Do you have the cash flow to invest off-farm? Based on how you and the farm owner have planned the transition of the farm, can you afford to start setting a bit of money aside for investing?
What about your spouse’s income? If your spouse has an off-farm job with a pension, how much can it contribute to your retirement cash flow?
What are the rates of return available and/or likely? If you do have some money available for investing, should you be re-investing it in the farm rather than outside investments? You’ll have to do some financial projections (probably with the help of your accountant) to get a sense of what you can expect from the farm. Your financial advisor can help you determine if it’s smarter to pay down some expensive debt in the short-term.
What type of off-farm investments suit your circumstances? You can choose from a number of investment options like registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), registered education savings plans (RESPs), money markets, mutual funds, bonds, stocks and real estate. There are tax implications for each.
What’s your time horizon? This depends on when you’d like to retire and transfer the farm to your own successor. It’s not too early to start thinking about it. If your retirement dream is to live at the beach, teach young farmers in a developing nation or laze around the front porch of the farm house watching your own children work the family farm, they’ll be simple to achieve if you start now.
I’m ready to evaluate my off-farm financial options.