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View Full Version : landscaping beyond 60 years of age


laborador
02-26-2004, 03:45 PM
I was curious to know if there are any members here that started there business when they were in their 20s, 30s and are still in it into their elder years such as 60 years of age, especially if you were solo. If so, what did you do when you were younger to take care of your self to enable you to withstand the grueling work for this long. Did you eat a special diet or have a workout routine, setup a retirement fund of some kind, etc. I guess I am trying to get a ball park figure on how long a person lasts before their body's give out. Thanks

brettmc
02-26-2004, 03:59 PM
Interesting question. I've got a friend in the business and have noticed he stays ALOT thinner than he used to be. He's been doing it for about 10 years and he had a hip problem last year. He's right at my age, 42. The only thing I can tell that he does different is drink more beer. He's not into any kind of healthy lifestyle. Not much help but it'll get ya a TTT.

Brett :cool:

Lombardi
02-26-2004, 05:51 PM
I started in my mid-thirties and hope to still be in this business past 60. I am still an owner/operator and perform labor at every job site. I also drink more beer than I used to and still eat whatever I want. My body is in good shape and my back rarely hurts anymore because of the exercise. My workout routine is what I do everyday at work.

awm
02-26-2004, 06:05 PM
well thats me exactly..except for a few times when the body faild to scratch.. ive always stayed in good shape.., now the shoulders are shot. that mostly just affects my tree work tho.. which is what i liked to do best..
im in a fight ite now to regain some conditioning.. dont have any choice as to whether ill win the fight oir not..
i will sooner or later but its gettin harder.. i just know id never be happy reired,so long as i can make the muster i willl. after that ,i dont care to live much any more..done seen too many do it.,. it almost never turns out that retirement brought what they thot it would..my work is primarily for the elderly so i know what i speak of.. lost over 30 percent of my customers last yr..

mow2nd
02-26-2004, 06:10 PM
My dad is not yet 60 but he started his business back in 1975 when he was 25. He started out pretty big but thru the years has stayed small. He has a good customer base of about 70 customers. He has no diet, I been telling him he needs to lose 50 pounds but hard to tell him anything. He pretty much rides the mower all day and has a mexican that does all the trimming and BS work.

I dont know what he has set aside for the later years, but I would imagine he has another 10-15 more years left.

Mdirrigation
02-26-2004, 07:05 PM
I started doing lawn care at 20 and sold the lawn care at 40 .


In 1984 a 3 bedroom house in a nice community was $125,000 and to cut the lawn was $25.00 (1/3 acre) In 2002 that same house is $ 450,000 and to cut the lawn was $25.00 . All I can say is I am glad I sold the lawn side and bought my house in 1984.

billc
02-26-2004, 07:44 PM
Well, I'm seriously considering starting a business and I'm 50. I hope to last at least ten years and maybe fifteen. So ask me in 10 years....

Kelly's Landscaping
02-26-2004, 08:14 PM
I know a guy next town over I call him old man Mike he runs a business call Mike an Joes landscaping only there is no Joe his son didnít like it but heís around age 75 tuff as nails. Guy cracks me up does 135 lawns a week with just him and one helper more then half are 1 acre or larger. And he a true hacker but his clients seem to like him despite his favorite way to talk to people offering jobs he donít want iv seen him use this more then 10 times { F U lady } heís a trip at one time he had 7 crews so heís much smaller then he use to be but wont give it up.

My stepfather is age 72 life long farmer and I can only hope to make his kind of money {he can buy most of your houses in cash just off the income of a single week in May during flower season} The old guys can be very weathered and very tuff I had some idiot on my lawn working for me get in to an argument with my step dad and actually picked up a shovel and held it like a bat and was ready to swing it at the old guy his response so which end of that shovel do you want to eat first son. I sent them both home for acting immature donít underestimate old guys if they work for a living and I mean work not some pansy job they are in much better shape then you would guess.

cush
02-27-2004, 08:33 PM
I think it is more practical to think I will still be around and in good heath at age 65 in the lawn care biz than if I had a desk job.

gene gls
02-27-2004, 09:30 PM
I started part time in 1988 and went full time in 2000, had 4 guys working (sometimes) last year.I'm down sizing this year and will also be 62 this year.
Gene

Littleriver1
02-27-2004, 10:03 PM
I'm 60. I am probably healther now than when I was 30. I work harder and do more now. As long as I feel good I'll keep working.
Bill

ed2hess
02-27-2004, 10:38 PM
I am 61 and I started on a farm at around 8 years old. I work along side my sons and our workers every day. I worry about wearing out joints but no trouble so far. I do irrigation digging, don't ride on mowers, and use trimmers, and stilll do some tree work. I did work for IBM 20 years but during that time I worked 20 hours a week running lawn business in evenings and weekends. The worst time for me in Texas is the 100+ days, and we have a lot of them. I contribute my health to genes and coke....I will die drinking coke. Oh..by the way I don't drink beer..

olderthandirt
02-27-2004, 10:49 PM
Been planning on retireing at 55 yrs old and I'm only a couple yrs away. Gonna live a little before dieing. If you don't want to work till you die plan and save and save and save. And if retirement ain't all its cut out to be I'll come out and start working again the biz is staying in the family.

