years), but I could move there sooner since I telecommute.

An additional perk is that when people ask about my property, I don't have to stumble around to avoid the "survival compound" label. I tell them "it's my retirement".  And they're jealous. :)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on September 10, 2010, 04:05:06 PM
I recently discovered TSP, and this thread convinced me to join the forums. "Prepping for retirement" has been my goal for several years now, ever since I realized that financial independence, self-sufficiency, and homesteading form a truly comprehensive "preparedness plan": if you aren't dependent on an external job or external food supply, you can weather a lot of storms. Plus, you have the flexibility to do what you want to do, instead of what you have to do.  

I currently live in a medium-sized city, but have a 40-acre off-grid property about a few hours' drive away. I go up a couple times a month to work on it, carpooling with my boyfriend who owns the parcel next to mine (on a side note, we often download TSP shows and listen to them on the drive! :) ).  Over the years I've put in a well, a septic system, solar power, and just passed the rough-in inspection on my house.  The property will be paid off next year, I'll be debt-free in just over two years, and I'm building on the property as I can afford it. My goal is to semi-retire at age 50 (8 years), but I could move there sooner since I telecommute.

An additional perk is that when people ask about my property, I don't have to stumble around to avoid the "survival compound" label. I tell them "it's my retirement".  And they're jealous. :)

That's pretty awesome, I'm so jealous.

My plan is pretty similar to yours.  I'm also hoping to retire around 50 even though I'll take a hit on my pension.  With prepping you don't need as high an income so I probably won't notice the difference in income.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ChEng on November 19, 2010, 02:39:50 PM
I joined TSP about a month ago, after finding the thread What Did You Do Today To Prepare (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=87.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=87.0)).  I was hooked and spent many hours reading through that entire thread (all 260+ pages :o).

Now that I've gotten caught up in that thread, I've been looking around and found this thread.  The title piqued my interest and I started reading.  Well, I just about broke down and cried.  I am 50 and have taken the system's definition, swallowing it, hook, line, sinker, bobber, rod, reel, etc.>:(  I thought that the only way to retire was to have enough in "investments" that I could live off the interest returns for the rest of eternity - or at least until I died.  This thread does give me some hope, but I have thrown away a large chunk of my retirement preparations buying into that system.  I have not been able to put much into my retirement plans, and was getting worried.  I just never thought about preparedness as a retirement plan.

I am now looking into paying as hard as possible on my debt (mostly gone, thank God), getting a BOL/Homestead outside the city and moving out there within a few years.  I am also looking at cashing in my IRA and 401K for gold and silver, or maybe a "retirement property".  Still have some research to do on that stuff though.  Our youngest is still 15, and I would like to be moving shortly after he moves out.  That gives me between about four and six years or so to work on this. 

What I want is to be able to (before I turn 60 or 65):
- Produce 100% of my energy needs
- Produce 100%+ of my food needs (enough extra to tithe, give to family/friends/neighbors/needy and some extra to sell)
- Be totally debt-free. 
- Have enough in food storage that we can survive an extended period of poor health (although, cleaner living may eliminate this need, I still want the stores)

I am looking into a large garden and small orchard for much of my fruits and vegetables, a small aqua-ponics system to provide more veggies and fish (figuring probably channel cats at this time) and some small livestock (perhaps rabbits, chickens and maybe a couple of milk and meat goats - after a half-a-century of city-slicking, I'm not ready to start riding a horse and herding a hundred head of cattle ;)).  I will probably also try to get some extra meat through hunting, although historically I could be considered a vegetarian there (vegetarian - old Indian term meaning "lousy hunter"   :D)

I will work self-employed (along with the sales of some food items) for the little bit of money that I will need to spend on repairs and entertainments.

Still stuck deeply in the planning/research stages of this though.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on November 19, 2010, 04:25:13 PM
sounds great to me!

The only thing that would worry me a bit though is cashing out your 401k because I understand you take a big penalty for doing that (I'm Canadian so I'm not sure how it works).

Do you have any income besides your 401k that can provide for you when you reach retirement age?

IMO, although it might be a good good to produce 100% of your own food, I don't think it's realistic for most people, especially elderly people.

I'd like to be able to produce at least 25% of my own food eventually, maybe as much as 50%.  I'll need an income to make up the other 50%.

100% of your energy needs is quite possible however.

Do you plan on building a new home?  If so I'd recommend building very energy efficiently and no larger than what your minimum needs.  It's cheaper to conserve energy than create it.   

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on November 19, 2010, 04:38:26 PM
ChEng,

We share your pain. Rather late in the game we realized that we had been squandering a lot of our resources along the way. However, all is not lost. (We still have our health lol).

We are planning to move to an already purchased piece of land, build our own homestead and live on probably 1/3 the income to which we have grown accustomed. We are trying out the budget now (approx. 2 years before the plan goes live) to see if we can live within the income we'll have coming in... so far, so good, but it is a big difference. We are looking out for other income options as well as planning to downsize our expenses.

I'd be wary about cashing out the 401k's unless that is the only option... the penalties are quite high, from what I've heard. Besides, you aren't that far away from being able to access it without penalties, right? With the timeframe you have, you ought to be able to save a huge amount of cash by reducing the lifestyle expenses now. You can save the cash you'll need over the next few years if you put your mind to it. Another thing to consider, is that I think you may be able to access the 401k without penalty for things like your child's education expenses... (check it out, I'm no expert).
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on November 19, 2010, 04:45:44 PM
ChEng,

You are obviously a smart, if not well educated, guy. You'll figure it out. It's all cost-to-benefit really. Just don't get stuck in the analysis paralysis.
I'm guessing you're an engineer yourself? Or at least a really technical guy? You might be surprised how well you could do going out on your own.

Just keep on trucking.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ChEng on November 19, 2010, 05:51:03 PM
The only thing that would worry me a bit though is cashing out your 401k because I understand you take a big penalty for doing that (I'm Canadian so I'm not sure how it works).

Do you have any income besides your 401k that can provide for you when you reach retirement age?
Cool Blue, Yeah, that could cause troubles - I know that I can swap it for gold, silver, real-estate with no tax penalty, looking into the rest.  My second oldest son is just about to graduate with his Accounting and Financial Planning degrees - he is being shanghaied into consulting for his Mom and Dad - he just hasn't heard about that yet.  ;)

IMO, although it might be a good good to produce 100% of your own food, I don't think it's realistic for most people, especially elderly people.

I'd like to be able to produce at least 25% of my own food eventually, maybe as much as 50%.  I'll need an income to make up the other 50%.

100% of your energy needs is quite possible however.
Those are the goals, right now.  Hopefully, I will be able to meet them, but if not, then part of my planning is to come up with Plan B ( and C and D and B.1, C.1, C.2, etc)  We'll see what happens.  Either way, my current investment is so low, that I would only be able to last about 6-12 months before they all go dry.   :'(

Do you plan on building a new home?  If so I'd recommend building very energy efficiently and no larger than what your minimum needs.  It's cheaper to conserve energy than create it.   
I keep wavering between building and buying and putting a mobile home up and parking an RV/Camper there.  A lot will depend on what I find as a BOL/Homestead.  One option that I am looking into is a buried/partially buried house - those can be pretty efficient.  Still looking (an droolin', an slobberin' an wishin'...)  I've got about 20-25 years of thinking and research behind me on this type stuff, and like I said - lots will depend on what I find.  One good thing is that the kids are now thinking about having a cabin on a vacation spot, where they can go to relax from society's stress and to use as a BOL.  We may use them to help fund a place and set up a couple of outbuildings/cottages around the main house for their families (properly stocked against SHTF situations, of course  :))

I'd be wary about cashing out the 401k's unless that is the only option... the penalties are quite high, from what I've heard. Besides, you aren't that far away from being able to access it without penalties, right? With the timeframe you have, you ought to be able to save a huge amount of cash by reducing the lifestyle expenses now. You can save the cash you'll need over the next few years if you put your mind to it. Another thing to consider, is that I think you may be able to access the 401k without penalty for things like your child's education expenses... (check it out, I'm no expert).
LvsChant, Yeah, you are right, things like that can lead to disaster.  I am studying on it now (see above about the forced slavery for my son :P)

ChEng,

You are obviously a smart, if not well educated, guy. You'll figure it out. It's all cost-to-benefit really. Just don't get stuck in the analysis paralysis.
I'm guessing you're an engineer yourself? Or at least a really technical guy? You might be surprised how well you could do going out on your own.

Just keep on trucking.

CdnGuy, Thanks, yes I am pretty educated.  Mostly self-study on this stuff.  And yes, I am an engineer.  In my post on the Intro thread, I mention that I am starting up a small business designing and selling kits and text material for engineering students.  (My business' tag line is "Helping to build a better engineer)  The kits are mostly electronic, control system and robotics.  One of the things that I am working on for the next five years (until our son, Peter, moves out) is to get my business rolling enough to allow me to drop out of the "rat race".  That should be enough time to either get enough into investments for me to retire or to be able to sell and set up another business that I can run from the boonies - or maybe continue with that if I can get close enough to a shipping organization that I can ship and receive.

The analysis paralysis is a definite potential problem for me.  I have been thinking about this and researching so much, that I have ton's (metric, even! :o) of information.  The real thing to do now is to work on getting my current house ready to sell, building up my business and then going shopping for a BOL/Homestead.  Gotta remember to keep on praying on this stuff - it keeps things in perspective.

Edited: Wow, did that get wordy!  See my Intro post about my Gift of Gab ;)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: maxhedroom on November 19, 2010, 07:39:46 PM
Still stuck deeply in the planning/research stages of this though.  Any thoughts?
 
One year ago we were in the same position, much desire and over 50. Well 1 year later credit card debt gone, car payment paid down to 6 monthe left, about 30 days worth of food, learned to can and dehydrate, had a 4 x 4 garden at our condo that produced some food. Started to build the 1st aid supplies, working on paying off and getting out of the condo. Yiou cant expect to buy yourself into this lifestyle it takes work small steps in the right direction within your means, to reach your goals. Being in yoyur 50's is hard having a teenager at homeis tough, my youngest is 16 so I relate. But this year has taught her lessons as well.

Teach yourself something, can you bake or make a lanyard from paracord, how about sharpen a knife, shoot a gun, fish? There is so much to learn. Winter is coming pick something and just do it, learn it and then do something else. This is my passion and I will keep doing it until I can't. Good luck and don't give up
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ChEng on November 19, 2010, 11:08:01 PM
Still stuck deeply in the planning/research stages of this though.  Any thoughts?
 
One year ago we were in the same position, much desire and over 50. Well 1 year later credit card debt gone, car payment paid down to 6 monthe left, about 30 days worth of food, learned to can and dehydrate, had a 4 x 4 garden at our condo that produced some food. Started to build the 1st aid supplies, working on paying off and getting out of the condo. Yiou cant expect to buy yourself into this lifestyle it takes work small steps in the right direction within your means, to reach your goals. Being in yoyur 50's is hard having a teenager at homeis tough, my youngest is 16 so I relate. But this year has taught her lessons as well.

Teach yourself something, can you bake or make a lanyard from paracord, how about sharpen a knife, shoot a gun, fish? There is so much to learn. Winter is coming pick something and just do it, learn it and then do something else. This is my passion and I will keep doing it until I can't. Good luck and don't give up


Oh yeah, I'm not too shabby at cooking (unless you compare me to Mrs. ChEng - then I'm hopelessly lost, but then again so are most people  ;)).  I have been doing as you - we just paid off another debt and are now (after the holidays) going to roll that over to my student loan.  When that is paid off, they will roll over to the car payment and then the mortgage.  That is our last debt.

Like you said, pick a skill and learn - I was working on learning to make bannock.  This is a type of flat-bread with endless possibilities.  I was chronicalling it on the What Did You Do Today To Prepare thread, but ran out of flour.  We now have flour and I will get back to my experiments soon.  The shotgun is up at my son's, and I will probably bring it home this Thanksgiving - we are going up there for dinner.  I will also see if he has an old .22 or something that I can steal from him.  I used to be a pretty good shot (earned my marksman ribbon before getting out of the Air Force) and I will get back in shape there - also, my wife told me that I am to start taking the younger ones out to the range.  I told her that she is to join us and she said OK - she hasn't fired a weapon since basic training back in '79.

I am also stocking up (that will go with us whenever we move) on food supplies and other things, working on building up the EDC and the BOB and the First Aid Kits.  So, while it is mostly research and planning, there is still a large component of the practical to my preps.  Thanks for reminding me to stay practical, Max.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: 264Win on February 08, 2011, 08:46:48 PM

  I was forced to retire due to a disability at work. I got my pension and a plus amount the equaled social security at age 55 and we made plans to move to Alaska. We were always preppers and if we had plans it was to work tilll 62 and get 42 years retirement instead of 30. But we can never plan for the unexpected, just be ready to change plans. We have a small garden and can salmon, and moose. We learned to live with life gave us and live comfortably. But if any one was to have told us we would be retiring at 55 I would have said they were crazy.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Oakie on February 09, 2011, 05:57:36 PM
 :)  Love reading everyone's stories!

I moved from Dallas, TX to an old house in the country 17 years ago and bought a small business in a small town.
I've had some wonderful successes gardening and some dismal failures but I've learned much.
The house was livable but I've spent years getting it in good repair.  I'm focused now on landscaping with food forests in mind.  Don't know how much of it will produce in my lifetime but I'm planting things for both long and short term production.  Time has always been an issue as I'm a single parent.  I'm hoping to work smarter instead of harder and although I cannot do an irrigation system I'm looking at other methods to hold water around plantings far from the house. (Burried hay and water pots?)  My main gardening will be done now in a raised bed just outside my kitchen door.  As I sit on a hill I hope to plant other things in swales below the raised bed. My traditional garden spot is lovely and may be used once again if I ever retire.    I suspect I may produce more in the raised beds with row covers and the convenience of tending things just outside my door.  Whatever comes this is fun and so much more so hearing your stories as well!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on March 29, 2011, 10:39:48 PM
My oh my time has flown since I first wrote this post. There is so much to share!

Since that time, I started my own website with a Canadian flavour on the topic of preparedness. It's been growing slowly, but that's also in direct proportion to the amount of time I've spent on it. I've been wrapped up in a project at work and my wife had started a new job that consumed just about every waking moment of her life. Seriously. She was managing a hotel. She had never managed a hotel, but within a year and half her hotel was named number 2 for that brand WORLDWIDE. You know this brand, so to make number 2 spot while being located in central Alberta is a HUGE success for anyone, let alone a newbie with no formal education. Then, someone somewhere up the line got a little upset that an unknown could do so well. Well, that all turned into a living hell!

