EMF22-02: Social Security, Retirement and Farmers--A Survey of Wisconsin Farm Owners



Farmers, although a small part of the overall population, are a population of interest for studying retirement and specific interactions with the Social Security Administration for multiple reasons. First, farming is an extremely physically demanding job that increases the odds that an individual working in this occupation will need to claim SSDI at some point in their career. Second, farmers are often asset rich, but savings poor. For this reason, they may rely more on OASI to fund their retirement rather than relying on private savings or company-sponsored retirement plans. To conduct this study a survey of Wisconsin farmers will be conducted to ask about financial planning for retirement, interactions with the Social Security Administration (SSA), and farm continuation planning. The data collected will be analyzed to see how farmers interact with SSA and if this differs by how far their farm is from the nearest SSA field office. In addition, by collecting information on farm owners’ interactions with UW-Extension this study will also investigate if these interactions affect how farmers engage with SSA. The findings from this study will help to inform decisions regarding outreach in farm communities. In addition, it will help to inform decisions on staffing and closures of SSA offices in rural communities.


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