My Mom and Dad were hard working farmers like their parents. Dad crammed more work in a day than anyone I knew – I can’t count the number of people Dad knew who said he worked harder than anyone THEY knew. His motivation started when the lady who sold her farm to him said she didn’t think he could ever make it work. He was determined to prove her wrong, and he did. The farm was his life and as a kid it was all I knew. It led me into being very active in 4-H, following my farm-kid friends to Iowa State and graduating with an ag degree. I didn’t anticipate I’d be in wealth management after college – it wasn’t even on my radar.
My father’s perseverance shaped my beliefs. It was hard not to give a best effort when you knew he would. I always thought I’d take over the farm. My plan after college was to work a few years in the corporate ag world, then move back to the farm. That happened…but not like I thought. Graduating from college during the 80’s farm crisis, I lost two jobs in three years due to the struggling ag economy. I got married, moved to the farm and started helping Dad, but soon found out matching his 14-hour work days was not good for my family life. Something had to give.
So I started looking for a different path. I really wanted to stay near the farm and get my hands dirty occasionally. The financial services industry found me in 1986 and it gave me the ability to stay close to the farm. It was a struggle starting a new business from scratch but, like Dad, I persevered.
He stopped farming in his early 80’s when he went to the hospital for heart surgery. He said he’d be back farming in a week or so, but the surgery was too much. He died in a nursing home about a year later. When Dad died, the cornerstone of our family legacy died. In the emptiness between his passing and the funeral, I took a few hours and spent time fixing fence on the farm. It seemed like the best thing to do. Dad would say it needed to be done. You either fix the fence or chase cattle. We still have the cattle, and we’re still fixing fence.
While we’ve helped many people in 30+ years (and will continue to do so), farmers and ag business owners are certainly a passion for me. They are some of the most genuine people I know. Their hours are unpredictable, they often work in less than ideal situations, and their success rides on the whims of nature. They’re long on common sense and short on excuses. They put their faith in God to provide every year, usually taking huge financial risks to help put food on our tables. Being one of them, I have a great desire to help others in agriculture.
None of our success at Cornerstone Financial would be possible without the support of Judy, my wife of 36 years. We’ve worked together – a difficult task for spouses, most would say – for nearly that entire time. All while raising two great kids who are successful in their own right. When it comes right down to it, our work and our family are our life’s legacy. Our passion here is simple…helping wealth creators grow and preserve their legacy!
– Mike Moffitt
Agribusiness Solutions from Cornerstone Financial Group
Our Agribusiness team is led by professionals that have current farming and agribusiness experience. We are committed to providing innovative and forward-thinking solutions for farmers and those in the agribusiness industry.
Some of the questions we can assist you in addressing are as follows:
- How do I keep my land/business in the family and continue our working operation?
- What methods are available to transfer ownership to a family member in the business and help equalize value to other family heirs?
- Can I be charitable now, and continue my charitable giving as a legacy when I’m gone?
- How can I better manage income tax liabilities when I retire?
- What can I do to avoid estate taxes where possible?
- What techniques can be used to better manage risks and their costs?
Our Agribusiness Services/Strategies Include:
- Succession planning
- Business value enhancement strategies
- Beginning farmer assistance
- Agribusiness enterprise risk management
- Property, Income and Estate Tax planning offered in conjunction with unaffiliated tax professionals
After working your entire life in agriculture, you owe it to yourself to take the prudent steps necessary to ensure things are run and operated in your best interest. Allow Cornerstone Financial Group to guide you through your transition in life with our varied strategies needed to ensure your farm, your legacy is passed on as you wish.
For more information on our Agribusiness Solutions, please contact us through the page in this website.