Along the way, we took a trip to Nova Scotia for 6 days. First vacation either of us has had. We fell in love with the people and the place. My wife had been there several times when she used to be a long haul driver, and both of us had known many Maritimers throughout our lives so the reputation of their hospitality and such has always been with us.

Fueled by distaste for the increasingly bureaucratic ways and cut-throat business in Alberta, my sweetie started looking at properties down east. Our dream of having an acreage that we could 'retire' to in the preparedness lifestyle in Alberta had vanished, with even the most isolated acreages costing in the $400,000 and up range. Well, didn't she find 3 acres, with an old farmhouse and shop for $30,000.

After having a home inspector check it out and send us a highly detailed reports with tens of pages of pictures of everything he saw, we made the offer and bought it. Maybe not the smartest thing to do without having actually walked the land, but we felt confident in our home inspector and in the survey report that an old friend of mine, who lives down there, sent me.

The home inspector we ended up getting was the head of the home inspector's association for Nova Scotia. There was no one in our area, so he drove the 2 hours from Halifax to check it out for us. His final recommendation? If we don't buy it, he will.

We flew down on a Thursday evening to finish the paperwork and close the deal. We went to the house and toured it. The home inspection was exactly representative of what was there. Quickly, we winterized the home. Then we met the neighbours. Oh, the neighbours! You'll be relieved to know that people with good hearts who do the right things because it's the right thing to do, still exist. (Of course they do, most of you are those kind of people too!)

We had coffee with them and could have spent the whole night just visiting. They offered right out of the gate to keep an eye on our home for us. They told us of the wonderful old couple that used to live there and the history of the land. The neighbour did a lot of the work on that place and was very open with us. The more we heard, the more we knew that this place was for us out of something more like fate than just luck and some haphazard planning. This place was meant for us to retire to in 10 or 15 years.

Okay, my sweetie sped that up by about 10 or 15 years!! LOL! (I can laugh now that the panic attacks have stopped.) The hotel situation drove her to find another job. Another job in Nova Scotia! So, right now my sweetie, our daughter, and our dog are in the new-old home, peeling layers of wallpaper and planning the garden while I'm here in Central Alberta getting our house here ready to sell. It's listed now by the way.

Once this house sells, I'll honour my commitment to my employer, who is a good man of his word and a mentor to me, then I'll join my sweetie in our mortgage-free acreage in Nova Scotia. At that point, we won't owe anyone a dime.

True to our vision of preparedness as a retirement plan, we'll continue to work jobs, work on making the acreage as self-sufficient as we can, and enjoy the moments that we couldn't have in the rat race here. Don't get me wrong! Alberta has some of the best people you'll ever meet! It will always be the energy that drives Canada, and I don't just mean oil and gas! But we'll be able to enjoy the fruits of our labour and visit with neighbours, play cards, drink coffee and get back to building on the website I started more frequently like the good people of Canada deserve.

It's terrifying in many ways - such a large change in almost every aspect of my life. Yet it is also the beginning of the realization of our dreams and something I preached here a couple years ago now.

I hope this has been inspiring, or at least entertaining, to you in some way. I'd love to read how you are progressing on making preparedness your retirement plan.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on March 30, 2011, 07:25:44 AM
I am going to read that update and another listeners story today on the air, today's topic will be, "Creating Your Vision of Freedom".  I wasn't sure what to do today but that just pushed it over the top.  I am SO happy for you brother!  You just got more than a decade of your life back, wow!  Terrifying, well when you let a caged bird go free it is terrifying at first too.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Bad_Synergy on March 30, 2011, 10:45:47 AM
CdnGuy,

What you are doing really is an inspiration!  +1

I have no doubt that everything will work out better than you could hope for.
Congratulations! 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on March 30, 2011, 03:58:46 PM
I'm so envious!  My wife won't move away from this area where 3 acres of raw land will cost around $60 000!  Congrats!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on March 30, 2011, 04:29:06 PM
Nice to hear from you, CdnGuy.  I thought you were off the forum but I'm glad to hear things are going well.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on March 30, 2011, 09:48:38 PM
I am going to read that update and another listeners story today on the air, today's topic will be, "Creating Your Vision of Freedom".  I wasn't sure what to do today but that just pushed it over the top.  I am SO happy for you brother!  You just got more than a decade of your life back, wow!  Terrifying, well when you let a caged bird go free it is terrifying at first too.

Thank you Jack and HeavyG. You guys inspire me! Heck, my wife even listens to your show now. For some reason, she didn't like the way you sounded at first. But then you got the new microphone and such and she got past the Jersey/Texas/Penn accent and heard the heart of you and your message. I think she realized she was hearing a more advance version of me and now she just loves your show.

Whenever we had a few moments in the truck together, she'd actually ask if I had a new Survival Podcast. Heck yes!!!

It's funny, when I saw the title of the podcast and the show description, I thought, "Wow, huh, isn't that a coincidence that I just wrote an update about our journey last night. Cosmic consciousness at work!"

Jack, HeavyG, Sister, Bad_Synergy, etc...too many to mention. Thank you for all you do for all of us.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on March 30, 2011, 10:05:14 PM
CdnGuy... I am so happy for you. My husband has about 13 months to go before he retires and he describes it as the feeling of knowing you are going to win the lottery. The anticipation!

It sounds like the two of you won the lottery, too. Best of luck to you.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on March 30, 2011, 10:16:45 PM
Okay, I just listened to the podcast and thank you for your encouragement! I really have to give about 90% of the credit to my sweetie. She did the footwork to find this place, I mostly provided the dreaming and kept going to work.

Yes, we will have no car payments, no mortgage, and no loans once the Alberta home is sold. The taxes - about $300 a year.

We have a good 5 years of work ahead of us to get the acreage to where we want it to be, in terms of production and style.

Now, here's the best part - how this is going to benefit our kids. Our daughter is 5'10" tall and an aggressive basketball player as well as an honour roll student. She is now attending a high school next to one of Canada's oldest and best universities. You can see where this is going, right? The opportunity for her to go to university and become a national level player has just increased by a magnitude! (She's actually my step-daughter, but that distinction doesn't matter.)

My son, who lives with his mom 10 months out of the year, will now be within a 16 hour drive instead of a 5 day drive. His ticket to fly to me drops from somewhere around $800 to about $180.

The oldest boy is in college here and living his own life. He's doing very well! I'm very glad for him, and proud of him. Should he decide to pursue graduate studies or just make a change in his life, well, there will be a launching pad for him in Nova Scotia.

Those three things are the real benefit. Family. That's what it's about.

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on March 30, 2011, 10:27:39 PM
CdnGuy... I am so happy for you. My husband has about 13 months to go before he retires and he describes it as the feeling of knowing you are going to win the lottery. The anticipation!

It sounds like the two of you won the lottery, too. Best of luck to you.

Took me a while to realize that, but yes, it is like winning the lottery in many ways.

When my dad bought our first home for $100 down, and found that he could subdivide it into 3 lots, he told one of his co-workers that this was his winning lottery ticket. I didn't hear that story until a few months after my father passed away.

Well, I think this is our family's winning lottery ticket.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Rookinde on April 01, 2011, 09:14:41 AM
CdnGuy - Since your story was put out on the podcast it has help kick my family into high gear. My wife and I had our first meeting last night about where we are headed. We are going to have a planning/vision casting meeting again on Sunday. So thanks for share and let'ing Jack share on the show.

Rook
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on April 01, 2011, 06:02:31 PM
CdnGuy - Since your story was put out on the podcast it has help kick my family into high gear. My wife and I had our first meeting last night about where we are headed. We are going to have a planning/vision casting meeting again on Sunday. So thanks for share and let'ing Jack share on the show.

Rook

Man, this is something I need to get my wife to do.  Any advice on how to approach it?  It seems like she doesn't want to face facts and just bury her head and keep spending money on junk to distract her from the problems.

The other night I asked her what her plan is and what she wants out of life, her reply was "I don't know."
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Nate on April 01, 2011, 07:44:02 PM
I shared my vision with my wife today and we are on the same page!  Last week I accepted a new job in a totally new career field.  The job is in health care and the company is willing to train me.  There are endless opportunities to expand this new career.  So, my vision is as follows.  We are in our early 30's with no debt.  In the next 2 years we plan to buy a house in rural NW Ohio.  Fortunately this job is located in the town I grew up in.  Great place to start a family!  We want a rural home with a basement.  With this home I plan to have chickens and a larger more productive garden.  I also plan to find a mentor for hunting through the local sportsmans club.  This way I can procure most of our meat from wild game.  To supplement wild game I plan to buy a hog from a local farmer or meat market.  I plan to buy apples from a local orchard and make my own apple sauce and can peaches just like my parents did.  When our children are born, they will begin to learn how to thrive in a frugal household, and help us tend the garden and chickens.  They will also learn from me how to hunt and other "guy skills" and from my wife they will learn how to cook and speak Chinese and Malay.  I plan to further my new career by obtaining my RN thus earning more $$ and paying down our debt on the home we intend to buy.  I also plan to save for my children's college so when they graduate they have no debt.  My parents did the same for me and my grandparents did the same for them.   I believe with our current frugal lifestyle this vision is possible!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Heavy G on April 01, 2011, 07:59:17 PM
High five to you guys who are getting your wives on board.

There's a thread on this very topic: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3239.0)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 01, 2011, 08:22:59 PM
CdnGuy - Since your story was put out on the podcast it has help kick my family into high gear. My wife and I had our first meeting last night about where we are headed. We are going to have a planning/vision casting meeting again on Sunday. So thanks for share and let'ing Jack share on the show.

Rook

Fantastic! I wish nothing but the best for your family. Jack is obviously a big inspiration as are all the other really cool people on this forum. One of my core beliefs is that my life should serve as an example to others, or at least as a warning. LOL!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 01, 2011, 08:42:52 PM
Man, this is something I need to get my wife to do.  Any advice on how to approach it?  It seems like she doesn't want to face facts and just bury her head and keep spending money on junk to distract her from the problems.

The other night I asked her what her plan is and what she wants out of life, her reply was "I don't know."

The thread that Heavy G mentioned is excellent. I think there was even a podcast episode awhile back that addressed getting reluctant spouses on board. Might be a good time for Jack to revisit that soon.

There really is no sound reasoning against incorporating preparedness into your life at least a little. We prepare by having insurance, wills, smoke detectors, etc. Just bump it up a little bit. Grow some counter-top herbs and then make her favourite dinner for her with them. Little stuff like that. Make sure her car is kitted out with roadside assistance stuff - it's a good way to show her you love her. If she thinks you're nuts, tell her that you'll do whatever it takes to be able to see her sweet smile every night. How do you argue against that?

Let me tell you a little story...
One day I was out shoveling the sidewalk, and I wanted to get it BARE. I hate snow on my sidewalk. Okay, I just hate snow. I chipped at the ice, I got a stable broom and swept the sidewalk. I think my sweetie thought I was nuts. Maybe I am. But then I told her about a neighbour I had when I was about 12.

This gentleman was a man's man and a very gentle man. Every time the snow fell, he was out there clearing his driveway and sidewalk just like I was doing now. No matter the time of winter his driveway was black and ice free and his sidewalk was clear with a few inches on either side. I thought he was just bored or obsessive. Then I asked him why he cleared his driveway and sidewalk so well.

He leaned on his shovel, cocked his winter hat up a bit so he could look right at me. With a serious face but soft eyes he said, "My wife is very ill and has been for a long time. If something should happen, I want the ambulance and medics to be able to get to her as quickly and safely as possible. I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't shovel the walk."

It hit me hard then as a 12-year old. It hit me harder as a man with a wonderful wife and family.

That last sentence can end with any number of things...
I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't have a first aid kit.
I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't have any savings.
I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't change the batteries in the smoke detector.
I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't do something to help in hard times.
And most importantly...
I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't tell her and show her I love her.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on April 02, 2011, 07:55:45 AM
Man, this is something I need to get my wife to do.  Any advice on how to approach it?  It seems like she doesn't want to face facts and just bury her head and keep spending money on junk to distract her from the problems.

The other night I asked her what her plan is and what she wants out of life, her reply was "I don't know."

Personally when she said, I don't know, I would simply of ask, "honey would you like to know, would you like to be able to answer that question"?

It is amazing what asking a person can do vs. telling a person something.  Because when she says, yes, you simply say well, can we try to find that together.  Hell, lets face it guys, Dr. Phil is crap compared to a good salesman,  ;D
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cool Blue on April 02, 2011, 01:12:34 PM
Personally when she said, I don't know, I would simply of ask, "honey would you like to know, would you like to be able to answer that question"?

It is amazing what asking a person can do vs. telling a person something.  Because when she says, yes, you simply say well, can we try to find that together.  Hell, lets face it guys, Dr. Phil is crap compared to a good salesman,  ;D

Ya, I'll try that, we're supposed to have a sit down this weekend and discuss things.

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: KYdoomer on April 05, 2011, 10:02:11 PM
This latest show hit me like a ton of bricks.  Huge thank you's to Jack and to CdnGuy. 

I wanted to let my wife listen to it but damn it all if my vision of liberty doesn't sound a lot like you guys and I had to talk to my wife about not chasing what others say is your dream but what you think it is.  I didn't want to appear hypocritical (but I'm absolutely not)!  So to avoid the emotional stuff about how me not being happy with how things are going turning into "you don't love me" I wrote a long direct letter to my wife today and I think it hit home. 

I might not be going to live at my BOL but my wife finally agrees, we aren't staying here in the burbs.  I've sent her to school twice now to chase her dream.  Now its my turn. 

J
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 06, 2011, 01:44:00 PM
Good to hear that you can find a happy medium between your vision and hers. Give it time. I suspect her vision will come to more closely resemble yours as gas and food prices keep flying up.

Give and take is so important. Asking questions and working them through is good.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: luke on April 11, 2011, 01:46:57 AM
He leaned on his shovel, cocked his winter hat up a bit so he could look right at me. With a serious face but soft eyes he said, "My wife is very ill and has been for a long time. If something should happen, I want the ambulance and medics to be able to get to her as quickly and safely as possible. I love her and I don't want to lose her because I didn't shovel the walk."

