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Whats your story of Transition to a different lifestyle?  RSS feed

 
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Im just curious about how people transition from their modern lives to rural intentional community or individual homestead.

Im currently working a full time job and fixing up our house. In june or so ill be done with the house i hope. It seems with how much we have saved and what we'll get from the house we will have more than 100k to purchase with. We may live in a camper while building on land or on other peoples land, we may buy a cheap cheap house in the area and then get a feel for the people there while not having to work much since the house would be payed off. We may get multiple other families to buy land with us. A goal is to be in a situation where we have no mortgage.

So i would love to hear other peoples stories. We dont quite know which route to go. My wife also is sad to move away from our midwife and the home where our first was born. Im hoping to take a path that works for us, though i know there isnt a stress free path.
 
gardener
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I am very early in the process. I am currently in the phase of just stuffing my head with as much knowledge as I can and getting rid of as many of my possessions as possible, so that I will be able to effectively proceed to the next phase of transitioning- gaining hands-on experience. Paul has talked about it in his podcasts, i forget which ones specifically, but the way he describes the transition is to learn as much as you can, get as much hands-on experience as you can in multiple locations in climates, if you plan to live in community, then also try as many flavors of community as you can, and all the while, work on building up your savings and spending as little as you possibly can. Then, once you have saved up enough and gained sufficient experience, decide on a climate, location, and/or flavor of community that most resonates you (trying to buy the property outright in cash if you can). Then, build a crappy shack on the land to get by, and then slowly improve your building from there and build your property. (I have currently listened to all podcasts up to 172, and a lot of this is Early Retirement Extreme).
 
pollinator
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One of the hardest problems to solve is how to make $ to pay for stuff you need.  It's a great idea to be "self-sufficient" but at the bare minimum one needs $ for property taxes.  I had a home business to pay for the house, but it didn't leave me with much energy left over to work on the place.  Because of this I feel like I'm about 20 years behind schedule!

 
pollinator
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We made the transition not long after the 9/11 attack. From a distance I saw it happen and it shook me to the core. I suddenly realized that I was going to die without ever trying my dream. So we spent a couple years preparing and made the jump. We left behind the American Dream of the middle class 3 bedroom modern house with all the goodies and in the suburbs. I left behind the modern lifestyle, hairdresser, nail salon, stylish clothes, make up, nylons.....and a 40 hour job/profession. We found 20 acres and we started to build ourselves a house and create a homestead farm. I'm still 100% immersed in an agarian life, but hubby is a city boy and eventually went back to working his computer-thing job. He says he likes being the city boy who is enjoying living in the country. It's works for us. At least he doesn't want to physically move back to the rat race. He plans to stay on the farm, but he's not the farmer.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Su Ba wrote: He plans to stay on the farm, but he's not the farmer.



I think in a lot of ways it makes it easier if one partner is the "farmer" and the other the "breadwinner."  Though farming may win some bread, generally it is more of a quality of life enhancer rather than a big money-maker.
 
Su Ba
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Tyler, I can't help but agree with you. The first 10 years the farm wasn't supporting itself or us. It took that long for me to learn how to do a homestead farm. Being a city girl myself, I didn't have any role model to learn from. But I eventually did it, and the farm now provides our food and a number of resources. I'm now working on the next step.....getting the farm to earn enough income to pay basic life expenses (taxes, medical, insurances, clothing). Most of hubby's income is now going into a retirement fund. We've never had a retirement fund, so even though we're really late doing this, at least we will have some money to make life pleasant until some medical emergency steals it all away from us. But in the meantime, we'll be in easy street. Thankfully in Hawaii, the doctors can't take our home from us while we're alive.
 
Johnmark Hatfield
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Su Ba wrote:We made the transition not long after the 9/11 attack. From a distance I saw it happen and it shook me to the core. I suddenly realized that I was going to die without ever trying my dream. So we spent a couple years preparing and made the jump. We left behind the American Dream of the middle class 3 bedroom modern house with all the goodies and in the suburbs. I left behind the modern lifestyle, hairdresser, nail salon, stylish clothes, make up, nylons.....and a 40 hour job/profession. We found 20 acres and we started to build ourselves a house and create a homestead farm. I'm still 100% immersed in an agarian life, but hubby is a city boy and eventually went back to working his computer-thing job. He says he likes being the city boy who is enjoying living in the country. It's works for us. At least he doesn't want to physically move back to the rat race. He plans to stay on the farm, but he's not the farmer.



