Virginia Farmer Retirement and Transition Planning
Smith, Stephanie Mary
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This study focuses on determining how Virginia farmers are planning for farm retirement and succession and whether they will be financially prepared for their retirement years. The Virginia farming population is aging, life expectancy is increasing, and Social Security benefits are not a stable source of retirement income presenting challenges for Virginia farmers who are planning to either retire from the family farm or transition it to the next generation. In this study a 59-item survey was sent to 2000 randomly selected Farm Credit agricultural customers. Results from the survey were analyzed using chi-square tests and correlations to determine statistically significant relationships between the variables. The analysis indicates that Virginia farmers planning to retire from the farm face high levels of debt and plan to sell the farm operation. Virginia farmers planning to transition the farm are generating higher profits from the farm operation and their successor has been identified. The majority of Virginia farmers are financially prepared for retirement with Social Security support; however, without supplemental income from Social Security the majority of the Virginia farming population is not financially prepared for retirement. The results indicate necessary action from the private, academic, and public sectors. Financial professionals should offer retirement planning seminars, academia should continue to research the issues, and the government should consider developing a savings plans specifically for the agricultural community that offer tax advantages.
- Masters Theses