Homesteading after retirement

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sros990, Nov 21, 2005.

  1. sros990

    sros990 Member

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    Did any of you take up homesteading full-time after retirement—in your mid or late 50s? What were your biggest obstacles in going from a full-time city job to a full-time homesteader?

    I’m currently a weekend “homesteader.” I have full-time employment in the city, but spend every other weekend working on the property. When I retire in a few years around 59 or so, I plan to spend most or all my time on the property, expand the garden, raise a few chickens, graze 1-2 cows, and manage a small orchard. Will I be taking on too much?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think so, providing you're in decent physical shape shouldn't be a problem. I'm working on getting myself ready for the same thing--everything being built for the time when lifting stooping and such gets a bit harder.I think it is going to be a great way to retire. Use the time you have now to get prepped for it rather than putting it off till then. Now is the time to start getting your buildings put up, the garden broken and worked, fencing strung ect. oh, stock up on the advil also.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I figure you gotta live somewhere, whether retired or not, and you choose whether in town or not if you can. Health is a definite consideration, though even in town many 'homesteading' activities can be done. My old parents in a town with a large double lot garden and can for storing all sort of vegetables and rather a 'pickling' king is my dad. He even kept bees against good judegment. I plan to live past retirement on my property and have tried my best setting up to do that over the years. If you want to do it, you will.
     
  4. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

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    I bought my place about 10 years prior to retiring. While still working, I acquired some ducks and geese, and had a small garden. I consider this a hobby farm.

    Since retiring, I've gained arthritis and lost stamina! I take a lot of breaks, and my supervisors, the geese, don't get fussy about me sitting on a bench when the jobs aren't done yet. It takes longer to get the work done on my never-ending to do list, but usually it doesn't matter. I work at a pace comfortable for me - and love my new "career"!
     
  5. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    It really depends a lot upon your physical condition, and you may not know what that will be until the time comes. I have seen and heard of people in their 80's and upwards still living and working their farms and homesteads. On the other hand, I have known people who retired in their 60's and then had so many health problems that they were unable to enjoy their farm, homestead, country home, or whatever other hobby/lifestyle that had looked forward to retiring to.

    Personally, I'm not taking any chances. I chose to retire in my mid-40's so that I can enjoy certain activities (beekeeping, gardening, etc), while I am still young and physically fit enough to do so. If it turns out that I am still gardening and farming when I am 90, so much the better.
     
  6. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    I retired to our farm also. I really didn't have any problems going from working 40 plus hours a week in the city (and on the road) to here... in fact, I seriously hate to leave our county, (and most of the time, only go as far as the county to the east or the county to the west)...

    My only suggestion would be to put in some kind of drip irrigation system, and start your orchard now. It take 2 - 3 years before first fruit... and we bought our place while I was on my last assignment. So still waiting for our first fruit. If you are there every weekend, you can hand water (I did) the trees. If you don't get a inch of rain, they need 5 gallons of water.

    I do regret it took so long to be able to move. I was 55 when I retired (almost 2 years ago now). We have hair sheep, I use piglets in a pig tractor (4 by 16 luggable pen) to till the garden (and more importantly butcher in late spring), we have 3 Hereford calves to butcher late spring also. We also chickens, ducks, turkeys, guineas, muskovy ducks and geese.

    I agree with bluetick, the geese nor the turkeys say a word when I take a sit. We do supplement grain feed the calves, sheep and pigs and they all complain if I'm not doing chores a hour or so before sunset... the birds don't seem to complain near as much. I totally agree with bluetick that I also love my new "career". I do take my time doing things... it's a pleasure to sit and watch the birds, or talk with the calves etc. (But I will also say I'm working harder here than any time in the last 25 years for the company!)

    Pat
     
  7. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    You are a very fortunate and very small part of the population able to retire at 40. Congratulations.
     
  8. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Homesteading past 60 until I am 100 is my dream. All the more reason to stay in shape and take care of my health. The best way of doing that is probably to do as much homesteading as I can all my life. ;) Lots of woodcrafting and walking in the woods is good also.
     
  9. uyk7

    uyk7 Well-Known Member

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    Retirement? What's that?

    USN Ret.
     
  10. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    LOL

    I am doing it too. I retired at 42.

    I am also one of the few who would know what a UYK-7 is too.

    CP-890a
     
  11. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    And some know that SS refers to sewerpipe sailor.
    ETCS (ret '77)
     
  12. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    LOL

    There are only two kinds of things on the ocean;

    one is submarines,

    the other is targets.

    :sing:
     
  13. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    DH and I are living on our homestead,built our own house and all after we retired from the first career. At 58 and 53 we do move slower as well. Learning to take more frequent breaks is very difficult for me as I was always a hard worker in good shape. Now when a part of my body is painful I grab some tea and sit on the front porch I built while watching the girls (geese, hens etc) examine every square inch of the yard! I never thought I would learn to relax but I am and I am so thankful. We built things the way we thought we might want them when we are "less able".
     
