• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Florida farm retirement situat...
 Purpose and method of study
 Florida's retirement farmers
 Background of Retirees
 Family income and estimated cash...
 Retirement farm
 Farm expenses and receipts
 Factors affecting net farm...
 Summary
 Appendix














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 583
Title: Rural farm retirement
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027172/00001
 Material Information
Title: Rural farm retirement a study of rural retirement in five Florida counties
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 51 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Alleger, Daniel E
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1957
 Subjects
Subject: Retirement income -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Farmers -- Retirement -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility: Daniel E. Alleger.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "This publication is one of the series of the Southeast Regional Land Tenure Committee"--T.p.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027172
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000926791
oclc - 18282681
notis - AEN7491

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Table of Contents
        Page 2
    Florida farm retirement situation
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Purpose and method of study
        Page 6
        Page 5
        Page 7
    Florida's retirement farmers
        Page 8
        Page 7
    Background of Retirees
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Family income and estimated cash needs
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 14
        Page 20
    Retirement farm
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 20
        Page 26
    Farm expenses and receipts
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 26
        Page 32
        Page 33
    Factors affecting net farm earnings
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 33
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Summary
        Page 45
        Page 46
    Appendix
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
Full Text

Bulletin 583 February 1957
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
J. R. BECKENBACH, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


RURAL FARM RETIREMENT
A Study of Rural Retirement in Five Florida Counties
DANIEL E. ALLEGER
(This publication is one of the series of the Southeast Regional
Land Tenure Committee)
L. 1.-T. B. Purvis, a retired U. S. Navy lieutenant commander, keeps a hunting dog.

-I -









CONTENTS
Page

THE FLORIDA FARM RETIREMENT SITUATION .. .. ............... 3
PURPOSE AND METHOD OF STUDY ....... ...... ..... ........ .. .......... 5
Purpose ...... .. ... ... .... 5
M ethod .. ... .. .... ... .. .. 5
FLORIDA'S RETIREMENT FARMERS ........ ......... .......... ......... ......... 7
Background of Retirees ... ....................... ... 8
Some Personal Characteristics .. ..... .... ............ .......... 11
FAMILY INCOME AND ESTIMATED CASH NEEDS .... .... ......... 14
Amounts and Sources of Incomes .................................. 15
Normal Living Requirements ... .....................--......... 15
M medical Costs ............................. ........ ...... ... 18
Income and Living Standards Related ................................... 18
THE RETIREMENT FARM ........... ............................ .............. 20
Why Retirees Farmed ......... ......................... .............. 21
Capital Invested in Farms .. ........ ............................... ........... 22
How Farm Land Was Used ........................................ ...... 23
Types of Farming Followed ........................................ .... 25
FARM EXPENSES AND RECEIPTS ........................................ .......... 26
Farm Expenses ........ ................ .................. ..... .. 27
F arm R receipts .................. ............. .. .. ....... ... 32
Net Farm Earnings ......... .. .... .......... ............. 33
FACTORS AFFECTING NET FARM EARNINGS .................... ..... .. ..... 33
Influence of A ge ............ ........................ ... .... ... .... 39
Education .......... ..... ........ .... .. ..... .......... 40
Physical Impairments ... .................................... 40
Influence of Miscellaneous Factors ...... ... 43
Practical Application of Findings .......................... 43
SUMMARY .................. ...................... .. 45
APPENDIX .... .... ................................ ....... 46
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS ...........................................- 46
STATISTICAL ANALYSES ...................................... 48



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author extends his thanks to Dr. H. G. Hamilton, his Department
Head, for his advice and guidance; to Professor W. G. O'Regan, University
of Florida, who designed the statistical regression models employed in this
study; to Mrs. Joe (Joy) Campos, for her rigorous statistical computations
over many weeks; to Dr. Fred R. Marti, a former graduate student, who
aided in the field survey and analyzed the Hillsborough County findings;
to his colleagues for helpful suggestions; to Frank H. Maier, project leader
of the Southeast Regional Land Tenure Committee and to other Committee
members for their numerous suggestions; to the many retirees who co-
operated in this study, and especially to T. B. Purvis, Lt. Cmdr. USN (Ret.)
(Fig. 1), and to others whose pictures appear in this bulletin; and to William
G. Mitchell, Assistant Editor, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, for
taking the photographs cited.
Southeast Regional Land Tenure Committee Bulletin No. 24.









RURAL FARM RETIREMENT

A Study of Rural Retirement in Five Florida Counties
DANIEL E. ALLEGER

THE FLORIDA FARM RETIREMENT SITUATION
For retirees with a yen for rural living, farming furnishes a
wide range of activity to enrich their lives. Aspirations for self-
reliance and accomplishment do not end with retirement, but
retirees have few opportunities for their attainment except
through self-conducted pursuits. For these reasons a small farm
-even if it is only an acre or two-has a strong appeal to older
people who find joy in working with living things. This appeal
seems to be particularly strong in parts of Florida where farm-
ing can be carried on outdoors all year.
County agricultural agents, clergymen, state agencies, local
officials and others receive numerous requests for information
about Florida from out-of-state folks who want to retire to
small farms. These excerpts are typical of letters received by
the State Extension Service:

We are planning our retirement and would like to settle
in Florida. Would like to know of any reading matter
you may have for sale or distribution about gardening
and farming practices in your state. Have you anything
on subsistence farming? We would like to augment a
small income to cover a lot of living.
*; *

I am contemplating my retirement program and, as I
am looking forward to settling in Florida, would appreci-
ate greatly the following information. First, the area
where the climate would be more or less kind to you the
year round, second the types of soil and growing condi-
tions of same, and the best types of vegetables, fruits and
berries to thrive in said particular area.

In 1950, 9,552 of the state's 56,921 farms, or 17 percent,
were operated by men and women 65 years old or older. Addi-
tional thousands of small agricultural units also were occupied
by Florida's older people, especially in or near towns and cities.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


In 1954, according to preliminary tabulations of the 1955 Census
of Agriculture, more than half the farms in the counties sur-
veyed were part-time and residential types. They numbered
4,187, as compared to 3,976 commercial farms. Residential farms
alone totaled 2,772. Presumably, many of these farms were
occupied by retired people.


Fig. 2.-Shaded counties are those
included in the study.


During 1952 and 1953, a survey was conducted among re-
tirees in Florida living outside towns and villages. The study
was conducted for three reasons: (1) state agencies and others
had previously inaugurated research to develop a body of reliable
data on internal retirement possibilities and problems,1 (2) non-
Floridians showed wide interest in the agriculture of the state,

'The University of Florida Institute of Gerontology, the Florida State
Improvement Commission, and the former Citizens Committee on Retire-
ment in Florida, among others.


--r--- -~---~
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r
i
'onow.
!,n,~Ri~ :~-c~i

""







Rural Farm Retirement


and (3) Florida is an attractive place to retire.2 The summarized
data which follow were obtained from 175 retirement farm fam-
ilies living in the open country in five of the state's 67 counties
(Fig. 2).
PURPOSE AND METHOD OF STUDY

Over 400,000 persons are annually reaching retirement age
in the United States.3 Many hope to spend their declining years
in Florida.4 Some of them prefer small farms. Migration ac-
companied by new ways of life, entail major adjustments, par-
ticularly urbanites who change climate. If new people here are
to be happy in new environmental situations, they must be ca-
pable of utilizing the resources of the areas in which they locate.
The ability to choose a location wisely is often a matter of in-
formation. The design of the Florida study was to synthesize
and make available factual retirement farm data for informa-
tional and planning purposes.

PURPOSE
At the start of the study, it was assumed that when a re-
tiree's income is too low to provide an adequate level of living,
retirement farming is one means by which he can better his fam-
ily's economic position. Upon this assumption were based two
specific objectives. They were to determine (1) how retirement
farming contributes to the economic wellbeing of retired people
and (2) how specific factors, such as annual retirement income,
age and disability, among others, affect net farm earnings and
personal satisfactions from farming.

METHOD
The retirement farm head was the primary source of data.5
An interview schedule was completed in the presence of the in-
formant. The area chosen for study consisted of Hillsborough,
Lee, Marion, Pinellas and Putnam counties. The sample was

Of the 237,500 persons 65 years of age or older in Florida in 1950, about
95,000 had migrated to the state during the 1940-50 decade. See T. Lynn
Smith (ed), Living in the Later Years (Gainesville, Fla.: University of
Florida Press, 1952), chap. by T. Stanton Dietrich, "Problems that Need
Further Study." p. 32.
3Federal Security Agency, Committee on Aging and Geriatrics, Fact
Book on Aging (Washington, D. C., 1952). p. 1.
'Investors Diversified Services, Inc., Analysis of Retirement Housing-
Living Questionnaire, Minneapolis, 1953. (Mimeographed).
See Appendix, pages 46 and 47, for Definitions of Terms.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


designed to provide information about dispersed retirement set-
tlement in the open countryside.


I *


HILLSBOROUGH


I 0I
'



K. .
N-
Og

0 Os


MARION


0 a

*0L


PUTNAM


LEE


Fig. 3.-Location of retirees interviewed in Hillsborough, Marion, Putnam
and Lee counties.

There were no lists of names available from which to draw
a random sample. In Hillsborough County (Tampa area) where
rural homesteads are widely dispersed, the Master Sample de-
sign of the United States Department of Agriculture and the
Bureau of the Census was used.' A 25 percent sample produced
117 segments, or clusters, which averaged about five farms each.

Master Sample maps were loaned to the Florida Agricultural Experi-
ment Station by the former Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United
States Department of Agriculture, for use in designing the sample.







Rural Farm Retirement


and (3) Florida is an attractive place to retire.2 The summarized
data which follow were obtained from 175 retirement farm fam-
ilies living in the open country in five of the state's 67 counties
(Fig. 2).
PURPOSE AND METHOD OF STUDY

Over 400,000 persons are annually reaching retirement age
in the United States.3 Many hope to spend their declining years
in Florida.4 Some of them prefer small farms. Migration ac-
companied by new ways of life, entail major adjustments, par-
ticularly urbanites who change climate. If new people here are
to be happy in new environmental situations, they must be ca-
pable of utilizing the resources of the areas in which they locate.
The ability to choose a location wisely is often a matter of in-
formation. The design of the Florida study was to synthesize
and make available factual retirement farm data for informa-
tional and planning purposes.

PURPOSE
At the start of the study, it was assumed that when a re-
tiree's income is too low to provide an adequate level of living,
retirement farming is one means by which he can better his fam-
ily's economic position. Upon this assumption were based two
specific objectives. They were to determine (1) how retirement
farming contributes to the economic wellbeing of retired people
and (2) how specific factors, such as annual retirement income,
age and disability, among others, affect net farm earnings and
personal satisfactions from farming.

METHOD
The retirement farm head was the primary source of data.5
An interview schedule was completed in the presence of the in-
formant. The area chosen for study consisted of Hillsborough,
Lee, Marion, Pinellas and Putnam counties. The sample was

Of the 237,500 persons 65 years of age or older in Florida in 1950, about
95,000 had migrated to the state during the 1940-50 decade. See T. Lynn
Smith (ed), Living in the Later Years (Gainesville, Fla.: University of
Florida Press, 1952), chap. by T. Stanton Dietrich, "Problems that Need
Further Study." p. 32.
3Federal Security Agency, Committee on Aging and Geriatrics, Fact
Book on Aging (Washington, D. C., 1952). p. 1.
'Investors Diversified Services, Inc., Analysis of Retirement Housing-
Living Questionnaire, Minneapolis, 1953. (Mimeographed).
See Appendix, pages 46 and 47, for Definitions of Terms.







