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going green for retirement  RSS feed

 
Posts: 120
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I have used youtube on many of my projects to get ideas look at as many as thay offer and come to your own conclusion on how to actually build it. You may use one componit form from each video and come up with what best suits you I will never sell anything to any body I think that all information should be free source when I do write my book it will be free I don't have videos of me on my youtube account but if you wish to see the the videos I saved my youtube name is iwantosavemoney some of them might help you guys and ladies out and if you are not handy find someone that is and try to trade something out then you both are happy and you might just make a friend that wants the same thing you do so you can work together for a comin goal or you can share the information and have him build it for trade                                                                                                                          

Again sorry for not having alot of time to keep up with all of this thecheapguy
 
gardener
Posts: 1268
Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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We are effectively looking at a forced early retirement for my husband, since he had a major injury almost 5 years ago that has cut short his former livelihood. We are surviving with some help from family and friends, and of course if you've been researching the rocket stoves you know we are already pretty inventive about efficient economics.  And I love wild food when I can make time to get it.
But we are very much looking forward to getting some space of our own, where we can build a nest that takes care of us, and maybe have access to weather that doesn't hurt Ernie quite so much in the stormy season here.

If you want some quotes or proofreading on this book project, please let us know.

Since the topic also makes me nostalgic in a good way, I'd like to share one of my role models for comfortable retirement.

One of my big insights into permaculture came in my grandma's backyard.  
  She and Granpa retired in Oregon after a long and itinerant working life.  They both grew up on midwestern farms during the 1920's and Depression era. So Granpa insisted on keeping up a big garden as long as he could.  (Even though Grandma noticed they weren't actually saving any money, especially if you considered the money that went into the rototiller.  Another good reason for no-till gardening!)
 As Grandpa got older (he was 13 years ahead of Granma), they stopped working the yard.  Grandma was thrilled to escape from canning things that she could buy for pennies at the store.  The yard evolved to an 'easy-care' garden, where the kids and grandkids would come by and do a little pruning or weeding a few times a year.  After Grandpa passed away, Grandma mostly just fed her 'chickens' (wild birds) off the back deck, and enjoyed the view.  

  By the time I came along to help grandma, only the perennials were left.  Apples, plums, filberts, blueberries.  And a number of lovely non-edible trees that Grandma had rescued from various places, like camelia, flowering quince, and several special evergreens.  She had a 50 foot oak that she'd rescued from the lawn mower when it only had one leaf on it as big as it was.  The family had reached a truce with the blackberries: they ramble freely in the back 1/4 of the yard, but anywhere closer to the house they were hunted down without mercy.  And there were a lot of little edible plants in the lawn that I didn't notice at first, and then delighted to discover - sheep sorrel, violets, dandelion of course, not much dock but some plantain and various clovers.  
  We'd take a walk down into the backyard every couple of weeks as her strength allowed.  She was quite happy to let me garden, and if she'd lived longer we were talking about I could maybe build a little cabin for myself there.  (I wish we'd insulated the furnace ducts sooner, then maybe we caregivers could have slept better in the spare room!)

To help look after the place, I took a permie book (Gaia's Garden) and went around the yard, checking the chart in the back to see what functions the plants were already doing.  I thought maybe I could fill in some gaps.  But there weren't any.  After 30 years of benign neglect, every function was covered - usually by at least 3 different plants.  Even the lawn was working hard, with its diverse 'weeds' -  a lot were edible.  Our 'food forest' was mostly for entertainment, I planted a few flowers and some veggies, and we ate seasonal fruits, but mostly Grandma was happy with store-bought foods that were easy to 'cook'.  For a treat we'd get Thai take-out.

I guess I'm saying, don't feel like permaculture retirement has to look a lot different than ordinary retirement.  You don't have to change everything, or have a lot of money, or have day-to-day help.  Granma lived on SS and Grandpa's pension, and she was still putting money in the bank up to her last year.  It wasn't a fancy house but it was paid off, and it sure had a great view.

My in-laws have a more active semi-retirement lifestyle.  They raise chickens and grow farmer's market produce.  They also have SS income but that's about it.  They are frugal and live pretty well.  It's a fair amount of work, but the daily minimum (feed the stock) is very do-able, and gets them out of bed even when they are having a bad health day.  They enjoy it, and it keeps them going in relative comfort.  

Grandma's parents were musicians in the Depression, the dance band practiced at their house, and their town cousin was jealous of all the fun they were having in spite of her prettier clothes.

