Daily the question is “What should we do about the potential tax law changes?” Now I have a lot of ideas, but we don’t know what the final rules will be. So we wait. Well, what shall we do while we wait? I think we need more of this, and less of that! I cannot help but start with a few things I hope there is less of.
Recently I had a conversation with someone I have known for a long time since that has had agriculture related job for over 30 years. Of course, he started by asking me how business was going and I said it was busy and there was a lot of concern right now. Then he said and I quote “I sure hope they tax the crap out of farmers”. I must have been silent because then he continued, “Serious! I hope they pass every one of those new tax proposals.” I remained silent and gathered my thoughts and finally responded, “Why do you say that?” He quickly replied “I don’t have any land myself and I will not be inheriting anything. So if they don’t tax farmers, they will tax me.” Hmm, I hope there is less of that thinking!
Then I had a conversation with a landowner who always wanted everything for less. Now his four children will inherit that farmland someday but none of them are farming. He told me that he told his children “If you rent out the land, get that absolute top dollar. And if you ever sell it, get every penny you can from the highest bidder!” Hmm, I hope there is less of that!
Ah, but there is hope. I then met with a couple who had children but did not have a farming heir. They wanted clear plans in place to help another related family member on the farm. They absolutely wanted things to cash flow and to make it all work for another generation or two after them! We could use more of this!
Then I met with a thriving family that had profitable land, livestock, and construction businesses and more opportunities coming at them, but their eyes almost lit up the most when talking about some charitable and mission work they did every year. We could use more of this!
Life is full of starts and stops and some “while we wait” moments. That does not necessarily mean everything stops “while we wait”. We can still keep planning for what we want more of and what we want less of. Sometimes “while we wait” we learn a little bit more about ourselves. We learn what our priorities are. We learn about what we are good at and what we need to work on.
I am like most people, I don’t like to wait. I want to know the rules. I want to plan and I want to know the outcome.
We waited most of this summer for rain, but we kept planning for harvest and this weekend we got over 9 inches. The wait is over and we are ready. Today the sun is shining bright, and the grass is green. I could use more of this!
Whatever is around you, whether it deals with your farm, your family, your friends, your church, your priorities, don’t waste time while waiting. What could you use a little more of? What could you use a little less of?
While you are waiting, check out our website at www.farmestategps.com and sign up for one of the memberships. We will have as much information as possible to help farm families if or when tax laws change. It’s a great resource to help you prepare while you wait.
Myron Friesen is the co-owner of Farm Financial Strategies Inc. in Osage, Iowa. He can be contacted at 866-524-3636 or email@example.com.