Rural Farm Retirement


In both Marion and Putnam counties (Ocala and Palatka areas,
respectively), the sampling units were accessible square-mile
areas in which at least one rural home was shown on state high-
way maps. A 20 percent stratified random sample yielded 174
square-mile units. Neither Pinellas County (St. Petersburg
area) nor Lee County (Ft. Myers area) could feasibly be sampled
by either of the above two methods. Rural Pinellas County is
largely platted for residential purposes, and farm homes in Lee
County are found chiefly in narrow zones along several main
highways. Much of the undrained land there is unsuited for
rural homes, at least for part of each year. Accordingly, all
eligibles in Lee and Pinellas counties who lived outside urban
and suburban developments were interviewed. Fig. 3 shows the
farm locations of the retirees interviewed, excluding Pinellas
County.
Altogether 192 records were taken during 1952 and 1953, but
17 were discarded. The discarded records related to either (1)
retirees whose retirement incomes exceeded $500 monthly or
(2) aged farmers who stated they had not retired. The 175
records retained for analysis represented 155 male and 20 female
family heads, 153 of whom were white and 22 negro (Table 1).
Estimates derived from the expansion of the samples indi-
cated that, as of the dates of interview, over 900 retirement
farmers were living outside of towns and villages in the five
counties surveyed. Of these about 500 were living in Hills-
borough County.

TABLE 1.-NUMBER OF RETIRED FAMILY HEADS INTERVIEWED, BY RACE,
SEX AND COUNTY, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.*

County White Negro Total
I Male Female I Male Female Male Female
Hillsborough 89 13 2 ..... 91 13
Lee ......- ... 14 .... ...... ...... 14
Marion ...... 18 1 12 4 30 5
Pinellas 6 ...... ........ 6 ....
Putnam ... 10 2 4 .... 14 2

Total .......... 137 1 16 18 4 155 20

For this and all subsequent tables, data relate to the "Schedule Year."

FLORIDA'S RETIREMENT FARMERS

Approximately three out of five retirement farmers inter-
viewed were born outside the state. They reported that climate,







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


health considerations, and the influence of relatives and friends
were the principal factors inducing them to locate in Florida.
About one-third of all the retirees were farmers before retire-
ment, at least for several years just prior to that. Reasons for
retiring were usually ascribed to age and poor health.

BACKGROUND OF RETIREES
This study did not provide complete information regarding
the direction or selectivity of migration, or the number of years
retirement farmers lived in the state. However, many reported
they had lived in two or more states before settling in Florida,
and some of them had entered the state in family migrations
early in life. Also, some Florida-born people had lived outside
the state during their gainfully productive periods of life, only
to return to spend their declining years.
Places of Birth.-Sixty-eight of the 175 retirees were native
Floridians and 60 of the 107 in-migrants were born in the South
Atlantic and East South Central States. Nearly half the re-
mainder (22 percent of total) migrated from the Middle Atlantic
and East North Central States.

TABLE 2.-REASONS GIVEN FOR MIGRATING TO FLORIDA BY 107 RETIREMENT
FARMERS BORN OUTSIDE OF THE STATE, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.:"

Reasons Years of Residence in County
for Migrating to
Florida 5 Years Over All
or Less 5 Years | Number percent t

Whites .... ...... .... 29 68 97 100.0
Clim ate .....~...-.. ............. 11 16 27 27.8
Health-Total ..... 1 (12) (12) (24) (24.7)
M ale head ...................... 9 8 17 17.5
Female head ................ 2 1 3 3.1
Children ... ................. 1 3 4 4.1
Relatives and friends...... 3 16 19 19.6
Gainful employment .... 1 14 15 15.5
Economic opportunity -- 1 8 9 9.3
Reduce cost of living........ 1 1 1.0
Unknown or unclassified. 2 2 2.1
Negroes ......................... ..... 1 9 10 100.0
Relatives and friends ...... 1 4 5 50.0
Gainful employment ........ 4 4 40.0
Economic opportunity ... ... 1 1 10.0

Total .................................... 30 77 107 100.0

Percent ........................... 28.0 1 72.0 xxx 100.0
Except for Hillsborough County total years of residence in county were not ascer-
tained. Years of residence in Hillsborough county: Median 15; average 16; range, one to 66.







Rural Farm Retirement


In both Marion and Putnam counties (Ocala and Palatka areas,
respectively), the sampling units were accessible square-mile
areas in which at least one rural home was shown on state high-
way maps. A 20 percent stratified random sample yielded 174
square-mile units. Neither Pinellas County (St. Petersburg
area) nor Lee County (Ft. Myers area) could feasibly be sampled
by either of the above two methods. Rural Pinellas County is
largely platted for residential purposes, and farm homes in Lee
County are found chiefly in narrow zones along several main
highways. Much of the undrained land there is unsuited for
rural homes, at least for part of each year. Accordingly, all
eligibles in Lee and Pinellas counties who lived outside urban
and suburban developments were interviewed. Fig. 3 shows the
farm locations of the retirees interviewed, excluding Pinellas
County.
Altogether 192 records were taken during 1952 and 1953, but
17 were discarded. The discarded records related to either (1)
retirees whose retirement incomes exceeded $500 monthly or
(2) aged farmers who stated they had not retired. The 175
records retained for analysis represented 155 male and 20 female
family heads, 153 of whom were white and 22 negro (Table 1).
Estimates derived from the expansion of the samples indi-
cated that, as of the dates of interview, over 900 retirement
farmers were living outside of towns and villages in the five
counties surveyed. Of these about 500 were living in Hills-
borough County.

TABLE 1.-NUMBER OF RETIRED FAMILY HEADS INTERVIEWED, BY RACE,
SEX AND COUNTY, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.*

County White Negro Total
I Male Female I Male Female Male Female
Hillsborough 89 13 2 ..... 91 13
Lee ......- ... 14 .... ...... ...... 14
Marion ...... 18 1 12 4 30 5
Pinellas 6 ...... ........ 6 ....
Putnam ... 10 2 4 .... 14 2

Total .......... 137 1 16 18 4 155 20

For this and all subsequent tables, data relate to the "Schedule Year."

FLORIDA'S RETIREMENT FARMERS

Approximately three out of five retirement farmers inter-
viewed were born outside the state. They reported that climate,







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


health considerations, and the influence of relatives and friends
were the principal factors inducing them to locate in Florida.
About one-third of all the retirees were farmers before retire-
ment, at least for several years just prior to that. Reasons for
retiring were usually ascribed to age and poor health.

BACKGROUND OF RETIREES
This study did not provide complete information regarding
the direction or selectivity of migration, or the number of years
retirement farmers lived in the state. However, many reported
they had lived in two or more states before settling in Florida,
and some of them had entered the state in family migrations
early in life. Also, some Florida-born people had lived outside
the state during their gainfully productive periods of life, only
to return to spend their declining years.
Places of Birth.-Sixty-eight of the 175 retirees were native
Floridians and 60 of the 107 in-migrants were born in the South
Atlantic and East South Central States. Nearly half the re-
mainder (22 percent of total) migrated from the Middle Atlantic
and East North Central States.

TABLE 2.-REASONS GIVEN FOR MIGRATING TO FLORIDA BY 107 RETIREMENT
FARMERS BORN OUTSIDE OF THE STATE, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.:"

Reasons Years of Residence in County
for Migrating to
Florida 5 Years Over All
or Less 5 Years | Number percent t

Whites .... ...... .... 29 68 97 100.0
Clim ate .....~...-.. ............. 11 16 27 27.8
Health-Total ..... 1 (12) (12) (24) (24.7)
M ale head ...................... 9 8 17 17.5
Female head ................ 2 1 3 3.1
Children ... ................. 1 3 4 4.1
Relatives and friends...... 3 16 19 19.6
Gainful employment .... 1 14 15 15.5
Economic opportunity -- 1 8 9 9.3
Reduce cost of living........ 1 1 1.0
Unknown or unclassified. 2 2 2.1
Negroes ......................... ..... 1 9 10 100.0
Relatives and friends ...... 1 4 5 50.0
Gainful employment ........ 4 4 40.0
Economic opportunity ... ... 1 1 10.0

Total .................................... 30 77 107 100.0

Percent ........................... 28.0 1 72.0 xxx 100.0
Except for Hillsborough County total years of residence in county were not ascer-
tained. Years of residence in Hillsborough county: Median 15; average 16; range, one to 66.








Rural Farm Retirement


TABLE 3.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF 175 RETIREMENT FARMERS BY
PRE-RETIREMENT OCCUPATION GROUP AND BY LENGTH OF
RESIDENCE, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Perce
Pre-retirement Occupation Group** Years

Total

Farmers and farm managers .................. 36.0
Craftsmen, foremen and kindred workers.... 18.9
Managers, officials, proprietors .................... 13.7
Private household workers ....................... 8.0
Operatives and kindred workers ................. 5.7
Laborers except farm and mine ............... 5.7
Farm laborers and foremen ...................... 4 4.0
Professional, technical and kindred workers 3.4
Clerical and kindred workers ............. ........ 2.3
Service workers, except private household.. 1.1
Sales workers .............................. ... .... .. .6
Unclassified or unreported .......................... .6
i


Total ....


ntage Distribution by
of Residence on Farm*


15 Years
or Less

24.5
22.4
21.4
3.1
8.2
6.1
3.1
4.1
3.1
2.0
1.0
1.0


15.1 Years
or More

50.6
14.3
3.9
14.3
2.6
5.2
5.2
2.6
1.3


... 100.0 100.0 100.0


N um ber ..... ..... ......... .. .............. ..... 175 98 77
Years of residence on farm: Average, 18.6; median 13; range one to 75.
** For major occupational groupings see Alphabetical Index of Occupations and Industries,
Bureau of the Census, USDC. 1950. pp. XV-XXIV.



TABLE 4.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF REASONS FOR RETIRING, BY
LENGTH OF RESIDENCE ON FARM AND BY AGE, 175 RETIREMENT
FARMERS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Reason
for Retiring



A ge .......... ........
Poor Health ...-
Both age and
poor health ....
W widowed .........
Length of em-
ployment
service ..........
Ample financial
reserves ..........
To take it easy....
Unclassified ........


15 Years or Less
All on Farm
Retirees
ReAge of Retiree
70 Years I 71 Years
or Under Ior Over

38.3 22.9 48.7
33.2 49.2 21.6

14.3 6.6 21.6
4.0 3.3 2.7

3.4 8.2

3.4 6.6 2.7
2.3 1.6 2.7
1.1 1.6
II


15.1 Years or More
on Farm

Age of Retiree
70 Years 71 Years
or Under or Over

31.4 57.1
37.1 16.7

14.3 19.0
11.4


2.9


Total ..................

Number ..............


100.0

175


100.0

61


100.0

37


100.0

35


100.0

S42






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Locating in Florida.-The principal reasons advanced by
those migrating to Florida were to "enjoy the climate" and for
"reasons of health" (Table 2). Twenty-three of the 29 re-
tirees (79 percent) who had been in the state less than five years
reported these two reasons, as compared to 28 in 68 (41 percent)
who had lived in the state over five years. Among the earlier
arrivals, the influence of relatives and friends and the pull of
economic opportunity were quite decisive. It could not be de-
termined if the reasons given for migrating tended to be influ-
enced by the length of elapsed time between dates of retirement
and enumeration.
Pre-retirement Occupations.-Detailed occupational statistics
indicate, to some degree, the social, economic and intellectual
status of workers and their families. When a person reaches
retirement, his chronological occupational history tells much
about his manner of life during his active working years. If
occupational data were sufficiently well developed, they may
also throw some light on retirement expectations. Nonetheless,
this survey indicated that retired skilled workers, business men
and other non-agriculturists in the areas studied were recently
retiring to farms in proportionally larger numbers than before
the start of the Social Security program. However, forces other
than the Social Security program may be influencing this trend,
as shown by comparisons in Table 3.
Reasons for Retiring.-Retirement farmers usually ascribed
age and poor health as reasons for retiring (Table 4). However,
the reasons attributed were somewhat misleading. For example,
an individual seeking employment and not finding it may have
suggested age as cause for retirement, while the real reason was
inability to find gainful employment because of age. He then
turned to farming as his best known alternative opportunity.
Those retiring with incomes ample for their needs were not
faced with this economic decision.
Residence of Retirement Farmer.-Many retirement farmers
acquired their farms prior to retirement. The majority of them
remained on their farms throughout the year, but a small per-
centage spent several months in Northern states during the sum-
mer. Summer departures averaged about one in 12 in Hills-
borough County, but were much lower elsewhere. Over 50 per-
cent (51.4) reported continuous farm residence for 10 years or
more (Table 5). This compared to 60.8 percent for retirees 71
years of age and over, and to 43.8 percent for those under 71
years of age.







