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Plan for self sufficient into amazing retirement plan?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Carla D, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Feb 12, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D Lovin' The Homestead

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    I have been doing a lot of heavy thinking about the financial security in the future. I’m not a doom and gloom seeking or thinking person. No do I read and watch financial media. Just not something I understand very well. I have made several observations and mental notes of on the economics of the US, particularly the upper Midwest. I’m not a psychic or an expert. But I feel really tough times approaching. As a country, region, community, or family. I’m not sure. All I know is we will likely be devastated in the event my husband loses his job, I lose my SSDI, a family crisis, or any number of things happen.

    I have had vague ideas in the past of how I’d like to live when I’m older and into my retirement. I’ve always assumed we will be in deep doo doo. But over the course of the last two weeks plans, details, opportunities seem to be starting to take shape.

    The plan is creating a small farm. Nothing huge, but bigger than a couple of these and a couple of that. My husband and I have been raising pigs for nearly two years and dabbling into other animals. We are renting a very small chunk of space from my sister in law. The problem is we are at seam busting size for the space. We also want to raise a few different species of animals.

    Our plan, well my plan is to produce quality meats, foods to provide a selection of healthy options for my family and reduce my reliance on the local grocery store. Raise healthy livestock that we will eventually be able to feed and care for from our own production of supplies, feed, hay, nutrition. The primary goal of making self sustaining with proper planning and management.

    But, I also have two other objectives. Maintain a modest lifestyle yet being able to care for ourselves, family, and/or aging parents should the need to arise. I was going to try selling goods using the produce grown and livestock raised and processed on our own farm in order to do this. Being anything from goat milk products, leather accessories from the hides tanned on our farm, baked goods, canned goods, etc.

    My last objective was to find joy, fulfillment, and personal growth in our older years. I’ve been disabled for nearly ten years now. The biggest thing I struggle with is feeling productive, mentally stimulated, and sense of pride. I have found that only in the last two years while helping my husband on the farm by doing daily chores, treating our animals in a loving, nurturing, respectful way, much like people do with their pets. My favorite part of my duties is helping and treating our animals when they have special needs. Things like midwife to our pigs, hand raising small, weak, or orphaned animals, to managing their veterinarian needs. I feel that this kind of satisfaction and purpose is going to be a necessity to both my husband and myself during our golden years.

    In the later years do creative and fun things with ourfarm and passion. Creating a small local family destination with ice cream socials, milk and cookie gatherings, falltime events and activities. Create a fun learning environment for the young ones in our family, classroom learning experiences for the local schools. Even create habitats for special wildlife such as honey bees, butterflies, wildflowers, certain bug or small animal not excluding amphibians. Keeping busy, love what we’re doing, doing what we love.

    I want to keep things on a smaller scale. I’m not talking commercial or huge. Maybe I’m dreaming big. But, has anyone else found means of security by doing something you really loved and had fun to the end?
     
  2. Feb 12, 2019
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    First of, let me say I love your ideas! I have done some farming for profits when I lived in South Africa, only on a small scale. With 3 (human) mouths to feed and bills to pay, coupled with the ridiculous costs of absolutely everything in S.A. and losses to theft, we didn't make enough to keep us afloat, but we did o.k. I kept a lot of chickens and sold eggs, I raised and butchered pigs and sold meat, I grew vegetables for home use and some for animal feed. It's a wonderful way to earn money, if you can balance out the cost of feed, etc and income generated. For me it was as much a hobby as a business, as I kept things to a small scale. I had at most about 100 chickens and 8 pigs at a time.
     
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  3. Feb 12, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D Lovin' The Homestead

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    I’ve often though I grew up in the wrong time period. I kind of have a settlers mentality. Grow what you need. Need what you grow. Don’t waste anything. Prepare ahead for a season or two. Live frugally.

    I highly doubt that we will ever go back to the barter system. But when times are super tough it’s a good idea to have things you can trade or sell for much needed supplies.

    The price for everyday staples has become completely outrageous. Milk, flour, bread, eggs, cheese, fresh vegetables and fruit prices keep climbing. Farms are going out of business because they can’t make ends meet due to what creameries and processing plants are willing to pay for their milk. Farms are being bought and sold to developers. Large acreage of land is going to disappear. Acreage for grains, feed, hay will shrivel up and the prices for flours, pasta, and grain products will skyrocket. The only way people are going to survive is by producing goods for their own use. And in order to do that people are going to need to use self sustaining means.

