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Ever imagine FIRE'ing as self-sufficient?
Old 06-25-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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Ever imagine FIRE'ing as self-sufficient?

Hard for me to put a title to this one, but I've always dreamt of retiring to a self-sufficient farm...more or less.

The concept being that i will continue to 'work', but only enough to maintain my family in a much simpler lifestyle

For example, maybe I have $500k saved, after buying a plot of land and home. Maybe the home has a gas well so gas is free. Farm enough land to eat well and perhaps sell the surplus. Pigs, cows,chickens for meat...just for us. Essentially do everything imaginable to keep costs low, and live a SIMPLE life. Of course there's inevitably the need for money, so 100% self sufficiency isnt likely. Electric. Taxes. Gasoline. Medical care. Etc. but the nest egg should cover those expenses.

Theres 10,000 issues that I'm sure would come up or need figured out, but for some reason I always come back to this concept. Scrap the TV, Internet, phones (maybe a pre-pay for emergency) etc...and live a cheap, simple life.




Any good forums or sites out there about this topic ?
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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Hard for me to put a title to this one, but I've always dreamt of retiring to a self-sufficient farm...more or less.

The concept being that i will continue to 'work', but only enough to maintain my family in a much simpler lifestyle.
Fed, you have enough problems without adding cows. Just have a drink and let this one go on by.

Ha
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:32 PM   #3
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My aunt's 3rd husband did similar to what your saying. He had a small farm and raised all of his own produce (veggies & fruit), and raised chickens, cows, and pigs for family consumption. He also would raise 1 corn-fed buffalo at a time....for about 2 years each...to butcher. About the only things they had to go to the grocery store for was beer, milk, beer, bread (although they did bake most of their own bread), paper products, beer, and that sort of thing......oh yeah, and beer.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:17 AM   #4
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Wow, this sounds like more work than my job was.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:30 AM   #5
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Fed, read Dolly Freed's Possum Living before you get too far with this idea. Be sure you can make your own still before you commit.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:34 AM   #6
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Living off the land is damned hard work...
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:40 AM   #7
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You may be FI, in this case, but certainly not REd. I got a couple acres that I visit when on vacation, and which will be my retirement home. But I'm finding out just how much work it is to keep it up. We love it here, but handling the land, home and all is a lot of work for a vacation, and probably for ER as well. We'll see how it goes in a couple of years.
RE
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:47 AM   #8
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I'm not sure you could really call yourself "retired" in that situation. You may be FI and almost entirely self-sufficient (especially if you could produce your own electricity off-grid), but you'd still be "working" a lot to keep the household fed.

I think it's a good idea (when it's cost-effective) to become more self-sufficient; i.e. raising some of your own food, producing some of your own electricity and getting water from wells. But to go all the way would be quite costly and a lot of work. I'd bet the 80/20 rule would work here: you could probably get 80% of the way toward "true" self-sufficiency with a 20% effort in terms of cost and level of maintenance. That last 20% is likely to be more prohibitive, and unless you're a foil-hatter who thinks we're on the road to economic and social armageddon, likely not worth it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:57 AM   #9
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Any good forums or sites out there about this topic ?
Have a look at Doug Fine's blog, Author, Journalist, Adventurer, Goat-Herder and his Funky Butte Ranch. A fairly humorous take on living the "simple life".
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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Hard for me to put a title to this one, but I've always dreamt of retiring to a self-sufficient farm...more or less.

The concept being that i will continue to 'work', but only enough to maintain my family in a much simpler lifestyle

For example, maybe I have $500k saved, after buying a plot of land and home. Maybe the home has a gas well so gas is free. Farm enough land to eat well and perhaps sell the surplus. Pigs, cows,chickens for meat...just for us. Essentially do everything imaginable to keep costs low, and live a SIMPLE life. Of course there's inevitably the need for money, so 100% self sufficiency isnt likely. Electric. Taxes. Gasoline. Medical care. Etc. but the nest egg should cover those expenses.

Theres 10,000 issues that I'm sure would come up or need figured out, but for some reason I always come back to this concept. Scrap the TV, Internet, phones (maybe a pre-pay for emergency) etc...and live a cheap, simple life.




Any good forums or sites out there about this topic ?
I see the biggest issue is that when your working friends pull up in their BMW 7 series and show you their Rolex, will you be able to remain happy with your lifestyle. I'm sure that a lot of people on this board can afford to cut back on their work but don't because they want the have the RE lifestyle without the need for envy.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:56 PM   #11
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Oh,this isnt something i think i'll DO, but just another one of my whacky ideas. i'll check out the blog above and see what i find


ZIGGY: i think you are on the money with 80/20....



Now, if I could only find a cheap cow to graze in my backyard,maybe i wouldnt have to mow as often...or buy fertilizer....or even drink liquor...i could eat the shrooms under the patties this fall!
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:33 PM   #12
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Oh,this isnt something i think i'll DO, but just another one of my whacky ideas. i'll check out the blog above and see what i find


ZIGGY: i think you are on the money with 80/20....



Now, if I could only find a cheap cow to graze in my backyard,maybe i wouldnt have to mow as often...or buy fertilizer....or even drink liquor...i could eat the shrooms under the patties this fall!
I grew up and around various size farms, it's hard work.

From what you have posted about your attitudes and work ethics you could probably make it work.

You would have to have your SO and the kids buy into it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:46 PM   #13
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I am also dreaming of a self-sufficient "retirement", though it could never happen as long as I am married... So if my wife ever ditches me, it may become a real possibility. I already own several acres of land, so it would just be a matter of building a yurt on it... Just kidding with the yurt but a small log cabin could do.

I know exactly how I would go about it because my grand parents used to be (almost) self-sufficient. They owned a mid-size farm, they grew their own vegetables and fruits, they had cows for milk products and chicken for eggs. They used to buy just a few staples like flour, sugar, coffee, cocoa and meat. They made their own bread (they had a wood burning bread oven) and used the milk to make their own cheeses, butter, cream and yogurt. They lived on just a few hundred dollars a month. I would personally go one step further and try to be energy independent using perhaps solar or wing energy generation.

I can confirm what others have said, it is hard work. But at the same time it is rewarding and fulfilling work. And they were the happiest people I have ever known!
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:22 AM   #14
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I grew up on western Canadian grain farm and ran it from age 17 to 24. If that's your idea of ER, stay working, you'll have more free time.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:07 PM   #15
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Saw this and thought of this thread.

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Old 06-28-2008, 06:51 PM   #16
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thefed, I've been lately enamored of / rooting for this guy:

How Many Miles from Babylon: June 2005

It IS low-external-cost independence. It also requires continuous work and a lot of practical knowledge.
Nearing 50, without experience, I know I could not succeed as he has.
If I were a young'un, I'd be more sorely tempted. You sound like you have a lot of energy, so that is surely in your favor, being so young.

It takes time to cultivate the land.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/ny...2/01Rhome.html
"Time Presses the Gardener, if not the Garden"
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Old 06-28-2008, 08:58 PM   #17
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I saw a video on CNN about this family in Pasadena, CA who live almost self sufficiently on a 1/10th acre suburban lot.
Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

Article in LA Times
"One family unplugs from technology and lives off the land. Even the blender is pedal-powered."
LOS ANGELES TIMES / January 25, 2007 - O, Pioneers in Pasadena

NYT article that includes a video-
NY TIMES: THE GREEN ISSUE | Little Homestead in the City
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