Rural Fanrm Retirement


TABLE 5.-DISTRIBUTION OF 175 RETIREMENT FARMERS BY YEARS IN PRES-
ENT RESIDENCE ACCORDING TO Two AGE CLASSES, FIVE SELECTED
COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Years in Present 70 Years 71 Years
Residence or Under or Over All
No. Pet. No. Pet. No. Pet.

One year or less ...... 11 11.4 5 6.3 16 9.1
1.1 to 5 years....... 26 27.1 15 19.0 41 23.5
5.1 to 10 years......... 17 17.7 11 13.9 28 16.0
10.1 to 15 years........... 7 7.3 7.6 13 7.4
15.1 to 20 years ...... 7 7.3 7 8.9 14 8.0
20.1 and over ......." 28 29.2 35 44.3 3 36.0


Total ........... ... 96 100.0 79 100.0 175 100.0

SOME PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
The average retirement farmer was 69 years of age, moder-
ately educated, married and suffering from some type of physical
impairment.
Age.-The youngest retirement farmer when interviewed in
1952, was a 46-year-old white naval retiree. The oldest was 92-
a negro born in slavery. About 58 percent ranged from 66 to 75
years of age (Table 6).

TABLE 6.-DISTRIBUTION OF 175 RETIREMENT FARMERS ACCORDING TO AGE
CLASSIFICATION, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Age Distribution
Classes:: Number Percent

50 years or younger -............... 4 2.3
51 to 55 ....................................... 6 3.4
56 to 60 ...... -.......... ...- -...... 17 9.7
61 to 65 ............. ..........-- ... ....-..-. 17 9.7
66 to 70 ................. ....... .. .... ............. ... 52 29.7
71 to 75.. ...... .- ...... .. .... ...... ..... | 49 28.0
76 to 80............... .. ......... ..... .... 19 10.9
81 to 85.. .................... .................... 7 4.0
86 years or older ... .... .........4 2.3


Total -.. -.... -................ ...... .......... 175 100.0
*Average age 69: median 70.

Education.-Nearly three-fourths of the retirees (72.0 per-
cent) reported eight years or less of formal education; 16 per-
cent had attended at least one year of high school, and 12 percent









Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


None 1-4 5-7 8 9-11 12 13-15 16+

Years of Education


Fig. 4.-Percentage distribution of 175 retirement farmers by years of
education.


_I

















C~
''''' ............'
. . . .
......................
. . . . .


55 60


65


S ..... .... .









70 75 80 85


Fig. 5.-Disability increases with age. The rate of disability rises rapidly
after age 65.


Percent
Disabled

100


90

80


70


60




10

0


-


Pcrcnt
,.,..., I







Rural Farm Retirement


had completed one or more years of college (Fig. 4). Retirees
commented that they did not have the educational opportunities
in their youths that young people have today. Hence, the close
relationship these data show between grade school education and
retirement farming may be of no more than historical signifi-
cance.
Physical Disabilities.-Seventy-six percent of the retirees
were, according to their personal ratings, disabled-58.3 percent
partially and 17.7 totally. From age 66 upwards the rate of dis-
ability increased with age (Fig. 5). Below age 66, 75 percent
reported physical impairments. Many of the younger retirees
were retired because of disabilities.

TABLE 7.-CAUSES OF DISABILITY BY AGE CLASSES AS REPORTED BY 133
RETIREMENT FARMERS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Distribution by Age and by Disability


Nature of Disability
Reported
No.

A arthritis ........... ........ 15
H ernia .................... ....... 15
Heart diseases ............ 13
High blood pressure.... 11
Eye disorders: .............. 9
Respiratory disorders -.
Asthma ..................... 4
Other .............. ........ 4
D ebility ....... .............. 7
Wounds and/or
injuries ...................... 7
Back disorders .............. 6
Rheumatism ......... .... 6
C ancer ............................ 5
Kidney diseases .......... 5
Stomach ailments ...... 5
Diabetes ................._ 3
Paralytic strokes ..... 3
Miscellaneous ** ........ 10
Not ascertained ............ 5


133 100.0


70 or Under 71 or Over
i No. No. %


4 5.6 3
2 2.8 4

2 2.8 3
5 7.0
2 2.8 1
2 2.8 1
7 9.9 3
3 4.2 2


71


100.0


62


100.0


Includes two totally and one partially blind retirees and others with failing eyesight, etc.
** No more than two- with any one kind of disability. Included are low blood pressure,
gall bladder disorders, prostate trouble, nervous disorders, etc.
SFifteen retirees reported two .,r more disabling conditions. but only the leading dis-
abilities were clasfied.

Arthritis and hernia were the principal disabilities reported
(Table 7). Since physical impairments recorded were self-
ratings of retirees, the affect of secondary disabling conditions


Total t






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


could not be identified. The data in Fig. 5 and Table 7 show
that at age 75, eight out of 10 retirement farmers possessed
physical incapacities of some type.
Size of Family.-Approximately 61 percent (106 families) of
all retiree families were two-person families (Fig. 6). Widowed,
divorced or separated persons living alone numbered 34, or 19
percent. Of these, 21 were males and 13 females. Thirty-five
families, or 20 percent, ranged in size from three to seven per-
sons. Altogether, the 175 families included 381 persons, or an
average of 2.2 per family.

FAMILY INCOME AND ESTIMATED CASH NEEDS

The retirement farm families interviewed in Florida were
chiefly families with low retirement incomes. As used here,
"retirement income" means all income received from non-farm


Percent
I


S1 iiiii I


0 J-


I 2 3 4


Persons per Family
Fig. 6.-Proportional distribution of the number of persons
the 175 retirement farm families studied.


5 6 or more


per family in







Rural Farm Retirement


sources by retirement farm families. The average annual re-
tirement income was $974 for 165 retirees reporting incomes.
This amounted to about $81 per month. Estimated normal living
requirements averaged $97 per month, or about $16 more than
income.
AMOUNTS AND SOURCES OF INCOMES
Among the 165 retirement farmers who reported retirement
income status, 66 percent (109 families) had less than $1,000
annual retirement income, approximately 27 percent $1,000 to
$1,999, and the remainder, or about 7 percent, $2,000 or over
(Table 8).

TABLE 8.-DISTRIBUTION OF 165 RETIREMENT FARMERS BY ANNUAL RETIRE-
MENT INCOME CLASSES, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.'

Annual Retirement Distribution
Income Classes Number Percent
N one --.. ----.... .-- ........--- ..- 7 4.2
$ 11 499--....- .... ............... 22 13.3
500 749........................ .. .......... 46 27.9
750 999--..............---. .-- ... ...... 34 20.6
1,000 1,249...---- -....-....... .... 25 15.2
1.250 1,499....................... 5 3.0
1,500 1,749...................... 10 6.1
1,750 1,999 ............. .... ..... .. 4 2.4
2,000 and over .... ... ................ ....... 12 7.3

T otal .......... ............................ 165 100.0

*Range: None to S6,000.

Approximately 44 percent of the retired family heads re-
ceived monthly retirement income from the state, largely in the
form of old age assistance, and slightly over 35 percent secured
incomes from federal sources (Table 9). Thus, about 79 percent
received retirement incomes from federal and state sources.
Two-fifths (38 percent) received more than one type of retire-
ment income, in addition to any farm income they realized.

NORMAL LIVING REQUIREMENTS
The estimated income needed for normal living requirements
refers to the amount of money required for home maintenance,
food, clothing, utilities, other ordinary household needs and rec-
reation not provided by the farm, as estimated by retirees.
Since normal living needs are estimates only, they do not repre-
sent actual expenditures. Estimates of needs were strongly but












TABLE 9.-DISTRIBUTION OF RETIREES BY PRINCIPAL TYPE OF INCOME AND NUMBER OF INCOME SOURCES, TOGETHER WITH
AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME OF THOSE GETTING THEIR PRINCIPAL INCOME FROM EACH SOURCE, FIVE FLORIDA COUNTIES, 1951-
1953.
(Income refers here to "retirement income" and excludes income from farming)


Type of Income




State government payments: ......
Old Age Assistance ......-.......
Welfare, except old age ...........
Teacher's retirement ..........

Federal government payments:
Social Security .........................
Armed services, pensions .......
Armed services, disability ......
Armed services, unclassified ...
U. S. Civil Service ....................
Railroad retirement ** _.......
Armed services, insurance ....

Investm ents: ....... ........
Rents and royalties ......
Interest and dividends ...
Not specified ........ ...


Retirees Getting
Principal Income
from Each Source*

Number Per cent

72 43.6
64 38.8
7 4.2
1 0.6


Average
Annual
Income
of Each
Group
Dollars

$ 739
703
1,063
804


58 35.2 1,276
26 15.8 926
12 7.3 2,309
8 4.9 809
4 2.4 877
4 2.4 1,269
3 1.8 1,623
1 0.6 2,304

12 7.3 944
8 4.9 1,053
3 1.8 867
1 0.6 i 300


Retirees Having Specified
Numbers of Income Sources In
Addition to Principal One*
Nonene O Two Three
Number of Retirees

45 19 7 1
43 I 15 6 -
1 4 1 1
1 -


22
11
5
2
2
1

1

4
3
1


tA.
0


Ca


Continued.


ci

'4










TABLE .--DISTRIBUTION OF RETIREES BY PRINCIPAL TYPE OF INCOME AND NUMBER OF INCOME SOURCES, TOGETHER WITH
AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME OF THOSE GETTING THEIR PRINCIPAL INCOME FROM EACH SOURCE, FIVE FLORIDA COUNTIES, 1951-
1953 (Concluded).
(Income refers here to "retirement income" and excludes income from farming)


Type of Income


Part-time employment:
Wife of family head
Family head ... --......
Keeping roomers, boarders, etc.

No retirement income ..


Miscellaneous income:
Gifts from relatives
Municipal pensions ..
Corporation pensions
Unclassified disability


Retirees Getting
Principal Income
from Each Source'

Number Per cent


Average
Annual
Income
of Each
(iollan
Dollars


Retirees Having Specified
Numbers of Income Sources In
Addition to Principal One*
None ; One Two | Three
Number of Retirees


1,345
1,991
172
1,549


7 4.2

i 5.5
4 2.4
2 1.2
2 1.2
1 0.(

1 (5 100.0


1,411
915
1,(85
1,685
2,300

$ 974


7 2


102 48 14 1


;Ten retirees with unknown income excluded.
i E Employment records I lranisfered from Railroald ld ir(ement HoIl3rd to SoLciai Sl.eulriiy I nlloltrd ntil til 1or riremn of employulvee, subject lo ex-
ceptt ions.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


inversely influenced by the ages of the retirees. Below age 55,
estimated monthly cash requirements per retirement farm family
averaged $142. From age 56 upward, estimated living needs
progressively decreased.
Cash needs also were directly related to size of family, or
$63 for one-person families, $101 for two-person families and
$118 for all others. Education and living needs were likewise
associated. Persons with less than eighth grade education esti-
mated their needs at $83, those with eighth grade education at
$106, and those who progressed beyond the eighth grade $119.