That was a great story! And thanks for sharing your plan and where you are now with the community. I love this podcast, forum, and mostly, all of the great people here! (lol almost left out that last comma, what a difference a comma makes)
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 11, 2011, 05:00:34 PM
Thanks Luke. We all keep working toward our goals and we'll all keep meeting them and inspiring each other. I think that's a big part of the point of a preparedness community. Sharing knowledge and moral support.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: RationalHusker on April 14, 2011, 08:58:58 PM
My goal in ten years is to generate at least half of my energy needs, 80% of my food, and be 100% mortgage free.

I find work enjoyable, when not accompanied with financial hardships. I could see working until my final day on earth, because I want to work.

Good for you!  Working in our vocation is primarily for the service of our neighbors, not just our own wants/needs.  If more American's understood this we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.  And the prepping we do is (or perhaps should be) for those we love, so we can make sure (1) they're taken care of and (2) they aren't saddled with taking care of us. 

I, too, hope to be doing productive work up to the day I die.  But I also hope to be a cheerful worker, doing something I like and see value in, and doing it in large part for others, not just myself.  I can't help but wonder if the reason so many of us struggle with our jobs is that many of them (mine included) seem to lack obvious, indisputable value in the grand scheme of things.  Growing food, producing energy, homesteading, teaching our kids skills - it is very easy to recognize the value in these things.  Hence, people on this forum are attracted to and passionate about these things.  Most people would be if they weren't so caught up in getting that Benz or 3,500 sq foot McMansion.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 14, 2011, 10:10:38 PM
I can't help but wonder if the reason so many of us struggle with our jobs is that many of them (mine included) seem to lack obvious, indisputable value in the grand scheme of things.  Growing food, producing energy, homesteading, teaching our kids skills - it is very easy to recognize the value in these things.  Hence, people on this forum are attracted to and passionate about these things.  Most people would be if they weren't so caught up in getting that Benz or 3,500 sq foot McMansion.

And that hits the nail on the head! We all will work until the day we die. we will be doing stuff of some sort, which is what work is, strictly speaking. But do we work to produce something lacking that 'obvious, indisputable value', or do we work to provide life and love for the people around us? That's the choice.

I definitely agree that is exactly why so many people struggle with their jobs. People who value those things you mention, find it hard to do those things when they're putting in 40 or more hours a week at a job. People who value the Benz and such may well get more satisfaction out of their jobs, if they are successful at their jobs, than those of us who just want to have a home and a family, and want to make that our job. Some people get lucky and can do some of each. I think I'm one of those lucky ones.

I actually really enjoy my job! I'm lucky that way. I think it's because the knowledge that I'm gaining is directly related to the homesteading and energy production. I work in oil and gas, which oddly enough uses more solar energy than you would believe, and my employers and co-workers are all either hunters, farmers, cattlemen or at least they were at one time. So I learn SO much from them! Nonetheless, I will be taking that knowledge to the homestead to make that knowledge work for my family and our dreams.

Great post RationalHusker!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: RationalHusker on April 15, 2011, 05:51:17 AM
@CdnGuy,

I'm lucky in that I enjoy my day to day tasks/responsibilities of my current "work-a-day" job, too.  And I work in water resources, so I've picked up a thing or two that apply to homesteading, especially gardening.  Sizing pumps, understanding how water moves in the atmosphere and once it reaches the earth's surface, and the nutrient cycle, just to name a few things.  However, it wasn't until I started listening to TSP and other homesteading related blogs that I was able to see how to use some of that info in a more meaningful way than just cranking out some document required by the government.  My biggest frustrations with my current job are that soil and water quality problems are nearly always viewed (by those in the "system") as something only more government and more legislation can cure.  At the same time, those that tend to be on the opposite end of the spectrum poo-poo the validity of any potential concern and are quick to cite private property rights as an excuse to unknowingly violate the property rights of others.  Long story, but I'm right in the middle of that tug-of-war...yuck!

In the spirit of your original post in this thread, I'm going to lay out my goals and aspirations below.  Short term, my wife and I are selling our current home - a very typical suburban 3 bed/2bath on a 0.23 acre lot.  Not in the suburbs, but in a small town near a city.  Unfortunately, though, the area behaves more like a suburb than small town.  We're doing the best we can to make our property produce for us, but we know long term we can do much better somewhere else, so we're getting out.  Our area has not be hurt terribly by the housing market, but we will most likely walk away with $6,000-$8,000 less money than we put down originally.  But more importantly, we'll walk away completely debt free with money in the bank. 

The next 3 years I'll be working towards a PhD, co-majoring in civil and agricultural engineering.  I was very hesitant to do this, thinking that I'd rather be prepping and working towards getting that homestead.  The real downside is that we can't "know" where we'll live the next 10+ years, so it delays some of our homesteading goals.  But I have a great arrangement with my advisor and current employer, and financially this move is a no-brainer.  Best of all, I believe it will provide me the opportunity to do more of what I want, and less of what I don't.  The 5-year goal is to have obtained a adjunct faculty (strictly teaching) position and do some research and/or consulting on the side, or obtain a strictly non tenure-track research position.  Either arrangement will allow me to work 20-30 hours a week, and hopefully all of that time will be spent evaluating sustainable urban and agricultural practices and their impact/benefit to soil and water and/or teaching water-related courses to future engineers/scientists. 

At that point, we'll ramp up our homestead productivity immensely.  In 10 years, the goal is to be growing 75% of our own food and generating 75% of our own energy.  We also hope to be "growing for profit" within 10 years as well.   Most likely veggies and/or fruits for selling at roadside stands, farmers markets, or a CSA.  We will remain debt free once our current place is sold, with the exception that we will allow for 10-15 years worth of mortgage debt to acquire the new homestead.  Fifteen years from today, I'll be nearly 50 years old, will own a productive homestead (free and clear) that generates food, energy, and some income.  And I'll be in position to continue working 20 hours a week doing work I enjoy OR quit working outside the homestead completely and focus on our food growing (and possibly other microbusiness) full time.  Hate to end on negatives (or should I say challenges), but I just hope that tape and string holds this economy together long enough to get out of our current home in decent shape.  But even if it doesn't, there will be opportunities created, and it might in fact speed up our schedule and be a good thing.  It's a lost easier to take a risk and put yourself out there if you loose a job or the economy goes belly up and you have no choice in the matter. 

Thanks for starting this thread and for updating your progress.

--RH
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Dakotaslim on May 29, 2011, 10:44:07 PM
I bought a tract of farm land and am building a commercial ranching business as a means of paying for it. My hope is to have it paid off and be able to live off the income by the time I'm 55 (5 years to go). I'm doing everything as natural as possible to cut my expenses as much as possible. I should be able to make about 30K a year with my living expenses such as house, water, electricity, taxes etc. paid by the business. That will leave me living on a very comfortable retirement. I have no debt other than land and operating capital so my expenses are low. I plan to grow most of my own food including meat and eggs. I could even get a milking cow, but that is more work than I want (milking 3 times a day just isn't my idea of fun). Mostly I'll buy exotics like oranges and bananas that I can't grow in Northern SD. I can also buy dirt cheap wheat and corn from my neighbors who farm. If I can buy enough land over the years, I can rent it out to others when I get too old to do the work myself and still live reasonably. The work isn't that hard so that will be a while.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: grits55 on May 30, 2011, 11:36:49 AM
Preparedness is going to have to be my retirement plan.  I was pretty, no, VERY well off prior to my panicking in the stock market of 2008.  I attacked the situation by withdrawing ALL my IRAs, paying off my 127 acre farm, buying tangibles etc, and almost losing it all to the IRS because I wasn't 55 and a half.  Ten percent penalties on top of taxes on that much money is huge.  And when I didn't pay it to try to get the IRS to reduce penalties, I ended up owing thousands more.  It took two and a half years to get someone to lease my house with an option to purchase, and I am very lucky to have found them!  That was the money I needed to build a house on the farm, and it all went to BOA.  So now I am in an RV building a tiny,tiny little house, and  hoping it is finished before inflation what little I have left.  My husband has not had steady work in over three years, and I haven't been in the job market for over twenty years.


I have everything my husband and I need...productive land, a huge garden, privacy, well and septic, storage garage, the RV for shelter, alot of supplies, a great amount of storage food,  pond, prolific deer, 18 chickens, a greenhouse, tractor, ammunition and such...and NO DEBT, the only thing that may save me.  We must develop some source of independent income though, because taxes and insurance still must be paid!  I'm really very blessed, but I can't help being mad at myself that I could have made it all back in the stock market if I had just not panicked and sealed my future.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: XtraBright on June 26, 2011, 03:13:37 AM
I do not know if my way can be applied to the USA but i invested a lot of "spare" money into agricultural land that i do not work but rent out, before i invested in the homestead.

I think that agricultural land is a commodity that will go up in price as it "can not be printed" and the rising price of energy makes farm land not only interesting for planting food or feed, but also for harvesting energy.

I rent it out on a year to year basis and only to responsible farmers that look after it which get discount prices .. there will always be the "i pay more" farmer that will destroy the land by planting the same crop for 10 years, i do not want that and can afford to make less than possible.

I do not owe much land to rent but after all taxes it pays my bill for central heating and my electricity bill and some other things or short: 3 months income i can invest in something else with the option to use the land myself in case TSHTF or it seems profitable enough.

Sure, invested into the stock market in the right time i could have made more return on investment, but i consider farm land still way too cheap, it is a long term investment without 3rd party risks, somehow just like precious metals.

As it's really a low ROI thing it also means that i am debt free, nobody will finance buying farmland  because of this so prices are considerable cheap compared to prices for home or commercial properties that went up here +10% in the last year (which could be called crack up boom)

As i think that energy is going to be more and more expensive my retirement plan is to plant energy harvesting crops on that land before entering retirement in 30 years if i can make more money at that time in the furure compared to rent.

Today i think of elephant grass which will provide 15 metric tons per ha (AP. 2,2 acres) every year with minimal care once established which means the annual production costs for a 20 year used culture are AP. 40 euros per ton per year (interest included)

So one hectar will cost ap 600 euros per year while producing ap. 66.000 kWh of energy which equals ap. 6500 litres or ap. 1700 gallons of heating oil which are ap. 5900 euros today.

Sure, miscanthus is sold cheaper than heating oil (litre heating oil is ap. 90 eurocent today) but over the last years i noticed that the price per kWh for any form of energy is slowly creeping into a more and more narrow price range with electricity on top, oil and gas in the middle and biomass on the bottom.

The work of harvesting the fields can be outsourced (is included in the cost per ton price) and i have enough space to keep harvested grass in storage to not have to sell it at any price at harvest time.

So this is my basic retirement plan that is centered on avoiding 3rd party risks.

Own land and rent it out or produce energy on it myself while outsourcing work.
My grandfather made a load of money by renting parts of the land to the "village people" for gardens which is another option in a "gloomy" future.

This plan does not include my retirement funds and state pension from my job (i have written off that money in my mind anyway) or some PM i aquired over time nor does it include the preparedness stuff like garden, trees and trying to live frugal.
















Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on June 26, 2011, 08:24:26 AM
I do not know if my way can be applied to the USA but i invested a lot of "spare" money into agricultural land that i do not work but rent out, before i invested in the homestead.

I think that agricultural land is a commodity that will go up in price as it "can not be printed" and the rising price of energy makes farm land not only interesting for planting food or feed, but also for harvesting energy.

I rent it out on a year to year basis and only to responsible farmers that look after it which get discount prices .. there will always be the "i pay more" farmer that will destroy the land by planting the same crop for 10 years, i do not want that and can afford to make less than possible.

It will work and I am looking into it myself.  The one challenge is that getting a loan on raw land in the US is a LOT harder then buying a home in suburban hell.   I am pretty big on at least 20% down on any purchase of real estate anyway.  Property is of course the one place I am okay with debt, the key is if you are renting it to make sure you could easily cover the payments with 12 months of vacancy if you had to. 

My hope is to get a few parcels in my area of Arkansas down south of me a bit where there is better soil.  Rent to farmers like you do and reserve say an arcre to ever ten to practice food forest permaculture on.  I figure it won't take long until my tennents go, hey how the hell do yo do all this with no irrigation or fertilizer.

Four birds with one stone,

1.  Acquire an asset with OPM (other people's money)
2.  Produce cashflow
3.  Build a long term income producing asset (food forests)
4.  Spread the techniques and mentality of permaculture

Bill Mollison has taught many people to become wealthy with Permaculture, I just wish he had done it for himself. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ModernSurvival on June 26, 2011, 08:31:34 AM
Oh well five birds with one stone.

5.  Provide multiple tracts of recreational/hunting land for Jack and his buddies.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: XtraBright on June 26, 2011, 01:22:25 PM
Four birds with one stone,

1.  Acquire an asset with OPM (other people's money)
2.  Produce cashflow
3.  Build a long term income producing asset (food forests)
4.  Spread the techniques and mentality of permaculture

Bill Mollison has taught many people to become wealthy with Permaculture, I just wish he had done it for himself.

Hi, may i throw in some of my ideas in addition ?

Step one is the one i would be afraid of as basically it is "leverage" which i think under the current twitchings of the financial system is not that great of an idea.

At least here where you can not "walk away" from a mortgage, you may lose everything .. but not your debt.
(I should specify "here" which is austria)

Step 2 is what i have in mind.

Step 3 in my opinion also carries a risk which is efficiency.
A modern miscanthus harvester can harvest all my acreage in under one day, i do not even have to be there or can have two broken legs and it is about retirement.
A time where i do not want to work more, i want to literally harvest the fruits of my life (if, and when and ..)
A food forest at least requires a lot of work at the time of harvest. I know a bit about that as i literally bombed my own forest with seed bombs (mostly ranking stuff like beans) and very likely it won't keep up with the amount of food modern agriculture can produce so if there is no niche for high quality food the calculation could be tight.

Even worse, in a "bad" economy where money (or whatever is money at that time) is tight consumers do not care about quality .. they care about availability (local producer = you win) or price per pound (= you lose against giant agrocorp or even imports)

Step 4:
Sorry that i personally think it is overhyped.
I have visited our local pioneer called Sepp Holzer and while what he has achieved is impressive there are things he can not deny.
First, he used additional biomass ... which was basically mud from wastewater treatment and got money for it.
I would not like that stuff on my property, not even on fields not used for any eatable harvest.