I'd say by far the best investment is attitude. It lets a person enjoy the challenges of developing a low-cost lifestyle, be contented when it's all puttering along and finally stable, and it also makes you popular enough to recruit some friends or family when you do need some help once in a while.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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I am in the somewhat forced early retirement plan for medical reasons ( premature arthritus even in my hands but knees and elbows are the worst, 3 fused vert upper back, and compression in lower) so I feel qualified to comment on going green as a retirement plan. Let me say that going full green in a short period of time is for the young and healthy. It is a lot and I mean a lot of work involved in going fully green and us old worn down folks can't keep up with the younger ones. That said we are lucky you do not have to go full green to save some money and we are very lucky that doing something over a longer length of time has the same results as spending a days worth of hard labor on it. On our retirement the plan always sell our house and move into the country if for nothing more than get away from it all. We have always thought being close to work was best and while we had an acre we also had the town limits and restrictions. Well when I retired we sold and I bought for cash a forclosed property with house. We have been here 4 years and it has been a lot of work getting this place to where it will even grow things. Turns out the soil I was looking at was only like an inch deep over most of the property (just enough to hold grass and in retrospect I should have dug a few more test holes). Under that was fill and clay some dug out the pond built on this and the neighbors property when the land was divided up for sale. Turns out this property was too low to build on and the pond(s) were dug for fill as well as a few truckloads delivered. The pond is the only redeming thing the previous owner did to this property. It has taken the past 3 years of tilling in a ton (literally I got 1 free ton delivered) of sand and lots of horse stall compost, leaves and grass clipings to get a good sized garden space which this year is finally growing things instead of root binding what you plant or at least mostly growing things it still needs work. To put in the fruit trees and grapevine I had to till to break the dirt (or use a pick and my back would kill me) remove what I loosened and repeat making an oversized hole and then mixing the soil removed with compost backfill the holes and plant. I also set up an aquaponics system for veggies and growing some fish for release later in the big pond as a future source of meals. I still have a long way to go and regardless of whatever 5-7 year plan someone might come up with I would never make that goal because everything since we moved in has been more of a fight than my shape can handle trying to meet a timeline. I have had to look at things as simple as putting in trees and say not this year giving me time to work on preparing to put them in. BTW did I mention my wife still works so she can only help weekends. I applaud anyone for thinking going green is a good way to plan for retirement because it is however you must keep in mind as you get closer to retirement the things you could do when it was 20 years away are going to be harder now that it is 5 years away.
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Working smarter, not harder is also a big consideration for retirement.  As we age, most tasks get harder and harder to do.  As you design and build things, think how you can make chores easier in the future.
The rain gutter and barrel on the chicken coop means you don't need to carry a water bucket out there every morning.  Cutting your firewood on the far side of your property saves the closer trees for later.  Don't wait until you are too old to do these things.  Design and plan now for the future.
Get to know all of your neighbors now.  A few years from now, you may want to "hire" their FFA/4H children to help you with chores that might become beyond your capacity.
FFA/4H aged kids have so much energy and enthusiasm, and you might be surprised if all they want for splitting a cord of firewood might be one of your newly hatched roosters so they can prep him for a show.
Think before it's too late to act.
 
                  
Posts: 114
Location: South Carolina Zone 8
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John I totally overlooked that one good catch. While your neighbor's kids or those in the area might not be FFA/4H they might just split that firewood in trade for fishing your pond or hunting your property (and then they even give ya some meat as well) I am lucky though I currently don't have to go through the trouble of going out and finding younger people to barter with. My daughters are at an age where they introduce me to strong healthy young men who I can "trick" (as the girls call it) into splitting wood and such because I let them hunt and fish at least till the daughters decide that that one is not right and introduce another so for now I have a steady supply of "fresh" labor although I think the oldest daughter may be thinking about making a change from bringing me "fresh" greenhorns to a permanent soon to be well trained worker bwahahahahaha (evil old man laugh).
 
marty reed
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Cheap labor is easy to find it is the skilled labor I have the hardest time finding and try to find skill labor with a work ethic you might be looking for a long time that's why I build most of my stuff my self

The cheap guy
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i feel that sometimes when you are trying to be more self reliant it might mean a change in your diet..

I have gone on a low carb diet for health reasons and have found that there are a LOT more things that I can grow more easily as the higher carb foods are the ones that are the hardest to grow esp on a smaller scale..(grains esp)

I don't need any grains, on the low carb diet or any sugars, corn and potatoes are also high carb and take up more room in the garden.