MEDICAL COSTS
According to unsolicited comments from many retirees and
with statistical supplementations from 46, the principal financial
hazards encountered after retirement were costs for hospital
and medical care. They reported doctor fees ranged from $5 to
$15 per rural home call. For the 12 months preceding the dates
of interview, 32 of the 46 reported they had incurred medical
costs. These costs averaged $18 monthly and ranged up to $100.
In addition, 13 reported hospital expenditures or obligations
ranging from $60 to $3,500. When retirees were thus incapaci-
tated, the scale of farm operations was often modified, or farm-
ing was discontinued entirely.

INCOME AND LIVING STANDARDS RELATED
The level of living of an individual or family is measured by
economic goods and services possessed and consumed. It there-
fore represents consumption choices of individuals or families.7
Its basic determinant is income.
The Sewell Socioeconomic Status Scale (short form) was
employed in a sub-sample of this study to measure the level of
living of retirement farm families.8 The scale was composed of
14 items with assigned weights, which when ascertained, were

SSee Daniel E. Alleger, "The Role of Agriculture in Retirement Adjust-
ment: A Study in Five Florida Counties," Rural Sociology, Vol. 20., (June,
1955) pp. 124-131.
SRecommended for this survey by Dr. Margaret J. Hagood, Social Sci-
entist, of the U. S. D. A. For description of scale see Rural Sociology, Vol.
8, No. 2, June 1943.
Sewell status scores were not computed for retirement farm families
in Lee and Pinellas Counties. Neither of the two counties properly reflects
the rural farm situations for which the scale was devised. Pinellas County
is a typical resort and urbanized retirement area, while semi-tropical Lee
County is an area of large-scale commercial winter farm operations as
well as a resort center.







Rural Farm Retirement


added together to provide an individual score. The highest pos-
sible score rating was 91. The distribution of these scores in-
dicated the existence of a definite relationship between amount
of annual retirement income and level of living (Table 10).

TABLE 10.-NUMERICAL DISTRIBUTION OF 155 RETIREMENT FARM FAMILIES
BY LEVEL OF LIVING INDEX SCORES AND BY RETIREMENT INCOME,
THREE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.*

Distribution by Retirement Income
Level of Living
Index Scores $749 and $750 and All Classes
Under Over Number 1 Percent
30 39.............. 3 3 2.0
40 49 ................. 4 4 2.7
50 59 .............. 27 6 33 22.1
60 69 ................. 17 21 38 25.5
70 79................. 13 35 48 32.2
80 89 ............... 6 16 22 14.8
90 and over -....... 1 1 .7

Total ......... ...... 70 79 149 100.0

Status score ...... 62 72 67 xxxxx
Hillsborough, Marion and Putnam Counties.

For comparative purposes, the questionnaire forms contain-
ing the Sewell scores were arrayed from the lowest to the highest
scores. They were then separated into quartiles (fourths) at
the points where the Sewell scale scores changed. The retire-
ment farm families falling in Quartile I (lower fourth) reported
an annual retirement income of $544, as compared to $1,583 for
those in Quartile IV, or upper fourth (Table 11).
The interview schedule included certain items believed to
have a high level of living discriminatory value in Florida but
which are not part of the Sewell scale. Of particular statistical
significance (differences between two proportions) is the fact
that the families in the lower fourth generally were at a dis-
advantage in respect to running water in the home, possession
of mechanical refrigerator, gas or electric cook stoves, unit-con-
trolled internal home heating, telephone, automobile, subscrip-
tion to daily paper and others.
Feeble and disabled retirees reported they found it too stren-
uous to carry enough water for home requirements, chop and
saw wood for cooking and heating, or carry groceries or other
supplies for considerable distances. For those who did not own
automobiles or were physically unable to operate them, off-farm






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


could not be identified. The data in Fig. 5 and Table 7 show
that at age 75, eight out of 10 retirement farmers possessed
physical incapacities of some type.
Size of Family.-Approximately 61 percent (106 families) of
all retiree families were two-person families (Fig. 6). Widowed,
divorced or separated persons living alone numbered 34, or 19
percent. Of these, 21 were males and 13 females. Thirty-five
families, or 20 percent, ranged in size from three to seven per-
sons. Altogether, the 175 families included 381 persons, or an
average of 2.2 per family.

FAMILY INCOME AND ESTIMATED CASH NEEDS

The retirement farm families interviewed in Florida were
chiefly families with low retirement incomes. As used here,
"retirement income" means all income received from non-farm


Percent
I


S1 iiiii I


0 J-


I 2 3 4


Persons per Family
Fig. 6.-Proportional distribution of the number of persons
the 175 retirement farm families studied.


5 6 or more


per family in







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


transportation became a problem and often a costly one. Neigh-
bors sometimes charged $2.50 or more per round trip for this
accommodation. And, in the absence of a telephone, medical
aid could not always be summoned in an hour of need. Retirees
who found themselves in these circumstances often indicated a
preference for village living where they would be within walking
distance of neighbors, grocery store and church.

TABLE 11.-PERCENTAGE OF RETIREMENT FARM FAMILIES POSSESSING LEVEL
OF LIVING ITEMS BY QUARTILES, FOR HILLSBOROUGH, MARION
AND PUTNAM COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Level of Living Items


Annual Retirement
Income -- --. ----
Socio-economic status
score (Sewell Scale) ....


Electric lights ..........
Water piped into house *.
Power washer* ...........
Mechanical refrigerator
Telephone ..-- ......
Automobile ..........
Family takes
daily paper .--
Screened windows .....
Screened porch .-....
Kitchen sink .-...- ...
Bathtub ......................
Shower bath ...............
Cook stove:
W ood ............. .. .
Kerosene ... .........
Gas .... .. -
Electric ............................
E electric --.---------_---- .------
Internal home heating:
Fireplace ...--- ...
Wood heater -........
Portable kerosene
heater .... ...-- ....
Stationary kerosene
heater ------. ----
Gas or electric..............
Electric deep freeze..........


All Proportion Possessing
Retiree by Quartile (Lowest to Highest)
Families Quartile Quartile Quartile Quartile
N=149 1 2 3 4
N 40 N = 35 N 37 N 37
Average Average Average I Average Average

$974 $544 $808 $950 $1,583


67 52 64 72

percent Percent Percent Percent

88.6 57.5 100.0 100.0
61.1 7.5 48.6 91.9
50.3 7.5 45.7 73.0
65.8 20.0 71.4 83.8
14.1 2.5 2.9 16.2
50.3 20.0 31.4 62.2
53.0 17.5 40.0 73.0
83.2 52.5 88.6 94.6
25.5 7.5 22.9 24.3
47.8 5.0 25.7 70.3
36.2 2.5 17.1 54.1
17.5 2.5 5.7 21.6


5.7 13.5
20.0 40.5
5.7 5.4
8.1


81

Percent

100.0
100.0
78.4
91.9
35.1
89.2
83.8
100.0
48.6
91.9
73.0
40.5

8.1
32.4
59.5
13.5
8.1
5.4
62.2
13.5
24.3


These items are part of the Sewell scale; other items are not.

THE RETIREMENT FARM

Unlike a commercial farmer who often selects a farm on the
basis of its potential productivity, the retirement farmer chooses


P P






Rural Farm Retirement


a farm mainly for a suitable environment to spend his declining
years of life. Many retirees plan farm operations simply to
produce food for home use and for satisfying mental and physi-
cal interests.
WHY RETIREES FARMED
Nearly 57 percent of the retirement farmers gave economic
reasons as motivations for farming, 29 percent rated their moti-
vations as "subjective," and the other 14 percent were unable
to rate their reasons. However, these values were not directly
measurable because the intrinsic values of leisure, mental satis-
factions and recreation were associated with economic motives.


Fig. 7.-The author (right) interviews Dr. C. R. Hook, a retired chiro-
practor living near Melrose. Dr. Hook's main retirement interests are a
backyard nursery, a small citrus grove, and the breeding of hound dogs.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Yet it was possible to rate explanations such as "to provide food
for home use," "to supplement retirement income," or "to con-
serve investment in real estate" as economic, and to rate "to keep
physically and mentally occupied," "to be free of habitual rou-
tine," "to improve health," and to "adjust to physical limita-
tions" as subjective. Such statements as "always farmed; en-
vironmentally adjusted," or "farming for both food and recre-
ation" were given the dual rating of being both economic and
subjective. Retirees who stated their retirement incomes were
adequate for their normal needs frequently viewed farming
largely in terms of personal satisfaction (Fig. 7).

CAPITAL INVESTED IN FARMS
The average investment per retirement farm home was
around $5,300. The median value was $4,360. Total values
ranged from around $650 to $25,000. Land and buildings ac-
counted for nearly 94 percent of the average total capital in-
vestment.

TABLE 12.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF 175 RETIREMENT FARMERS BY
VALUE OF REAL ESTATE AND BY TENURE, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

SPercentage Distribution
Capital Value
Classes All _Tenure
Retirees Owners Non-Owners
Percent Percent Percent
Under $1,500 .......... 7.4 6.1 15.4
1,500 to 2,999....-.. 19.4 16.2 38.5
3,000 to 4,499 ........ 27.5 26.3 34.6
4,500 to 5,999...... .. 15.4 17.6
6,000 to 8,999 ......... 15.4 16.9 7.7
9,000 and over........ 14.9 16.9 3.8

Total ........................ 100.0 100.0 100.0
S1 I
Number ......--..... 175 148 26
Average Value ...... $5,277 $5,691 $3,117

Land and Buildings.-Over two-thirds (69.7 percent) of the
retirement farms were valued at less than $6,000 (Table 12).
The value of owned farms was nearly double that of other farms.
Non-owners consisted of 15 renters and 11 non-renters. The lat-
ter lived on farms owned by their children or were caretakers
who received house rent and garden privileges in return for
caretaking services.







Rural Farm Retirement


Operating Farm Capital.-The average retiree invested about
$300 in capital items for farming. Investments ranged from
nothing to $8,850. The limited nature of individual farm enter-
prises is further emphasized by the average operating invest-
ment per farm for farms reporting (Table 13).

TABLE 13.-AVERAGE OPERATING INVESTMENT PER FARM, 175 RETIREMENT
FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Number Value Per Farm
Investment Item of Farms Farms All
Reporting Reporting Farms
Livestock, except workstock-All 150 $221 $189
Chickens, laying flock.. .... 135 73 56
B roilers ................ ................... 48 18 5
Dairy cattle ........... ---........ 35 212 42
Swine --- .......... .. .... 24 29 4
Beef cattle ....................... 15 874 75
Other poultry ----..------------........ 8 57 3
Meat animals, unclassified......... 3 17
Honey bees ....................... .. ... 3 232 4
W orkstock -....................-- -.. 34 56 11
Hand tools .....------..--- .... .. .... 153 19 17
Machinery and equipment.............. 59 43 14
Tractor ............. ...- .....- ....... .. 23 513 67
Feed and supplies ..................... 97 14 8


Total or average; all farms ..... 175 xxx $306
Twenty-two reported the hand tools they owned had no resale value.

HOW FARM LAND WAS USED

The average retirement farm consisted of a little over 17
acres, counting woods and wastelands (Table 14). Including
citrus, about three acres were under cultivation. Idle land till-
able was seldom rented out and often not pastured.

TABLE 14.-AVERAGE ACREAGE PER FARM, AND BY USE OF LAND, 175
RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Use of Land All Farms
in Farm Average
Acres Percent

A cres operated .............. .. ..... ................. 17.3 100.0
Idle land, tillable .................... .......- ............... 8.4 48.6
Land tilled (excluding citrus) ... ....................... 2.3 13.3
Pasture land -. ...... -................ ..................... 1.7 9.8
C itrus ........... .. .............. ....... ... ....... 0.5 2.9
W oodland ---........................................ 2.7 15.6
All other land .......... .................. 1.7 9.8

Includes some tillable land lying idle for Hillsborough County; also homesites, swamps.
wastelands, etc,
Range: Total acreage, 0.5 to 195: land tilled, none to 40.9.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


The average amount of farm land planted to garden or field
crops for the year was just over two acres (Table 15). However,
about 75 percent of the retirees had one acre or less under culti-
vation (Fig. 8). Among the important garden crops were such
leafy vegetables as collards, turnips and mustard. Okra and
squash were also in favor for home use. Strawberries, peppers,
corn and eggplants were the usual truck crops produced for sale.


