Young Farmers Plant Seeds for a Sustainable Retirement | American Funds

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Young Farmers Plant Seeds for a Sustainable Retirement

Josh Carter and his wife, Dana Bishop, are young farmers living their dream of working the land in a sustainable fashion. As their savings grew, their parents referred them to a financial professional who recommended sensible steps for creating a retirement plan built to stand the test of time.



Dana Bishop
Josh Carter


Recorded JUNE 2013

Josh Carter: I’m Josh Carter and this is my wife, Dana Bishop.

Dana Bishop: I’m Dana Bishop.

Josh: We are at Shelburne Farms. What I do here is that I run a production farm so I grow vegetables, and I think about the bottom line economically. But at the same time it’s basically a laboratory for kids, adults, people that are here for field trips, summer camps, professional development, to come experience what a farm is.

Dana: And I’m a natural resource and assistant woodlands manager so I get to spend a lot of time playing in the woods. I harvest trees for lumber and firewood. And I just really love working hard outside.

Josh: We’re very secure with our jobs and the income that’s coming in. And because we are fairly frugal, a lot of that income is just sitting there.

Dana:  I think when we first started making a little bit of money we probably both asked our parents what to do. And my parents said, well, we don’t really know, we talk with a financial advisor. And they suggested who we should talk to.

Having a financial advisor really helps us to feel comfortable how we’re supposed to be using our money, and how we can save our money. We don’t pay attention to the market right now. We’ve been told that we’re young enough, that there’s going to be ups and downs and you just ride it, you ride that through.

We do have money taken out of our account monthly that goes for some mutual funds. I write a check for the Roth IRAs, and then we have a plan through work as well for a Roth 401(k).

I think because we love this job and what we’re doing, I think we need to be sustainable not only with our jobs but the way we treat our money and the way we approach our savings.

Josh: We’ve decided that one of the things we really love doing, because we’re still young and we have the money and we have the time, is that we do like to travel. We’ve done some fun international traveling last year going to New Zealand. We’ve been down to Argentina and Chile and Patagonia and Central America.

Dana: Josh does a really good job of switching gears.

Josh: I didn’t follow a lot of the guidelines that my parents may have set out in terms of my career choice, in terms of my hairstyle, things like that. But one thing that I do follow is how they spent their money and how they saved their money. And both our parents are really happy right now in their lives.

Dana: I would hope that we would have the same attitude that when we do retire we can do anything we want. Whether we want to be doing the same things as my parents…I don’t know what we’ll want to be doing. But I hope that we would have the same sort of carefree attitude, like yeah, we’re there, we don’t need to worry about it.

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