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Old 03-15-2009, 06:03 AM
3,760 posts, read 9,632,762 times
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Northporter, my husband's uncle is in his late 70s and lives in his 5th wheel. In the summer he works at an amusement park where the owners love their elder workers and make it work for them. Then in the winter he moves to TX and enjoys the same space every year.

The only issue is health and when he gets sick, he is alone. But he wont give it up and we wont force it. He arranged a lovely life.

None of us will live forever, so we should enjoy doing what we want for what life we have.
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:37 AM
Location: Tennessee
34,743 posts, read 33,794,261 times
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Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Ugh this is driving me crazy!

My father is a farmer and has been all his life. He's getting into his 60's and I'm pressuring him to retire from farming completely. Right now he rents out his land and he helps this person out with different tasks but I think it's taking a toll on him he doesn't realize. My mom complains that he comes in exausted after working in the barn or field and I fear if he keeps at it it'll eventually take a toll on his overall health which I definetly don't want.

It also isn't because he can't afford to retire, he's a multimillionaire in his own right (between land, stocks, and other investments) but he says if he retires he'll be bored out of his mind. Well my mom and I are both convinced that he cannot keep this up so we're trying to find a way where he'll be both active and yet be able to relax. He does basically have a 3 month break from January to late March where my parents live in Arizona then go back to Iowa for the rest of the year and he always seems to find something to do down here.

So I'm wondering if anybody has any thought/ways that we could get him to retire yet keep him from going crazy at home?
You don't say what kind of farming he does, and since he doesn't need it to survive monetarily, instead of making him quit farming (since he likes it), why not just suggest he buy a smaller farm to cut his work in half and sell the current place?
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:23 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,768 posts, read 40,177,403 times
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Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
... instead of making him quit farming (since he likes it), why not just suggest he buy a smaller farm to cut his work in half and sell the current place?
Fact is... you can't take the 'farmer' out of the boy.... (Be grateful he is industrious, and DON"T break his spirit ) Every farm kid deserves a barn to retreat to and putter around

It is not very feasible to change farm locations to 'downsize'. One's land is closer than their family; you know every rock, stump, fence, fencepost, poor soils, good soils, water lines, creeks, leaky roofs, ... It takes a lifetime, if not multi-generations to build and equip a working farm. To move is more disruptive than to stay.

We do need more info to make a case, but... I would have a 'heart-to-heart' with him, and really get to know what tires him, and what he would feel comfortable 'off-loading'. I would also have a 'heart-to-heart' with the tenant farmer who is leasing to determine if there is some way to lighten dad's load and still keep him engaged.

Consider some options to help with routine maint.:
  • Have 'family-work-days' during spring and fall. Pruning, burning, painting, repairs, spraying 'round-up' around buildings and fences to reduce summer mowing, insulating water hydrants and buildings for winter...

    'adopt' a young family who doesn't have the opportunity, but would like to help on a farm... find them through homeschool, church groups, hosted families...(weekly mowing and weeding would be nice help!)

    Hire out maint and mowing to someone who needs the work (plenty of takers at the moment )

    Consider a plot of CSA (Community supported agriculture) like a community garden, but farmer hosts / helps - check with Extension agent, food co-op, or 4-H to get matched up.

    Find a cheap home nearby and rent it for a 'host' immigrant family to help / sharecrop. (I wish I would have done that BEFORE leaving my last farm... my friend did it, and it worked great! He was free to leave, and they made good money from their labors, and they upped the productivity providing well for themselves. Lots of farms have abandoned homes that these families would be happy to fix up. Or you can get a CHEAP modular and a 'hardship' exemption to place it near the 'home-place'.
farmers have different ways of 'retiring'. Some just get fed up and walk away (tired of fixing fences, roofs, and tractors), or they realize they want something different (unlikely). or they have an accident (that is very common, but don't go there, it is VERY hard on them and they blame themselves the rest of their painful life). Take a serious look around the place and check for how dad is doing things that may be risky. Very common is climbing around the fuel barrels / tanks everyday to fuel machinery. A simple light weight ladder or cat walk can save an injury. Often there is an obstruction in the farmyard (Equipment or fence post) that is 'in-the-way', and he's been meaning to move it for about 15 yrs... MOVE-IT for him. Clear areas around doors and steps and add hand rails. Keep his hands out of the augers and PTO's