Fig. 8.-R. M. Cason, an octogenarian ex-carpenter of near Melrose,
admires some of his treasured camellias. He operates about an acre of
land on which he grows several kinds of citrus fruit, flowers and vege-
tables. He even keeps two milk goats.







Rural Farm Retirement


TABLE 15.-DISTRIBUTION OF 175 RETIREMENT FARMS ACCORDING TO AREA
CULTIVATED, AND BY COUNTIES, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Cultivated Number of Counties All Farms
Acreage Hills- Marion Lee
Classes borough Putnam Pinellas Number Percent

N one ............................ 30 10 7 47 26.9
0.1 to 0.5 acres ........ 44 17 7 68 38.9
0.6 to 1.0 acres........ 10 4 2 16 9.1
1.1 to 2.0 acres........ 6 4 1 11 6.3
2.1 to 5.0 acres.. 6 5 2 13 7.4
5.1 to 10.0 acres ........ 4 7 11 6.3
10.1 to 15.0 acres....... 3 1 4 2.3
15.1 and over .......... 1 3 1 5 2.8


Total ........................... 104 51 20 175 100.0

Average cultivated
acreage 1.6 3.4 2.5 2.3 xxxxx
SExcludes citrus acreages.

Among the fruits produced by retirees in the warmer areas
were avocados, mangos and papayas (Fig. 9). Retirees growing
papayas for sale reported a ready market for their fruits. One
retiree grossed several hundred dollars in 1952 from one lychee
tree. Several vegetarians reported living almost exclusively on
home-grown fruits. All such specialized undertakings required
the use of very little land.

TYPES OF FARMING FOLLOWED

Nearly 61 percent of the retirees devoted their time to home
gardening (Table 16).

TABLE 16.-DISTRIBUTION OF RETIREES ACCORDING TO TYPE OF FARMING
CLASSIFICATIONS, 175 RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Type of Farming Classifications Distribution
SNumber Percent

Home Gardening:
Type 1, no poultry or meat animals.......... 17 9.7
Type 2, poultry, no meat animals........................ 53 30.3
Type 3, meat animals, with or without poultry 36 20.6
Truck .................... ..... ....... ...... 18 10.3
P poultry ............... .......................... 11 6.3
Cattle ....... ............................ 10 5.7
C itrus -...................--- ........ ........ 10 5.7
M miscellaneous ............................. ... 20 11.4


T otal ....----............. ...................... ... 175 100.0

At least 50 percent of farm income was obtained from principal source.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


transportation became a problem and often a costly one. Neigh-
bors sometimes charged $2.50 or more per round trip for this
accommodation. And, in the absence of a telephone, medical
aid could not always be summoned in an hour of need. Retirees
who found themselves in these circumstances often indicated a
preference for village living where they would be within walking
distance of neighbors, grocery store and church.

TABLE 11.-PERCENTAGE OF RETIREMENT FARM FAMILIES POSSESSING LEVEL
OF LIVING ITEMS BY QUARTILES, FOR HILLSBOROUGH, MARION
AND PUTNAM COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Level of Living Items


Annual Retirement
Income -- --. ----
Socio-economic status
score (Sewell Scale) ....


Electric lights ..........
Water piped into house *.
Power washer* ...........
Mechanical refrigerator
Telephone ..-- ......
Automobile ..........
Family takes
daily paper .--
Screened windows .....
Screened porch .-....
Kitchen sink .-...- ...
Bathtub ......................
Shower bath ...............
Cook stove:
W ood ............. .. .
Kerosene ... .........
Gas .... .. -
Electric ............................
E electric --.---------_---- .------
Internal home heating:
Fireplace ...--- ...
Wood heater -........
Portable kerosene
heater .... ...-- ....
Stationary kerosene
heater ------. ----
Gas or electric..............
Electric deep freeze..........


All Proportion Possessing
Retiree by Quartile (Lowest to Highest)
Families Quartile Quartile Quartile Quartile
N=149 1 2 3 4
N 40 N = 35 N 37 N 37
Average Average Average I Average Average

$974 $544 $808 $950 $1,583


67 52 64 72

percent Percent Percent Percent

88.6 57.5 100.0 100.0
61.1 7.5 48.6 91.9
50.3 7.5 45.7 73.0
65.8 20.0 71.4 83.8
14.1 2.5 2.9 16.2
50.3 20.0 31.4 62.2
53.0 17.5 40.0 73.0
83.2 52.5 88.6 94.6
25.5 7.5 22.9 24.3
47.8 5.0 25.7 70.3
36.2 2.5 17.1 54.1
17.5 2.5 5.7 21.6


5.7 13.5
20.0 40.5
5.7 5.4
8.1


81

Percent

100.0
100.0
78.4
91.9
35.1
89.2
83.8
100.0
48.6
91.9
73.0
40.5

8.1
32.4
59.5
13.5
8.1
5.4
62.2
13.5
24.3


These items are part of the Sewell scale; other items are not.

THE RETIREMENT FARM

Unlike a commercial farmer who often selects a farm on the
basis of its potential productivity, the retirement farmer chooses


P P






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Retirees without regular or secure sources of retirement in-
comes and those with very low incomes generally planted truck
crops or kept poultry or cattle for cash income (Fig. 10). Farm-
ing enterprises requiring considerable capital outlays were sel-
dom initiated by individuals during retirement. This limited
the larger farm operations to people with ample retirement re-
sources and to those who had begun farming before retirement.

FARM EXPENSES AND RECEIPTS
Farm expenses considered in analyzing retirement farms
were cash outlays and decreases in operating farm capital. No
charges were made against the farm business for interest on
investments or for unpaid family labor. The retirement farm was
occupied primarily for residential purposes, and unpaid family
labor was regarded as no-cost labor because off-farm employ-

Fig. 9.-Hobby farming, such as growing papayas, occupies the retire-
ment interests of Dr. J. M. Adams, formerly of New York, who lives near
Lutz, Florida.






Rural Farm Retirement


ment opportunities for the elderly people
eligible in the areas where they lived.


interviewed were neg-


Fig. 10.-Lewis Pohl, a retirement farmer in the Tampa area, takes an
active interest in his dairy cattle even though he is nearly 90 years old.
He began retirement farming after his 65th birthday and made a financial
success of it.

Economic returns from farming consisted of cash income
from sales of farm products, increases in operating farm capital
and items produced on the farm for home use. Subjective satis-
factions were not measurable but they nevertheless provided
compensations of an intangible nature. Many retirees achieved
a large measure of contentment from backyard fruit production
or experimentation, or from other agricultural or floricultural
hobbies (Fig. 11).
FARM EXPENSES
The average retirement farmer spent $455 to operate his
farm for the schedule year. Of this amount $242, or between
four and five dollars weekly, were used for livestock feed. This
item amounted to more than 50 percent of all farm expenditures
(Table 17).






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


TABLE 17.-ARRAY OF FARM EXPENSES, 175 RETIREMENT FARMS,
FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Expense Item


Livestock feed ...............
Commercial fertilizer ....
Livestock purchases ........
Hired labor .........-.. ..... ....
Seed and plants ...........
Automobile, farm use.-...-
Insecticides .... .............
Contracted grove care:
Spraying .-- --..- ..---
All other ..............----
Machinery repairs ............
Taxes, farm share ..........
New equipment ................
Insurance, farm share ....
Miscellaneous ...............


Total .............------................


Farms
Number

149
119
89
51
135
50
88

11
12
16
39
9
5
29


172


Reporting
Amount

$284
93
93
126
32
52
12

32
65
39
14
15
39
32


$463


All Farms
Amount Percent

$242 53.2
63 13.9
47 10.3
37 8.1
25 5.5
15 3.3
6 1.3

2 0.4
4 0.9
4 0.9
3 0.7
1 0.2
1 0.2
5 1.1


$455


100.0


Fig. 11.-Gilbert Fox of Seffner, a former Pennsylvanian, maintains an
active interest in floriculture, devoting several hours daily to his potted
plants and annual flowers.


-~--


----~--






Rural Farm Retirement


Retirees who specialized in poultry, truck farming and cattle
totaled about 22 percent of all retirees. Their reported farm
expenses were in excess of the average (Table 18). They also
reported the largest average operating capital investments.
Cash outlays of gardeners who owned neither poultry nor meat
animals averaged $43; gardeners with poultry, $103; and gar-
deners with one or more meat animals, $214.
Poultry farmers (Fig. 12) reported the largest cash outlays,
or $2,631, of which over 80 percent was spent for feed. The
principal items of expenditures for truck growers were ferti-
lizer, seeds and plants; for cattle growers, livestock purchases
and livestock feed; and for citrus growers, fertilizer and grove
care. Gardeners spent relatively small sums for crop produc-
tion but somewhat larger amounts for their poultry and live-
stock.
Decreases in Operating Farm Capital.-Six retirees reported
farm inventory decreases during the schedule year. The aver-
age loss per farm for farms reporting was $44. Losses ranged
from $12 to $140, and 114 operators reported neither losses
nor gains.


,' \


Fig. 12.-C. F. O'Quinn, assistant Hillsborough county agricultural
agent (left), inspects chicks with W. A. Bostain of Valrico. Mr. Bostain
is a former railroad office supervisor who retired to Florida from West
Virginia.









TABLE 18.-FARM EXPENSES BY TYPE OF FARMING FOR 175 RETIREMENT FARMERS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


All
Farms


Item




Livestock feed ....................
Commercial fertilizer ........
Livestock purchases .........
Hired labor .......... .......
Seed and plants .............
Automobile, farm use only
Insecticides and fungicides
Citrus grove care:
Contract spraying ........
Other contract care--......
Machinery repairs ...........
Taxes, farm share only.....
New machinery and
equipment ..................
Insurance, farm share only
M miscellaneous ...................


T otal - - --

Average expenses .....-.-..

Number of retirees ........


Average Operating
Capital Investment ...... i $306


Type of Farming


Gardening Types


I


$351 $758 1 $1,554 $298 i $216


1 2 l 3 i Crops Ilaneous '
..... .----- .. .. Percent -. .

53.2 2.1 71.1 70.3 12.1 81.5 36.2 14.5 68.5
13.9 25.6 7.2 10.5 35.4 .2 12.9 35.5 7.1
10.3 4.2 7.3 1.4 14.7 29.7 .1 5.0
8.1 10.1 6.2 2.1 24.8 .3 5.4 7.4 3.9
5.5 20.3 2.1 4.1 14.5 .5 5.5 1.4 4.8
3.3 3.6 2.8 2.9 4.9 1.0 4.4 10.8 3.8
1.3 9.7 2.8 .8 3.0 .2 .7 1.5 .9
.4 .2 .7 .1 4.9 -
.9 .3 .1 .2 19.7 .4
.9 4.8 .2 .3 1.5 .8 .2 .8
.7 5.6 .6 .9 .5 .1 1.5 2.5 .6

.2 1.8 -- -- .1 .4 1.4
.2 .7 .1 .3 .5
1.1 16.4 2.8 .3 .4 .4 2.9 1.4 2.3


100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 "

$455 $43 $103 $214 $1,078 $2,631 $912 $356 $233

175 17 53 36 18 11 10 10 20


i
i ~PrnrL


Poultry Cattl


tiC s Mi l


$55 1 $123 1 $240







Rural Farm Retirement


TABLE 19.-AVERAGE GROSS FARM INCOME FROM SALES BY SOURCE OF
INCOME, 175 RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Farms Reporting Average
Item Number Value Value
Sof Farms per Farm 175 Farms

Crop Sales: All .............. ....76 $ 473 $206
Field and truck crops............ 30 508 87
Strawberries ........................ 9 1,394 72
Citrus ................... ................... .... 34 204 40
Garden products .............................. 20 35 4
Floriculture and other specialties 9 57 3

Livestock Sales: All ....... 47 $ 378 $101
Broilers .............. ................. 11 665 42
B eef cattle ....................................... 8 693 31
Dairy cattle .................................... 11 209 13
Chickens, except broilers........ 14 154 12
H ogs ........................................... .. 4 75 2
Other animals ....................... 3 34 1

Livestock Product Sales: All.......... 66 $ 423 $159
Eggs ........................... ........ 63 431 155
Dairy products ................................ 7 105 4
Honey ---.................... .. ......... 1 75

Unclassified: All ......................... .. 3 $ 153 $ 3

Total all Item s .................................... 124 $ 659 $469

TABLE 20.-AVERAGE VALUE OF ITEMS PRODUCED FOR HOME USE,
175 RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.

