Farm families face unique issues concerning retirement and succession planning (who will get and/or run the farm when the farmer is no longer farming). Farming involves so much planning, implementing and evaluating of farming methods that sometimes farmers overlook the retirement and succession planning part of the job. But farmers shouldn’t overlook this important aspect of farm life. Farm assets such as land, equipment, and livestock will need to be considered in the event the farmer retires or dies unexpectedly. The first step to building a succession plan is to communicate with family members about the process. Sometimes this step is the hardest. Farmers should set up a family meeting to discuss retirement plans and succession plans. Here are a few questions from the Farm Journal Legacy Project to get the conversation with your family started:
- Are you interested in participating in the family operation? If so, in what capacity?
- Are you prepared to assume that role/responsibility? If no, what will it take to prepare for that role/responsibility?
- Should family members not active in the operation attain/retain an ownership interest in the operation? If no, how should family assets be distributed?
- If you want to be included in the operation, are you willing to personally invest in an ownership interest?
- What is your biggest question, or unanswered concern, regarding our succession intentions?
The University of Florida IFAS Northwest Extension District is offering new personal finance educational programs to farmers this year. These programs are part of a new initiative called AgSave$. Farmers and anyone in the agriculture industry is invited to our kick-off event, AgSave$ Summit on February 23, 2015 from 9am-1pm in Marianna, Florida with satellite sites in Jay, Florida and Monticello, Florida. This event will focus on retirement planning and succession planning. Lunch is provided free of charge, thanks to our generous sponsors, Farm Credit of Northwest Florida. Register at: bit.ly/AgSavesSummit
The next program to be offered is our AgSave$ Workshop Series starting March 24, 2015. This will be a series of workshops focusing on securing your farms financial future. The cost of this series is $55 and will include a Farm Journal Legacy Project Workbook to help walk your family through the succession planning process.