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Author Topic: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?  (Read 518 times)

Backinwellies

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  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« on: April 23, 2022, 07:44:44 am »
Hi All

Living the dream here now for 10 years....  30 acres  a few cattle, sheep, goats and poultry.  We both work PT jobs to keep this going (no it never has or ever will pay for itself.... but we eat the best meat and veg ever!)

Both now reached the 60 mark with increasing joint issues (age sucks!) 

We both want to travel more (though the small holding has not stopped us .... we find willing friends to step in)  before we are 'too old'

When and how to 'give up' this life?   Neither of us is really ready for that yet ... but lugging bales and water buckets for the 6 month winters we get is no longer fun!

Any thoughts anyone
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
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Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2022, 08:19:45 am »
Downsize a little? Fewer of everything will (in theory) give you more time to do other things, makes management less of a chore and more of a pleasure, and not so much for other people to do when you are away. And you still get to enjoy the lifestyle. Don't give it up just yet, I think you would regret it. 60 is still young :)

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2022, 08:52:09 am »
You should swap your place for mine  ;D
I have a 3 bed detached house south facing rear garden ( am I selling it to you ha ha ) I will do a straight swap !
   Jokes aside cant you cut down on your numbers and maybe get some one to help you for a bit of cash in had ?

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2022, 09:03:52 am »
I've discovered that when you stop working you very quickly go downhill and it takes ages and a lot of effort to get back into it. The layoff in Winter means that the Spring start is slow and difficult. I can understand though that lugging bails and water about in Winter is a bit too much. I agree with Richmond, downsize your livestock in degrees, but keep moving.


As to travel? Personally, I have no inclination to leave here because the thought of crowds and potential infection now bothers me. Friends went for a weekend in Provence, only to come back with severe colds that laid them up for two weeks.


60 is still 'young' and 7 years from the pitiful UK state pension. If you have to rely on that you won't be travelling anywhere. So perhaps get your travelling done before?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2022, 01:36:44 pm »
At 55 my husband became extremely ill; 4 days after my 60th birthday I became long term ill; we managed to carry on and the smallholding was our physiotherapy  ;D  (I'm still rubbish, but husband does amazingly well) 
We have decided now at 70 that it's time to cut back, so no more lambing after this year (and it's going rather horribly, just to make sure we don't change our minds  ::) ).  We shall keep a few pet sheep until they die, we'll keep our hens until they're down to 3 and we shall concentrate on trees. Oh, there's the 4 geese and they last for years, not sure what to do about them. We shall also continue to grow our own food and live off the meat in the freezer until it runs out.
We are trying to make everything simpler. In fact I have been trying to do that since we moved here over 1/4 of a century ago - making sure we had the machinery we need while we were still working for gain, trying to simplify our veg growing methods, teaching our sheep to be manageable and so on.


You have quite a big place @Backinwellies  with a lot of hard work. I have always baulked at the idea of cattle, for example.  The reason I wrote the bit above is to point out that you can't rely on your health, so you should enjoy yourself now while you can, and if world travel is your thing (fortunately it's not mine) then do it now. Cut out the cattle, cut down the sheep and don't lamb for a year, assess the goats and poultry, do your travel thing for a few years, maybe let out some of your land for a few years, then when you're all travelled out you will still have your land to retire to. So have fun now, then relax later.  if you decide you love the animals too much you can always get more when you get back  :idea: :coat:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Backinwellies

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Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2022, 03:25:35 pm »
Fleecewife .... thank you ....   yes you never know when things can get difficult .... health is not a given!   and yes 30 acres still has to be managed with less animals .... we have spent many many hours improving some areas and making others better for wildlife ... no way would we want to watch all that go backwards.

vfr400boy  thanks for the offer but we face SW and have an amazing view over Cothi valley from our first floor sun room ...  so maybe not a straight swap  :roflanim: :roflanim:

keep discussion going everyone....
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2022, 03:40:40 pm »
Downsize a little? Fewer of everything will (in theory) give you more time to do other things, makes management less of a chore and more of a pleasure, and not so much for other people to do when you are away. And you still get to enjoy the lifestyle. Don't give it up just yet, I think you would regret it. 60 is still young :)

My experience is that, when you're talking small numbers to start with, fewer of everything is not as much less work as you think it will be.  It's the number of species more than the number of feet...  There are many jobs you have to do whether you have 4 sheep or 40, 2 cows or 20, and so on.  Of course things like shearing are less work with fewer sheep, but the "big jobs" days are relatively few and far between.  Most days it's the routine jobs, and a lot of that is per species, per field, etc. 

