Friday, January 9, 2015

retirement on a ranch?

i don't plan to own a ranch, but i'm happy to visit one
about a year ago, my boss announced he was about to retire.  he worked his 30+ years in corporate america; sitting at a desk day after day.  he was and is very wealthy, but as far as i know, has no "heirs" or children.

as his retirement day approached, he shared his plans.  the central pillar of his retirement was his ranch.  he bought several acres of rural land and planned to build a mansion on it.  when i saw his architect's rendering for the first time, i was amazed and in awe.  it truly was a beautiful and extremely large mansion.  i estimate the mansion was at least three times the size of his previous home; and the acreage of the ranch must have been ten times or more the area of his suburban footprint.

he went through with his plans.  i received an email from him this week which included a picture of the mansion.  it should be completed in another six months as only the walls are up now.

he has plans to raise chickens, to farm part of the land and to raise and maintain an orchard.  i don't think he grew up on a farm, but apparently he is enamored with the idea of ranch living.

to this day, i still can't fully grasp how he and his wife, who are in their 60s (or at least approaching 60), plan to maintain all that land and mansion.  my father grew up on a farm.  my cousins owned hundreds of acres of farmland and i often worked with them on the farm.  and i can tell you from my father's experience and from my cousin's experience that once you do manual labor for any amount of years, you come to the conclusion that it is better to work with your brain than with your hands.

now, i am not against ranch or farm work or any other kind of manual labor.  many people derive a lot of happiness and satisfaction from manual labor.  but by and large, my experience has been that it is a very demanding life and in many cases fatal.  i lost an uncle and three cousins to farm work; not to mention the fingers and other appendages lost from tractors, equipment and accidents.

my retirement plan has a few requirements, which, i believe, are sustainable and focused.  my wife and i want to live near our children; or at least live near a travel hub that will quickly get us to our children (and grandchildren).  there are no plans to have a large retirement home.  if ever we receive visitors, there will be ample hotels near by.  and where we live should be within driving distance of a nice golf course or two.

manual labor is simply not in the cards for my retirement.

picture source: unique homes

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