I'm moving to Moscow, Russia in a month, and am considering measures to protect myself against the inflationary and economic crisis that looks likely to come.
I'm considering buying a cheap plot of land some distance (4-6 hours of driving or train; anything closer is terribly expensive) removed from the capital, with a simple house and enough land to grow enough food for a family. Problem is, until things hit the fan, I would still live in the city and work there (until city employment dried up). I would not be there to take care of the plot of land. I would probably not grow anything on it. If things hit the fan, then from the moment I would move onto the land until the moment it produced any food, a whole growing season (a year?) would have to pass - not to mention that I know nothing about farming, so I'd need to pass through a learning curve. This would to some extent defeat the purpose, wouldn't it?
As another option, I could hire someone to live on this land and grow stuff on it, just to keep it prepared, for a tolerable amount of money each month (~$500/month). But I don't want to take on this expense unless it is clearly necessary. And it'd be hard to find such a person, anyway.
I would like to have land as a hedge in case things turn sour in the cities. But I can't figure out how to do it right, yet. I'd appreciate any thoughts you guys might have.
It's a good plan but as you correctly observed there's definitely a learning curve to making land productive-more than a year, much more. You might consider buying your land as a back-up for when things turn ugly, but until then use the time to develop some skills. Perhaps you can find a small plot to rent closer to the city where you can practice growing things. Also maybe you can find a mentor in the area to help you in addition to doing a great deal of reading and studying on your own. I think you could make this work with considerable effort.
Welcome to the forums. This is an interesting first post. I know things are different in Russia, but I still don't understand why you would have to hire someone to live on your land if it has a house. I would expect them to pay you. At worst it would be free to them and no cost to you. Do you still have internal passports that would restrict your ability to travel to your land that far away?
PS I just saw your other post about your 401K and your student loans so now I'm confused. Are you a US citizen or what?
I am a US citizen, and have lived here since I was a teenager. So I went to college here, hence the debt. However, I've always wanted to return to Russia (for numerous reasons), and that's what I'm doing now.
The 401k thing is unrelated to the move - I'm just wondering what people think of borrowing against one's 401k. Data I've read says that 1/3 of all 401k/IRA holders do it. But then half of Americans carry a credit card balance, too.
You might be right about having someone live and work on someone else's land for free, but I'm thinking in order for them to be accountable and do a good job, some compensation would be in order. But the comments about me having to learn the trade are also very much on point... If only land near Moscow wasn't so brutally expensive.
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