Jim says he doesn’t like to watch TV anymore. He doesn’t need those lights flickering in his face and the loud commercials. Besides, there’s very little content of value to him. Jim is subtracting television from his home.
Ann is cleaning the house and getting rid of a lifetime of stuff. Things that were just sitting around. “I don’t want my kids to have to go through all of this stuff someday,” she thought. With every load she takes out, she feels lighter. Better. Ann is subtracting stuff.
John and Marie are selling their large home and downsizing to a moderate-sized ranch with a basement. “We don’t need or even want a large home anymore,” they say. This will reduce the time and money needed for upkeep, plus give them more livable housing that meets their needs better. John and Marie are subtracting size.
Tony has been a political junkie for as long as he can remember. He used to get real passionate about it. Well, now that Tony is retired, he feels it’s time for him to get out of that. He says, “you are not going to change anyone’s mind anyway. Besides, both sides may be corrupt – so what’s the use? There are more positive things to do with my time.” Tony is subtracting politics.
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James says he quit following sports teams. When the baseball players went on strike years ago, that was the beginning of the end for him. “I don’t need the hype before and during the games. Besides, it’s hard seeing the huge salaries being paid these days to guys with awful attitudes who get into trouble all the time,” he says. James is subtracting sports.
Fred has his main house and two second-home condos. The upkeep is expensive in both time and money. He is thinking of selling them. Fred is subtracting big expenses.
For many Boomers, subtraction is becoming more important than adding. Why live a complicated life if you don’t have to?
Subtraction can improve your life. Simply. Give you less to keep up with. Fewer risks. Less worry.
By removing some things you no longer have a need for, you can focus more on a meaningful life. Maybe you want to focus on enjoying nature, friends, family, travel, gardening, trips, museums, getting outdoors, volunteering, learning, healthcare, or, really, whatever floats your boat.
Removing things can let you focus on what you want to do today.
Subtraction might just improve your happiness in retirement.
What could you subtract today?
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Originally published April 03, 2023
Bob Carlson, America's leading retirement expert, reveals the big secret the IRS won't tell you.