While at EXPO I had a conversation about this with a gentleman who has been in this biz forever and known many industry leaders through the years. His observation was that when many of these owners 'retire' they do so with little to show for their many years of effort. The business sells for much less than one might think---market volitility and used equipment keep the prices low. Unless they owned land, they didn't do particularly well when they exited. Also, I have observed a prominent nurseryman in our area prosper because he had the discipline and wisdom to purchase land instead of leasing it. As development increased in the area, he would sell and buy more land further out. He went from renting an apartment to live in to building a large house on 50+ acres.