Farmers with assets tied up in land, buildings and equipment can face unique succession planning challenges.

Nationwide News: Succession planning helps farmers prepare for the future

Buckeye Farm News

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that farmers are an aging population, which has made it more important than ever for them to develop succession plans to help ensure the smooth transfer of their farm and their assets to the next generation.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture found that between 2002 and 2007 the average age of farm operators increased to 57.1 years of age from 55.3 years of age. During that same period of time, the number of farm operators age 75 and older grew by 20 percent. 1

“In addition to being an aging population, farmers often have a majority of their assets tied up in land and equipment, which can present some unique succession planning challenges,” said Peter Golato, senior vice president for Nationwide Financial Services. “It’s critical that farmers take a proactive approach and work with a trusted financial professional who can help them develop a plan that fits their needs.”

Golato offers the following tips for farmers looking to plan for their future:

Talk it through – Having financial discussions with loved ones can be difficult, but talking about your succession plan in advance can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevent family conflict down the road.

Evaluate your life insurance needs – Consider whether a life insurance policy fits into your overall strategy. Life insurance may be able to help your family continue the farming operation following your death, pay the costs of settling your estate and pay federal estate, state inheritance and income taxes.

Work with a trusted adviser – Creating a plan to transfer your business and your assets to the next generation can be an overwhelming task. Instead of going it alone, seek the help of a financial professional who can guide you along the way.

“It’s important that we continue to raise awareness about the need for succession planning among America’s farmers,” said Golato. “This issue is critical for farmers, their families and the well-being of our entire nation.”

Visit for a listing of local Nationwide Insurance agents.As your personal situations change (i.e., marriage, birth of a child or job promotion), so will your life insurance needs. Care should be taken to ensure a product is suitable for your long-term life insurance needs. You should weigh any associated costs before making a purchase. Life insurance has fees and charges associated with it that include costs of insurance that vary with such characteristics of the insured as gender, health and age, and has additional charges for riders that customize a policy to fit your individual needs.

Life insurance is issued by Nationwide Life Insurance Company or Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company, Columbus, Ohio. © 2009 Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved. This product is not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not insured by any federal government agency, not guaranteed by the institution, and may go down in value.

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