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The Benefits of a New Challenge – Joe Simonetta

  1. The Benefits of a New Challenge – Joe Simonetta Retirement Wisdom 27:45


It’s easy to fall into a rut. What could taking up a new pursuit or a new challenge do for you? Today’s guest, Joe Simonetta is living a diverse, interesting and fulfilling life. Last year he decided to take on a new challenge at 80. He decided to compete in a triathlon. Not only was it his first triathlon, it was his first race – of any kind. And he won the gold medal in his 80-84 age division at the U.S. National Senior Games. His story may inspire you to take on a new pursuit or challenge.

Joe Simonetta joins us from Sarasota, Florida.



Joseph R. Simonetta holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School where he studied ethics, global environmental problems, world religions, cosmology, and evolutionary biology. He also studied at Yale Divinity School.

He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Colorado. He also studied architecture at the University of Southern California. He holds a B.S. in Business Logistics from Penn State University.

As a young man, disturbed at the extraordinary amount of unrelenting suffering in the world, he vowed to himself to do something to alleviate it.

He went on to live a very unusual life. He has been an Army officer, professional athlete, entrepreneur and businessman, architectural designer, real estate developer, home builder, environmental activist, author, TEDx speaker, senior editor of the World Business Academy, and twice a nominee for the U.S. Congress.

Intermittently, he wrote a mix of fiction and nonfiction books about humanity and the state of the world.

He is married to Susana Rojas Simonetta. They have a son, Russell, born on Earth Day, and a daughter, Fiorella.

He enjoys spending time with his family and training for and competing in triathlons. In the 2023 U.S. National Senior Games triathlon in Pittsburgh, he won the gold medal in his 80-84 age division.


For More on Joseph R. Simonetta


Be Healthy. Be Kind. Respect the Environment.: What We Do to Others, We Do to Ourselves

Gingerbread Horse Rocket and The Melon Ball Express: A Story About a Little Boy Who Changed the World

Tedx Talk


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Live Life in Crescendo – Cynthia Covey Haller

The Fourth Quarter – Allen Hunt

Will You Flourish or Languish? – Corey Keyes

The Mindful Body – Ellen Langer


Wise Quotes

On Seven Words to Live By

“The three simple rules for living: be healthy, be kind, respect the environment. I have to put in context, and Arthur Schopenhauer observed that all truth passes through three levels. First, it’s ridicule, second, it’s violently opposed, third, it’s accepted as being self -evident. Such a truth has emerged in our lifetime. It informs us that we exist as a tiny fragment of an immensely larger interlocking pole, which all the parts are interconnected and depend upon each other for survival. Simply put, everything’s connected to everything else. We exist not separately, but in communion with all other living things. Life’s an interrelated, interdependent phenomenon. Everything’s in relationship. It’s the nature of universe, it’s the nature of the reality in which we exist. Like it or not, reality has behavioral demands. That is, if you want to stick around, if you want to live, if you want to continue on the journey, those behavioral demands can be summarized in seven words. Be healthy, be kind, respect the environment. Each one of us is like a cell in the body of humanity. The health of all of us taken together in terms of the health of humanity and the health of our civilization.”

On Updating Beliefs

“The question is, how do we reduce ignorance and suffering, expand knowledge and justice? Einstein observed that we can’t solve our problems from the same level of thinking which they originated.So it begs the question, what level of thinking are we at? What level of thinking do we need to get to? How do we get there? Well, it’s not easy to get to the next level of thinking. Many people are operating out of primitive, hardwired instincts and emotions associated with the primitive origins of our brain. At the same time, many people are operating out of deeply embedded, antiquated, divisive, and dysfunctional supernatural beliefs that are the products of the infancy of our intelligence. And these primitive instincts and emotions, which are a biological reality, and this antiquated, divisive, and dysfunctional supernatural beliefs, which are human fabrications, are a lethal combination of behaviors that are not overcome easily. But they must be overcome if we’re going to sustain humanity, advance our civilization, and succeed as a species. So our social and political attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs must rise to higher levels. So they’re not static. They’re dynamic. And we are an evolving species. We’re a young species, as one explores that whole area, which is interesting, evolutionary biology. And we understand just how young we are. And we begin to understand why we do what we do.”


About Retirement Wisdom

I help people who are retiring, but aren’t quite done yet, discover what’s next and build their custom version of their next life. A meaningful Retirement doesn’t just happen by accident.

Schedule a call today to discuss how The Designing Your Life process created by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans can help you make your life in Retirement a great one – on your own terms.

About Your Podcast Host 

Joe Casey Retirement Coach, Podcaster

Joe Casey is an Executive Coach and Retirement Coach who brings extensive experience navigating transitions from his coaching work with clients and from his own life and career. After a 26-year career in Human Resources with Merrill Lynch, Joe shifted gears and retired early at age 52 to become an executive coach. His executive coaching practice has been named as one of the Top 10 Leadership Development Consulting Companies for 2019 by HR Tech Outlook magazine. He now also works to help people design their lives following their corporate careers, helping them pursue second act careers or to successfully navigate their transition to retirement.

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