Where did you live while you built the house? Is your current community the same as the old one? Did you just jump into the local relationships or dip a toe in first?  Did you buy land and observe it for a year?
 
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I've been on my land for 9 years now. The first 5 years was with my previous partner who said this was what  he wanted but it really wasnt. Long story short one day in our 2nd winter here he tells me "this place is worse than prison" which baffled me cause I think it's paradise. He stuck it out for 3 more years but it sucked for both of us. I was motivated and enjoyed being here he was bored and frustrated and made every excuse possible to go the two hours into town.  Now I have a partner who truly wants to be here and our biggest struggle is neither of us wants to go into town to make money. We compromise by both of us going in two days a week (the same days) and spending the other five at home doing what we want. We are both self employed so this works for us. We are poor in money but rich in time. I will never trade my life/time  for money/sucess again. We eat like kings from our garden and the forest, wake up on our own time, do what we feel like and really enjoy life. Im looking forward to being done with my mortgage  (only 6 more years ☺) so i can work even less and be even richer in time. If you can do it with no debt and no mortgage go for it!  Even though it has been a struggle and still is in some ways I feel like I have a way better life than i could ever have in town.
 
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Like many of the other posters, we did things pretty gradually. About nine years ago, my husband switched to freelancing, and then six years ago (once we had paid off our small house in the city) to focusing on creative stuff. Over the past 9 years we've also had 3 kids, and his flexibility helped us to keep them home with us. I was in charge of earning and also worked to make my career as flexible as possible, so that we could split childcare evenly but would be equipped to be in the workforce as much or little as necessary. About 3.5 years ago we bought an acre of vacant land within commuting distance of my work. my husband was in charge of building our house, and later building a house for my parents to join us (both paid for with cash). I've been doing most of the planting and soil-building. It's been pretty tiring, but we're mortgage free and my need to work is much reduced. Looking back I think I could have been a bit slower to plant, and could have focused more on soil-building that first year on the farm. Otherwise, I think paying off the farm and building a house that we could pay for with cash were both really good ideas. I really hope we can stay here a very long time.
 
pollinator
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I have been planning my move to a rural property for a few years now. In February, I am putting my house in the SF Bay Area on the market and buying a place in southern Oregon. My oldest daughter is moving with me, my middle two are staying here in the Bay, and my youngest is finishing her Bachelor's at UC Santa Barbara.
I'm a life-long gardener, edibles and ornamentals, so that's not new. A professional chef, so from scratch cooking isn't difficult. I've been practicing all kinds of food preservation, cheesemaking, charcuterie, so I feel pretty well prepared in these areas. My father has been teaching me simple building and woodworking. I took a natural building workshop. While I haven't had livestock, I raised four children, many dogs, cats, rodents, lizards, snakes, birds and bunnies. I have a small income, and my daughter has an outside job, not trying to make money from our homestead/farm. Honestly, I just don't have the patience for that. But I would like to have gatherings/workshops.

I think it will be a much more difficult transition for my daughter than for myself. This is a concern for me. But this is one of the reasons why while we will be rural, town is not far away. We are very different people, and we both need to be happy.
 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Here's answers to the questions ......

<<<Where did you live while you built the house?>>>
In a shed with a light bulb, a water pump, and a tiny solar system that could run either the lightbulb at night or the water pump the next morning. We often choose the water pump. It was raw plywood and exposed unpainted 2x4s with an uninsulated metal roof. A couple windows with no screens. A propane cookstove against the wall and a propane refrigerator. They provided the heat on chilly nights and damp days.

<<<Is your current community the same as the old one?>>>
We moved from New Jersey to Hawaii. We didn't know a soul in Hawaii. We moved "cold turkey" and have never regretted it.

