Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Later Life Farming]

Module 5e: A Retirement Estimator for Farm Families

A Retirement Estimator for Farm Families is a comprehensive online retirement planning tool developed by Purdue University Cooperative Extension. The Retirement Estimator includes a series of worksheets where users are prompted to provide information such as their current annual living expenses, estimated expenses after retirement, estimated life expectancy, desired retirement income, estimated Social Security benefits, other sources of retirement income, estimated annual farm income, and farm-related payments after retirement.

The Retirement Estimator compares users' total calculated retirement income with their total calculated living costs. The website also includes an option for users to print a summary of the analysis. If your projected income is less than the savings required for your desired lifestyle, the Retirement Estimator provides the following suggestions:

  1. Delay your retirement for a few years.
  2. Reduce current spending to free up money to increase savings and reduce debt.
  3. Lower your expectations about your lifestyle in retirement.
  4. Seek off-farm employment.
  5. Explore alternatives to create more income (e.g., selling or renting farm assets).

Focus groups of New Jersey farmers indicated that many expect to reduce their work hours or the size and scope of their business rather than retire completely (i.e., stop farming). The Retirement Estimator will help you make future plans with this intention in mind.

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