The Lawn Boy Pro
02-27-2004, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by Kelly's Landscaping
I know a guy next town over I call him old man Mike he runs a business call Mike an Joes landscaping only there is no Joe his son didnít like it but heís around age 75 tuff as nails. Guy cracks me up does 135 lawns a week with just him and one helper more then half are 1 acre or larger. And he a true hacker but his clients seem to like him despite his favorite way to talk to people offering jobs he donít want iv seen him use this more then 10 times { F U lady } heís a trip at one time he had 7 crews so heís much smaller then he use to be but wont give it up.

My stepfather is age 72 life long farmer and I can only hope to make his kind of money {he can buy most of your houses in cash just off the income of a single week in May during flower season} The old guys can be very weathered and very tuff I had some idiot on my lawn working for me get in to an argument with my step dad and actually picked up a shovel and held it like a bat and was ready to swing it at the old guy his response so which end of that shovel do you want to eat first son. I sent them both home for acting immature donít underestimate old guys if they work for a living and I mean work not some pansy job they are in much better shape then you would guess. Ive never seen such loooooooooooooooooooooooooong run-on sentences in my life!!!!!!:eek: :o

Doc Pete
02-27-2004, 11:20 PM
I turn 54 tomorrow. I work for the church FT doing all the inside and outside work, which includes about 15 hours of mowing/trimming a week in season. Iím starting my twenty first year. I also landscape pt to support myself and family by mowing, trimming, pruning, leave blowing and snowblowing/plowing.
This Iíve been doing for the last 20 years.
Iím still in great shape. I treat my body like my machines: work hard, but donít overstress myself. Also, all my equipment is kept in top notch condition. If something vibrates I fix it. Vibration will kill you. I take breaks doing trimming and pruning and stopped thinking I was made of stone 15 years ago.
I do not use a rider, other than for fall cleanups. If my body tells me something is wrong I see the doctor. I donít drink or smoke. I expect to work till I die, because if I stop working Iíd feel I was dead away.

Here I am at work last year........This is livin :)

GarPA
02-28-2004, 05:35 AM
I'm 49 and holding (we stopped having bdays at my house)..you can do most of this well into your older years. Occasionally my dad will help out on easy stuff like flower installs , move tools around etc and he's 75 and going strong. The comment someone made above about farmers working in their old age is a very good analogy as much of our work is similar to what they do and I see some old farmers at the restaurant who are in very good shape and still doing farming. THe longer your;re in the business, the more you will get "body smart"..by that I mean you will learn which machines can save you and your body, and which work tasks pose a good chance for a career ending injury. I use machines as much as possible. One thing that I will get away from as I get older will be the large plant/tree installs. Even with augers and skid steers, theres always some lugging and moving the plants around and thats a recipe for a permanent injury so we;ll let the big installs for the other companies as we move toward Geezerville.

We do need though to watch our for the repetitive stress injuries caused by the vibrations of 2 cycle equipment...and they can literally put you out of business because sometimes surgery cant fix the problem...only stopping the activity that caused it is the solution. My wife has been to hell and back with a nerve problem in her arm from computer work.
I bought some 'gel' gloves from Mechanix but I;m not sure they help much.

Also, as the business matures, I will keep cherry picking the easy, profitable accounts and get rid of the tough properties. Then when I have 1 foot in the grave, at least I wont have any of those headache properties that most of us accept when we're trying to grow the business

oh and dont forget the Geritol and Metamucil...

odin
02-28-2004, 06:21 AM
im 55 still hard as a rock..i worked and got my time in at gm stamping plants many hard jobs like throwing 75 lb caddy doors off the line ...
Even with the hard landscapeing work i lift weights to the extreme 12 months out of the year..still can push 400 lbs on the bench press.The weights keep my body strong and relieve stess...
I have 5 arces setup with a setup that i go though basically what is ranger fitness in the off season .If this setup dont kill a person it will make you stronger.
And i watch what goes in my body ...no drugs no liquor no pain killers ....havent had any kind of pain killers since i was shot in vietnam.I treat my body as if it is a temple and put no poison substances in it.
Do exercise watch what you put in your month when you eat and drink ....just like maintaining your equipment ...your body will last longer and be healthy and strong longer.and the longer you can do the phyical work of landscapeing.