<<<Did you just jump into the local relationships or dip a toe in first?>>>
We had been coming to Hawaii for several years, for short 3-5 day visits. Hawaii was one of the many places we visited in relation to hubby's employment. It wasn't until 2001 that we started looking for a place to move, and Hawaii was one of the locations that we checked into. So I suppose you could say that we had been dipping our toes for years, but it was never with the intention of moving there. But when we made the move, we knew no one except the two real estate brokers that showed us some properties. Once we were here, I got involved selling coffee at the local farmers market in order to make a few bucks, then met a lot of nice local folks because of this. I'd introduce myself as "Hi, I'm the new people that bought a piece of the old Lorenzo place across from the ranch."

<<<Did you buy land and observe it for a year?>>>
We bought undeveloped land that had been previously used for pasturing cattle. Sometime in the past there had been a house in the land, though the only indication now is an old cesspool cover. An a previous owner had bulldozed an area with the intent of building a barn, though that never came about. Did we observe it for a year? Heck no!!! We jumped right into building our house and weedwacking down the massive grass overgrowth.
    Over the years the farm developed. The land pretty much dictated where things would go. Only the front few acres along the road get sunshine, so most garden beds would have to be in that location without doing massive destructive (and expensive) bulldozing. The back 14 acres were only suitable for pasture without doing massive tree removal and bulldozing. So pasture is what they became. There were significant holes/gulleys beside the driveway (large enough to fit a large pickup truck and swallow it up) so they became hugelpits for growing bananas.
    Because we wanted electricity and balked at paying $30,000 to bring grid electric to the property, we quickly figured out where the sun tracked and how many hours of sunlight we typically got. We then installed a $20,000 solar system. We observed for about a month while we waited for the system parts to be delivered, then extrapolated the sun angles for the rest of the year.
    Rather than observe for a year, we tapped into the knowledge of our neighbors and other long time residents. They gave us valuable information about seasonal temperatures, rain patterns, wind cycles and history, climate cycles, ground water, local vegetation, etc. Most of these people had been living here for 20 years or more, so had observed a lot over that time. They taught us about the importance of elevation, plus the fact that soil type, rain amount, and wind effects  can change every mile.
 
Jo Hunter-Adams
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Rather than observe for a year, we tapped into the knowledge of our neighbors and other long time residents. They gave us valuable information about seasonal temperatures, rain patterns, wind cycles and history, climate cycles, ground water, local vegetation, etc. Most of these people had been living here for 20 years or more, so had observed a lot over that time. They taught us about the importance of elevation, plus the fact that soil type, rain amount, and wind effects  can change every mile.



I always love your common-sense approach, Su Ba.

I think in our case I overestimated the importance of getting trees in the ground, and underestimated the importance of observation-- for fruit trees at least. I'm not sure if I could have done things differently, as perhaps I had to make my own mistakes. Example: I lost a goji berry bush early on to a mole rat (these things are huge)-- as in the bush entirely disappeared. I asked neighbours about this phenomenon and they said planting into large wire baskets was one solution, but otherwise the mole rats were a big reason noone grew fruit trees. I pressed on, thinking burying metal would be expensive and not very ecologically friendly... for about a year, when I realised we soon wouldn't have any food forest at all unless I started lining the holes. On the other hand, our property was covered with an invasive acacia saligna, which neighbours pressed me to quickly eliminate. I decided not to, as the summer wind here is so strong that it quickly kills young trees. Taking a gradual approach with cutting away existing plants and trees has been generally good- though I think ploughing (or at least clearing) our annual vegetable garden properly before starting to cultivate would have led to much less work/better results in the long term. Permaculture principles have at times meant a lot of work when I didn't have enough knowledge of regular gardening/planting to balance permaculture principle with local common-sense. For example, I didn't recognize the importance of watering A LOT for the first few weeks/months after planting a tree-- I thought I would toughen up a tree by watering thoroughly once a week, but I didn't have a good grasp of what thoroughly was in our sandy soil. Now I realise that the more you can do to support a young tree (at least in our climate) the better. So I've made a lot of mistakes. I think maybe that's just part of the process. I'm hoping we started young enough that we'll have many years to improve.
 
Posts: 89
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similar thread:

https://permies.com/t/97271/Lifestyle-Change#800917
 
Dave Burton
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Thank you. To keep things all together in one place, I am merging the other thread to this one, because the other one is newer and less active than this one.
 