Farms Reporting Average
Item Number Value Value
of Farms Iper Farm All Farms

Crops: A ll ................................. ........ 157 $ 69 $ 62
Garden ............... ......... 138 62 49
C itrus --- ...................................... 82 17 8
Strawberries ---.. ........ .................... 11 27 2
Field and truck crops........................ 10 23 1
Unclassified fruits, nuts, etc...... 10 38 2

Livestock: All .......................... 111 $ 39 $ 25
Broilers and fryers ..................... 64 25 9
Chickens, stewing and roasting ... 61 20 7
H ogs .................. ...... .... ..... 14 59 5
Dairy cattle for meat ........... ..... 3 80 1
Beef cattle ........................... .. 3 78 1
Goats and rabbits --......... .. 3 30 1
Unclassified .................. ...... 6 19 1

Livestock Products: All .......... ..... 131 $ 67 $ 50
Eggs ...................-.......... .... .. 124 40 1 28
Dairy products .................... 27 143 22
Honey ............................. 3 5

Total ............ ............ ........... 175 $137 $137






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Retirees without regular or secure sources of retirement in-
comes and those with very low incomes generally planted truck
crops or kept poultry or cattle for cash income (Fig. 10). Farm-
ing enterprises requiring considerable capital outlays were sel-
dom initiated by individuals during retirement. This limited
the larger farm operations to people with ample retirement re-
sources and to those who had begun farming before retirement.

FARM EXPENSES AND RECEIPTS
Farm expenses considered in analyzing retirement farms
were cash outlays and decreases in operating farm capital. No
charges were made against the farm business for interest on
investments or for unpaid family labor. The retirement farm was
occupied primarily for residential purposes, and unpaid family
labor was regarded as no-cost labor because off-farm employ-

Fig. 9.-Hobby farming, such as growing papayas, occupies the retire-
ment interests of Dr. J. M. Adams, formerly of New York, who lives near
Lutz, Florida.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


FARM RECEIPTS
About 71 percent, or 124, retirement farmers reported sales
of crops, livestock or livestock products, and 55 reported gains
in operating inventory values.
Cash Receipts.-On an average, field and truck crops ac-
counted for over 40 percent of the cash income received from
the sale of crops. However, on a farm enterprise basis straw-
berries led in value, amounting to $1,394 per farm reporting
(Table 19). Sales of garden products and specialties returned
the least of all. Eight retirees selling beef cattle grossed $693
per capital, the highest average return from sales of livestock.
Sales of eggs amounted to $431 per farm reporting sales, and for
all farms combined accounted for 97 percent of all livestock
product sales.
Increases in Operating Farm Capital.-Ninety-eight percent
of all inventory gains were derived from increases in the value
of livestock (Fig. 13). Inventory increases ranged from $10 to
$1,970 and for all farms combined averaged $61.

Fig. 13.-Cattle production occupies the working hours of a former
Mississippian, Lieutenant Commander T. B. Purvis (USN Ret.), who farms
near Plant City.






Rural Farm Retire meant


Items Produced for Home Use.-Home gardens were of more
value to retirees than fruit or other crops (Table 20). Poultry
and eggs contributed more to their living than all other livestock
and livestock products combined. The average retiree produced
for home use $62 worth of crops, $25 worth of livestock, and $50
worth of livestock products for a total of $137.

NET FARM EARNINGS
The average retirement farmer netted $212 from farming
(Table 21). This amount, called the net farm earnings, is the
net farm income (farm receipts less farm expenses) plus the
value of products furnished by the farm for family use. Retirees
who sold farm products reported net farm earnings of $274, as
against $62 for retirees who reported no farm sales.
Certain types of farming produced larger net farm earnings
than others (Table 22). For gardening types of farming, net
farm earnings were relatively high in respect to both amount
of operating capital invested and annual farm expenses. Truck
crop farming, poultry production and cattle raising required rel-
atively large annual operating expenditures. By reference to
Tables 18 and 22 it can be observed that the percentage return
on operating capital for these types of farming was much lower
than for gardening, although the dollar returns were higher.
When retirement farm operations were analyzed as business
enterprises they did not show even moderate returns on invest-
ments, irrespective of the retirement income level of the opera-
tors (Table 23). Low-income retirees realized an average farm
income of $175, as compared to a loss of $47 for high income
retirees.

FACTORS AFFECTING NET FARM EARNINGS
Retirement farmers normally have sets of values (desires
or incentives) different from commercial farmers." For ex-
ample, several retirees were interviewed who planted corn to
feed their mules, and kept their mules to eat the corn. Their
actions were influenced by the belief that self-regulated physical
exertion kept them well and prolonged their lives.
If a retiree had an assured retirement income adequate for
his monthly cash needs, his urge to accumulate savings was

See Fred R. Marti. Retirement Farming in Hillsborough County, Flor-
ida, a doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida,
August 1954. p. 114.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


TABLE 21.-AVERAGE INVESTMENT, RECEIPTS, EXPENSES AND NET FARM
EARNINGS PER FARM, AND BY FARMS REPORTING SALES AND NO SALES,
175 RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Amount per Farm


Item
All
Farms

Number of Farms: .....-................... 175

Farm Capital: Total ...................... $5,583
Land and buildings ................... 5,277
Livestock, except workstock...... 189
W orkstock -................................... 11
Tractor, machinery
and equipment ............. .. ... 81
H and tools .................................... 17
Feed and supplies ........................ 8

Farm Receipts: Total .................... $ 530
Crop sales, except citrus............ 166
Livestock product sales ............. 159
Livestock sales ....................----........ 101
Citrus sales ...... ~..............-......... 40
Other receipts ..........-----...--... 3
Increase in capital ......-............... 61

Farm Expenses: Total ................. $ 455
Capital decreases ---... -......
Livestock feed purchases ........ 242
Livestock purchases ................. 47
Other cash expenses .......... ...... 166

Net Farm Income
(receipts less expenses) ........ $ 75

Items Produced for Home Use:... $ 137

Net Farm Earnings: ...................... $ 212


Farms Reporting
Sales No Sales

124 51

$5,841 $4,951
5,449 4,857
248 45
14 3

101 35
19 10
10 1

$ 744 $ 9
234
225
143
56
4
82 9

$ 607 $ 85

318 56
66 3
223 26


$ 137 $-76

$ 137 $ 138

$ 274 $ 62


TABLE 22.-NET FARM RETURNS, BY TYPES OF FARMING, 175 RETIREMENT
FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA.


Type of
Farming *

T ype 1 ........................
Type 2 ...............
Type 3 ........................
Truck crops ................
Poultry .................
Cattle .................
C itrus ............. .... ....
Miscellaneous -----


T otal ............ ............


Number
of
Retirees

17
53
36
18
11
10
10
20


175


Gross
Farm
Incomes **

$ 126
186
365
1,704
3,204
1,361
500
354


$ 667


Farm
Expenses

$ 43
103
214
1,078
2,631
912
356
233


$ 455


Net
Farm
Returns

$ 83
83
151
626
573
449
144
121


$ 212


See Table 16.
** Combined value of sales of farm products, of items produced on the farm for home
use, and increases in farm inventories.






Rural Farm Retirement


weakened. Thus retirement income was one of the factors which
most directly affected economic contributions (net farm earn-
ings) from retirement farming. Two important additional fac-
tors were age and education. Also of importance but of less
significance were such miscellaneous factors as physical dis-
ability, pre-retirement agricultural experience, etc. The identi-
fication of the factors which affected net farm earnings and of
their relative importance was determined by statistical methods
(regression analyses).10
The degree of adequacy of the annual retirement income re-
ceived by a retiree was one of the most important factors affect-
ing his monetary needs. Therefore, retirement income was a
most important factor influencing the amount of net farm earn-
ings obtained. If a retiree had no retirement income, or only a
relatively small income, he had to depend upon his farm for
either total or major secondary income. The reverse was true
for an individual with a reasonably adequate income. To the
extent that his retirement income was more than his needs he
could treat his farm enterprises as hobbies. He would thus place
more emphasis on intangible values and less on economic returns.
These data show that retirement incomes and net farm earn-
ings were inversely related. This is shown by a comparison of
income classes. The average retirement income for each of three
retirement income categories was $1,720, $821 and $404, respec-
tively (Table 24). Net farm earnings averaged $114 for high-
income retirees, $170 for medium-income retirees, and $298 for
low-income retirees (Table 24).
The third of the retirees with the largest annual retirement
income had no apparent need to supplement their incomes
through farming. However, those in the lowest third having
great need for more income were able to supplement it with
farm income, although not enough to satisfy their total re-
quirements. Nonetheless, the assumption that low-income re-
tirees can improve their wellbeing through farming (page 5)
seems to be substantiated by these findings. The need for cash
income and the inputs applied toward income supplementation
appeared to be closely correlated, except for the very old
(Fig. 14).
Perhaps the most characteristic feature of retirement income
is the way it is related to net farm earnings under average con-
ditions (Fig. 15). The net effect of retirement income in this


"" See Appendix, pages 48-51.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


TABLE 23.-FARM BUSINESS SUMMARIES, THREE RETIREMENT INCOME
CLASSES, 165 RETIREMENT FARMS, FIVE SELECTED COUNTIES, FLORIDA."


Item Retirement Income Classes
All High I Medium Low


Number of retirees .......................

Average farm capital ...................

Receipts:
Increase in capital ...........-..........
Crops sold ---
Livestock sold .....-------
Livestock products sold .......
Other receipts ...................-... ......

Total receipts ...... ........ .......-

Expenses:
Decrease in capital .................
Livestock purchased ..................
Farm expenses .. .....................

Total expenses .................. .

Farm income .......- -........ .-..--

Interest @ 5'/ on average capital

Labor income .......... .


Value, home use items


16

5,16


5
20
10
13


50



4
39


'5 54 55 56
dollars
6 6,842 4,722 3,985


3 97 38 27
'7 59 193 365
3 98 140 70
16 108 38 258
3 1 8


362


2



L9
)4


410



56
309


443 409 365

59 -47 45

258 342 236


-389 --191

161 125


Number per class determined at point where retirement income changed; lower third,
none to $650; middle third, $651 to $1.000; upper third, $1,001 to $6,000.


TABLE 24.-COMPARISON OF ANNUAL RETIREMENT INCOMES, CASH LIVING
NEEDS AND NET FARM EARNINGS FOR THREE RETIREMENT INCOME
CLASSES, 165 RETIREMENT FARM FAMILIES, FLORIDA.


Item


Number of Retirees .......

Annual retirement income

Annual estimated cash
Living needs .....................

Income less needs (B-C).

Net farm earnings ...--.

Adequacy of total income
(D + E ) ..... ...........


Annual Retirement Income Classes *
All i High Medium Low

S 165 54 55 56
do 821 4dollars0
974 1,720 821 404


1,158

-184

195


1,586

134

114


1,053

-232

170


11 248
11 I 248 | -62


849

-445

298


-147


* High, $1,001 to $6,000; medium, $651 to $1,000; low, none to $650.