Second, i think he makes more money with his visitors and books than he can make with the fruit and meat produced. So he wins financially because he is "the first" who came up with the idea and can market additional services and not only the produce.

His info is good and i use some of his techniques (my own way) and they do work for a homestead, but i can not imagine scaling it up into an income generating way (enough to pay the loan of step 1) without really cheap slaves actually doing all the manual work as force multipliers.

I should note, in tshtf very likely there will be enough people that will work for a meal and a roof over their head so i would not deny that it can be done.


Food forest for own consumption and maybe some local selling or bartering can work fine, there could be troubles when the "zombie mutant bikers" roam the land (from the harvest being stolen to worse problems like running into a trap..) as it may not be a reliable source of self grown food and as stated above i consider it hard to generate enough income to pay back other´s peoples money.

Else, if it is good soil and cheap i would grab what i can (they can´t print gold, silver, oil and fields)

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Dakotaslim on June 26, 2011, 01:33:12 PM
Buying farm land to rent out is not a bad option if you don't want to farm it yourself. I like cattle, so I don't mind doing it and can make more money that way. Out in SD, you don't need to worry about not having a tenant. I advertized renting my land for one year and got responses from hundreds of miles away. I try to keep a year's land payment on hand just in case, but more because I could have a bad year.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on June 28, 2011, 04:53:54 PM
xtrabright... +1 for the very interesting perspective from Austria... thanks so much for sharing your experiences.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Runa on July 26, 2011, 05:03:21 PM
When we heard this on the podcast, it was like a light went on. It was this idea that completely shifted me and hubby's lives, and the thing that brought hubby into my prepping fold. We have completely rethought retirement (to the complete consternation of my mother) and now our retirement is our homestead. This single idea broke us out of the societal rut, and we now really have something to live for. We have taken our frustrations and hopelessness and channeled them into our homestead. Every day we take a step and do something that brings us closer to our goals, and we have started teaching our children this lifestyle. We are making space for them to live on our land with us, and plan to "retire" in 10 years...I look forward to shifting my work to areas I enjoy more, and being more of service. It just makes so much sense. Thanks so much for this perspective, and to Jack for mentioning it on the podcast. It completely changed our lives for the better!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: netua on July 30, 2011, 08:46:59 PM
The retirement angle is what really motivates me, but regrettably, my wife is very resistant.  I've located a great place only 60 miles from Dallas (where I work) and only 15 minutes from a large regional hospital (my wife is a surgical first assist).  We are both lifetime urbanites and the idea of eventually moving out to a rural area can be very frightening.  I think to, when you start to make these sorts of plans it has a feeling of "finality" to it that is also scary - it acknowledges that you are getting older and moving into a new phase of life that is on the downward trajectory (if you know what I mean).  Nevertheless, I am convinced that this is the lowest risk retirement strategy that exists.  Over time, my wife will come to see it, but for now, I feel like I have to take the lead and steer this ship (as it were) toward those smoother seas.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: o-so-u-812 on December 12, 2012, 11:28:37 PM
I am turning 37 and I can say that I am retired from the rate-race, but working when I want to.  We grow most of our own food and are now moving towards food forest and perennial gardens.  We bought 3 acres of land, built a simple home, built gardens, paid for a car and  a truck and quit being a wage slave..  It something I think anyone can do if they put their minds to it.  The land and house cost $12,000 and perhaps another $7,000 in infrastructure like a well.   I don't even care that the house is not professionally built; its warm,dry and safe.  Our mass-heater uses less than 1/3 cord of wood per year and a dip in the duck pond keeps us cool in the summer.  Camping out on family land for three years and saving EVERY penny was way simpler than spending 20 years paying a mortgage.  I think I would even squat on unused land it I had to.

I cant even begin to express how much better this stress free life style is over what I once lived.  I have done away with everything that does not add value to my life including the TV.  It amazing how little we really need vs what society around us tells us we need.

Our grocery budget is $40 a month for sugar soap ect; family of 4.
We use $70 in electricity and that will be going away as we move to using producer gas for hot water, cooking, drying ect..
Our auto insurance is $60 a month.
Home school books $20/month
Savings $100
Clothing $30
Animal feed $60
Gas $50
Cell Phone $50

Making $500 a month is not to hard.  I do have  a trade and it takes 10 hours a month to make ends meet.  I find there is always something out there to do.  Worst month ever I had to paint a fence and clean a yard. It took a whole week to pay the bills that month, lol.  Its funny, but if I made what is considered  "poverty" I would have no idea what to do with that much money..  Push come  to shove we could get the $18/month car insurance for rarely driven cars,  stay home, turn off the power, and live on what we have saved or what google adsense pays us for the rest of our lives.  Going to work is more like a social call now; something I almost feel guilty getting paid for.  Its no longer a must do part of life.

There are just  some things worth much more than society and modern life offers us; like peace of mind with contentment and time to listen to the frogs sing their evening song, getting out of bed when I want and going to bed when its dark.  Everyhing I do has meaning and is important to me.  It makes life a total joy and there is no way to put a price on that!!

So I said all that to say, dont give up this prepairdness as a retirement idea, because it is way MORE than its cracked up to be and SO VERY worth the effort to get there!  No one else I know will retire for another 30 years which is almost their entire life span OVER again!

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Nate on December 13, 2012, 05:44:00 AM
o-so-u-812,

What are you doing for health insurance?  I have it through work, and still have to pay over $200 a month in premiums for a family.  This will be doubling in January as I drop to part time to start nursing school.  We are a 1 income family with a baby at home.  Our prepper and frugal lifestyle is making this possible.  We will have 2 lean years and then the rest will be gravy!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Gale Dacalio on February 01, 2013, 08:00:16 PM
That's my plan man.  My 401 K sucks.  I live here on 56 acres that will be paid off in about 7 years.  I plan to shorten that time.  I am 53 years old and have a small homestead. Even though I have paid into social nonsecurity since I was 17 - don't expect any back GRRRHH!  I can live off this land.  Right now we make a little extra cash selling grass fed pigs.  But we have a long way to go.  I feel so strongly in my heart I need to pay this off and get totally self sufficient!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on February 08, 2013, 08:15:14 AM
I can't really say that preparedness is our entire retirement plan, but my husband checked out of the rat race last spring way early (at age 51) since we moved toward that goal. He took the earliest possible retirement from his job, so we have a monthly retirement check coming in and good healthcare insurance. The thing we realized before we took the plunge was that we couldn't possibly make ends meet on that retirement check if we had a mortgage to pay.

When we decided on this course of action, about 3-4 years ago, we were already 100% debt free (except for the mortgage), so no bills looming. The main thing we had to do was to sell the big mortgage home and then for the past couple of years to save every penny so we could afford to build the house from our savings. We've discovered we couldn't afford to pay the labor costs for a lot of the work and stay within the budget, so... we are building our own home on 5 acres and living in our travel trailer while that is continuing. We are documenting the progress on our blog -- life is good.

One of the first things we did last year when we started building was to buy some mature pecan trees and have them transplanted here. We are hopeful that they will begin to bear much sooner than younger trees would have. Pecans are a huge cash crop around here, so they should start to pay for themselves soon. We're also hoping to  have a big garden and orchard and some livestock (at least chickens) once the biggest part of the work is done...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: cranston on February 19, 2013, 06:35:18 AM
CDN Guy- You've put my thoughts into words and they sound mighty fine.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Frank ZX on March 01, 2013, 06:20:31 AM
I'm glad I stumbled into this tread. My wife and I both have corporate jobs and were caught up in the American way ie car payments, mortgage, cell phone bills, etc. About a year ago I started getting concerned with the world so I started doing research on living off the land. First I got caught up in packaged foods then I realized it would be healthier to grow my own food. We have chickens,and rabbits and I'm growing a garden. I got a old 70's heavy duty tiller for free and replaced the engine for $100. I built the chicken coops and rabbit cages myself. Bees are next on my list. I've always been a mechanic. Started working on cars, then heavy equipment, and now jet air planes so I can repair just about anything. Bartering, I think is the future.
The wife and I have talked about selling off most of the things we own and moving on our 5 acres, Me quitting my job and selling organic foods, and doing side work to make a few dollars. Her job seems more stable. So basically I would still be the bread winner(kinda). lol
I don't see how we can ever retire working regular jobs. My goal is to become 100% self reliant. We'll still have taxes and a mortgage for a while but I think it's possible to cut our bills in half and get one hand out of my pocket. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Gator6 on June 04, 2013, 06:29:09 AM
This has been my plan for the past couple of years and we are slowly working toward paying off all debt.  Just the house remains now....  Aside from having no confidence that my promised retirement income will be there when I retire, it would give me great peace of mind to be in a financial position to walk away from my job when the day comes that I am asked to do something I am not comfortable with.....  with things as they are, that day may not be far away.

The good news is that we built our "retirement" home a couple of years ago and are working on surrounding it with a food forest. The bad news is that my job requires us to move around often and in a few months we are relocating to South America and must leave our homestead for an extended period of time. I hate having to leave for so long but know it will pay off in the end and actually hope to be fairly close to paying off the house by the time we return! It's a bit ambitious, but I intend to try!

We are still trying to decide what to do with the house while we are away? I'd like to rent it for a small amount, and find someone who can be trusted implicitly to keep an eye on things. The house is off-the-grid, not easy to find and not easy to get to, so it would have to be someone who doesn't mind a really rough road and/or doesn't need to leave everyday for work.  My husband is reluctant to have anyone living there, especially since we plan to come home as often as possible on vacation, but I think we need someone to maintain and equalize the batteries, run the generator, feed the cats, etc..... Not to mention, the tax benefits of having it as a rental would be substantial and get us closer to the overall goal of paying it off.  We still have a few months to figure it out, but if anyone has any thoughts on the pros/cons of this scenario I'd love to hear them.



Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on June 04, 2013, 08:10:46 AM
I think it would be way better to have someone you trust living there. Unoccupied homes (no matter how remote) are big targets for theft and vandalism. It would probably even be worth having someone live there as a "house-sitter", rather than leaving it unoccupied. Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Gator6 on June 04, 2013, 02:42:45 PM
I agree, finding that person seems to be the primary challenge at this point.  Well that, and convincing my husband it is the best course of action...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Kilted Brewer on July 07, 2013, 02:59:44 PM
What a great thread.  It really crystallizes what I've been thinking.  I'm so glad I read it.  These stories are so inspiring.  I think I'll download and listen to the episode tonight after I put our children to bed.

My wife and I felt so secure in our old 'rat race' style lives.  We both had good jobs, good savings, what we thought was reasonable debt... The best laid plan of mice and men.  We decided to have a child and had twins instead-surprise number 1.  We went ahead with the plan of me quitting to be a SAHD, and then the minor disasters started.  Fast forward to today and debt has ballooned, retirement accounts depleted to pay unforeseen medical expenses, yadda yadda yadda.

Luckily, we always wanted to homestead.  We didn't know that's what you called it, and we sorta realized we had a bit of a survival mindset without realizing it either.  We have a beautiful home on about 5 acres, mostly forested.  I've been slowly clearing trees while taking care of my sons, and cutting expenses was part of the stay at home plan anyway... So we've been making progress on the homestead while already getting into that ubber debt reduction mode.  We've been paying extra on the mortgage every year, and do bimonthly payments.  That saved us from a complete wipeout.  The value of the house plummeted when the market crashed, but has since climbed back up.  We are in the process of refinancing and will use that equity to pay down a large chunk of the credit card and medical debt.  The lower payment and interest rate will enable us to make greater payments on that debt each month and get the snowball rolling, and provide some breathing room each month.  Plus well save about 10 grand over the current mortgage.  Part of me hates to do it, because we are almost halfway through the current mortgage, but after the other debt is paid off, we will be able to triple or even quadruple what we send to the bank each month.  And even if we didn't do that, it would be paid off anyway by the time my wife hits 52.  But given the way we live now, I have no doubt we can accelerate that significantly with very little effort.

Once that debt is under control, we can bring in someone to clear all these stumps me and my chainsaw have created.  I have a friend with a portable saw mill who will be milling all these logs into lumber for me.  It's mostly cedar, but also hemlock and fir, and some big rock maple.  He's doing it in exchange for the occasional child care I do for him and has wife.  I'll have a great supply of cedar landscape timbers for raised beds and such, plus plenty of rough cut boards for outbuildings.

And my boys are starting pre-k this year... I should have mornings free to start seriously ramping up on the labor I can't safely do while watching them.  Once I get real food production going, I can cut our expenses even more.  We do lots of CSA, pick your own, and similar things now to cut the grocery bill, but it's still the biggest and most variable monthly expense after that unsecured debt.  Continuing to get it down will not only accelerate us on our sustainability and preparedness goals, but also free up more money to get debt free that much quicker.

I feel like we're getting there, but maybe we have come at it backwards.  Still, although our unsecured debt ballooned in the last 4 years, I feel like we have a plan, and my wife and I are united in our ultimate goal.  We've talked very broadly about getting more preparred, becoming self sufficient since we don't trust and no longer have 'normal' retirement options.  But like I said, this thread has really crystallized my thinking.  I wish I had a better idea than refinancing/home equity, but after doing things like selling the car and truck in exchange for older model used vehicles, plus selling off lots of stuff around the house and cutting other expenses... This seems to be the best way to wipe out the vast majority of that debt.  And once that debt is gone, we can really accelerate the rest of our homesteading and self sufficiency/survival plans.

We'll get there.  I know we will.  This thread has so inspired me, I think I'll sit down and write a long letter to my wife tonight (like the other poster) after listening to the podcast.  I want to let her know that we are in this together, and we'll get out together.  To spell out all the positive things we've done to get out of this mess, and how they are helping us move ahead.  And spell out my dream for her to join me as a stay at home parent earlier than we thought.  Earlier than we thought even before we got smacked down by Murphy.  And how we will never be in that position again.

Thank you so much everyone.  I wish I had found this podcast and forum five years ago.  I would have done some stuff differently for sure.  But I found it now, and with each new day I can put more of that knowledge to work for our family and our security.  Thank you.  Really, thank you.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: David Dakota on October 11, 2013, 01:40:40 PM
I love the wealth of ideas here. This new/old paradigm is what my wife and I are slowly working towards. She's recently awoken to the reality of things and is in that, "HOLY CRAP!" stage but it's better than the fighting against me tooth and nail stage.

We are in the early stages of prepping, paying off debt, building some savings, learning and practicing skills as well as getting a few things along the way, but we are moving forward towards freedom. Man does it feel good to be heading in the right direction.