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ooking for feedback, opinions, stories, etc., from those of you who have left the 40-hr week, 9-5 lifestyle to move out to the country and live a more simple life.

My wife and I are in our late 40s. We have 2 children that are grown, with jobs, and live away from home. My wife retired from the military earlier this year and has been loving retired life. I also retired from the military in 2011, but have been working full-time for the gov't.

As our parents and other family members are getting older, we have thought more and more about moving back home (we live in SC, but family is in TN/KY) and me either retiring for good, or taking on part-time work so that we can spend more time with family. It would also allow us both to spend more time doing the things we love (raising animals, gardening, being outdoors, etc.,). I look at how much time I spend driving back and forth to work, spending more time with co-workers than my own wife, and not having the time to spend on the things that we really love and it really makes me think about why are we doing this when we don't necessarily have to. We also think about how we don't want me to work until I'm 60+ and not be as active and healthy to really enjoys those things that we like to do.

While we would love to be able to do that, a few things make us hesitate. First, our kids are still relatively young (20/23) and may need some financial help from us as they continue to establish their own careers. I know that we shouldn't necessarily delay our dreams/goals because of that, but as a parent, part of me feels like it might be selfish at this time. Second, while financially we should be o.k, especially if I work part time, I do worry about giving up a good paying job to take such a leap. I'm not worried about not having enough money each month, but it will make it more difficult to afford things if emergencies pop up in the future. We'll also have to dip into our savings to cover the costs of selling our home, relocating ourselves, and putting money into a new place. I know that there are no guarantees in life and we can't predict the future, but it makes me hesitant nonetheless.

That said, my wife and I would love to find a small homestead in KY or TN with a few acres and finally settle down. Have any of you taken the leap of faith and just got fed up with the grind of working 9-5 and moved out to following your homesteading dreams? Any regrets? Suggestions? Advice?
 
Su Ba
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We took the leap so I'd like to relay a few thoughts.....

...switching to an agrarian lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean that you're heading to a simplistic, easy lifestyle. It's not the urban/suburban rat race for sure. But it's just different. I've worked physically harder as a homestead farmer than I did working in veterinary medicine. The problems and skills are different, but they are there none the less.
...moving to the country doesn't mean that you leave your troubles behind. Regretfully or not, we carry our personal baggage with us where ever we settle. Expecting the country life to cure them won't.
...if I weren't passionate about developing a homestead farm, I would have quit long ago. I see people move to my area and leave again between 6-24 months. They discovered that rural living wasn't what they envisioned. So many people when they make a change like this find themselves moving toward a fantasy dreamland, not reality. Reality comes as a shock.
...ask yourself if you're a rural person in your heart. Are you passionate about it? Passion can carry you a long distance. I was wanting to be a farmer since I was 12 years old. But I got forced into a different direction. I managed to make it veterinary medicine which was at least an agriculture category. So I'm a rural type person, although I was city born. Hubby on the other hand is a city boy. He calls himself a city boy who enjoys living in the country, but he's not the farmer.
...we made the life change in our mid 50's. I think that if you really want it, you can make the change at any age. How you go about it will be different according to your age.

We have no regrets making the switch. I never did. Hubby went through 2 years of waffling between staying and leaving. A couple trips back to New Jersey convinced him that our homestead and community was his preferred choice.

Now that I'm in my early 70's, I've had people who I knew go through hospice care and eventually die. Too many of them voiced regrets about various things in their lives. One of my own personal fears was that I was going to die without ever trying my dream of becoming a farmer. Well, I won't have any regrets on that issue. I ditched the modern city life and successfully moved to the farm. I like it. By the way, I'm working on avoiding having regrets when I die. I decided I wanted a pony, so I got one. I wanted to raise sheep and pigs, so I am. I wanted to be food independent, and I can be. I wanted miniature cattle, and having researched it, decided that was a poor choice, so I didn't get them.

Family is the number one reason people here have given up their dreams and moved back to the mainland. It's a personal choice that each person has to make for themselves. Hubby and I decided that we were no longer going to be enablers for our family members. It was about time to wean them. So we did.
 