  14. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    Ocean ? What's that ? Here in Kentucky hill country submarines are seldom a problem.
     
  15. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    After two strokes and a major heart attack, I was 'medically retired' to the homestead at age 48 so I know a little bit about this subject.

    The limit of "taking on too much" is a matter of physical condition, determination, and creative thinking. One of the most important things you can do is "Think outside the box".

    Okay, you've probably heard that before.
    But THINK ... make your equipment do the hard work, not your body. That's what it's for!
    Physical limits to lifting weight? Bad back or stamina issues when digging a ditch for a water line? That's what front end loaders and backhoe units on tractors are for.

    Think creatively: Most folks here are familiar with the routine 3-point attachments for tractors, but how many have thought of being able to put a landscape blade, rock rake, or boom pole in place of the front bucket on a loader?
    I not only thought about it, I built an adapter and did it!

    Build your own equipment if you have to. If you don't have the skills, have it built instead.

    By all means, get a subscription to Farm Show magazine.
    Past issues have had things like a riding mower rebuilt so a wheelchair-bound man can get around his farm - and a "tiller trailer" so a man can pull his rototiller behind his garden tractor.
     
  16. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    I am 53. Left a 200K corporate job to move to the sticks. Satellites make remote work possible, so we are not playing "survivor" out here. My siblings think I am nuts, but the wife likes it here, too.

    For most homesteaders economics is the issue. While we are able to dramatically lower our cost of living, the commensurate loss of revenue eventually results in someone "feeling the pinch". The issue of turning the labor into money can be the downfall of those who pursue this life. It is a sad irony that while it is the farm that gives all of us life, those who love farm life cannot get paid a living wage to pursue it.

    However, the spiritual aspects of living out here far out-weigh the economics.
    I now understand many of the things the Buddha said that I could not see before when we made lots of money.

    My advice would be to look at your savings, calculate a 5% withdrawal rate, and decide whether that will sustain what you envision. If not, you will need a "side job" for a while.
     
  17. Idgiethreadgood

    Idgiethreadgood New Member

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    Howdy Steve,

    I have been blessed with not only retiring at 50 this year (March 22nd, to be exact), and have found my future Husband and I have so many of the same dreams of living away from the "City". We will be closing on our new "homestead" December the 1st, and we can hardly wait to see the construction begin. Spanky(my Honey to be) is 54, retired Military Special Forces Group. With that said, He has some physical conditions that could have been detrimental to our decision to go ahead and settle on 73 acres he has had over 10 years. We already know, for both of us, we will have raised gardens and even have a plan to build a greenhouse that will grow veggies year round.

    Our complete dream is to be off Grid within a couple of years. My dad is 76 years old and runs a 50 acre farm with Black Angus, Bahaya(oops spelling) grow naturally so that is another source of income for him. He loves it, oh, for the most part he does everything by himself and he has had 2 hip surgeries, and 3 surgeries on his shoulders.

    Planning is a great portion of finding solutions plus this is a great site for sharing knowledge. We wish you the best in all your endeavors.

    [/QUOTE]"Knowledge is Power"
     
  18. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    Excellent suggestion re Farm Show magazine. I'm not too proud to copy someone else's ingenuity.
     
  19. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, we haven't lived in the city for 30 years and we've homesteaded most of that time too. DH has always had a full time job though. We love what we do here and plan to keep on doing it until we are carried away. We are moving to a bigger more remote place when DH retires in about 3 years. Now we are older we just work smarter and don't have quite so many critters as we did before. We don't need them anyway now the kids are gone. Where we want to live there are no jobs, thats been our reason for staying here so long. If you have retirement income of some kind and you're in decent health, I don't see any reason not to go for it.
     
  20. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    I noticed last spring when we started a new garden spot that after crawling around on the ground planting and weeding, my back hurt like the dickens. I think (hope) that it is just because I am tight and out of shape, and I hope that some good exercise this winter will render me fit for gardening in the spring. But, just in case, I have a backup plan- raised beds. Of course, I had to brainstorm awhile to figure out how to do it on the cheap, seeing as how I'm real frugal and all, but I finally hit upon a plan- old bath tubs! yep, I am going to line up a whole series of tubs, one for each bed, fill 'em with dirt and compost, then garden away without a care in the world for my poor aching back. Of course, we have a pretty large garden now, and plan an even bigger one, so I can tell already that this scheme is going to invlove dozens and dozens of tubs. I have already warned my teenage nephews that some day it will fall to them to come up here and close up the farm after DH and I have kicked the bucket. I told them they should start now trying to figure out how they are going to get rid of all those tubs, lol.