Our plan is to get some acreage in VA within a few years and start setting up our homestead. Thankfully there are plenty of things to learn in the mean time.

Thanks for this and post and this forum
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Speaker0311 on December 29, 2013, 08:38:00 AM
Me and Mrs. Speaker Bought our place a few years ago with this in mind and we are steadily advancing on our goal. Early on I was in a discussion with my uncle about the idea. He spent 30 yrs working for a union that eventually killed the manufacturing plant that it fed off of costing this mostly rural area around 3k jobs, but for the guys that got in early it worked out very well. He was very skeptical until I asked him what I should invest in that could give me a better return in 30 yrs. Stock market? maybe but I doubt it, social sec. will not be there in any meaningful fashion I have no illusions on that. He thought for awhile and couldn't come up with anything with less risk greater return and more fulfilling than what I'm doing. So we are doing it and every day has been a little better than the last.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Thorgrim on February 12, 2014, 07:03:13 PM
Haven't read through this whole thread yet but this is basically my long term plan.

The future is so uncertain that getting your living expenses as low as possible is probably the best way to set yourself up for retirement.

Plus the beauty of this plan is that as you make progress towards your goal your financial obligations and stress continue to go down.

One day I have a goal to have no bills. No electricity, gas, mortgage, credit card or car payment. Food reduced by 75-90%. Just property tax and maybe insurance and internet.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Oakie on February 14, 2014, 09:46:19 AM
Wow, looking back at my post two years ago I am a bit dismayed at how little progress I've made.
Things happen.
If I could change anything...
Perhaps I would have just lived in the old house until it fell down, debt free at least.  Or, perhaps I'd have done a 30 year mortgage and paid it off in 10 years instead of locking in payments that may be impossible to make in a really hard economy.  Something to think about if you're about to go there.
At least I did not allow all of my property to be tied up in the mortgage so would not be a total loss.
I would also have started with water catchment and storage had I foreseen the extreme winds and then droughts. I've lost most of the trees, berries, etc that I've planted.
Three steps forward but two steps back!
Now I am just trying to stay on course and pray for the best. I'm still better prepared than most but it's hard to look back at those mistakes.
We can't count on retirement funds or even local availability of the things we'll need.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CandyGram4Mongo on March 01, 2014, 07:40:55 PM
Am strongly considering liquidating the majority of my 401k to accelerate this process.  "Too big to fail" banks are bigger now than when they were bailed out and the stock market feels like it's a no-kidding bubble waiting to burst.  I'm feeling like now's the time to get my money out and convert it into self-sustaining land.  Pay cash, dig the swales and ponds, and establish the food forest and perennials so that food and water are mostly taken care of NOW, while most people are still buying the lie that we can spend our way to a stronger economy.
It's pretty dang great to read this thread and realize I'm not the only one who feels like real retirement is becoming a lot less likely to involve pensions or the stock market.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: fred.greek on March 01, 2014, 10:12:12 PM
When I retired, at the first possible moment I rolled my 401k type accound to what amounts to a "real estate" IRA type account.  The account owns fully paid for rental homes.  Since we do not need the money yet, the rents accumulate in the account, and when there is enough, we make an upgrade to a property.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: ADK Dave on March 02, 2014, 09:07:55 AM
This thread confirms my thinking on the topic. Having recently experienced our own SHTF event when I became "temporarily retired" a few months ago.... this thought has solidified into a plan of action. Thankfully I will be rejoining the workforce, which will allow me to fund my plans for the next few years. We have been mostly prepared for this by having paid off the mortgage early, and incurring only vehicle loan debt... which is our next financial target. While I would prefer to relocate and move to freedom out of New York state, my wife is terminally ill so we are staying close to family. Plus, I've landed a decent job in a stable industry that looks like it should continue to thrive during a weak economy... that gives me time to get set up in the short term (a few years).

So my plan is to invest in a property close to the small metro we live in, one with a small home already there, close to a small village, and a few acres to develop. I figure this will be both a financial AND learning investment. I've found a place that needs work with a full woodlot, and I can do most of the labor myself. This will also be my sanity anchor for the next few years. I figure this at the least will be a property I can either eventually sell or use as rental income.
The other half of the investment is in the learning how to develop a property to be a more self-sustaining homestead. We've gardened and canned and such over the years... but I need to take it up a few notches. A place for learning how to succeed and fail seems priceless to me.

I'm also focusing more on tangible "investments"....tools (all sorts-shop, kitchen), supplies, PM, knowledge, community relationships, probably will trade my small econo-car for a small pickup truck, etc. And eventually I hope to leave the full time job for some more relevant income producing options in whatever community I finally settle into. (yes, I really do desire to leave upstate NY for a more free community, and leaving our northern winters behind would be the bonus).
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: MALadyPrepper on March 05, 2014, 02:20:38 PM
I want to encourage everyone to keep plugging away at the Retirement Plan.  Hubby and I started the process about 3 years ago and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  We are stuck in MA for another 18 months, but we can make it.   It was probably 4 or 5 years ago that my eyes opened to the fact that a traditional retirement was just never going to happen for us so we rethought what retirement meant.  To us, it is enough $$ to keep a roof over your head, eat, pay your taxes and be left alone; we actually have much more planned into our next 30 years, but being self-sufficient and left alone are huge  We put pencil to paper and it really is just a math equation and will power.     We will be debt free in a few months; we bought 2 acres in upstate SC where there is an incredible Permie’s community.  We are educating our selves on everything we can to be self-sufficient.  Hubby will still work as long as his job holds out, I am going to build a small agricultural based business revolving around Acquaponics to farmers market, etc.      I already have very good gardening skills and with a more temperate climate and a greenhouse I know I can feed us and then generate a little side money for those taxes.  Thank you to this community for the ideas and the support - SC can't wait to be there
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on March 19, 2014, 02:16:01 PM
MALadyPrepper... that sounds really great. I wish you well... We've found out that you can live very well on a lot less income when your homestead is free and clear... choosing a locale with lower property taxes helps out, too... best of luck.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: jstorvick on May 29, 2014, 12:36:02 PM
So, we could definitely use some advice on how to proceed here.  There's a bit of a back story, so I guess I should explain that first.

I'm 35, I've been gardening, farming (small-scale, on occasion) and landscaping for going on 20 years.  I got my Permaculture Design Cert in 2009 studying with Dave Jacke, and have been doing edible landscaping and permaculture design professionally (though the income is really not very much) pretty much ever since (I also have a degree in horticulture and landscape design).  A few years back, I went through a divorce.  We ended up selling the house - we had bought in 2009 when the market was really low - and made a bunch of money when we sold it.  After paying bills, settling divorce stuff, I ended up debt-free with about $35K in cash.  I used that toward the purchase of a 10-acre lot down in Spotsylvania, VA which cost $42K - I have one payment left and then I own it outright.  I got remarried in 2013.  Our plan was to build a house on that lot and start our homestead.  My wife retired after 20 years in the Air Force right around the time we got married, and was hoping to get a good contractor job which fell through - and now she's working a crap job for $30K less a year than when she was in the military.  She had a significant amount of credit card debt, which we are trying to pay off, but it's difficult since the income has dropped quite a bit.  We've been trying for over a year to get her a better-paying job, but with government spending/hiring freezes, it hasn't worked out quite yet.  We are really just scraping by at this point.

We are in the process of trying to sell our home, which SUCKS - she bought it in 2010 while she was stationed in England and didn't even see the house, but bought it because her mother lived 2 houses down at the time.  The house is in a neighborhood with a crappy HOA, it's built into the side of a steep north-facing hill, and seems to develop new problems every time the wind changes direction - the roof sucks, there's no light to grow anything but ferns and moss, we are in the process of spending $20K to replace a rotted-out retaining wall in the back yard, and in the last crazy storm we got, part of the asphalt driveway collapsed because the culvert system underneath it was designed and built like crap 30 years ago - no idea how we can afford to fix that one yet.

So basically the situation is this:  We have about $22K in credit card debt, a house that is a sucking chest wound of disappearing finances, barely enough income to get by.... we also have a townhouse that is rented out, and a 10-acre rural lot that is virtually paid for.  Hopefully we can sell the house.  We could stay in the townhouse for a while, which would be much less per month, until we can figure out what else to do.  Now, at this point we have two options:  Keep the 10 acres, save up money & eliminate debt, and hopefully be able to build down there at some point.  Or, we could sell the land, use that money to pay off debt, put some into savings for an eventual down payment on an already-built house with some acreage, and have some cash for emergencies or capital to get homestead projects going.  I'm not sure what the better way forward is.  The idea is to, as the thread states, build our homestead and prepare as a retirement plan - we want our place (wherever it is) to provide for us through retirement and later, for our kids.  Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: busymomx3 on July 01, 2014, 07:57:25 AM
I haven't read thru everything but read the first page.  I have to say it's a better way of looking at being prepared and much less stressful.  It is a good goal and something I will be talking to DH about.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: macwa on August 14, 2014, 04:18:22 PM
Man...my ADD goes crazy trying to read all this stuff with quotes and pictures and my own thoughts going through my head.  Anyway, we decided a looong time ago (back in our late teens early twenties(yes, we've been married since we were was literally kids)) that this is what we were going to do.  My parents lived a life that was not self sufficient; they didn't hunt, fish, or even have green grass; but they didn't have debt.  Their house was almost paid for at 40 and they had no other bills with money in the bank.  Unfortunately they didn't have health insurance so when my dad got cancer and died (age 44) they lost it all. We have learned from that mistake and added the self sufficiency and prepping to that.  One thing we also did was homeschooled which has set us behind in years to them.  We are currently 39 and 42 and still have very little mortgage debt.  We plan on selling in a few years and paying off that debt.  Our retirement is to have no bills going into retirement and a small homestead that we can grow or trade things we need.  I know people with huge retirement plans but they also have huge debt and can't enjoy retirement because of the debt.  I want quality not quantity.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on August 28, 2014, 11:18:17 PM
@jstorvik  Is your new wife on board with your ideas? If so, I am sure the two of you can work it out.

As for selling the house... I agree that sounds like the ticket. Have you talked to a realtor? Perhaps you can find out what the house is worth and get a starting point to look at. If the repairs needed could be left for the new owners and an allowance given on the sale, it might make your life simpler... I don't know how major they are (or if they would prevent the sale altogether if not fixed).

 I'm thinking everything else won't be so bad once you get out from under that debt. If you sell the house, then live in the townhouse, you could make plans to do something with your acreage. It does stink that your wife had run up all that cc debt (you have cut up the cards, right?). I'd be working hard and eating at home every night until that is paid off if I were in that situation.

My husband and I are in the retirement plan right now... we saved our nickels and dimes and were able to build our home after he retired and pay for it with no debt. We still have things we'd like to do (landscaping is still in progress), but it is amazing how much less it takes to live when you have no mortgage, pretty low property taxes, very low utilities (because we have our own well and a very well insulated home). We're now waiting for our orchard to start producing and learning the peculiarities of gardening in this part of the country...

LC
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: jstorvick on September 02, 2014, 01:33:29 PM
That is pretty much the plan we've come up with.  We have made some major repairs to the house, and it is now back on the market.  We also have the 10 acres up for sale as well - we've decided that property is just too far out to be a feasible residence location at this time.  If we sell the house, we'll move into the townhouse for a while & use that time to pay down debt.  I just got a new job, too, which has almost doubled our income, so things are definitely looking up.  Eliminating debt is now our first and foremost priority, we have it planned out so that we should be able to get rid of it completely within a year, less if the 10 acres sells anytime soon.  And yes, the Mrs. is most definitely on board!!! Thanks for your comments, LvsChant!!!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 02, 2014, 01:58:15 PM
I'm glad to hear it's starting to work out for you, jstorvick. Steady as she goes with the occasional adjustment, and you'll get there.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cyd on September 06, 2014, 11:11:15 AM
Prepping is definitely the best retirement plan.  My question and challenge is to figure out how to know when you are actually prepared enough to retire!  It seems like there is always something more that "might" be needed, and one can never really be over-prepared.  Do others have any thoughts on how to decide?

My situation:  I am 58 years old and have been the primary breadwinner for 20 years.  My husband stays home and has had a couple of businesses that failed because he is not the entrepreneur type (neither am I).  We have 40 acres and a house that has been in a partially finished state for the 13 years we have lived here, progressing very slowly.  My husband is very compulsive about detail and is not satisified with any of the proposals or work by any of the contractors that we attempt to use, so he is doing pretty much everything by himself.  I really dislike my job and would quit tomorrow if I could.  Our house has been paid off for 5 years but we just agreed to purchase the adjacent property (another 40 acres with a house that we hope to rent out).  We have enough cash to pay for all but about $30,000 on the new property but probably won't put all of our cash into the property, and will instead get a mortage.  We have no credit card or other debt.

Any advice?

Cyd in Michigan
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on September 17, 2014, 07:52:52 AM
I think you have to look at the income you'll have after retirement and see if you can live on it. We did this before making the leap. We lived on only what we would have at retirement for about 1 year (saving the rest) to see if we could really do it. Doing it for a month or so is great, but you can put off buying things that break or be lucky enough to not have any unexpected expenses for a month or two. Over a year, you can really see what it will be like.

Also, although you want to retire, will you do other things to generate income after quitting the regular job? If so, it might be a good idea to get started on it before you retire just to make sure it will actually work out for you, particularly if you will need that income to support yourselves after you quit the job. On the plus side, you can really sock away savings when you discipline yourselves to live only on what you'll have at retirement. You could probably pay off the second 40 acres and eliminate the mortgage before you retire, which would lower your expenses after retirement. That way you are not so vulnerable if the rental house goes unrented for any period of time.

It sounds like you will be in a good situation once you get your home finished up...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on September 17, 2014, 01:36:24 PM
My husband stays home and has had a couple of businesses that failed because he is not the entrepreneur type (neither am I). 

Could he be working or doing something to draw an income? That would help speed up the process of retiring.

Everybody is an entrepreneur. When we work for someone we're selling our skills and labour. It just requires less paperwork and effort than becoming a contractor that sells them those skills and labour. To make preparedness retirement a reality, you will have to be entrepreneurial. You will have to maximize opportunities and minimize risks. You'll need to run your household like a business, monitoring income and outgo precisely, like a business.

We have 40 acres and a house that has been in a partially finished state for the 13 years we have lived here, progressing very slowly.