I







Rural Farm Retirement


study, as shown by a straight line of relationship, was that for
each $100 increase in annual retirement income, net farm earn-
ings dropped by $8. Within an income range of a few hundred
dollars annually, the importance of the retirement farm for in-
come supplementation declined or disappeared altogether. The
stress placed on farming as a means for attaining personal sat-
isfactions helps to account for the downward slope of the
straight line relationship between retirement income and net
farm earnings.

Net Form
Earnings
Retirement
Income Classes
S 600-
High
500. Medium
Low
400

300,

200-






-100
Sor Les 56-60 61-65 66-70 71T-TS T6-80 81-anld Over
Agi Claossification
Fig. 14.-Average net farm earnings between high, medium and low
retirement income retirees compared, 165 retirement farmers, five selected
counties, Florida.

The number of retirees interviewed was too few to satisfy
properly the requirements for adequate statistical interpreta-
tion of all the various aspects of this study. This is a short-
coming that could not be completely overcome for various reasons
when the sample was drawn. Finally, the complexity of modern
life makes it difficult to determine the effect of any one variable
upon another as, for example, retirement income upon net farm
earnings. Yet various influences were accounted for by means
of the statistical procedures followed. Statistical techniques
removed the effects of age, education, pre-retirement occupa-
tions, types of farming, physical disability, and reasons for farm-
ing during retirement from the straight and curved relationship








Net Farm


S Average net farm earnings, S194


500 1000 1500 200 2500
Retirement Income in Dollars
(X3)
Fig. 15.-Net farm earnings drop as retirement income rises.






Rural Farm Retirement


lines (Fig. 15). Hence the curvilinear retirement income-net
farm earnings relationship line in Fig. 15 seems to confirm the
evidence that net farm earnings were inversely related to re-
tirement income up to the $3,500 retirement income level. Only
three retirees reported retirement incomes in excess of $3,500,
so these findings relate primarily to low-income retirees.

INFLUENCE OF AGE
Old age does not befall a retiree at some arbitrary age, as at
65 for example. People vary considerably in the rates at which
their abilities decline. Yet it is important to know, insofar as it
can be determined, just what effect aging has upon a retiree's
ability to provide for his own welfare. In this study, this ability
was measured by net farm earnings. Each additional year of
age after 65 forced a decline in physical effort. Still, even late in
life, hope for the future persists. One octogenarian was inter-
viewed while personally setting out young Valencia orange trees
intended for his future use.

Net Form
Earnings
S11-9 M


S 400-

300.


-100-

-200.


ilp between XI and X2

:urvilinear line of relationship
between X and X2


Average net farm earnings,S194


60 65 70 75
Age of Retirees
(X2)


80 85 90 95


Fig. 16.-Net farm earnings are lowest for retirees at the older ages.


-300 I
45 50 55






Rural Farm Retire meant


Items Produced for Home Use.-Home gardens were of more
value to retirees than fruit or other crops (Table 20). Poultry
and eggs contributed more to their living than all other livestock
and livestock products combined. The average retiree produced
for home use $62 worth of crops, $25 worth of livestock, and $50
worth of livestock products for a total of $137.

NET FARM EARNINGS
The average retirement farmer netted $212 from farming
(Table 21). This amount, called the net farm earnings, is the
net farm income (farm receipts less farm expenses) plus the
value of products furnished by the farm for family use. Retirees
who sold farm products reported net farm earnings of $274, as
against $62 for retirees who reported no farm sales.
Certain types of farming produced larger net farm earnings
than others (Table 22). For gardening types of farming, net
farm earnings were relatively high in respect to both amount
of operating capital invested and annual farm expenses. Truck
crop farming, poultry production and cattle raising required rel-
atively large annual operating expenditures. By reference to
Tables 18 and 22 it can be observed that the percentage return
on operating capital for these types of farming was much lower
than for gardening, although the dollar returns were higher.
When retirement farm operations were analyzed as business
enterprises they did not show even moderate returns on invest-
ments, irrespective of the retirement income level of the opera-
tors (Table 23). Low-income retirees realized an average farm
income of $175, as compared to a loss of $47 for high income
retirees.

FACTORS AFFECTING NET FARM EARNINGS
Retirement farmers normally have sets of values (desires
or incentives) different from commercial farmers." For ex-
ample, several retirees were interviewed who planted corn to
feed their mules, and kept their mules to eat the corn. Their
actions were influenced by the belief that self-regulated physical
exertion kept them well and prolonged their lives.
If a retiree had an assured retirement income adequate for
his monthly cash needs, his urge to accumulate savings was

See Fred R. Marti. Retirement Farming in Hillsborough County, Flor-
ida, a doctoral dissertation, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida,
August 1954. p. 114.





Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


The net effect of aging on net farm returns under average
conditions is more clearly exhibited by a straight line relating
age and net farm earnings (Fig. 16). If a retiree were to start
farming at age 65, and if his farming paralleled that of retirees
included in this study, his net farm earnings would drop by $6
at age 66 due to the effect of aging alone. Each year thereafter
the proportional annual decline would become larger. On the
average, by the time he became 90 years old, were he to live that
long, his farming activities would virtually cease.
An examination of the curved line in Fig. 16 shows that
average net farm earnings reach a peak at around age 63. This
line, which slopes downward toward both the younger and the
older retirees from age 63, may be regarded as the net relation-
ship between ages of retirees and net farm earnings, since other
recognized influences were removed. Yet the forces that moti-
vate retirees at various ages are many. Among them are physi-
cal endowment, psychological make-up, economic wellbeing and
other influences. The aggregate force of these factors helps to
account for the low farm incomes of the younger retirees, yet
leaves the downward slope from ages 63 to 46 partially unex-
plained. For one thing, younger retirees may be more apt to
invest in land for speculative purposes than older retirees. For
another, it may be a period for acquiring the "know-how" to
farm.
Presumably, all the varied phenomena which have a bearing
on the retarding processes of aging are reflected by the curved
line as related to the older retirees. It appears, therefore, that
over the years age alone will force a slowing down in farming
activity. This is a very pertinent fact to be considered in either
public, private or individual planning for retirement farming.

EDUCATION
The average retirement farmer had an educational attain-
ment of approximately seven years. Education had a positive
and direct effect upon net farm earnings to the extent of ap-
proximately $20 from one educational class to the next (Fig. 17).
This was the net effect of education alone, after accounting for
other tested influences.

PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS
Physical impairments increase with age (page 12 and Fig. 5),
and some retirees turn to retirement farming simply for rea-







Net Form
Earnings
$ 600


500-


400-
(XI)
300


200


100-


0
None 1-4 5-7 8 9-11 12 13-15 16+
Years of Formal Education by Classes
(X4)
Fig. 17.-Education has a positive and direct effect under average conditions on net farm earnings.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


sons of health (page 10). Undoubtedly attitudes toward ill
health or physical incapacity are influenced by the economic and
non-economic value-contributions of the farm. Many persons
who had withdrawn from the labor force as disabled turned to
farming to improve their families' welfare.


65 Years or Less






66 to 70 Years






71 Years and Over





Average
165 Retirees


Legend: c Non-Oisabled

I Totally Disabled


hN Partially Disabled


Fig. 18.-Net farm earnings of 165 retirement farmers by age classifi-
cation and by disability rating, five selected counties, Florida.

Retirees who were forced into retirement because of physical
disabilities often acted under economic compulsion to supplement






Rural Farm Retirement


their relatively limited retirement incomes. In this they suc-
ceeded with varying degrees of success until their seventies (Fig.
18). The net effect of disability upon net farm earnings was
to raise them by about $100, these findings show.

INFLUENCE OF MISCELLANEOUS FACTORS
Retirement farming produces a set of complex situations that
cannot be explained away by retirement income, age, education
and disability alone." Net farm earnings were directly related
to former farming experience, to non-gardening types of farm-
ing, and to farming for economic reasons, as contrasted to non-
farming experience, gardening, and subjective reasons for farm-
ing (Appendix, page 50). This implies that some knowledge of
agriculture and objectives for economic gain are helpful to re-
tirees who want to succeed financially at farming.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF FINDINGS
Economic forces have placed financial pressure on many low-
income retirees. In turn, welfare administrators are faced with
demands to relax their standards of eligibility for public assist-
ance. Florida is confronted with the peculiar necessity of ex-
tending aid to increased numbers of the aged who have spent
most of their working years in other states. Thus the responsi-
bility of advising retirees against retiring to Florida or in en-
couraging them to do so becomes of public interest. In respect
to rural retirement, two considerations are of utmost importance.
First, "How much retirement income is necessary to maintain
a retiree in adequacy and dignity without the likelihood of his
becoming a public charge?" Second, "What resources should a
retiree have in order to acquire a small farm in Florida?"
Persons planning to retire on small Florida farms want infor-
mation concerning the kinds of products retirement farmers
produce (page 25) and their experiences with those products.
They also want to know what resources are required to produce
particular amounts of income. This study does not provide all
such desired information but it has placed into focus some of
the facts retirees should consider when making plans to farm.
The amount of capital resources necessary to start retirement
farming in Florida will depend upon a person's home require-
ments, type of farming he plans, reasons for farming, location

See "Estimates of Coefficients." Appendix, page 49.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


of the farm, and other things. The average investment for the
148 retirement farm owners interviewed was around $5,700
(Table 12), but many of the occupied homes lacked modern con-
veniences (Table 11). The average capital investment for high-
income retirees averaged about $6,850 (Table 23). If a retiree
wishes to buy a small modernized rural farm home outright and
avoid mortgage encumbrances, he may have to invest $6,000 or
more. He should also have a retirement income large enough
to make him independent of farm income, because the ability to
realize net earnings from farming decreases with advances in
age (Fig. 16). For a family of two persons, $125 per month
appears to be an essential average minimum (Table 11, Quar-
tile 4).
The agriculture of Florida is greatly influenced by ranges in
climate, types of soils, availability and distribution of moisture,
and other things.12 Vegetable crops are produced more success-
fully in some areas than in others. The Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Station conducts annual cost studies for vegetable and
citrus crops.13 Since the agriculture of Florida varies so widely,
a prospective retirement farmer would do well to consult the
county agent of the county in which he decides to settle. The
county agent can advise the retiree as to what crops are likely
to prove most successful in his particular county and what can
be expected by way of returns for the capital invested.
This survey shows retirement farmers found personal satis-
faction in the use of their lands, whatever the limitations. How-
ever, inadequate financial resources, physical impairments, and
personal preferences narrowed their farming efforts to small
undertakings. A tract of land ranging from a half acre to two
acres in size was usually sufficient to meet the ordinary require-
ments for a home, gardening, poultry flock, and physical exer-
cise. Many rural retirees believe urban suburbs or small villages
offer more desirable retirement possibilities than rural farms.
Companionship, public services and public transportation are
nearly always available in urban environments. And because
ability to farm declines with increases in age, retirees should
give this last consideration special attention.
12 Reuss, L. A., Florida's Land Resources and Land Use, Bul. 555, Fla.
Agr. Exp. Sta., Gainesville, Fla., Nov. 1954.
See Agricultural Economic Mimeo Reports, Donald L. Brooke, Costs
and Returns from Vegetable Crops in Florida (Vol. I to X), Dept. of Agri.
Econ., Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta., Gainesville, Fla.
Also see annual reports on Citrus Costs and Returns, Zach Savage, Fla.
Agr. Ext. Service, Univ. of Fla., Gainesville, Fla.






