We started a long time ago. In 1974 we got the message about PO, and planned our move from the industrial city back to the country. It took until 1978 to achieve that. Built a nice 45 acre homestead and lost it all to circumstances beyond our control.
Started over. By 1999, we had our one acre and home paid for. In 2003, I started a repair shop business at home, and kept it debt free, made some money and built up the homestead aspeccts of our place. Closed the shop and retired this year; wife retired a couple years ago. We do the homestead thing, growing everything except meat, so far. Putting in wood heat, now operating on our own cistern instead of county water system, working on solar PV, cut energy usage, and DIY for almost everything.
No TV since 1978, no movies, no blaring radio. I can hear the chickens, even though we live on a state highway. Not much traffic now. Property taxes are low due to the area where we live, our 2 old pickups are cheap to insure and license, and health insurance is from my wife's last job at affordable rates. Stocked up now, we can live on about half of our income from SS, and a lot less is necessary.
Yeah, wood heat takes some effort, but IMHO, not as much as it would take to work/earn/pay for conventional heat. Remember, if you spend $1,000 for heat in the winter, you have to earn far more just to pay the taxes on that money. How much time does that take? Personally, I'd rather spend a lot less time messing with the wood heat than working the job.
Local fix-it guy..