If you do not have a spouse, simply continue on to the first topic below.
It’s time to start, or continue, the discussion about retirement and the future of the farm with your spouse. The farm is important to both of you and it’s been a huge part of your lives. So thinking about a future beyond the day-to-day operations is an important conversation. The farm’s transfer to your successor, and the way that impacts the rest of the family, is also an important conversation. Each spouse brings a different perspective and set of relationship skills. You’re going to need all the communication skills and support you can get.
The conversation with your spouse doesn’t need to be difficult or unnatural. After all, you’ve been building your life together so far. This is just a talk about what’s next.
Here are some topics you should think about together:
- What kind of retirement would make us happy?
- If we’re not farming, how will we spend our time?
- Did we want to retire close by or venture farther where the family can visit and relax?
- What will life be like without the farm? What will we miss? What will we be happy to never do again?
- What worries me most about life after the farm? What is most exciting for me?
Brush up on succession planning first
If you do not have a spouse, skip this assignment and mark it complete on your worksheet.
You’ll want to chat with your spouse about what’s involved in succession planning and what to expect (apart from deciding what you want your retirement to look like). Why not brush up on the topic before your conversation? Read a couple of articles about other farming families who’ve gone through succession planning already. Borrowing someone else’s perspective doesn’t hurt. You might even want to share those articles with your spouse so you both can benefit.
Have a look at our library of succession planning stories and videos now, in the Resources and Success Stories page in Step 1.
I'm ready to have an in-depth conversation with my spouse about our retirement.
My spouse and I have talked and we’ve recorded our plans and thoughts on succession planning and our retirement lifestyle. Mark this section complete on your worksheet and continue on.