Craig and JoAnne are part of a farm family from Nebraska. Craig grew up on the same land that he raised his own children on. JoAnne worked in town as a teacher’s aide. They had both reached 65, and were thinking about what came next in life. Some years, times had been tough. Grain prices, weather, and taxes often took their toll. For much of their life, extra money went toward the kids’ sports, braces, giving to their church, and college costs. But Craig and JoAnne had always done two things—funded their IRAs and paid down their debt. The farm was paid off, Social Security was turned on, and cash flow was suddenly not so tight. As we created a plan, it became evident that between Social Security, JoAnne’s school pension, IRAs, and the farm income, all of their needs and more could be taken care of. I created several planning scenarios for Craig showing him that if he rented out the land, they would easily be able to cover all of their fixed and variable expenses. I also developed a potential strategy to use extra income to benefit their church and secure a nice tax deduction. No doubt about it—work had become optional, and they could retire with confidence. Craig and JoAnne spent a lot of time talking about what mattered most to them. At the end of the planning, they smiled at each other and made a decision that left them both happy. JoAnne would retire, and start taking her pension. She would happily spend time with their children and grandchildren, and helping out around the farm. But Craig was going to keep actively farming—not because he had to, but because he loved to. Craig’s heart was on the farm. Their legacy was their land. And he wanted to spend as many years as he could nurturing the crops, tending the farm, and creating a lasting impact on his family farm for generations to come.
Knowing the right time to retire can be tricky. There are a lot of things to consider. In this episode Mary Sterk sheds light on the core components that you will want to address before pulling the retirement trigger. She will discuss emotional readiness, health related issues, financial factors, risk management and legacy planning.