Yes, stopping breeding completely of course reduces the work enormously, but lambing 6 is actually disproportionately tiring (and ridiculously tying), unending checks to see mostly nothing happening!  lol.  I'd much rather be lambing 60... :/ 

So my 2p-worth is (1) consider stopping breeding, milking, other activities that are or cause work completely, along with (2) consider reducing the number of species and different types of management.

For others in the same boat, there are also issues such as the amount of intervention your chosen breed requires...  I now use only a (polled) Shetland tup and if I had no other drivers, would probably just have pure Shetland sheep, selected for good feet, natural fly strike resistance, hands free lambings, hands free mothering from the very first lamb, etc etc.  We have Northern Dairy Shorthorn x Jersey cows, who are thrifty and hardy, nothing like as productive as pure Jerseys but therefore much easier to care for.  (Although one is too good a doer, so we are having to manage her intake to keep the weight off her...)   We buy in weaners each spring, no longer breed our own pigs, and so on.

Of course then you have to think how to manage the same number of acres with fewer mouths, and those headaches don't reduce... :/ 

Best of luck, and let us know what you decide and how you get on! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2022, 04:33:05 pm »
I retired the day I turned 60! My boss wanted me to stay on but the office was moved so I'd have had an hour and a half commute instead of 40 minutes

My main reason was to make sure I got as much out of the government as I could because both my lovely husbands died far too early and never collected an iota of their pensions despite having paid in all their working lives.

So in the intervening 18 years, I have NOT gone downhill, @chrismahon 🤣. However, the reason is probably because I kept my hens and ducks, and my working Gundogs, as well as finding new hobbies, and keeping my accountancy hand in by doing friends' annual accounts and tax returns.

I think the secret is to take the pension when it comes your way, keep up or find new hobbies, and scale down so that you don't have a lot of heavy work without becoming total couch potatoes.
Good luck whatever you decide 👏👏
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2022, 06:54:15 pm »
Lucky you were able to retire at 60 @doganjo . I feel robbed having to wait until 67 because when I started to pay in at 18 it was 65, so that was the contract I signed in to- or so I thought.


Yes, the key is to keep moving and to do that you need a reason, because it is all to easy to say forget that and have an easy moment or two. But that puts you on a slope you perhaps won't want to be on?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2022, 07:03:22 pm »
Lucky you were able to retire at 60 @doganjo . I feel robbed having to wait until 67 because when I started to pay in at 18 it was 65, so that was the contract I signed in to- or so I thought.


Yes, the key is to keep moving and to do that you need a reason, because it is all to easy to say forget that and have an easy moment or two. But that puts you on a slope you perhaps won't want to be on?

.....or perhaps life's just a bastard and gets you anyway no matter how fit you stay :thinking:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2022, 02:32:40 pm »
This struck a chord because we'e thinking along the same lines. I'm 60 in July and get my works pension; Dan's 7 years younger than me but would like to do less client work (webdevelopment) and more smallholding. I was diagnosed with polymyalgia 15 years ago and flare ups can be painful and unpredictable.
We're selling all the sheep over the summer. I find the sheep far more work than the cattle and lamb is much harder to sell here.

I'm scunnered with bird flu, so our 70 hens will go by natural wastage and I'll keep a few for our own egg supply. We'll continue to fatten a couple of weaners and a batch of meat birds forour own use.
We have one Shetland cow, three heifers and a bull plus two steers; the four girls are going to the bull in July to calve May 2023. The two steers are going in the freezer - well, a number of freezers - in October. I might sell all with calves at foot; we certainly won't fatten any more. Any bull calves will be sold as stores. I love the cattle so we'll see how we go next year.
We're not really ready to sell up. We'd like to spend some time on our garden, which has always been far down the priority list. We're tied by the fact that Dan's folks live here too and I have a 25 year old pony, that I'd never put into livery again so as long as he's here,so are we.
If we do sell the cows next summer, our friend and vet breeds Bluefaced Leicesters and he'd use the grass.
When we bought this place it was a coup because the folk who had it held on too long and couldn't maintain it themselves or afford someone to do it for them. I'd rather be more proactive than that.
 

Backinwellies

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Re: Retire? sell up and move, down size, carry on, any thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2022, 07:54:37 am »
Rosemary .......   thank you ......  it is such a difficult time ..... yes sheep are much more work than cows (and easier to find homes for).   
 As for cattle I too am struggling .... in last 4 years I've sold two lots who went to what seemed initially to be ideal homes  only to find within the year they had been slaughtered or sold on!  :rant:  Not what I want for my related Shetlands.   

I too have seen others continue too long (the couple we bought from were about 70 .... he died a month after they moved out!) . 

The pondering continues  :thinking:
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

 

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