How to simplify life in retirement

how to simplify life in retirement

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life.
It’s so easy to make it complex.”

~ Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia


Minimalism and a Meaningful Retirement

I recently sat down for a conversation with Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist to discuss how we can simplify our lives in order to better focus on what’s important. What prompted the conversation?

I have often joked that my life resembles a Rube Goldberg machine. It gets results—food on the table, work done, semi-regular exercise, etc.—but often only after a complex and convoluted series of steps.

As you can imagine, this sometimes creates no small amount of cognitive dissonance as I try to hold the contradictory ideas of living an intentional, meaningful life while constantly struggling with busyness and complication.

I’m guessing some of you are dealing with the same problem. I don’t want retirement (or life in general) to look like the equivalent of a cluttered junk drawer, so I reached out to Joshua to get his thoughts on how minimalism can help deal with the problem. He defines minimalism like this:

“Minimalism is the promotion of things I most value and the removal of everything that distracts me from it.”

So it’s not necessarily about how many shirts you have or how big your house is. It’s about defining what’s important to you and what isn’t. Then you ruthlessly cut the latter in order to create space, time and money for the former. It’s about becoming a minimalist in the things that don’t matter so you can become a maximalist in the things that do.

What are some practical ways to do that? What are the benefits? How can we simplify life, minimize stress, and focus on what we really want out of life? Answers to those questions and more are in my interview with Joshua. You can either listen to it using the player below or, if you’d prefer, I’ve attached a PDF transcript as well. [Note: If you’re reading this in an email, you may need to view the post online in order to use the media player.]


PDF Transcript:  How to Simplify Life In Retirement

 More Helpful Resources

After listening, spend a few minutes thinking about ways to clear the clutter from key areas of your own life. Your possessions are an obvious place to start, but don’t forget things like your work, relationships, obligations, finances and goals.

I’ll write more about how to simplify life in retirement  in future posts, but until then, you may want to check out these articles on Joshua’s blog…

…And these articles at Intentional Retirement

One last note.  We were updating our web hosting last week and a glitch caused an email titled “Hello World” to be sent unintentionally.  I apologize for the annoyance.

Touch base if I can ever help.

~ Joe

5 Responses to “How to simplify life in retirement”

  1. Mark May 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi Joe,

    My wife and I recently came back from Maui. We go for 2 weeks every fall and spring. We stay in a condo, enjoying simple pleasures. As “rich” as a complicated life may seem, getting away from the “hamster wheel” of life & work at home is always a mental, emotional and physical boost. It’s relative, but you hit it right: minimalizing (a word?) from your current state will help you to enrich the most important things (and relationships) in your life. I have a shirt from Maui, that has many famous lines on it -it’s titled “Kimo’s rules”, after the restaurant there. But, your article reminded me of: “There are two ways to be rich -make more or desire less”. -Mark

    • Joe Hearn May 19, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Great thoughts Mark! Thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for sharing about how you’re putting that into practice in your own life. Good example for the rest of us.

  2. John May 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Joe, Is there a way to download an MP3 of the interview? I’d like to listen to it when I exercise.



    • Joe Hearn May 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi John. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a way to download the file. The built in media player is stream only. Sorry about that.

      • John May 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

        No worries. Thanks for the reply and your work.

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