Buy him some nice gloves and get a pair for yourself and help him out (tho don't let him think he CAN'T Do It himself)

Plan on doing some 'accessibility' work in their home, and consider how / where/ when they can start hiring caregivers. (weekly / daily / Full-time) Be prepare to keep them in their home as long as possible.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:03 PM
Location: Prescott Valley,az summer/east valley Az winter
2,042 posts, read 3,636,144 times
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I see a lot of posts that I do not feel show what was originally posted~

The farmer has his farm rented out to someone else! He does not NEED to do any of the work! He is just HELPING the tenant with his farming~probably for free~ for something to do! As long as he enjoys it it's kinda like a golfer~ he is out getting his excersize and doing something he is interested in doing. I say let him indulge in his hobby!
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:40 PM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,312,606 times
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Well my mom and I did talk to him about cutting back a bit, we were worried since he was doing quite a bit of heavy lifting and other activities that someone younger and more physically fit should be attempting. He agreed to cut back on more of the strenuous activites and he decided that he instead of returning back to Iowa at the end of March that they should stay another month, he's enjoying the temps and the golf!

Actually land is going down a bit right now, he'd only get probably $6000-$6500/ acre at today's prices. He does rent all of it out so the downturn doesn't particularly affect him but it's amazing how much $500 more an acre can effect the total selling price! Thanks for the advice though everyone!
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Old 03-18-2009, 04:27 PM
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I'd say leave him alone. My dad "retired" from his job and bought 80 acres because that's was his dream. He loved raising cattle and planting fields and baling hay and planting a huge garden and building/mending fences and everything else that came with it. Said if he had to quit he might as well just lay down and die.

He is 80 now and about 5 years ago he was getting weaker (has prostate cancer) and just physically wasn't able to do it all anymore. I really believe a part of him has died. He is not the same person he used to be. He's not really happy. He longs to do the things he used to do and can't do anymore.

So I would say let your dad be happy doing what he loves to do as long as he is able.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:15 AM
Location: Ohio
668 posts, read 1,909,891 times
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Its funny, its 'you' who want him to retire, and not your father! You and your Mom should butt out of his business... He will let you know when he wants to hang up his hat. If you pressure him, you will make him more miserable than anything else in the World, because you have taken him from something he loves so dearly, the farm!

I have seen many time, when chilldren have taken thier Parents from the home they have been used to forever, that the Parents end up dying either before they move, during the move, or even right after the move! A good buddy I worked with, didnt want to move, and on the day they were moving, he up and just died! I was astonished to hear that, and sorrorwed too.

Your dad has something to look forward to, helping some one out with the farm. Sure, he has scads of money, and he probably knows how much down to every nickel of it too...Them old farmers are hard to fool, when it comes to thier cash and savings!

Just bear with him. He will tell you when its time. and if he dies, before he leaves, well, he will have died doing something that means the World to him. That land has provided for his family for many generations and has fed countless thousands of people with the produce from it, so, the land is good towards your dad, and your dad will always be the shepard of that land.

May the LORD Bless each of you.

I wish you well...

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Old 03-22-2009, 02:04 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,768 posts, read 40,177,403 times
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Originally Posted by woodworkingmenace View Post
I have seen .., that the Parents end up dying either before they move, during the move, or even right after the move! ...
Ironically this may not be too rare, one of my friends crashed and died on the way home from signing the paperwork to go to retirement home. (under the pressure of his kids). He was having to leave a beautiful farm that he and wife had built and cleared the land.

Another friend died while cleaning out his desk on retirement day, at least he had gotten through the free lunch, but didn't get to enjoy his place on the lake that he had labored years to create as a retirement spot.
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