How long until the house you're living in is finished? If it's going to be another 13 years, will you and he be able to do the work? Or afford to finish it?
If the amount of time it takes to get a house project done multiplied by what hubby could be making at a job is more than what it would cost to hire a contractor (even if it's not 'perfect') then he's wasting his time and money.

It sounds like 'perfect' is an overvalued belief. There is no such thing as perfect. If companies waited to have a perfect product before they sold it, nothing would ever get made.

I really dislike my job and would quit tomorrow if I could. 

What would it take to make that happen? Are you looking for other work? Would a second income help that happen? Would hubby making an income help that happen quicker?

Our house has been paid off for 5 years but we just agreed to purchase the adjacent property (another 40 acres with a house that we hope to rent out). 

You've got a home that isn't finished, and 40 acres already. What is being done with that 40 acres to generate either food or money independence? Could more be done there, that you might really enjoy doing?

Who's going to take on the task of maintaining another home and another 40 acres? It seems like your hubby already has his hands full with your home. It sounds like you're spreading yourselves pretty thin already. Maybe focus on maximizing what you've already got.

We have enough cash to pay for all but about $30,000 on the new property but probably won't put all of our cash into the property, and will instead get a mortage.  We have no credit card or other debt.

It sounds like you're going to mortgage the home that you have to get another home that you might not be able to rent out. Then you're going to put cash-in-hand into the same house. Plus you will have to spend money to maintain it and have to deal with tenants. You could be putting the home you live in at risk if you can't make the other place pay for itself. I'm not getting what the upside is here.

Why not look at putting that money into something that can generate income for you AND remain accessible for emergencies or retirement?
 
There is so much that needs to be done just for you to get to zero on your balance sheet, zero on your major projects, and finding a way to make money that you're going to enjoy for retirement.

If you feel like you're scrambling against time, it might be time to pause and make a solid financial plan to get out of debt, to finish your living space, and to seek what you want to really be doing with your time.

It sounds like there might be some unequal yoking here though - are you and hubby really on the same track? Is his quest for perfection keeping you from enjoying your life and helping you to feel more secure about retiring?

I do wish you the best. I hope I'm wrong about these things.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cyd on September 18, 2014, 06:09:43 PM
Thank you both for your comments and questions... this has been more helpful than I can express in words right now and has given me a lot to think about.  I greatly appreciate the time you have taken to think about my situation and to respond.  It is great to be able to communicate with others who are striving for increasing self-sufficiency.  Thank you for welcoming me into this community!

Cyd
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on October 15, 2014, 08:52:33 PM
cyd, i think cdnguy made some very valid points. 

as for us:

our tiny cabin in the woods is insulated and planked up--walls, floor and ceiling!  it's pretty darn tight which is necessary in the woods of Maine!

We plan to move our furniture up there within the next few weeks then put plywood pieces in the windows to deter break-ins over the winter.  We aren't sure how often we'll be up there during deep snow.    We are also putting in a small store of emergency supplies just in case we ever get snowed in.    The bigger picture will wait til spring...meantime, we'll be whitewashing walls and settling in.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cyd on December 20, 2014, 11:39:21 AM
Update and clarification:

We purchased the additional property and had several renters lined up before we closed.  We found a very nice family to move in and they have been great renters so far.

Two major reasons that we wanted the adjacent property: 1) Our property is densely wooded and the adjacent property has some open areas that we can easily put animals on as soon as we have fencing installed. 2) We have a seriously mentally disturbed (probably psychotic) neighbor on the opposite side, and it has been difficult to access the back of our property without having to deal with him.  He does not bother us if he does not see us, since his physical illnesses tend to keep him either indoors or very close to his house.  By purchasing the additional property, we improved access to all parts of our property and will therefore rarely or never have to deal with him.  We also did not want to take the risk of someone else like him moving relatively close to where our house is.

Clarification:  We did not have to mortgage the house or property that we own.  We had more than enough to purchase the additional property for cash, and we do not have any debt at all.

Unequal yoking:  Probably true, and I have always carried the heavier load in our relationship but I believe in the promises that I made to him 38 years ago and try to make the best of things.

Making the property work for us:  Very thought-provoking.  The biggest asset is timber, and we could consider having some of it cut periodically.  Most of our property is hardwoods, primarily maple.  I may contact someone to discuss a plan for selling some of the timber in a sustainable manner. 

Being an entrepreneur vs. my job:  I find the whole concept of marketing myself to be distasteful.  This is why I work for a hospital rather than having my own practice.  I have always preferred to focus on caring for my patients rather than on the business or administrative aspects of health care.  Also, I have a deep dislike of the manipulative and deceptive world of marketing and business.  This is why I have not watched network television in over 20 years (I buy DVDs of programs that seem interesting), and is why I listen to pod casts rather than radio: I intensely dislike listening commercials.  With regard to my job, it is extremely demanding and takes most of my time, but pays decently.  By living frugally, however, I hope to be able to retire early, so it seems better for me to just hang in there.

So, back to prepping as a retirement plan, I'd love to hear more about how people are doing this!   

Regards,

Cid
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on January 04, 2015, 11:26:19 AM
Cid, sounds like you're making great progress.

We have our shabin liveable and have enjoyed several weekends up there already.   We have been talking and we have come to the conclusion that Massachusetts is pricing us out of living here more than another 5 or so years.  Where we live today, taxes and condo fees will be approx $1300 a month and that's IF we can pay off our mortgage.  Utilities aren't cheap, either.   So our plan is now to purchase an additional 6.5 acres adjacent to our property for building a house-a full-time residence.  We plan for the house to have solar power.   Once the snow melts (and the deed is filed) we will go over and start scouting out our building location.  Even my reluctant spouse sees this as a refuge for disaster. 

Our plan will probably take about 5 years to execute.   DH hopes to become licensed in Maine and have a small practice up there when it's all said and done. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cyd on January 08, 2015, 03:36:20 AM
Hi Suzysurvivor, thanks for the encouragement.  You've inspired me to focus more on the budget/finance aspects of my "prepping as retirement" plan and to create a timeline.  Thank you!

Cyd
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mtnrunner on January 08, 2015, 09:48:16 PM
Hey all. New to the forum.  Love this thread, as it is exactly what we are doing.  Just moved across the country, took a chunk of the retirement monies to buy an old fixer upper farmhouse with some land and a few ramshackle outbuildings. We are probably nuts, as we are in our 60s, but fit and strong. Still, it seems like the wisest thing we could do. We had to get out of drought stricken southwest, so ,oved where soil is good and water is plentiful ( and there was work for hubby) he laughs that je works to support my farming habit.
it seems rather overwhelming at the moment-we have been here only about 6 weeks. Within hours of closing on the house, a blizzard hit, and we lost power for days... a good test of our preparedness-before the boxes were even unpacked! And let me say, moving a complete food storage across the country, with all our belongings having to go into storage for an undetermined amount of time was a HUGE challenge!
I am concerned about having any debt. We do have a mortgage, not a huge one, but more than I like.  And while we could conceivably pay it off with the remainder of retirement, that leaves us without any cushion, and there are improvements that need to be made here- a proper barn and fencing, a tractor, and some repairs to the house. I guess that considering our age, i feel pressure to get everything done at once...
i know this forum will be a great resource and support ,.... right now, i am using the  winter to plan, study, learn new skills (solar greenhouse, or rocket mass heater?)  And figure out a way to bring in a small bit of extra income to save up for expenses here. 
One question.  We have the chickens already, with more coming in spring, but i am considering either geese or guineas as tick eaters... lots of ticks here. I dont have experience with either. Any opinions as to which might be the better option?  And should the geese or guineas be penned separately from the chickens?
Thanks....
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: annmedford on January 09, 2015, 06:44:13 AM
Suzysurvivor, where in Maine are you? we're homesteading in the area around Milo
Ann
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Oakie on January 14, 2015, 10:13:26 AM
Hey all. New to the forum. 
...
  And should the geese or guineas be penned separately from the chickens?
Thanks....

Welcome to the forum!

The guineas are probably better for keeping the ticks under control. Geese keep weeds down. Both will normally do well with chickens if they're raised together.
Good luck penning the guineas. Most people let them wander freely and roost in trees. They are very noisy and that can be useful.
Blessings!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on January 15, 2015, 04:33:52 PM
ann, we are in the Skowhegan area.

mtnrunner...not way would i deplete my retirement funds to pay off the mortgage.  You need liquid assets..isn't that why we all keep a little cash stash?  Just in case?

cyd, we are looking at houseplans...we think we'll be going modular as it is much less expensive than stick built. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: annmedford on January 16, 2015, 07:27:21 AM
Nice! Skowhegan isn't that far as Maine goes.

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mtnrunner on January 16, 2015, 10:44:25 PM
Thanks for the guinea advise.  They will have to compete for roosts with the wild turkeys, lol!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on January 18, 2015, 06:48:50 AM
this was posted on another board i am on:

Quote
I am recently widowed and in need of some mortgage advice. My husband died last May, and did not have a large life insurance policy. However, with it, I was able to pay for his funeral arrangements, medical bills, and pay off all our debt (cars, student loans, etc) with the exception of the mortgage. I have about 11 years left on this, but without his income, this one bill is taking almost half my income, and is seriously stressing my budget.
The current interest on my mortgage is just over 9%, and I am in the process of trying to refinance. I was hoping to reduce the interest, reduce my payments, and reduce the term of the loan - seemed like a win/win/win. The problem is that the appraisal came in so incredibly low that there is really no chance of the refi happening unless I can pay down the mortgage about 20K, which is not an option.
Anyone have any suggestions?

and that, my friends, is why we are buying land and building a house in Maine...we should be able to pay for it in full and have money leftover when we sell our current home.  If something happened to my dh today, i'd be in trouble.  I'd have to sell our home at a lower price and move to my little shabin in Maine but I could do it and survive. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on January 22, 2015, 08:27:48 PM
we bought another 6.4 acres adjacent to our property that is high and dry and probably a bit better for building a house upon.   When the snow melts, we will start working on the well, septic and clearing for a housepad and driveway.  We'll cash flow this with a (regrettable) withdrawal from our retirement accounts. 

We are sort of hoping to get the house up late next year...fall perhaps. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Sunshine on August 03, 2015, 11:53:59 AM
I know this is an older thread, but wow... love, love, love it!!  Has a lot of practical advice and it's giving me a lot of food for thought.  Thinking of it as a retirement plan makes so much sense and is a great way to approach it.  We are 40-ish and have pretty low debt (one car payment and a fixed rate mortgage)... we'd love to buy some land and have been looking, just a matter of finding something decent at a decent price!!

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on August 03, 2015, 02:10:00 PM
Hi Sunshine,

It makes my day everytime someone enjoys this thread. I'm glad it encourages you and I sincerely hope you do hit your preparedness and retirement goals.

Writing this post was one of the few things I've written that I believe will have a legacy. I'm humbled by people's response to it. Thank you.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: scaffdog on August 24, 2015, 07:00:08 PM
Just wow, been away from the forum for a while and just finished up a book by Tim Young where he referenced the article from your website...no more than 6 hours later Im flipping around on the forum and boom, I come across this thread! Amazing!  I had to bring my wife up here and show her the thread and show her the book...  Anyways, Im on the path, planning to be "retired" in 3 years.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: NoBox on October 14, 2015, 07:52:09 AM
Hi all
 Am brand-new here I was scooting around and having a look in on forums stopped in here and seen this thread well a no brainier, I had to register. I know I skipped the intro part but will get there.
This is exactly what I am doing, I've got a business and property on the market now when sold I'll be going to the north woods. At that time income will become fixed so planning is a must now a few things considered while keeping an eye on the world events (scary). Utility bills are not wanted, a well and septic are needed and electricity well be self generated. The ground must be 50 plus acres of mature timber, and some what remote with low property tax. Population need be minimal but with medical within a reasonable reach. All will be geared toward a self sustaining life style. This can be had and done at a low cost without loss of to much convenience if intelligent about it.
 For power I have been looking into type and method over the last two years. Hydro would be great but getting a property that would lend it's self to hydro could be tough considering regulation and head required. This leaves mechanical, solar, or wind I'm thinking wind and steam. Currently I am building a steam system as test to get a real feel for what it could do and what would be needed to run it. The test system is the real deal and complete with exception to battery bank it is small only 4 batteries but should give me a good idea of how things would work. The plus side of the experiment is when over it can serve as a nice little back up that is mobile. I'll be back to the site here to dig deep but must close this post now (things to do)....
Great to be here!
NoBox     
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: NoBox on October 15, 2015, 10:22:45 AM
I a sort of popped into the forum yesterday and became quite excited finding a lot of folks with a mind set close to mine. I then made the brief post to this thread with the intent of coming back to add a little more detail. However I felt I should read the thread first, having done that I am confident I am in the right place. So some history and a bit of what I'm up to who knows it may be helpful to some one at some point.

 I have been self employed most of my adult life (I find it hard to follow others) and did OK. About 2006 / 2007 the writing on the wall suggested trouble on the horizon. I had 6 properties and my home - Yes Bills BIG Ones! Two of the properties were unimproved land the rest were rentals and a Beauty Salon so they mostly paid for them selves. I had a talk with my wife and told her we needed to do something or get caught hard. I had for a few years been trying to get her to agree to changing one of our rentals to commercial and brought this up in the discussion. She agreed, and I went to work on the best property location for the intended purpose as luck would have it we had just evicted that tenant.

Going to take a side trip here I suggest you not do this unless you really understand your local gov. and what you are doing: To save time and cost in converting the property I went to work without pulling permits. I knew if I went to the county they would want a site plan and that can add real cost in a very big way. I went to work on the ground creating parking, lighting, etc. leaving the structure alone knowing a cease and desist order would appear on the door at some point. The object here was to complete the ground work as fast as possible. When the order came I applied for electrical and structural permits which made them happy and what I did let me off the hook for a site plan.