Bill Lane
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Thanks for the reply!  You gave a lot of great insight and advice.  My wife and I both grew up in the country and love working outside, hunting, gardening, raising animals, etc.,. so I am sure that we will both be very happy and comfortable with the change.  We are not afraid of hard work, in fact, we both love being outside and working around our home now...it's just that I don't have much time to do that with my job and commute each day.  We live on 5 acres now and have a garden, but we don't live near family and we couldn't afford to live in our current home if we are to 'retire' (i.e., couldn't afford the mortgage).  You make a great point about not having any regrets.  We have had family members pass away too early and others get sick and/or cannot physically do the things they used to do and we don't want to be in that position ourselves one day and not have the opportunity to focus on what we love.  I always think about that saying about "you never see a grave stone with the quote "I wish I would have spent more time at work"...".

Thanks again, I appreciate your feedback.   Have a great day!



Su Ba wrote:We took the leap so I'd like to relay a few thoughts.....

...switching to an agrarian lifestyle doesn't necessarily mean that you're heading to a simplistic, easy lifestyle. It's not the urban/suburban rat race for sure. But it's just different. I've worked physically harder as a homestead farmer than I did working in veterinary medicine. The problems and skills are different, but they are there none the less.
...moving to the country doesn't mean that you leave your troubles behind. Regretfully or not, we carry our personal baggage with us where ever we settle. Expecting the country life to cure them won't.
...if I weren't passionate about developing a homestead farm, I would have quit long ago. I see people move to my area and leave again between 6-24 months. They discovered that rural living wasn't what they envisioned. So many people when they make a change like this find themselves moving toward a fantasy dreamland, not reality. Reality comes as a shock.
...ask yourself if you're a rural person in your heart. Are you passionate about it? Passion can carry you a long distance. I was wanting to be a farmer since I was 12 years old. But I got forced into a different direction. I managed to make it veterinary medicine which was at least an agriculture category. So I'm a rural type person, although I was city born. Hubby on the other hand is a city boy. He calls himself a city boy who enjoys living in the country, but he's not the farmer.
...we made the life change in our mid 50's. I think that if you really want it, you can make the change at any age. How you go about it will be different according to your age.

We have no regrets making the switch. I never did. Hubby went through 2 years of waffling between staying and leaving. A couple trips back to New Jersey convinced him that our homestead and community was his preferred choice.

Now that I'm in my early 70's, I've had people who I knew go through hospice care and eventually die. Too many of them voiced regrets about various things in their lives. One of my own personal fears was that I was going to die without ever trying my dream of becoming a farmer. Well, I won't have any regrets on that issue. I ditched the modern city life and successfully moved to the farm. I like it. By the way, I'm working on avoiding having regrets when I die. I decided I wanted a pony, so I got one. I wanted to raise sheep and pigs, so I am. I wanted to be food independent, and I can be. I wanted miniature cattle, and having researched it, decided that was a poor choice, so I didn't get them.

Family is the number one reason people here have given up their dreams and moved back to the mainland. It's a personal choice that each person has to make for themselves. Hubby and I decided that we were no longer going to be enablers for our family members. It was about time to wean them. So we did.

 
bernetta putnam
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my story:
I got diagnosed with RA 6 yrs ago, been living with it. my kids have grown. last one just finished collage and is moving on in life.
and I realized all I do is work full time plus ot,  for a house that I sleep and store all my stuff in and yet cannot afford medical ins. or food, I only eat 1 meal a day.
I never have time to actually use the stuff I've bought over the yrs. I have a whole room of sewing stuff and a garage full of garden stuff, and a kitchen full of gizmos.
so I've decided to sell out and move , and buy a place with land that I can own outright. then only have to work part time. and have the time in life to actually use the stuff I've bought.
before I get to ss age and am to crippled to actually do anything. hence how I found permies in my research of planning for a better future.
I grew up rural with a kitchen garden and chickens. and i like that defiantly not a city girl have always lived just out side of them and commuted.
so  I figure I can grow at least enough to be able to eat more than once a day.
I have no close family other than my kids who are living there own lives now, and all my work friends think I'm nuts when I told then I'm going to go be a hobby farmer and grow my own food.
they think people who do this are living poor, I think I'll be richer for it. :)
 
Su Ba
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Bernetta, all my friends and relatives also believe that living on a farm and growing your own food = dirt poor. They are aghast that I made the jump to the country and became a farmer. For years they kept waiting for me to return to NJ.

