Andrew Allentuck has a new book called, “When Can I Retire?” Andrew is well known to Grainews readers for his bonds column and Farm Financial Planner series. He also has a national audience with his Financial Facelift column in The Globe and Mail. He has collected lots of fodder for this book writing that column.
The decision to retire is a big gamble, Andrew writes in the book, because you stop earning income and then have to depend on your savings and government pensions. It’s hard to get a good job after age 55 after you’ve bowed out of the workforce.
Retired farmers have the benefit of earning income of retained land, and working with neighbours or farming children at seeding and harvest to make some extra money. What’s more, some farmers never retire. They don’t have to if they don’t want to. But at the same time, this book has lots of tips and advice that is suitable for everyone, at whatever age, including farmers.
“Farmers who are forced to sell for lack of children to take over the business or who have to sell to be closer to medical care undergo a wrenching change of life,” Andrew writes in the book. “When a small business has been a way of life for many decades or even the better part of a century, selling is only the first step in the reorganization of a way of life. An economic gain on the sale of the business may be offset by new costs incurred in adapting to living in the city or to finding ways to fill the hours that the business required.”
He offers some really good advice for farmers on page 63 in the chapter, “Budgeting for the future.” He recommends that people budget for mortgage payments at retirement if they plan to move from a house that has declined in value over the years. Think about it. If you were going to retire today and move to town, would you have the money to buy a house or make mortgage payments? Have you budgeted this in your retirement spending allowance? “If you have to move, save up for it,” Andrew writes.
Of course many of you will have land equity to spend on a new house, but the cost of moving is still something to think about — especially when a modest house in a small to large city can be $200,000 and up.
To order the book, got to www.penguingroup.comand search for the title.