    Am I exaggerating the scenario of our future? Resources are being wasted, used frivolously, and replaced when they no longer work or look like brand new. The health of our planet is going down the tubes. This will likely be 100’s if not 1000’s years down the road. But, Humans are headed down the road to extinction if our ways of life don’t change. What other result could ultimately happen if our resources are depleted to the point of nonexistence? Test tubes can only create so much. They can create nearly identical plants, animals, tissues. But, they will never be as good, valuable, or quality as the original, organic, natural thing.
     
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  4. Feb 12, 2019
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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    Research your market, very important. A lot of people have great ideas but fail because their market couldn't sustain whatever product they have. I've given up making much money on my animals because the market is saturated. Only ways for me to make money would be to have something different or undercut people (which I'm ok with), but even then it's hard here.
     
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  5. Feb 12, 2019
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    My issue would be direct marketing. I just don't like dealing with the public....Call me an old grouch, lol. But, I still do it on occasion - like when selling goats.

    I've hatched chicks before and sold them as day (or 2) olds...that went pretty well. If you sell them young before you get much feed into them they're almost all profit except for the electricity to run the incubator and the brooder for a couple of days. I need to separate some of my breeds and try that again.
     
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  6. Feb 12, 2019
    NH Homesteader

    NH Homesteader Super Self-Sufficient

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    That too! I have that problem. Our plan is to try to sell some AGH sausage (talk up that heritage breed!) and eventually lamb. And maybe soap.... none of which will make us rich but can help. We hope.
     
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  7. Feb 12, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D Lovin' The Homestead

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    This is really good advice. Even if I get to a point where I want to or need to donate things I should at least know the type of things people need or would use. It’s wasteful the create or produce things that will never get used and ultimately end up in a landfill.
     
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  8. Feb 12, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D Lovin' The Homestead

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    I hadn’t even thought about selling chicks. I had planned on letting a broody hen hatch some when it is time for new birds. It may be well worth my time to look into incubators and brooder, and what ever else I may need to do something like that. Look into sex link(?) breeds. But it may be less involved to sell as straight runs. But, I really should know how to determine the sex of a chick if I want to broaden my target market. I can see people wanting strictly females or a single rooster. They may even want a particular sex as a pet or show bird. Thank you for that idea.
     
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  9. Feb 12, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D Lovin' The Homestead

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    Exactly. My ultimate goal is to be able to support and meat the needs of my family in times of hardship. And to provide mental stimulation, personal satisfaction, and enjoyment for the remainder of our years or after my husband retires. I could honestly care less about making any profit. But earning enough income to sustain these activities is a must. Otherwise we really only need 2-4 pigs and goats, 1-2 cows, 10-20 chickens, and a dozen rabbits. Whatever amount we would need to fill or freezer, provide eggs, and milk for our family. That could be done on ½-1 acre of land. But then we would be missing the satisfaction, stimulation, and enjoyment down the road. Hmm...

    I guess there is always the option to raise and produce meat, eggs, milk, etc. for our entire family. Meaning parents, siblings, nieces/nephews, grandchildren. But then there is the hassle of trying to get nominal money from people who think you should generously GIVE to them because they are family. I bet that would be the quickest way to lose the farm.
     
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  10. Feb 13, 2019 at 5:24 AM
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    I've read that having multiple streams of income is a good idea- so that if one dries up, you aren't left up the creek. I would think a combination of basic product (meat, eggs, produce etc) and value-added product (leather, wool, chicks, pickles and other canned goods) and maybe some other things like hand-spun yarn, or wooden furniture, or clothing, or soap and candles.

    Barter is NOT dead; it's just laying low. My DH's family had an arrangement with a neighbor that was a beautician-- she came by once a month and cut everyone's hair (there were seven of them in all) and in exchange they raised a pig for her each year. The only money involved was that she paid for the cut and wrap of the meat since an outside butcher was used. I had a casual friend that let me stay in her time-share in the mountains (lakeshore property!) for a week and in exchange I did a spring-cleaning on the cabin (It only took 3 of the 7 days, so the other 4 were vacation)
     

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