Perhaps I'm living the dirt poor life by choice. I now like being frugal, repurposing items from the thrift shops, buying most of my clothing at the church rummage sales, growing/trading/hunting my own food. I no longer see the sense in living up to the Joneses. I no longer buy a bunch of stuff because my friends also have it. I don't see the need for fancy nails, hairdressers, makeup, the latest fashions. Entertainment for us isn't going out, hitting the bars and nightclubs, karaoke, watching tv and cable, and movie theaters. It's more like reading books, watching the batch of new lambs play, walking in the countryside, going to the beach,  fishing, playing with the dogs, creating silly yard art. Nothing wrong with being the "dirt poor farmer" when I'm far happier than I was living in the rat race. I'm definitely richer for it!
 
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Personally I think you are at the ideal age. There is usually never a "perfect time" and waiting will complicate matters more often than not.  I moved out to a rural area in my late forties and absolutely love it.  

I did not move to become a homesteader (that is way too much work...lol) but do have chickens, and a small vegetable garden, and have learned to be much more self-sufficient. The peace and quiet of rural living is wonderful as is the natural beauty. When I go into town it is safe, crime free, and people are polite. IMO that makes a huge difference when it comes to one's quality of life.  

Life is short and we never know how much time we will have. It sounds like you are in a good position to make the move, the kids can always stay with you at your new home if they need to. If the younger child is going to attend college you can always discuss it and choose a location that offers the option of higher education within driving distance. Plus having a place away from the dense population zones is good for a variety of reasons, and that could be a big benefit to your children as well.
 
pollinator
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I agree with Lucrecia, your timing sounds very good. Another good time to start homesteading, in my opinion, is the young couple stage, before children. The most challenging time to start a homestead would be when the kids are small. Many people manage to do that too, so I'm definitely not saying it can't be done. It depends on how much support network you have and many other things.

If you're worried about future emergencies and I think that it's good to think about that too, I suggest buying a smaller home stead and leaving some money as back up.

It's truly amazing how much food it's possible to grow on as little as 4000 square feet. Urban farmers have been a great inspiration for me. Even though I have lots of land for my vegetable gardening I still prefer the more intensive methods, because there's less weeding to do. Looking back now, I don't think we absolutely need all the land we have. We have 4 hectares and I think we could do with 2. The only thing we'd have to drop from our farm plan would be the cows.
 
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I'm on the 'living without regrets' bandwagon. We've recently bought a descent sized scrap of land, in MO, mostly wooded, with a big ravine, and a beautiful, newer log home. We don't want a 'real' farm - just a handful of chickens, a few ducks, ***maybe*** a couple goats, and an alpaca or two. Most of the real work of building this place is already done. I am a country girl, and he's a city boy, with a country boy's heart. We will be moving from the Chicago burbs to the Ozarks the week I turn 55, and only a few weeks before his 51st. We have 5 offspring ranging from my 34yr old and his wife, who will be following id's, asap, down to the 15yr old, who lives in yet another state with his mom. The middle one is 22, and pretty well-established in a career that she knows will be short - lived, as careers go. She's trying to decide on her next step, and wants to do it closer to us - but we're not sure exactly when that will be. She has time - I'd say if she wants to, she could probably stick with what she's doing for another 15 - 20 years, if her body holds out against the mill she's pressing it against. The other 3 (+ a hubby), will likely never follow, but we're ok with that, and so are they.

My tip, from watching my dad & stepmom make the leap with 6 kids; infant (g), 4 (g), 8(g), 10(b), & my elder stepbrother & I were 12. They often said, years later, that without the 3 of us older kids, they couldn't have done it with the younger 3. It was all wooded, with a crumbled basement/ foundation, no house or other building, and 50+ years of overgrowth & neglect. But, it was cheap, and had lots of sweat - equity potential. We got 20 some - odd chickens, nearly as many ducks, a handful of goats, a Jersey milk cow, half a dozen horses & ponies, a few young bulls to raise for slaughter, and meat rabbits, who multiplied faster than our math teachers, to somewhere over 100, because someone didn't know how to sex them (and didn't take the time to learn), for a few months.

