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By Bob Shannon – Seniors Meet
“Everything that’s old is new again,” as the saying goes. Homesteading has grown increasingly popular over the last several years, as people become weary of our fast-paced world and opt for a simpler, more back-to-basics lifestyle. Some are even going into an early retirement (or considering it) because they already have ample savings and are able to live frugally. Others consider becoming homesteaders after retirement.
- It’s Rewarding
There’s a deep satisfaction in knowing that the bread on your table or the vegetables in the fridge are there through the work of your own hands. You know they’re fresher, safer and healthier than what you can buy at supermarkets because there are no preservatives or pesticides in them.
You nurture your plants and animals daily and watch them grow. You work hard, but the payoff for your efforts is big and tangible — you can see it, taste it, even wear it, if you’re sewing your own clothes. You’re self-sufficient; you provide for your family and have more to give back or sell to the community around you.
- There’s More Opportunity for Quality Time Together
Your workload may not be lighter when you homestead, but more often than not, you work together when work needs to be done. As parents and grandparents, you have the opportunity to teach valuable skills and lessons to the younger generations, and you’ll leave them with incredible memories of spending time with you on the farm.
- It’s a Healthier Lifestyle
Want a health boost for your retirement years? As Rethink: Rural points out, homesteading offers some wonderful health benefits. Not only do you eat better, but you are also physically active every day. The amount of labor and activity varies depending on the kind of homesteading you do, but you aren’t spending a lot of time sitting in front of the TV or computer. You’re well-rested because hard work leads to good sleep.
When Real Estate Gets Real
Once you’ve thought through your reasons to start homesteading and have made the big decision to go for it, you have some important choices to make about where to live:
How Big Is Big Enough?
A large home is ideal if you need extra room for a crafting area, playroom, office area or workshop. If you love entertaining, that should also be a consideration when looking at home sizes. The same is true if you have a big family and want to host them for holidays or picnics. Your property should be large enough for your gardens and animals, and maybe plan for expansion if you end up wanting to do more later on. You also have to decide how rural you want to be and how close you are to the nearest neighbor. A good realtor in your local area can steer you in the right direction.
How Do You Budget for Your New Home?
Pure Living for Free explains that budgeting for a homestead property is similar in many ways to budgeting for any new home. However, there will be ongoing expenses for the development, care and upkeep of your property. It’s also a good idea to check the plumbing and electrical system for maintenance issues, and get the roof inspected if it hasn’t been recently replaced.
There will be items to purchase for your new place, too. Depending on the direction you’re taking your homestead, there may be sprawling patios to install or sprawling garden beds to tend. Clearing wooded lots might mean investing in a quality wood chipper so you don’t need to worry about renting one regularly, or you might need a misting system for your garden. Think through all the various aspects of supporting your new endeavor.
Keep in mind the move as well. Your new lifestyle will require a lot out of you, and you don’t want to overdo it before you’ve even begun. Make sure to ask for help packing and moving those heavy boxes, and consider hiring a senior move manager to make the whole process smoother.
Homesteading after you retire may be a big adjustment, but a rewarding one. Finding the right property can make your sustainable retirement dreams come true. Contact the Mama Bear Team to find out how we can help you find the perfect property for your homestead.