I've been contemplating the age issue lately too, with injuries and general wear and tear taking their toll. It depends what you want in your life, I guess. I can't imagine doing anything else as satisfying or meaningful as this, so will keep doing it for as long as I/we possibly can. Things change in terms of how much can be done but so does how much needs to be done.
From 50 to 65 Stephan has done enormous amounts of physical work to change our landscape and management of the farm. I've made leaps and bounds in cattle breeding, management and general wellbeing. We have a different mix of animals now and that will continue to alter - the sheep really have to go, because shearing is becoming an increasingly difficult job, for instance.
We've never been well capitalised and things would be quite different in some ways had we'd had lots of money to make big changes earlier but it's been hugely satisfying to do things as we could and more of it each year because the rewards for earlier inputs start returning.
Would I start again now if it was an option I'd not previously followed? I suspect I might. It's a great life if it's the thing you want to do.
Hilldweller will doubtless have some really useful insights, having moved from small to impressively sizeable in recent times.
If you want to get into dairying, then now might be a good time, with the returns low but improving. It would seem that dairying is past its lowest and will improve for the next 5 or so years.
With sheep and beef, the cycle seems to be at the very top for animal sellers. If so, it will be 10 years or so until the prices are this good again.
For sheep and beef farming, 120 hectares is little more than a lifestyle block, so you will likely need no debt and have the right skill set to get part time work.
what a difficult decision! Hopefully there will be quite a few on here who can help. I lean towards the idea of keeping life simple and cashed up. The 50's are a dangerous time, you still have energy and health - but it can fade quickly once the medical system gets hold of you. The big problem for guys is to find something that will keep them out from under their partners feet! I would opt for a small block with a large shed, situated close to your daughter's university.
In any future venture spend lots of time discussing it with your accountant, if it can't pay its way - avoid it like the plague. Good luck anyway.....
It would be difficult to get into the dairy market and make a good living on 300 acres. That is, unless you go niche market, like Jersey A2A2 milk, or even goats. But, there are big gains to make nowadays on things like automation and milking once a day, rotary cowsheds and the lifestyle you also want to live. A good time to really do your homework
Thank you for the thoughts. We milk a small herd mainly to support calf rearing so not planning on that changing, just the location and size of the property (with hopefully less neighbours and less likelihood of impending sub division).
If you feel it's time for a move, go for it! No point dying wondering
I moved a couple of years back to a block about the size you're thinking of. I'm only a little younger than you and wish I could put the body clock back 10 years (or more LOL). Despite fantastic support from neighbours and family it hasn't been easy and financially the new place is still a bottomless pit, propped up by off-farm work. Having said that, I don't think I'll ever regret the move, even if the body or the bank balance means I sell up sooner than I'd like to.
Staying where I was would have been easy and safe, and I still miss it, but I would have become bored. Had I reached that point 10 years later I probably would have stayed.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
We're in a similar age bracket and moved onto 220 acres seven years ago. Having said that, we've covenanted about 150 acres of bush so there's only around 70 acres of pasture. It was a block without a house, with appalling fencing, very few troughs and it's mostly very steep. It's been very hard work and it's also one the best things we ever did.
If you don't do it now you'll probably never do it and in my view there is nothing more ageing than the same old routine
If I could afford to buy a neighbouring block I would...
What brought us up here? The climate, the price of land, the opportunity to go off grid, the isolation, the stunning coastline.... I've always felt more at home here than I ever did the Waikato...not that there is anything wrong with the Waikato but I belong here
I moved from Otago to Canterbury and could happily live in either. For the first year, it would have been easier if I'd moved locally - no need to find a new fencer, shearer etc plus all the non-farm stuff (doctor, dentist etc). But that's just an adjustment phase. The local support here is fantastic and I'm closer to family too.
What I did find hard was long distance property hunting as every visit seemed to be rushed (and expensive). In hindsight I perhaps should have made a couple more trips to check the place out before buying. Also without local knowledge it was hard to judge what it would be like at different times of the year.
What it came down to was probably that you only live once, so thinking through the worst case scenario and working out whether I could live with it, if it happens.
Well, I think I will be the oldest responder so far as I am in my 60's.
If you want to do it then go for it.
You only live once and not trying to be morbid, but you might not see tomorrow anyways.
No one knows when the clock will run out.
If you do nothing - you could live for 30 years and continually regret it.
If you jump tomorrow you could just be settling in and then kick off anyways.
So follow your dreams every day.
Literally do that - every day!
If you do you will not regret it.
I would rather lie on my death bed and say - "Life was a blast - now I am on to the next great adventure" rather than lie there and think of all the things I SHOULD have done!.
I'm in my 60's and have decided to forget about having any more to do with Banks, borrowing, stress of paying for something I want to do, or have. And its great!
Presently I'm ok with my abilities and fitness (which ain't like it was) & is ok for me to develop my small, bare bit of dirt. I have always kept a thought of what I want to see myself doing in different decades and now's the time for us both to move on and change to the next step of life.
My partner is also forward thinking and thankfully, has her own goals which involve changing location and contacts.
Making new contacts can be challenging but also, I have often found absolute delight with new relationships we're developing with the locals.
Now when I wake in the middle of the night, my thoughts are of the new property & not the boring ole same ole, same ole. It's exciting. its challenging, it makes for some new topics of conversations between wifie & self. It's sparked a whole heap of changes which for us both, is proving highly beneficial and at times maybe at times (although rare for me) scary.
In today's world, distance is nothing to what it was 50 or even 15 years ago, so distance from long term friendships has not been a problem. Anyway, true friends will keep in touch, like ours have. Some with encouragement and yet others with the, "Why-n-earth did you give all that up" (only one (knowingly) for us)
Like a comment above reads, "Lives for living".
My only suggestion is to NOT look back to what you had, with any inkling of yearning. There's way too much to look forward to.
Hope to read of your move, in later times.
Lol I too am in my sixties. A farm boy from Southland, lived in the city for most of my life, but the lure of open countryside was always there.
25 years ago through good luck and mindless hope, I bought 4 acres near Arrowtown. In time a house arose. And here I sit today. I still describe this have as an unexpected paradise. My parents on the farm could never have dreamed of being here. My elderly father used to come up and stay with his friends. They would go gold-mining simply for the joy of it.
So 300 acres or 3 acres, find what you enjoy. Privacy and nature is beautiful.