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Farmers: Least Likely to Plan for the Future

The average age of the American farmer continues to rise, now at 57 years old, according to the USDA. A growing share are past retirement age.

Working beyond retirement is a national trend. Farmers over the age of 65 are the fastest growing group of farmers in the country, and statistics tell us over half of aging farmers don’t have a will or an estate plan, according to the Agriculture Census. In 2012, 5% of the U.S. Workforce was able to retire, but 25% of all farm operators were over 65.

Challenges for Farmers

Farmers face similar financial challenges as small business owners—it can be difficult to visualize retirement with confidence. Many farmers work past age 65 because the work is ingrained into their identity.

Farmers must acknowledge feelings about loss of control, identity and mortality. Addressing these concerns and creating a retirement plan with those concerns in mind allow you to focus on the necessary plans and goals.

Farmers should evaluate retirement goals, such as:

  • Can you retire but work at a slower pace?
  • Do you want to stay involved in the operations, transfer to a successor sell or rent as a landlord?
  • Do you want to live close to the farm, or retire elsewhere?
  • What sources of retirement income will you have available?
  • Will you be able to spend less than you will earn in retirement?

How much money will you need for retirement? Some financial advisors suggest saving eight times your pre-retirement income as a safety net. If you are passing the farm to the next generation, a detailed plan can prevent unnecessary taxes and gives other family members peace of mind.

A surprising number of farmers work late into their careers without a retirement plan. Partner with Busey to create a customized retirement approach that fits your needs and goals. To learn how our team can help, call us today at 1.800.67 | Busey.


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