• Mark

The Four Pillars of Retirement

Throughout my life, I have planned for retirement - but that planning only consisted of saving. As I have travelled closer to the mythical day, I have wondered - "What will I do?"

Can I be happy without the interpersonal interactions, the reward of accomplishments, and praise that goes along with over achieving?

To answer these questions, I listened to podcasts and read articles that featured content from current retirees. Several concepts started to emerge that ultimately became....

The Four Pillars of Retirement

1. Financial Independence

2. Self-Reliance

3. Minimalism

4. Self-Actualization

Financial Independence

The first of the four pillars is how you'll pay for retirement. This could be from part-time work, savings, dividends, or passive income. Ultimately, it is how you will fund your lifestyle.


The second pillar is how much you will rely on others for various needs. This can materialize in many different ways. Will you fix your own house or DIY? Will you change the oil on your car? How about the brakes? The more you outsource these functions, the more you'll give up quality and your hard earned cash.


TheMinimalists.com discusses minimalism in the following way:

Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom."

In essence, minimalism is about living with the minimal amount of things that give you joy and shedding the things that don't. This is important as you consider retirement since you'll want to focus only on the few things that provide value.


This is the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs (1). In short, you should do what you are intended to do. For some people, this may mean painting, writing, helping other, or some other way of reaching your maximum potential. Frankly, this is the one that I am struggling with. In a future blog, I'll consider how this can be explored and discovered. For now, realize that I am working through the journey to what I am intended to do.

These are the pillars that will shape the discussion of my journey towards retirement over the next few years.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs#Self-actualization

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