Broker Check

Downsizing for Retirement

Downsizing for Retirement

| July 28, 2020

A rancher and his wife were looking to sell the family ranch. It was time to get out of ranching and start enjoying life a little. They had plans to travel, follow good weather and spend time with the grandkids. They also had another idea—downsize their place to a thousand acres. After all, what would they do with all their free-time if they didn’t have something to take care of?

The prospect of retirement seems almost unconceivable. Whether it’s ranching or running a business, it is part of your life seven days a week. The thought of going from seven days a week to nothing is, well, scary. The fear of retiring “to nothing” is very real. 

We will address that fear in just a second. For now, let’s talk about the plan to “downsize.” It doesn’t matter whether you have 100 cows or 1,000 cows, there are daily obligations. You may ask yourself, ‘What else would I do?’ So, this becomes the reason you do it. The reality is that life won’t be much different than before you sold the ranch. Trust us. We have seen it time and time again.

Three things happen if you just attempt to replace time:

First, you actually waste your time. Retirement isn’t really purposeful. Is that what you were really planning to do?

Second, you waste your dollars. Over and over again, we have seen people retire and “downsize” only to change their minds five years down the road. That might be fine… except for the cost it took to support their initial decision—financial, physical or otherwise.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, most ranchers don’t die on the ranch, but their health does. What toll would it take on your health if you lost your ranch hands for a summer? If you can’t take care of it, then who will? What if that “who” doesn’t work out? Most people think about leasing. What if you lose your leasee? What if you don’t, but the leasee doesn’t take care of things? Who will take care of things?

Almost every retiree we work with says, “Where did I find the time? I am busier in retirement than I could have ever imagined. How did I do all of this before I retired?”

The most successful retirees are those that actually retire. They stay retired successfully because they have a plan. Not just a plan for their dollars - a plan for their life. They retire “to” something… something different from their past life. And their dollars just support it.

Please don’t misunderstand – we want you to Live your Life on purpose! If you want to be on a ranch, be on a ranch. But if you are just replacing time, we urge you to think again. And if you are pausing to think from another perspective, we have some tools to help you with that. Give us a call.