Author Topic: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan  (Read 120309 times)

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #120 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

Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #121 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.


Offline KYdoomer

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #122 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

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #123 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.

Offline luke

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #124 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)

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #125 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.

Offline RationalHusker

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #126 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.

Offline CdnGuy

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #127 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!

Offline RationalHusker

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #128 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

Offline Dakotaslim

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #129 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.

Offline grits55

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #130 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.

Offline XtraBright

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #131 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.

















Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #132 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. 

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #133 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.

Offline XtraBright

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #134 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)


Offline Dakotaslim

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #135 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.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #136 on: June 28, 2011, 04:53:54 PM »
xtrabright... +1 for the very interesting perspective from Austria... thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

Offline Runa

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #137 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!

Offline netua

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #138 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.

Offline o-so-u-812

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #139 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!


Offline Nate

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #140 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!

Offline Gale Dacalio

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #141 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!

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #142 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...

Offline cranston

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #143 on: February 19, 2013, 06:35:18 AM »
CDN Guy- You've put my thoughts into words and they sound mighty fine.

Offline Frank ZX

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #144 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. 

Offline Gator6

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #145 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.




Offline LvsChant

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #146 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.

Offline Gator6

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #147 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...

Offline Kilted Brewer

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #148 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.

Offline David Dakota

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Re: Preparedness as a Retirement Plan
« Reply #149 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