We busted our butts, and the only one who didn't work at it was the baby, who, at one point, toddled into the hole we were driving for the septic tank, and (thankfully, only) broke her leg. It was HARD. It was very much a learning experience, for us all. And the learning curve was steep! But, we learned well, just where our own personal boundaries were. This is why I can confidently move into an existing, nicely built home, with a few outbuildings already in place, and raise a *very* few critters, while we keep most of our land forested, for hunting - while we learn how to build hugelkultures, and become more self sufficient. Going completely off-grid full time, is probably beyond us - but, we'd like to be able to, if need be. With my background, we're pretty sure we can do this better now, than when our middle 2 kids were teenagers, and we're more financially stable, to withstand the bumps in the road. We are also being careful to maintain a flexible outlook, toward ditching some of our plans, if that becomes necessary.

I think you should go for it, now. You're old enough to recognize a wall, before you slam into it, and young enough to still have the strength and energy to build your dream. If you don't make your leap now, you'll probably never do it, because in another 5 years or so, you could end up with grandkids you won't have the heart to leave behind. Do it now, and those same munchkins will always be excited to go 'over the river, and through the woods', to visit you and your farm, and you'll be home and young, enough to enjoy those visits, and your farm will be ready for them, too.
 
Bill Lane
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Thanks everyone for your comments.  My wife and I found a really nice property with an older farmhouse with some great outbuildings/barns and 12 acres along a creek that we are very interested in.  Our plan right now is to buy it and me work for another year or two, saving up a little more money and getting ready to transition to retirement, and then sell our current house and move in full time.  The great thing is that the farmhouse is only an hour from my wife's family and while we won't be able to go visit every weekend, we have folks close by that can help check in on it and help us out when we go up every few weeks to do some renovation work on it to get it ready for full-time living.  It's already in livable condition, but has some updates that we want to do, so we're going to take advantage of working a little longer to help pay for some of those updates.  Once we get close to moving in, we can gradually take up some of our stuff each trip so that we don't have as much to move at the very end.  We are very excited about this transition and hopefully our health stays good the next few years for us to fully enjoy it.  Thanks again!
 
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Su Ba wrote:
...we made the life change in our mid 50's. I think that if you really want it, you can make the change at any age. How you go about it will be different according to your age.  



My husband and I are in our mid-50s. We closed today on our land. I am feeling quite nervous. It was really nice to read your note, Su, reassuring that we weren't too old to change. :-)
 
pollinator
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Erica, we are never too old to change🙂

When we moved, it was to get out of the DC area. We were going to build the garage, stay in it temporarily and build a big house and keep commuting.  Not long after, I thought about how it would be amazing to not have a mortgage and pay off all of our debts. I convinced my husband to change the house plan and we would permanently live in the garage and make that our house.  We had a little garden mostly for tomatoes.

We were still commuting, but my job was getting tough.  I also kept getting sick and didnt know why and thought it was just stress.  When we looked at it on paper, it didnt make sense that I was showing up at work.  By cutting the expenses associated with the office job, not having commute costs, quit eating out so much and ramping up the garden, it didnt even make a difference of $80 a week for me to work.  I quit, but still kept getting sick and it was getting worse. I was reading all kinds of health books (turned out my problem was wheat based) which led me to an even bigger garden, then chickens which eventually led me to permies.

Sometimes the best changes aren't planned so there isnt a best time to do them.

 
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Erica Colmenares wrote:

Su Ba wrote:
...we made the life change in our mid 50's. I think that if you really want it, you can make the change at any age. How you go about it will be different according to your age.  



My husband and I are in our mid-50s. We closed today on our land. I am feeling quite nervous. It was really nice to read your note, Su, reassuring that we weren't too old to change. :-)



Sounds just about right, Erica. My wife and I finished building our home when I was 53. I don't think it's ever too late to make a start so go for it!
 
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