Making the most of the golden years

Q: I will be only 52 years old this September. But in many ways I think that I have done it all.

My wife and I have been married for 28 years. We took over the family farm and with careful planning and hard work, we have managed turn it into a profitable venture.

Both of our boys are grown. One is in third year agriculture at university, the other is working for Agriculture Canada.

I expect both of them will eventually make their way back to the farm once I have decided to retire. If they do, what am I to do? Where do I go from here?

I know that I could keep on farming and build the farm bigger than it is now, but I am not motivated to do that. Neither is my wife. She loves driving tractor and both of us enjoy our morning coffee when the weather is good and we can sit out on the deck to watch the day unfold. But, like me, my wife is wondering, what now? What do you think?

A: You certainly have an interesting dilemma.

You are too young to pack it in and spend the next 40 years sitting around coffee row. At the same time, I can understand that keeping things going on the farm is getting to be more labourious than rewarding.

I recommend you check the internet for articles on mid-life crisis. I am not sure that midlife constitutes a crisis, but it is clearly a time for reflection and that is obviously what you and your wife need to do.

In fact, this can be an interesting time. Midlife is a time in life to look beyond the fence and wonder at what path to follow. Of course to do that, you need to have an open mind.

Many politicians do not get into the electoral process until they are about your age and are wondering, as you are, if they could not be contributing to their communities in other ways.

Some of the better salespeople are guys who have stopped working their farms and are now using their years of experience to help them get what their clients need to successfully build their own farms.

Some teach at the community college, others get involved in international projects, while some choose to stay on the land.

You and your wife need to take time and re-invent yourselves as people. It is time to figure out what is important to you and where you want to investment your time and energy. That is the healthy thing to do. Better still, that is the fun thing to do.

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