Three months before completing the property conversion getting the door open the bottom fell out of the new homes market. I was a Drywall Contractor with crews and my builders began asking me to work for less damn near at cost. We lost one builder after another (I won't work at cost) when we received our final inspection on the now commercial property as opposed to leasing it we decided to use it our selves. We closed the Drywall business and opened a gaming center / PC & Game Console repair. The gaming center did not pan out the numbers just weren't there, after a few months we shut it down but the repair took off. We were able to carry our debt for a while but could not do it for ever, the properties were the retirement plan. We were faced with some really hard choices. My wife and I talked about this and what to do we are partners in all things. The economy was down, we could try to hold on in hope the economy would recover. But if it did not we could lose EVERY THING! The choice was made and we moved to file for bankruptcy letting everything go including our home with exception to the new business property I made changes there to allow us to live and work there (bankruptcy takes a little time). We did this choosing to believe the economy would remain poor long term and not gamble on recovery in a year or two. The hole left by closing the gaming part of the business we filled with roll your own tobacco products. There are things in life people will buy no matter and tobacco is one of them. The PC repair has been fading over the last few years as mobile devices take over and that is OK it carried things while the tobacco became established.

 This history told, brings me to yesterdays post.

I believe bad things are coming and want to be rural when it happens, just so happens I'm at a time to retire as well. The only thing keeping me from unplugging is the business and ground it sets on. It is currently on the market and fear I will have to make the sale happen others will drag their feet. Debt to value is good so a few bucks can be pulled from it plus other monies. After looking at property, tax, and real cost of living across the country in search of the best, offering what I can afford and want I have found a location. Low tax and low property cost there are few job opportunities there.
I want:
50 plus acres mature timber with home 1000 to 1400 square feet in good condition
Well / Septic
Current property tax under $800 a year
Thriving wild life and fishery
Year round spring with good flow
Cost under 120K (I have my eye on one that is 74K and under 400 property tax)
Within 70 miles to medical
Cost of living under $1000.00 month leaving money for the mattress.
.
The idea:
To be far enough away to hunt unrestricted for meat, raise a few chickens for eggs and meat, fish, grow fruit, vegetables, and tobacco.
We will gather wild berries, herbs, and nuts.
Power - Methane, used oil, wood and other - this will run a steam engine to turn a generator creating electricity and I'll also use the wind.
The home I will change a little I have skills most windows will be removed and insulation upgraded if needed and a large enclosed sun porch on the back.
I'll build a tooling shop, things break, need repair, or created I can do this. I'll also build a garage with pit to service our vehicles. I have most of the equipment for these things now.
I'll dig a root cellar and my wife and I will can, dry meat, dry fruit and vegetables.

I think I have expressed the idea. As many here have said you can not trust in any thing unless you are in control of that thing and retirement built on investment portfolio or promised pension plan may disappoint. True Independence is the lack of Dependence.
Life joy is really family and nature not the glitter and glam that forms the walls of a cell. I have two tattoos one reads born free and the other reads money slave they are a reminder.
Yesterdays post spoke of a steam engine I have built don't let the size fool you it is up to 6HP and 1200 RPMS. I'm adding a link (if permitted) to a video of my boiler build from there you can find other videos of the steam engine etc. and I'll be making more.
The boiler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nniuKMnaoRQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nniuKMnaoRQ)     
         
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: suzysurvivor on October 22, 2015, 04:17:00 PM
our plans are moving ahead albeit at what seems to be a turtle's pace.

we are clearing out our house to put on market next spring.  At the same time, we will have the builder start on our new house out in the woods.   While the sale/building are going on, we'll stay in an apartment and start working our way out of this state and into the next. 

we've planted a few fruit trees on our land with more to come next spring.  We have also found a few 'orphans' around that we can forage from.  I'm hoping to get grapes in the next two years.

I am also concerned about the economic woes of this country and what fallout may happen.  THe best thing we can do is hurry up and get ourselves settled in up north. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Captain Obvious on January 05, 2017, 08:05:48 AM
This thread has been around for awhile but I want to mention how we are using preparedness as a retirement plan.

My wife and I had talked about homeschooling our boys and last year she was finally able to leave her low paying job and stay home with the boys.  We are not "preppers" in the traditional sense but we are doing what we can to give ourselves the freedom to be home with our family as much as possible.  My wife sells homemade cookies, cleans houses and watches a neighbor kid in order to earn money for groceries.  She does not make as much money as before but this way she is almost always available for the boys.  The drop in income was negligible and the upside is that she is here for the family.  FYI, cleaning houses is far and away the most profitable for her and if she picks up a couple more clients then she will actually be making more per week than she used to working for the man.

As for myself, I am still working for corporate America, and on the side I am doing web development work from home.  It's hard developing a new skill when working 40 hours at a job but I recently got a very hefty raise from the computer gig and eventually I would love to be able to work from home full time.  It probably won't make sense for awhile because there are NO insurance benefits when you work for yourself and I have a family of 5 to take care of. 

How does this count as a retirement plan?  The ability to work from home on our own schedule is what drives us.  Even if I'm ever able to "retire" I will still always want to be busy.  I may as well be able to make money from home doing something I enjoy.  Now if I can just find someone willing to pay me to drink beer...
 ;D

Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: NWPilgrim on January 12, 2017, 05:46:54 PM
Great thread.  I think far too few average Americans plan for the possibility of normal retirement plans failing.  We started reducing debt years ago and finally got the mortgage paid off a couple of years back.  That is huge!  And we have two good vehicles that are paid off and well maintained. I was getting burned out working behind a computer the last 35 years so when an early retirement offer came up I jumped. 

My wife still works part-time.  Our monthly expenses are about $1,500/month so we could easily get by on either her part-time job or my retirement alone.  The big expenses now are car/home insurance ($270/mo) and real estate taxes ($4,300/yr).  But we are concerned for our futures.  We are in our early 60s and both healthy but saw three of our parents go through prolonged illnesses (diabetes, liver, depression, Parkinsons, congestive heart failures) that without massive family support would not have been possible to care for them.  Professional long term care starts at about $5,500/mo.  So we want to keep reducing living expenses, and develop alternate incomes that we can sustain as long as possible.  I guess we are now semi-retired.

I just finished a three month general labor gig mostly to see if I was still physically capable of doing manual labor all day long.  After sitting on my butt for work so long with ups and downs in physical workouts and more joint issues, this was a major question for myself.  Turns out that I am still fit for work and the more work I do the better I feel!  I feel ten years younger today after that gig.  I feel bad for the 30-something guys I was working with who depend on that low wage ($12/hr, some overtime) as their main family income.  For me it was like being paid to workout.  So, staying in good physical fitness is a top priority right now.  I think physical fitness is a kepy part of a good retirement.  You HAVE to stay physically active in work or recreation or workouts. Otherwise at this age things start to fall apart fast.  One of my sisters is on heart medication, my younger sister had her second hip replacement, and my brother has two knee replacements.  I was feeling mighty creaking until I got working hard.

My thinking now is to start a business that requires moderate activity and that gives me some freedom of scheduling and time off.  I enjoying spending time with the grandkids.  I am looking into becoming a home inspector for real estate sales.  My wife plans to keep working at the school for several more years so we can save up quite a bit of cash for medical emergencies (she has decent health coverage for us both) and possible disruptions to retirement income.  If the business does well then I might expand it to become a family enterprise.  Or, use the savings to by rental properties.  Either way we could end up with incomes that continue past our active participation and are independent from retirement funds or government.

There are a lot of ways to skin this cat but some important points:
1) Have a plan for retirement and don't just retire and die, or think you have 30 more years of spending money on the beach.

2) Get or stay physically fit for the long haul.  It will dramatically reduce medical costs, keep open many more income opportunities and self-reliant chores, and you will feel better and enjoy life more.

3) Several times a year review your budget to see what other expenses you can reduce or eliminate.  It is a huge difference from needing a $4,000/month income to just $1,500/mo.

4) Corporate or government retirements should be used as just stopgap measures until you can get your own alternate semi-retired income established.  Don't plan for those big funds to remain stable over the next 20-50 years.

I think another thread on here mentioned the Alpha Strategy.  I think that is an excellent approach and have used it over my career to some degree (education, stockpile consumables, precious metals) but I forgot the step to gain a second or third trade.  I felt incredibly vulnerable being so highly specialized in my career.  Now I am trying to get into other skill sets to broaden my capabilities.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mountainmoma on January 12, 2017, 06:04:35 PM
My only income is social security income, and I do not plan on it being stable for the long haul. My bet is that relative to expenses, it will be less ( either because costs stay similar, and it gets cut 20% to be balanced with money into the plan  -- or, the check I gets stays the same, but inflation eats it up)

I have had worsening health problems, so working seems to be out.

Plan is to develop the studio on the property to be a rental, and so have a small income. It will not be as much as the soc sec check, but not too much lower. Kind of like 80% of the soc sec check.

And, to keep working on having part of my food on site and self sufficient ( garden, cheese making) so keep expenses low.

This would be far from ideal, but beats the alternative.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: NWPilgrim on January 12, 2017, 06:17:00 PM
Mountainmomma, that is the whole idea, I think: to think about your situation and the years ahead and plan for "what if."  ANYTHING we do toward improving is a huge step compared to the masses who just go along with the big business/big government plan.  Every dollar that is cut from expenses or added to income from more self-controlled sources is that much more independence and flexibility.  Your studio rental idea is a great use of already on-hand resources.

It's great to read 38 yr olds thinking ahead on this, it will make their lives so much safer and enjoyable.  I started later and what I did helped but wish I had done much more.  But that is life, we make the best of what we have now.  It is hard to keep on track with family illnesses, personal disasters, etc. that crop up now and then.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: fred.greek on January 14, 2017, 08:44:24 AM
Personal Opinion:

Preparing for retirement is an aspect of overall “Prepping”.

Others have mentioned the book “The Alpha Strategy” for prepper/retirement planning thoughts.  I also recommend it, available to read at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6230684/The-Alpha-Strategy

More reading might include “Early Retirement Extreme”:
https://www.scribd.com/doc/156367201/Early-Retirement-Extreme

And what seems to be a related discussion forum:
http://forum.earlyretirementextreme.com/index.php?sid=fc2910e3947af308e2a353274ae96f69

And perhaps:

https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/register.php?a=act&u=32170&i=ecb04505289a2adf1b9d3ddbc265939d077afe5a

I used to visit these retirement forums frequently, up until the wife and I were both retired.

A significant aspect of our retirement plan was an “Urban Homestead”.  Nearly 20 years ago we bought a small home in a relatively quiet neighborhood, more or less close and central to those aspects we anticipated we would want/need.  (Church, grocery, library, hospital.)  We rented it out, and put the rental profits, and more, back into the home.

    Examples: Solar, upgraded wiring & plumbing, rainwater collection, graywater use, edible landscaping. 

Refinished with long-term durable materials. New windows, blah, blah….

By the time we retired, the place is not necessarily roomy or pretty, but it functions and reduces what would otherwise be ongoing costs… It’s nice to be able to water the garden with “free” water, and pick “safe” veggies whenever we want.  Heck, a few months out of the year the electric company pays us… 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Cronezilla on January 19, 2017, 12:01:23 AM
I am really think preparedness as a life plan and make some real lifestyle changes in the future. I might go live in a tent for a year on my property that has really no infrastructure in order to use what small amount of money I do have to build everything I would need on the cheap and that will last using natural building techniques. Earthship-ish
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mountainmoma on January 19, 2017, 12:54:57 AM

    Examples: Solar, upgraded wiring & plumbing, rainwater collection, graywater use, edible landscaping. 

Refinished with long-term durable materials. New windows, blah, blah….

By the time we retired, the place is not necessarily roomy or pretty, but it functions and reduces what would otherwise be ongoing costs… It’s nice to be able to water the garden with “free” water, and pick “safe” veggies whenever we want.  Heck, a few months out of the year the electric company pays us…

This kind of thing has made a huge difference for me too. At the time I put in solar, I had no idea I was going to have illness force me into early retirement, I just wanted to. But, I am glad that I did. Everything I spent money on earlier that saves me money now has been key to me being able to be here in this house. I barely make it now, but it would be impossible without having expenses so low.

I may never get grey water or rainwater collection at this point, but the wood stove, solar, better roof, sealed crawlspace and windows and space for the animals and garden save me money. And getting rid of all debt, of course.

I am too far from infrastructure though, so this place is not ideal because of that, and as my health isnt good, I have more land than I can use or take care of, so it isnt kept up and I have to pay for what does get done on the part I cant use.

So, you were right to buy closer to where you need to go. I would be better off on 1/2 acre in a town than the 2 1/2 I have this far out. Especially since the idea is too plan for lower income than you imagine, transportation is a very big expense, it is my largest expense after property tax. I imagine at some point I will need to relocate closer to infrastructure or by one of my kids for when transportation gets worse as I age. For now, it is fine.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: NWPilgrim on January 20, 2017, 12:41:15 AM
This kind of thing has made a huge difference for me too. At the time I put in solar, I had no idea I was going to have illness force me into early retirement, I just wanted to. But, I am glad that I did. Everything I spent money on earlier that saves me money now has been key to me being able to be here in this house. I barely make it now, but it would be impossible without having expenses so low.


Truth!  So many things seem a little bit much just to have it better/lower dependence, but it pays off big over time and especially when your income gets reduced.  Over the years I slowly replaced most of our light bulbs with LEDs and now I notice our electric bill is about half what it use to be.  We have gas furnace and water heater and high efficiency front loader washer/dryer (another investment), so lighting was one of our main electricity consumptions.  I have even moved to more and more merino wool clothes which I hang dry over night so that cuts down a good amount of drying as well.  Every little bit adds up (or cuts down overhead).

It is hard to do big reductions all at once, but if you keep at it in every aspect one day it strikes you how much cheaper it is to operate your home.  One thing I detest is drywall.  It requires lots of upkeep over the years (settling, raised nails, nicks, filling brad holes, etc.).  I was thinking it would be neat if there was a modular steel panel wall, sort of like some office cubicles are made of.  Could be painted or covered in fabric, etc.  It would be more expensive than drywall but would be way tougher and should be at least as good for fire protection if not better.  You could back it with foam board insulation for sound deadening and warmth.  Maybe just use in high traffic hallways and rooms, or for the first three feet like the old style wood panel wainscote.

Anyway, excellent point, mountainmomma!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: virtues on January 23, 2017, 10:14:23 PM
This is a pretty inspiring thread. I left the city job and bought some land with a little shack the I've been fixing up, and I've managed to get expenses way down that way, but I have a long way to go before I can afford to build the home and the systems that I really want.

Still, we managed to pay off our debts this year and expenses have never been lower so we're in a pretty good place. I'm not getting any younger though!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Ms. Albatross on January 24, 2017, 08:44:44 AM

Still, we managed to pay off our debts this year and expenses have never been lower so we're in a pretty good place.

