Posted 3/28/2021 11:17 (#8920866 - in reply to #8920696) Subject: RE: advice on retirement
Sounds like me twenty years ago. I wanted to spend less time on the farm. My younger brother wanted to keep farming. So, my wife and I bought a place out here in the Black Hills. This is the country where she was born and raised, and her mother was getting older and she wanted to be closer to her and help her more.
First, your brother needs to accept that you strongly wish to - more and more - get away from the day to day operation of the farm. But, he needs to know that you want to make it possible for him to continue farming. Remember, time is not on the side of everything continuing to go as it has been going, and neither of you can fight time. My wife and I would at first be there for the busy times of the year - planting and harvest - including the preparation time. After a few years, when cattle feeding looked to have a LOT more risk than potential reward, we quit feeding and concentrated on the farming. When I finally decided to retire, we brought someone in to the operation. We chose a young man who we knew was honest and extremely hard-working. He and his dad had an operation, but for the son to continue, more land was needed. I can't emphasize enough the importance of choosing the right person, if you go this route. It also must be some one your brother can work with and get along with. But, again, most important, it must be someone you and your brother can trust. And, of course, that person has to feel that he can trust you and your brother. Today, we might go back this spring, but we probably don't have to. It still works out that I am there to help with the fall harvest - especially running the combine. But, they get all of the machinery ready to go ahead of time, so while I do cut short (a bit, at least) my steelhead fishing in BC, it works for both of us.
Thoughts - could I make more money if both my brother and I retired and rented out the land? Sure. But that, by far, is not the most important thing for me. My brother gets to do what he wants to do, we might have made it possible for a really good young man to do what he really wants to do, and my wife and I get to (pretty much) do what we want to do.
Now, just because it is working out pretty well for us, I don't pretend to assume that it will be a solution for anyone else. I simply wanted to relate to you how we solved this very similar problem.