Rural Farm Retirement


SUMMARY
Field interview records were taken during 1952 and 1953
from 192 rural retirement farm families in five Florida counties,
and 175 were retained for analysis. Sixty-eight of the family
heads were native Floridians and 107 were in-migrants. Recent
in-migrants have entered Florida largely because of its climate
and for reasons of health. Earlier migrations were influenced
by economic opportunities, relatives and friends.
Two-thirds of the families consisted of two persons, usually
husband and wife. The average retiree was between 69 and 70
years of age; his formal education approximated the seventh
grade level; his annual retirement income was $974 and his
annual cash needs $1,164; and his farm was valued at nearly
$5,300. Usually he was a home owner. In all comparisons, wide
variations from the mean were noted.
Seventy-six percent of the family heads were disabled to
some degree, and disability tended to increase with age. About
one-third had been farmers before retirement, at least for a few
years just prior to retirement. As a rule, former farmers were
among those with the lowest retirement incomes. In common
with other low-income retirees, they also were the most disad-
vantaged in respect to levels of living, as measured by material
items and services possessed.
Retirees farmed either for economic reasons or for personal
satisfactions, or both. Nearly two-thirds of the retirees were
gardeners primarily. On an average, retirees placed just over
two acres under cultivation. Net farm earnings averaged $212.
As a rule, net farm earnings were approximately sufficient to
bridge the gap between retirement income and cash require-
ments, but the lowest third-ranked according to retirement
income-did not secure enough total income for its needs.
The factors which affected net farm earnings were highly in-
terrelated, but the net influences of various factors were ac-
counted for by means of the statistical analyses used. It was
found that retirement income and age were inversely related to
net farm earnings and that direct relationships existed between
net farm earnings and experience in agriculture, with non-gar-
dening types of farming, with economic reasons for farming
and with physical disability, among others.
These data indicate that persons retiring at age 65 may
expect but a limited period of farming activity, provided they
supply most of their own farm labor. The average retirement






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


farm family needed just over $100 per month in cash for esti-
mated normal living requirements. Because of transportation
problems associated with aging and difficulties of communica-
tion on isolated farms, a matter of practical importance in rural
farm retirement was location. Many retirees believed retire-
ment in or near urban centers on one or two acres offered the
most practical advantages for farm retirement.


APPENDIX

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
The Universe for this study comprised Hillsborough, Lee,
Marion, Pinellas, and Putnam counties.
Sampling is a method of generalizing about the whole from
a study of only a part, as from only a limited number of indi-
viduals in a total population.
The schedule year was the period from July 1, 1951, to June
30, 1952, for Hillsborough County; the calendar year 1952 for
Marion and Putnam counties; and July 1, 1952, to June 30, 1953,
for Lee and Pinellas counties.
A retirement farmer or retiree, as used interchangeably here-
in, is the active head of a household who engages in small-scale
farming in the open country, and who personally rates himself
or herself as a retired individual.
A retirement farm is any rural land used for agricultural pur-
poses by a retiree who resides on the land he operates.
Retirement income is all income received from nonfarm
sources by retirement farmers. This includes pensions, welfare
payments, gainful part-time employment, gifts, etc.
Total disability refers to retirement farmers who (1) draw
100 percent disability compensation or pensions from either pub-
lic or private sources and/or (2) are physically unable to per-
form those tasks relating specifically to their pre-retirement em-
ployment or profession, and only partially to farming.
Partial disability is disability with a rating lower than 100
percent. Those so classified were able to perform only a part
of the tasks relating to their pre-retirement employment or pro-
fession, or to farming.
Level of living represents consumption choices of individuals
or families. It is measured by economic goods and services pos-






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


farm family needed just over $100 per month in cash for esti-
mated normal living requirements. Because of transportation
problems associated with aging and difficulties of communica-
tion on isolated farms, a matter of practical importance in rural
farm retirement was location. Many retirees believed retire-
ment in or near urban centers on one or two acres offered the
most practical advantages for farm retirement.


APPENDIX

DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
The Universe for this study comprised Hillsborough, Lee,
Marion, Pinellas, and Putnam counties.
Sampling is a method of generalizing about the whole from
a study of only a part, as from only a limited number of indi-
viduals in a total population.
The schedule year was the period from July 1, 1951, to June
30, 1952, for Hillsborough County; the calendar year 1952 for
Marion and Putnam counties; and July 1, 1952, to June 30, 1953,
for Lee and Pinellas counties.
A retirement farmer or retiree, as used interchangeably here-
in, is the active head of a household who engages in small-scale
farming in the open country, and who personally rates himself
or herself as a retired individual.
A retirement farm is any rural land used for agricultural pur-
poses by a retiree who resides on the land he operates.
Retirement income is all income received from nonfarm
sources by retirement farmers. This includes pensions, welfare
payments, gainful part-time employment, gifts, etc.
Total disability refers to retirement farmers who (1) draw
100 percent disability compensation or pensions from either pub-
lic or private sources and/or (2) are physically unable to per-
form those tasks relating specifically to their pre-retirement em-
ployment or profession, and only partially to farming.
Partial disability is disability with a rating lower than 100
percent. Those so classified were able to perform only a part
of the tasks relating to their pre-retirement employment or pro-
fession, or to farming.
Level of living represents consumption choices of individuals
or families. It is measured by economic goods and services pos-






Rural Farm Retirement


sessed and consumed. The premise of the Sewell Farm Family
Socioeconomic Status Scale is by implication that the material
level of living is correlated with and is highly indicative of other
aspects of status. Essentially it measures level of living con-
currently with factors of social participation.
Type of farming refers to the degree of uniformity that pre-
vails with respect to crops grown, kinds of livestock kept, and
methods used in production. For a given farming undertaking
to be classified as a specific type, at least 50 percent of the farm
income originated from the principal source.
Total farm capital or total capital is the value of land and
such permanent improvements as are ordinarily transferred with
the title to the land, livestock, equipment, and other supplies con-
stituting together a farm operating unit.
Operating farm capital is the total farm capital less the value
of real estate.
Cash receipts includes the cash value of all sales of farm prod-
ucts and other cash receipts, if any, arising from the operation
of a farm.
Cash expenses includes the cash costs of all goods and serv-
ices purchased for use in the farm business exclusive of interest.
Farm receipts includes all cash receipts and increases in op-
erating farm capital.
Farm expenses includes all cash expenses and decreases in
operating farm capital, but nothing for unpaid family labor,
management, or interest on capital.
Net farm income is the farm receipts minus the farm ex-
penses.
Items produced for home use are the values of farm products
furnished to the farm family by the farm.
Net farm earnings denote the sum of the net farm income
plus the value of items produced for home use.
Total annual income is the sum of the annual retirement in-
come plus net farm earnings.
Contributions from farming are both economic and subjec-
tive. They are measured by net farm earnings and personal sat-
isfactions (self-ratings of the reasons for farming).






48 Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations

STATISTICAL ANALYSES

Throughout the statistical analyses of these data the atti-
tude has been maintained that retirement farming is at present
a field of study that is largely exploratory in nature. At the
start of the study an assumption was made that certain factors,
the exact nature of which were unknown, influenced net farm
returns. In light of this, Professor W. G. O'Regan, University
of Florida Agricultural Economics Department, designed a sta-
tistical model to test the effects of various variables on net farm
earnings. The model was:

MODEL

Xi = B + B2X2i + B3X3i + B4X41+ B5X5i+B6X6i+ Dm+Fn+Gp+Rq+ei

Assumptions:

NdlD1 + Nd2D2 = 0

NflFI + Nf2F2 = 0

NgjG1 + Ng2G2 = 0

NrlRi + Nr2R2 + Nr3R3 = 0
where Ndl Nd2, etc., are the number of individuals in

class D1 D2, etc. and

ei is distributed normally with zero means and constant variance.

TYPES OF VARIABLES

Continuous:

XI = net farm earnings

X2 = age of head of household

X3 = annual retirement income
X4 = education

X5 = X2
X6 = X2






TABLE I.-ESTIMATES OF COEFFICIENTS, STANDARD ERRORS AND "T" VALUES.

Linear Analysis Curvilinear Analysis
Estimates of Standard | Estimates of Standard
Coefficients Errors "t" Values I Coefficients* Errors I "t" Values

X, -6.3597 3.8527 -1.(507 (19.16(7( 36.5530 1.8923

X. -0.0807 0.0400 -2.015(; -0.3120 0.0899 -:3.4785

X, 19.7428 17.5508 1.1249 29.1425 17.205(; 1 .938

X, -0.5504 0.2(i41 --2.0840

X,, -0.00005112 0.00001(;21 3.153:

), -76.9945 -84.8208

I), 23.0377 2- 5.3795

F, 62.3761 -- 47.5603

F'. -36.5860 -27.8960

(; -94.4638 --- -77.1395

(, 156.9318 --128.1510

R, 29.4379 20.3263

RI, -86.7483 -- --85.5025

IR 44.2828 -- ---6645

R_. 0.1999 ---- -0.274
'he only liscontinuous varialcs rti t;lilled wtl re those which Ill ed o a si rililcanti rlduteii in "o rlior sums of squaress" A sivnilicanl ri:luctiqon Le-
il defined to be one that resulted in an ratio (equal to ior ureter th', on,,e wouli] xpe tlo oii is<' Ie ive percent of ite lime if chance alone
iw're operiatingi Using this criterion, variables measuring the efl'ect o1" sex. ace and l e e ; iss-taince wl( re examnind and dro])pe([ from the analysis.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Discontinuous:
D1 = a constant for effect
D2 = a constant for effect
F1 = a constant for effect
F2 = a constant for effect
Gi = a constant for effect
G2 = a constant for effect
farming
R, = a constant for effect
farming
R2 = a constant for effect
from farming
R3 = a constant for effect
reasons for farming


of non-disability
of disability
of former farmers
of former non-farmers
of gardening types of farming
of non-gardening types of

of economic reasons for

of personal satisfactions

of both economic and personal


REGRESSION CONSTANTS BY CLASSES
Linear analysis:


Class
FID2 G1R1
F1D2 1R2

F D2G1 3

F1D2G1R2

FD1GR

FID2G2R2

F1D2G2R 3
213A










F1D1G2R1
F1DIG2R2
F1DG2R3
FDGR
1222
FDG
122
F1DG2R
FDGR
112
FDG
1123


Xi

X
1i
xi =
1

X =-
1
1
1


1,

Xi-


Xi -


xI-


Constant
663.6874

547.5011
678.5323
563.6552
447.4690
578.5001
915.0829
798.8967
929.9278
815.0507
698.8645
829.8956


Class
F2D2G1R1

F2D2G1R2
F2D2G 1R

F2D 10 1R

F2D1G1R2
F2D1G1R 3
F2D2G2R1
F2D2G2R2
F2D2G2R 3

F2D1G2R1
FAGR

F2DG2R R
2123


1 xl
xi-
xi -



Xi -
1 i-
xi -


xi -

xi-

l -
1l *
X1 *


Constant
564.7252
448.5390
579.5701
464.6930
348.5068
h79.5380
816.1208
699.9316
830.9657
716.0886

599.9024
730.9335


where the class F1D.G1RI, for instance, is made up of those re-
tirees who were former farmers, were disabled, were engaged in





Rural Farm Retirement


gardening types of farming, and were farming for economic
reasons.
Curvilinear analysis:
Class Constant Class
FD2G R1 Xj -1785.197 F?2D2GR1 X1 -1860.6537
F1D2G R2 X -1891.0262 F2D21R2 X = -1966.4825
F D2 IR X1 -1728.8592 F2D2G1R3 X = -1804.315
FD101R1 XI = -1895.3977 F2D1G1R1 X = -1970.854O
F1DGI R2 Xi -2001.2265 F2D01R2 Xi = -2076.6828
F1D11R3 XI -1839.0595 F2D1G1R3 XI -191.$5158
1D2G2R1 Xi -1579.9069 F2D2G2R1q -1655.3632
FpD22R2 XI -1 685.737 F2D2G2R2 H = -1761.1920
F1D2G2R3 X -1523.5687 F2D2G2R3 -1599.0250
F11G2R1 X -1690.1072 F2D12R1 i -176 .63
F1DG2R2 X -1795.9360 F2D12R2 Xi -1871.3923
Fl1G2R3 Xi -1633.7690 2D1G2R3 X -1709.2253




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