Forty Acres And A John Deere Tractor, The Story Continues by Bill Roberts

Services for Real Estate Pros with Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate DRE 00527512

The Journey Begins

 It has been an uphill battle convincing my wife that we need a farm but the time has finally come for us to start looking.

In a couple of weeks we will be going to Nashville to start our search.

I see Nashville as the center of growth for our country for the foreseeable future. They offer everything that Americans want:

            Reasonably priced land

                Low taxes

            Less government intrusion


            Neighborly people

                Country music

I’m sure there are more reasons to pick Tennessee for our farm, but this is a good start.

A 40 acre farm can sell for less than we have to pay for a buildable lot in San Diego. I doubt that this will continue much longer.

Now Is The Time

They say you must strike will the iron is hot. I don’t think it will get any hotter.

So, we are off to Nashville. We will venture out from there in our search.

Of course, we want it all. We want good farm land, trees, water, and accessibility.

A nice house would be a welcome “extra.” Even a run-down 100 year old farmhouse would still be a plus. But it is the land that is most important.

My theme "forty acres and a John Deere Tractor" is based on the “idea” from the post civil war south where the freed slaves were “promised” forty acres and a mule to guarantee their financial well-being.

I think that Baby Boomers today need that same guarantee of financial well-being. We know that “retirement” is virtually impossible for 90% of the post-WWII generation. Our parents had a chance, but we have none.

Gone are the Defined Benefit Retirement Plans that our parents enjoyed. They could work for a company for forty years and then retire comfortably. But during the 60s and 70s there was extreme merger activity within the corporate world. Many of the Conglomerates created at that time were financed by “leveraged buy-outs.” In order to re-pay these loans, they raided the pension plans leaving retirees with nothing. It was a disgrace, but more importantly it left Baby Boomers with nothing to hold on to. We were screwed.

Congress stepped into middle of this mess. They established Defined Contribution Plans. Most of us know of these as 401 (k)s. But 401(k)s haven’t adequately replaced the old retirement plans. To provide enough money for a Boomer to retire the plan would need a balance upwards of $1,000,000.00 BUT about 90% of these plans have a balance of $100,000.00 OR LESS. That is only 10% of what you will need to retire comfortably.

So the problem is quite simple: we need to find something to replace the other 90%.

The small farm/homestead could go a long way to providing financial security during our golden years. A place to live (and grow old) along with food production can reduce our cash needs and give us a sense of security.

Forty acres and a John Deere Tractor is also a clarion call for Millennials that feel that they don’t have a future. Here they can be the master of their own fate. They can make their farm into whatever they want. They can improve the quality of the food supply, they can contribute to reducing the carbon in the atmosphere by building soil quality, and they can “guarantee” their own future.

Being a Native Californian it grieves me to leave the Golden State, but California isn’t what it used to be. The government of the state is out of control. It is a disaster. “It is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

So, Tennessee, HERE WE COME.

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Please comment. All comments are greatly appreciated.

Bill Roberts


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Comments (16)

Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We wish you a great trip and success at finding your perfect place in Nashville.  California may be fraught with problems, and we feel that eventually the pendulum will right itself.  

Happy Trails!

Aug 26, 2019 08:33 AM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Alexandra, God, I hope so. My Great-great-grand-parents came to San Diego in the 1880s. Sure, there were people here before them, but not very many. I love California. But it looks like Tennessee is in my immediate future.

But we will be back.


Bill Roberts

Aug 26, 2019 08:48 AM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Thanks Corinne Guest Being a Westerner, I can understand the attraction of WY, but my wife would never go for that much snow. I wish you well.

One of the vlogs I follow on youtube is Our Wyoming Life. You might likje it too.

Bill Roberts

Aug 26, 2019 09:12 AM
Corinne Guest

We love the snow and are OK with the wind. Yes, we watch Mike at Our Wyoming Life! Living the dream!

Aug 26, 2019 10:06 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Bill... I'll be looking forward to hearing your adventures of "farm hunting" in Tennessee!

Aug 26, 2019 09:31 AM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Oh, believe me, you will. ?Thanks Nina Hollander for always "being there."

Bill Roberts

Aug 26, 2019 10:19 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

That is some adventure you have in store for you !

Aug 26, 2019 11:25 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill - here's to a wonderful adventure ahead.  I am also a native California but moved away for a few years before returning.  Best of luck.  

Aug 26, 2019 12:24 PM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Yes Sally K. & David L. Hanson It will be an adventure. And it should be fun.

Thank you.

Bill Roberts

Aug 26, 2019 04:43 PM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Michael Jacobs As I have mentioned to you before, I was born in Pasadena (actually Altadena).

Thank you for your wishes.

Bill Roberts

Aug 26, 2019 04:45 PM
Michael Jacobs

Bill--Anecdotelly I believe many Altadenans like knowing they are separate from Pasadena 

Aug 26, 2019 05:35 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Bill- what an exciting adventure you're going on and I wish you the very best of luck. I think I mentioned to you before that our good friends moved to Monterey, TN about 40 minutes east of Nashville and love it. They're on about 10 acres. They chose TN because they're both retired and felt the cost of living, etc would be better for them. 

Aug 26, 2019 07:54 PM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Yes Kathy Streib I remember. My only concern is that my wife likes it. Do you think that your friends would entertain a visit from us? I'm sure my wife could use some positive talk from somebody other than me.

Thanks for everything.

Bill Roberts

Aug 27, 2019 06:41 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I look forward to hearing all about this journey of yours and I think you will really like living in Tennessee!  I always love visiting Tennessee, although I don't get to visit as often as I would like.

Aug 27, 2019 07:25 AM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Well Brian England Right now it is only a visit, but if I can "sell" my wife on it we will move there. Stay tuned.

Bill Roberts

Aug 27, 2019 08:22 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Bill I have been to Nashville many time, but don't think of the Nashville area as farming country.  I would think Cookville or Baxter would be a little more suitable for that. 

You might be ready for Nashville but I am not sure Nashville is ready for you ..... LOL

Aug 27, 2019 03:18 PM
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Thanks George Souto Nashville is only our center of operations. We will be looking 40-100 miles out. But my wife needs to be in a civilized hotel during our search.

Bill Roberts

Aug 28, 2019 06:14 AM