The lower carb foods that are more the green and yellow vegetables and fruits and berries and nuts are so much easier to do in old age then the larger scale crops.

I have been reverting as much of my land as possible to perennial crops, apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, berries of all kinds, several variety of nut trees, grape and kiwi vines, as many self seeding or perennial vegetables as possible like rhubarb, greens, horseradish, asparagus, multiplying onions, etc.

I also don't pull my plants when they are done in the fall, as many of them will regrow in the spring and give you early new crops.

I also have learned that a lot of the so called weeds that nature plants, are actually MORE nutritious than those that you can plant and grow on your own, and that a lot of the plant parts that generally get thrown out are also edible..there is a good book that you can get from the library that will explain about using other parts of common plants, like the leaves and shoots, called Cornucopia..wonderful info..

 
Posts: 96
Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
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My plan on being green is starting now.
I just closed on my house last Friday. My property is a rectangular lot 100 feet wide by 200 feet deep. There is less than 12 inches in elevation change on the entire property. I was able to see the property during a heavy down pour and was able to observe the drainage. The yard is almost perfectly flat. I do not have problem with flooding as I have a good drainage off the property. The water just takes its time moving.
I am thinking with the way the land is I can just put in a swale around the perimeter and just have it as a rain garden with a few well-placed swales in the center.
What I am thinking is to come six feet into the property to dig a foot deep swale two feet wide. The dirt I would mound up on the exterior of the swale. I would plant hazelnuts, Buffalo berries and aronias as a guild hedge. I am thinking of using lingon berries and other cranberry relatives in the bottom of the swales since they like wet feet part of the time.
Then the interior of the yard will be quince, apples, pears, cherries, mulberries, peaches, plums and Chinese dates for my over stories. The under stories will be American paw paws and fruiting dog woods , dwarf fruits and so forth. Level three will be bush cherries, blue berries and bramble fruits. Straw berries and perianal pot herbs as ground cover.
I plant to put a few grapes and hardy kiwis for the perennial vines. I can use Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and ground nuts as the root layer.
Then heirloom plants for the annuals.
There is a 25 by 25 foot concrete block garage with metal roof on the property. I am going to attach my chicken house to that. I have a saw mill on the commute from work so I will get saw dust on the cheap and plan to grow mushrooms for my own use and possible for selling. The spent mushroom substrate will be added to the nutrients to the whole farm.
Fortunately the property borders a community center with playground, ball diamonds, and tennis court, basketball court, running trains and picnic shelters so my need for yard space is negligible.
I found a source for most of the trees I want on the cheap. Arbor Day sells a lot of stuff for about ten dollars a tree. Lawyer’s nursery sells conservation grade trees for less than $100 a bundle of fifty for most of what I would want in bulk.
I am treating this as a survival idea as much as anything. If I am home canning my food then I have long term food storage dealt with. If I am producing my own food on site then I can weather the peak oil crisis. I may get sick of omelets for dinner if I cannot get to the store but I will not starve.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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What kind of trees are you looking for in bulk?
 
marty reed
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this is thecheapguy im getting back on track im back from the box and ready to get started again
 
marty reed
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ok im back im looking for land to buy and plan on moving to the country when i find the right peace of land. ive cut most of my bills down i still have one big expense gas i have a truck and it and it takes 70-85 dollars to fill it up that means on the high end that is 340 dollars a month this my not sound like much to you but i need to get all my expenses down im looking into building a trike that gets 100mpg this would save me alot of money and only drive my truck when it is needed it would also make it more cost effective when i move out of the city i started a blog about it and heve been getting more information about it every day http://www.permies.com/forums/f-54/frugality well i need to go thecheapguy
 
marty reed
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GOING GREEN FOR RETIERMENT

