Meet Brendan, farmer
I’m Brendan and I’m 52. Farming has been in my family for generations and it didn’t surprise anyone when I took over the farm from my father.
One of the biggest lessons I learned from him is that you need to focus on the long game, and plan out your steps as best you can, remembering that you are at the mercy of so much that is outside your control. My father had a phrase “you can’t turn the wind, so turn the sail.” It is a line that has kept me grounded plenty of times.
I’d like to be able to step back from farming when I am young enough and fit enough to enjoy retirement. So I worked out a retirement plan with my accountant and my financial advisor. The advise they gave me was simple – save some of what you earn this year to spend this year; and some needs to be put aside for what may be needed next year or the year after and then a portion is for the future when I stop working and saving, and start spending and relaxing.
Farming is full on with lots of unknowns along the way, such as how the weather can change my fortunes and the prices I can achieve for my produce. But I’m putting aside what I can every month and taking a closer look at what I can do when I’m dealing with my tax every November. I do like to hear how saving for our future also allows me to cut down my tax bill.
I know I need my money to grow and my aim is to build up a healthy pot for when it comes to retirement. Sometimes if we’re facing tough times, we have to drop back on the pension savings for a few months but we like to get back on track as soon as we can. In the better years, we try to put aside a little extra.
The key thing is that we have a plan that gives us real comfort. Saving some tax along the way is a real bonus. My retirement plan allows me to put aside what I can, when I can.
To find out more about what people in Brendan’s situation should do about Pensions, click here to read our Talking Pensions magazine.
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