 :clap:
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on January 25, 2017, 07:59:23 AM
How many years later and this post is still helping and inspiring people. I'm humbled.

Still, we managed to pay off our debts this year and expenses have never been lower so we're in a pretty good place. I'm not getting any younger though!

That is likely the biggest hurdle in self-sufficiency. Stay that way, take your time, pay cash if at all possible. It'll seem like forever to get the things done that you'd like, but once they're done it'll feel like it happened pretty quickly.

There's going to be some increased instability in the economy in the next few years for about a hundred reasons, so you will be very glad you did this. Your family will too.

One thing I detest is drywall.  It requires lots of upkeep over the years (settling, raised nails, nicks, filling brad holes, etc.).  I was thinking it would be neat if there was a modular steel panel wall, sort of like some office cubicles are made of. You could back it with foam board insulation for sound deadening and warmth.  Maybe just use in high traffic hallways and rooms, or for the first three feet like the old style wood panel wainscote.

There are options out there, but make sure that they will meet your local, state/provincial, and national building codes as well as your insurer's requirements.

Are the nails that are popping ones that hold the drywall on? Maybe as those come out, replace them with a drywall screw. If your house is any more than a decade old, the settling should be pretty much done.

I don't know if you have young ones, but the nicks and dings tend to stop when they grow up and go out on there own. ;)

Doing actual wainscotting reduces the surface area you'd need to maintain. Just using thin 1/8 in. plywood and bordering it with 1x3 pine looks great and zero maintenance other than paint. Unless you really ding it. You can also get preformed wainscotting panels in MDF. They look surprisingly good, are reasonably priced, and dead easy to install.

Modular insulated floorboard could potentially be used. It's very expensive though.
Good one-side plyword in general could be used. Again, expensive.

I wouldn't recommend metal of any kind. It'll mess with your radio waves/WiFi/cell and will be a LOT more expensive than anything else.

Depending on the type of room, you can get the same kind of wall covering that is used in industrial food prep kitchens. You can literally hose it down.

There are some great, fairly decently priced, laminate stone options out there too. Mind you, a 4x8 section will cost around $700-$1000 for materials. You can install it yourself, with a little self-education.

And, of course, good old paneling.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Applejack on January 16, 2018, 04:31:11 PM
I know this is an older post but some very good advice here. My husband retired disability and we were reduced to one income after that till he had all his retirement in place. If it wasn't for our garden and my canning it would have been a lot harder for us. But the good side of it is we had the house payed for about two years before he became disabled. He has been disabled since 1994.  We have had to buy a new car twice in that time as last time being in 2013 which we paid off in 24 months. So we have no bills other than insurances and utilities.  That garden has helped us to save a great deal on groceries. Our grocery bill on a weekly bases is about 25 to 35 dollars a week. It does go up a bit over holidays but not by much.  I feel we have been very blessed that we have been able to live comfortably without any major problems. We do not use charge cards either though we do have a couple for emergency reasons and hope we never need to use them.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: archer on January 16, 2018, 05:33:57 PM
good for you AppleJack! Glad to know this works.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on January 16, 2018, 06:04:55 PM
Glad to hear you're doing alright, AppleJack.

My wife and I lost our jobs due to restructuring in November. If our house wasn't paid off, we would be in big trouble.
We don't have a garden or any sort of livestock yet. Just never had the time with working 50+ hours a week plus 1.5 hour commute each day.
But we're not going to make that mistake again. I'm not risking my health at another job unless it's to save someone's life.

We're not completely sure what we're going to do just yet, but we're focusing on self-employment.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: redrider on January 17, 2018, 07:39:39 AM
Wow, tough break, CdnGuy. It sounds like you're keeping a good attitude about it.

I love this thread, it changed my viewpoint, thanks for it.

Best of luck.

rr
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: PorcupineKate on January 17, 2018, 10:52:49 AM
This thread has been an inspiration and I am happy to say that it is becoming far more relevant to my husband and I.  We are ahead of schedule in terms of our long term plans for my husband to retire early. We thought we would be here in our 50s not our 40s. It is a wonderful position to be in but we have no clue on how to proceed.   So we are in the position of trying to figure out a transition plan. 

We have the following items planed out and are working on them.
Paying off the debts is well underway and the recurring discussion is do we pay off the mortgage on the house this year. 

We want to do some upgrades to the property like a new shed, fencing, ponds, greenhouse, solar, new roof, siding, windows, wood stove, whole house generator, and a new kitchen and bathroom.  The house was built in the 1980s and the renovations will be done with aging in place in mind.

We are cutting expenses (other than health care and property taxes ::) )  and working on growing a larger percentage of food in our yard.  We have a rental property that we want to sell in a few years because we do not like being landlords.  My husband is self employed already and likes his work so we are not in a huge rush to have him stop working but he is planning to work less hours.

The big issue is long term financial planning.  We have no idea how to transition from acquiring assets to living off them.   Can anyone point us to good resources on making the transition? 


Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Applejack on January 17, 2018, 06:44:42 PM
PorcupineKate, if you can get your house payed off this year, than that would be your best option because with the new tax plan coming into place, it is my understanding that you won't be able to claim the interest from it. We paid our house off first thing but never thought hubby would end up on disability. It was the best thing we ever did.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on January 17, 2018, 06:57:19 PM
PorcupineKate, I guess it depends on a few things.

Do you have any other debts? What is the interest rate on those? Paying off the debts with the highest interest rates first results in reducing your debt load more now and in the future.

If the mortgage is your only debt, consider paying it off asap. Interest rates are starting to creep up in several places around the world. It is very likely that they will start climbing in the U.S. soon.

Can you hand a jump in rate of 2-5 points? I mean, if your rate is 3% now, can you handle it doubling? Tripiling?

Call me paranoid, but I expect to see rates go nuts like they did in the early 80s in the next 5 years or so. Imagine your mortgage at 18%!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: PorcupineKate on January 17, 2018, 07:43:48 PM
We are in really good shape on paying off the debt.  It will only take us a couple more months to pay off everything except for the mortgage on our current home and mortgage on our rental property.  We are planning on selling the rental because we do not like being landlords.

We are planning on staying where we are and playing off our mortgage on the house  The debate is really about pulling money out of investments to do it.  Do we cash out to pay off the mortgage or take longer to pay it off and not touch the investments.  We are both savers by nature and it has paid off but I have no idea what to do next when the debt is paid off and our cost of living continues to drop. 

How do you plan for not needing a pay check and how do you manage your assets so you don't need a pay check in the future?  I wasn't thinking we would actually achieve this but it will happen in a few years and I need to be educated and I don't know where to start. 
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mountainmoma on January 17, 2018, 07:51:48 PM
PorcupineKate, I guess it depends on a few things.

Do you have any other debts? What is the interest rate on those? Paying off the debts with the highest interest rates first results in reducing your debt load more now and in the future.

If the mortgage is your only debt, consider paying it off asap. Interest rates are starting to creep up in several places around the world. It is very likely that they will start climbing in the U.S. soon.

Can you hand a jump in rate of 2-5 points? I mean, if your rate is 3% now, can you handle it doubling? Tripiling?

Call me paranoid, but I expect to see rates go nuts like they did in the early 80s in the next 5 years or so. Imagine your mortgage at 18%!

I think most people here have fixed rate loans ? At least I should hope so -- or at least an adjustable with good, set terms on conversions to a fixed or a low cap on the amount it can adjust ?
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: PorcupineKate on January 17, 2018, 10:17:21 PM
Our mortgage is a fixed rate so I am not worried about rate increases.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: mountainmoma on January 18, 2018, 12:24:37 AM
Our mortgage is a fixed rate so I am not worried about rate increases.

Maybe loans are different in Canada ?
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on January 18, 2018, 08:45:18 AM
I'm no financial advisor by any means, but what a lot of them seem to say is that you look at the interest on your investments and the interest on your mortgage. If you have investments that have a rate of return lower than the interest on the mortgage, take that investment and pay off the mortgage.

The logic is that by paying off a mortgage, whatever the interest rate is on it is your rate of return. You may want to look that up though. I'm pretty sure I'm mangling things.

Mortgages in Canada are a LOT different. The biggest difference being that there's nothing about our mortgages that one can claim on their income tax return. That sucks.
We also have a stress test to get a mortgage. You have to be able to handle the mortgage not just at the current rate but if it jumps a few points. We're heading quickly towards a rent-only middle class and lower.

Here, even if you have a 20 year mortgage at a fixed rate, the rate is usually fixed for a max of 5 years. Then when you renew, the rate changes.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: redrider on January 18, 2018, 08:53:22 AM
Here, even if you have a 20 year mortgage at a fixed rate, the rate is usually fixed for a max of 5 years. Then when you renew, the rate changes.
That's how our commercial loan worked but for our home place, 3% fifteen years fixed, baby!
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Applejack on January 18, 2018, 03:09:32 PM
Glad to hear you're doing alright, AppleJack.

My wife and I lost our jobs due to restructuring in November. If our house wasn't paid off, we would be in big trouble.
We don't have a garden or any sort of livestock yet. Just never had the time with working 50+ hours a week plus 1.5 hour commute each day.
But we're not going to make that mistake again. I'm not risking my health at another job unless it's to save someone's life.

We're not completely sure what we're going to do just yet, but we're focusing on self-employment.

If you can get into doing something self employment wise that would be great. I know several people that have done it and it worked out great for them. Best of luck to you and yours
AJ
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on January 21, 2018, 07:43:57 PM
Sorry to hear about the job losses, CdnGuy. I hope things get better for you very soon. And... you've just proved what a great idea it was to get your homestead paid for! Since it is time for planning a garden, you could start one this year with the extra time you have (at least for now).

As for planning for retirement, I'd say getting everything paid off will get you going in the right direction, Porcupine. Then, I'd start socking away savings for your retirement nest egg. You probably have 401ks, etc. already going... there are some nice threads on the forum about investing you might consider checking out. David in MN has some good things posted...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Applejack on February 10, 2018, 08:12:10 PM
Glad to hear you're doing alright, AppleJack.

My wife and I lost our jobs due to restructuring in November. If our house wasn't paid off, we would be in big trouble.
We don't have a garden or any sort of livestock yet. Just never had the time with working 50+ hours a week plus 1.5 hour commute each day.
But we're not going to make that mistake again. I'm not risking my health at another job unless it's to save someone's life.

We're not completely sure what we're going to do just yet, but we're focusing on self-employment.

Hope all works out for you guys. It can be tough but I know things can work out for the better. Best of luck to you guys. Prayers are with you. Get that garden going and start canning. It will be a life saver with grocery bill.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: Applejack on February 10, 2018, 08:29:15 PM
PorcupineKate,  When my husband had to retire, he got a fanancal planner and took all his retirement out of his four O one plan. We have stayed very conservative with the investments and receive 4 checks a month. I am also now retired. We both have Social security which is great but try not to be depended on it. (gotta love our government). He did this because if he passed on, I would only have gotten half of that retirement. The company would keep the other half. So this was to protect me. We have lived off of that retirement now for the past 15 years. And yes it is less than getting a weekly pay check but we have lived very comfortable on it. You might want to talk with a good fanancil planner. If you can find a good one he or she could stir you in the right direction. Just try to stay conservative in what you invest in. I would never play the stock market. Don't trust it. You can loose a bit even with being conservative but you also can regain it quicker. We have past what we invested in and close to doubled what hubby had in the four o one  plan at his work. This has been over a 15 year period for us and we have done well with it. The amount of money you get is from interest and is set for how long you might live. My husband is now 80 years old and I am 67, so it was set up based on me living to be about 85 but the money will still last past that age.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 03, 2018, 03:49:00 PM
Sorry to hear about the job losses, CdnGuy. I hope things get better for you very soon. And... you've just proved what a great idea it was to get your homestead paid for! Since it is time for planning a garden, you could start one this year with the extra time you have (at least for now).

Hey LvsChant, we are already planning on that. It's Canada, so we're at the seed starting stage only. My wife is going to go back to school in the fall to get her chef papers and food services management diploma, so that's one of us taken care of. I'm still figuring things out.

I've found the IT world to be the most abusive, stressful, industry to work in. Fast food was better, security was better, military was better, trades in the oil patch was better. IT? I'm exhibiting all the clinical symptoms of PTSD. I get the runs and anxiety attacks that feel like a heart attack just looking at job postings in IT. Then I have nightmares that night about all the crap that has happened to me. I'd rather get shot at.

I want to get out of it. I feel I need to get out of it for my health. So that's something I have to figure out, I guess. Just rambling. Not many folks to talk with in my neck of the woods.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: LvsChant on April 06, 2018, 05:29:16 PM
Perhaps you can use your skills in some sort of business of your own? Your description of work in the IT field sounds truly horrible. I'm glad you are re-assessing your options and looking at making a change... stress is a killer.

Sometimes good things pop up when you are open to a new opportunity... when you are already employed, you don't typically look out at what else might be there, so maybe this is the change you needed...

Wishing good things for you...
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: archer on April 06, 2018, 11:27:03 PM
IT, no one hears about the work you do until something goes wrong, then they blame it on you (even i you did not do it) and expect you to fix it now for free.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 07, 2018, 01:02:30 PM
Perhaps you can use your skills in some sort of business of your own? Your description of work in the IT field sounds truly horrible. I'm glad you are re-assessing your options and looking at making a change... stress is a killer.

Thanks LvsChant. I'm looking at pivoting into the energy sustainability field. Looking into how to do that right now. I may go back to school. At almost 50, that's scary, but I'm sure I'd be a better student now than 30 years ago.
Title: Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
Post by: CdnGuy on April 07, 2018, 01:12:50 PM
IT, no one hears about the work you do until something goes wrong, then they blame it on you (even i you did not do it) and expect you to fix it now for free.

Exactly.

It's even worse when you keep telling management that the equipment is going to fail soon and could shut the business down for weeks and they don't believe you.
Then things start breaking down and they think that you're making it break to try to prove your point.

Or you show them how for $20 per store per month, you can make sure they can stay open even if the network goes down. They say that's too much. Internet goes down for an hour and they complain about how they lost thousands. So you say you can make it so that never happens again for $20 per store per month. They say that's too much. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's a form of gas lighting really.

We'll give you none of the tools, training, or authority to do your job, but if you fail, it's all your fault.

I know this happens in other fields and at lots of workplaces. I'm not the only person this happens to, I just have a knack for finding those workplaces.