Well with all the people who are not able to retire because thay did not plan or never had a chance to plan i think that going green for retirerment is the way to go.I would like to take you on the journy with me. The first thing we did was cut down our bills as much as we could so no more 120 channels that i did not watch anyway we need to start watching our consumption of elecritce and turn off all of are stand by power things off also payed off the car so no bill there and cheaper insurance. the plan with the cars is if one of them breaks down to have the money to fix it in savings. so we have two cars so i figered about 6,000 would cover about any thing that would happen to the cars.
i want to build my own house but dont have 40 or 50 thosand dollars just laying around so i started looking around for materials. you can get meterials from alot of locations some are free some you have to work to get some that cost little to nothing. a few of the ways i have gathered materials crigslist, taking down barns, house, habtat for humaty, flea market, friends and let people now what you are looking for never know thay might have what you are looking for, job sites are a good way to find material but ask first. so i stared gathering material to build my house i was thinking the most expensive first and i was thinking wood so i found a place to get wood by the trailer load.it was very cheap but i had to work to get it.the creats where 27 feet but thay where all built of 2x4 2x6 and 2x8 i had to break them apart and put them on the trailer but for 120 a load i thought that was not bad. a week before i got a car port that was bent a little so i stratened it out and closed it in to store all the wood i got and to keep it dry it was alot of work getting all the wood. but, i saved about 6,000 dollars by doing this. i saved money by buying it only when it was the right price during this time. But, when you are buying material for your house make sure you can use it. you might have to check local codes and reglations for this information. like for wiring elecrtice boxes and things that you do not know about that way you will not get some material that you can not use.

During this time i was reading alot about green systems and the like to save money on the bills you might want to do the same figure out how you are going to insulate your home and what systems you are going to use. i plan to be 100% off gride is my goal their are many systems that can save you money like geo thermal, basment fans, windows hight in the sciling to let the heat out,passive soler, solar hot water, solar heat, solar panels, solar tracker for solar panels, solar water well pump, water tower, gray water system, rain water, sky lights, a place to cut off power to each room, under ground pipes to blow in cool air, pellat stove, pellat maker, wast oil heater, light colored roof, passive solar, DC power, wind genrator, you might want to plan for the space these systems will take up. most of this stuff can be made at home for a much lower cost than to buy it out right and their are many more systems out their that i have not listed way to save money every thing that i build ill take pictures of to show how i did it. if you are handy with a welder and can fab stuff you should have no problems building most of this stuff. after i build each one of these ill make how to book. like the pellat stove from a couple of tanks and frigs fans and it will hold a week worth the pellats and dry them in this process and how to make a small pellat mill to make your pellats also so all most free heat but you do have to get your time and material out of it im thinking about one winter will do this i might be making a kit for this also for those that cant build them on their own i will give the plans out free. how to make solar panals i will not make plans for in less requested. wind genrator i will make plans for and thay will be free i think every thing should be free scource and i give my time for free like the others did not charge me for the information i will not charge you

their are many other aspects to living off the gride other than the ones i have listed i would like to talk about food if you know how to make your own bread from scrach then you never have to buy bread again or how to make tortillas thay are very easy to make and with chicken and tomatos letas and salsa from the garden, goats cheese you can have a preaty good meal for little to nothing.

so where to start i would say with a small garden and a compost pile anther good thing to know is how to save seeds for next year so you dont have to buy plants every year so you can buy one plant and have many seeds from it and plant a bigger garden next year for free thats a good deal i think. now we have free seeds and a compost pile just need to plant and manage the plants.

it is harvast time how do we presurve all of are hard work? well you can dry some of it or can it we make salsa and can it along with premade can meals you can do alot more with canning than this you can cann soup, vegies, meat, jams the main thing is to not let your hard work go to wast you also need a place to store your can goods.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1454
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I had a 5-7 year plan but it is now down to three years.

During this time we have bought a few new items on credit (car, roof, motorcycle) but they all had to meet the 2015 pay-off schedule requirement.
My current husband and I both, for various reasons, had to start over at the age of 42 with basically nothing.

Cheapskate that I am I insisted on buying a 1937 house in a poor neighborhood for 37K. Taxes are low and neighbors are great. No HOA. Yes there was, and still is, a lot of work to be done. But the cost of improvements, paying as we go, is far less than the cost of a turn-key house in a neighborhood with a HOA and high taxes. So that means my long term expenses (taxes – no HOA fees) are lower too.
I can have chickens, hang my clothes on the line, probably dance naked if I want to . Haven’t tried that though – too many mosquitoes.

My current cars were bought strictly for gas mileage and purchase price. I also bought a Yamaha vino 125 scooter, 80mpg. I planned that as my ‘around town’ retirement vehicle but as of tomorrow I am going to start riding it to work. It will cost me WAY less gas per week than my car – and my car gets 40-45 mpg.

Hopefully I will retire in 2015. We will be debt free either way. I do think that with the production of our own meat and veggies here at home, my retirement income and my husbands job we should be able to live ‘high on the hog’. I know lots of people who think they just can’t get by on 100k salaries. I’m here to prove that is wrong. I think we can live quite well and enjoy lots of frivolous extras for less than half that.
 
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http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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