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
Less government intrusion
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.