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Retire on Productive Farmland

Many people nearing retirement are worried about having a sufficient post-retirement income. The stock market for over a decade for many hasn’t appreciated investment assets sufficiently to generate enough income for retirement—and it may not anytime soon. Retirees are concerned that the social security system may not guarantee a sufficient check in the mail. Many corporate, union and government pension plans are under-funded. The planned sale of a home to help fund retirement has been interrupted by the current real estate downturn. And extending a career or securing a part-time retirement job may not be a preferred option for many seniors.

What to do? Many soon-to-be retirees are exploring the retirement income potential, and risks, of productive farmland. (There is a risk of loss of some or all funds when investing in farmland which may not be appropriate for all investors.) So what is productive farmland? Productive farmland is land with soil that can grow or sustain the many “essentials” of life. This includes grains, fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers, timber, cattle, goats, sheep, fish and poultry. And don’t forget about farmland that contains reservoirs of water. In fact, we tend to take for granted how farmland and the people who cultivate it are essential to providing us with most of the necessary staples that make our very lives viable.

Some retirees are discovering that owning farmland and establishing it with a productive capability can supplement retirement income. Income can be gained either passively—leasing owned farmland to a farmer or agri-business, or for more active retirees, actually “working the land”—growing and selling a choice of many naturally grown products or resources. There are many ideas and ways to make farmland productive that can suit the interests, needs and capabilities of retirees. Many people start this endeavor prior to retirement to test this concept and to begin to develop supplemental income prior to retiring.

Living on farmland gives many retirees a sense of a healthy and “sustainable” life style. And of course, “Grandpa and Grandma’s farm” provides a wonderful environment for the grandkids to visit and to learn about and experience nature and farming.

 (The writer of this article, Tom Fyler, is President of Commodities & Securities, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor, and Principal of a Registered Commodity Trading Advisor, “Wadsworth T. Fyler, Jr.” For more information, readers may view or email

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as containing or providing specific investment or financial advice. Readers should be aware that there is a risk of loss of some or all funds when investing in farmland, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, real estate, commodities, and/or currencies any of which may not be appropriate for all investors. This article may contain statements or forward-looking propositions that should be understood as the opinion, belief or preference of the writer.

Disclosure: No Stocks Cited.