A Farmer’s Tale

Two farmers, John and Paul, were sitting at John’s kitchen table one cold winter day. John has been a farmer for a long time and Paul is new. Paul says, “Our is mostly a dairy farm and we’re thinking about planting more than just corn and hay to feed the cows. How do you mix up the crops you plant for harvest?”

John took another slurp of his coffee, sat back and said, “It’s like this. We have some crops that are the floor for our harvest. Basic things we plant like corn and hay. We can count on a good crop yield from those every year. Other fields we plant with crops we’re pretty sure will be good for the next few years without much risk. Soybeans and potatoes mostly. Then we plant other crops that we think will grow into more important businesses in the future. “

Paul interjected, “I wondered why you have hops and even grapes in some of your fields.”

John replied, “Yes, we think those will be good in a few years, but they take time to grow and mature. We’re planting almond trees and some new varieties of drought- tolerant fruit trees too. My daughter is experimenting with hydo-agriculture and vertical planting. We don’t think those will pay off for at least 15-20 years, but we need to think longer term.

Paul laughed and said, “Let me get this straight, you’re thinking about crops you’ll harvest in 15 or 20 years?”

John smiled and replied, “Yes, and we also have some fields we can plant vegetable in when we need to if we’re in a short-term pinch like lettuce and tomatoes. We think of our farm in time segments. We ask ourselves what crops we need to harvest this year and next, what crops do we need to harvest over the next seven years, and what will we have to harvest in 15 years or more.”

Paul sat back and just shook his head in appreciation.


We think of creating retirement income for our clients like John does about his crops. In time segments. A typical client has at least one or two income floors like Social Security. Someone may have a pension if they’re one of the fortunate ones. Then we think about what will provide the client with income for the next seven years without much risk. After that, we think about what will create income for a client in 10+ years, 18 years, or 25 years. This is called time segmentation retirement income planning.

Want to know more? Sign up for a Get Acquainted call and we’ll share more on this idea, why we do it this way, how to implement time segments in retirement and the benefits for clients who retire using this approach.