A retired teacher lost his retirement pay in his quail project. He lost his market when Mt. Pinatubo erupted and the Americans in Clark Field left the place and his market was gone.

PEOPLE always say that after retirement one should be kept busy. The retiree should be doing something meaningful, otherwise he would stagnate and his mental and physical condition would deteriorate.

FARMING FOR CASH – Of course, some employees end up with just a modest amount of retirement pay. And they think that farming is one way of earning money that would take the place of the regular salary they made from their employment.

FARMING TO KEEP FIT – Some retirees, of course, have built a substantial nest egg and they don’t actually need to look for more cash to keep body and soul together. They could engage in farming to keep them more physically fit and for providing them the mental satisfaction that they are still productive even after retirement.

Of course, retirees who don’t really have to make more money but whose farming is profitable would feel even better and much prouder if their projects make money. After all, they could always donate the fruits of their labor to charity and feel even more fulfilled.

MOST NEED CASH – The usual case, however, is that most retirees need the cash for themselves. So they think of farm projects that could keep the cash flowing into their pockets.

CAUTION – We would like to caution retirees, however, that farming is a risky business and that they should be more prudent in investing their money in a farm project. Like what happened to a retired teacher in Bulacan.

Some years back, the teacher invested all his P300,000 retirement pay in a quail project. It happened that many of his townmates were making money from some little quail-raising ventures in their backyards. Thinking that he was much better educated than his neighbors, he decided to put up a bigger quail project. He should have the biggest quail production in the neighborhood even if he had actually no experience in raising the small bird.

For the first several months, the teacher’s quail project was making very good. He was able to sell all his eggs to a trader that supplied the requirements of the US Air Force at Clark Field.

MARKET GONE WITH PINATUBO – Then Mt. Pinatubo erupted and the Americans abandoned the place. All of a sudden, our retired teacher’s lucrative market was gone. The price of quail eggs went down to a level below production cost. He was forced to shut down and lost practically every centavo of his retirement pay.

AMBITIOUS COLONEL – Another retiree, an army colonel, was equally ambitious. After retiring from the army, he spent many years in the United States where he was able to earn more dollars by doing some odd jobs. Then he decided to come back to the Philippines for good at 70 and bought a seven-hectare farm. He had plenty of cash and didn’t have to borrow to plant three hectares to calamansi, a 50-sow level piggery, a broiler operation, several cattle, turkeys and some minor crops.

BIG HASSLE – It did not take long for him to realize that he was not that young anymore. Managing a big farm operation had become a big hassle. It was no longer enjoyable for a 70-year-old retiree to be saddled with serious marketing problems and erratic cash flows. His biggest headache came when there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and the price of pork tumbled down. That time, he was losing P5 from every kilo of live animal that he sold, or an average of P400 per head.

WANTS TO SELL – The colonel came to us asking us to help him sell his property to a younger man who had the necessary drive and stamina. He simply had gotten himself into a project that was much too big for a senior citizen to handle.

HAPPY RETIREES – Of course, we have met a lot of retirees who are enjoying their projects. Just like Marino Roxas of Alaminos, Laguna, who was an executive of the Development Bank of the Philippines, for instance. He is immensely enjoying running his six-hectare orchard planted to durian, rambutan, mangosteen and jackfruit. Under some of the trees he is also growing some ferns for sale. And he has also a few hundred Cantonese chickens roaming in the orchard.

INTO NURSERY – Another DBP retiree who has come up with a little money making project is Jaime Goyena of Calauan, Laguna. He has put up an enviable nursery of fruit trees in a property that is less than one hectare. He first collected a number of superior mother trees and now produces grafted planting materials for sale.

MORE POINTERS – Well, here are some more pointers for those who would like to become some sort of a farmer after retiring from their jobs. If you really want to have a farm of your own, it is best to acquire that farm before retirement. The earlier the better because farmlands are becoming very expensive. You might end up spending all your retirement money on the land if you don’t start buying that land earlier than when you give up your employment.

BIG ADVANTAGE – Another advantage when you start farming while still employed is that by the time you retire, your project shall have been established and would already be producing some income.

YOU CAN RENT – Of course, you can do your brand of farming even you don’t own any farmland. Some people simply use their backyards in growing something to keep them busy and to keep the cash flowing in. Others rent idle lands. You will be surprised that there are many idle lands even near Manila that could be rented for a modest sum.

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