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Thanks for the correct formatting, AJ. Much appreciated. And yes -- we'll run ourselves out of decision by doing nothing. That may not be a terrible answer; the money that we're considering using is currently in a Vanguard Index fund that pays a reasonable dividend, so there is a decent chance that, over that 5 years, it will grow more than the 3.5% interest rate I pay on the mortgage.

And there is the question of using that money to buy more farm land, which is a completely different calculation that involves both finances and family dynamics. It is not a terrible financial decision -- DH's family has been farmers for generations, it is good land, and the renters are people who have been friends for the last few of those generations. At the same time, net rent is slightly lower (around 2%) than a good dividend-paying stock. And balancing that is the opportunity to put work into land that's been in the family for decades and that could use some sustainable agricultural practices. DH has the temperament to encourage his renters to try that kind of thing by sharing the risk with them, and one of the renters is forward-thinking enough to see the potential benefits. And it's the difference between owning all of it and owning a miniscule fraction of a percent of it. Lots of variables there.

So the conversation will be long. And that's okay.

ThyPeace, always interested in learning a new business.
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