Retirement Answer Man Show show

Retirement Answer Man Show

Summary: This is NOT another personal finance show focused only on saving and investing. It’s about making the most of your life today and in retirement. Retirement isn’t an age OR a financial number. It’s finding that balance between living well today and feeling confident about your retirement. It’s about gaining more freedom to pursue the life you want. In each episode, Roger unpacks topics like investing, insurance, IRAs , pensions, healthcare expenses, building wealth, creating income, being happy, and much more. Roger Whitney shares practical wisdom on retirement planning learned over 26 years as a financial planner walking life with clients into retirement. Head over to to learn more and sign up for the free Retirement Learning Center. An online resource full of checklists you can use to work towards your ideal retirement.

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  • Artist: Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, AIF® | A personal finance show on retirement, money, investing and wealth
  • Copyright: Roger Whitney, 2016


 #186 – Retirement Travel – One Way to Fund Your Dreams | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:44

Do you have dreams for traveling in retirement? Everyone’s dreams are different, but every dream is going to cost some money. On today’s episode of The Retirement Answer Man, my friend Jamie joins me to talk about one creative way to fund your travel dreams. Discover how you can use your home to produce income when you’re not there, so that you can enjoy your travels. Learn what a sharing economy is and how it can benefit you and fund your dreams for retirement travel. What is a sharing economy, and how can it help fund my retirement dreams? A sharing economy is an economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals for a fee. Uber is one example. AirBnb and VRBO are systems that can work for you to fund your retirement travel by renting out your house, earning money when you are not there. It allows you to monetize your home as an asset to fund your retirement travel dreams. My friend Jamie has had great experience with AirBnb, and joins me on today’s podcast to discuss how it works. The benefits of renting out your home while you travel Renting out your home to fund retirement travel takes a bit of preparation and work. But the benefits are worth it. Not only do you create income while you are away, but you also have someone staying in your home without paying a house-sitter. And, in my friend Jamie’s experience, you have the opportunity to build clients and become friends with repeat guests. Listen to today’s podcast episode to hear Jamie’s story of how renting out their home has benefitted his family. How to prepare your home for rental when you are away Sharing your space with other people may seem overwhelming at first. But you can start small and acclimate to the process as you go. To get started, check your local listings on AirBnb and VRBO to see what is available in your area and what the prices are. On this episode, my friend Jamie describes some of the things he has done to prepare his family’s home to be shared. From buying fresh linens to learning how to effectively advertise his home, Jamie’s insights will help you get started on this new adventure. How do you vet who will stay in your house when you rent it out? Many people have concerns about renting their home to strangers. But my friend Jamie’s experience is that people will actually take very good care of your home. On this episode, Jamie shares how he has found that the way you advertise your property and the price you set has a lot to do with who will rent it. Listen in to hear Jamie’s perspective on getting the right clients to rent your home and getting the best price for your rental as well. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:27] Regardless of what your dream is, you will need a way to fund it. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [5:06] What is a sharing economy? * [6:23] In terms of funding retirement travel, how might the sharing economy help you? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [10:46] My friend Jamie’s vacation experience in Mexico, and how he funded it. * [17:24] How to prepare your home for rental when you are away. * [19:30] How do you vet who is going to stay in your house? * [20:29] If you’re going to rent out your house, how can you get top price? * [23:55] How renting out your house opens up possibilities of owning a second home. * [24:58] You can rent our your home even just once or twice a year. * [26:58] Building clients and return guests. * [27:58] What are the downsides of renting out your home? * [29:21] What are the next steps to get ready to rent out your home? THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT * [30:52] Blow up what is to start working towards what could be. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [31:46] Plan a weekend trip and rent something on AirBnb or VRBO.

 #185 – Don’t Be Like Wimpy! How Spending Can Ruin Your Retirement | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:01

In the news today, credit card debt has reached over 1 Trillion dollars. In addition, we have 1.2 Trillion dollars in auto debt, 13% above the previous record. Impulse shopping is easier than ever, and this can be bad news for your retirement! On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man Podcast, I talk about spending and some safeguards you can put in place so that you don’t overspend on things you don’t need and may not even really want. Listen in and learn to differentiate between needs and wants, and get some great tips to help you avoid unnecessary impulse spending. You don’t want to be one of those people who are over-leveraged on their debt As you are heading into your retirement, you don’t want to get over your head into debt because of personal spending. Lifestyle choices are crucial. In retirement, how much money is needed for your needs, wants, and wishes? On this episode, I describe how you can avoid unnecessary debt and save that money for the things that really matter to you. The happiest clients I have seen are those who value experiences over things. Listen to today’s podcast and start thinking clearly about what you value most and how your spending reflects it. To prevent overspending, differentiate between needs and wants We have grown into a society where things that technically are wants are considered needs. On this episode, I talk about defining for yourself what is a need and what is a want. Keeping this distinction clear can help a great deal with reducing unnecessary spending and credit card debt. Listen in to start thinking about needs and wants and how they affect your spending and your retirement lifestyle. To prevent overspending, build friction into your ability to do transactions Shopping used to be more difficult. You had to plan out how to get what you wanted, get in the car, drive to a store, find what you wanted, and write a check for it. Now, all you have to do is click and you can have it in an hour. Marketers are experts at taking away the friction and making impulse purchases seem normal. On this episode, I suggest several ways that you can build friction back into your shopping so that you have more opportunities to make wise spending decisions as you approach your retirement. Listen in and take back control of your spending. The Retirement Answer Man Responds to Listener Questions Today in the Practical Planning Segment, I respond to questions sent in by listeners like you: Should I pay off my mortgage first, or max out my 401K first? What are the pros and cons of rolling over a 401K to an IRA upon retirement? Should I include my home equity in the asset pool for tapping living expenses in retirement? On this episode, I clarify the considerations that need to be taken into account when making these decisions for your retirement. Listen to today’s questions and answers and then feel free to send in a question of your own. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:40] Shopping used to be more difficult. * [3:22] Don’t take financial advice from me on this show. Consider it as helpful tips and education. * [3:50] The 5-minute retirement makeover HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:48] In the news today, credit card debt has reached over 1 Trillion dollars. * [6:43] You don’t want to be one of those people who are over-leveraged on their debt. * [7:44] To prevent overspending, differentiate between needs and wants. * [9:06] Build friction in your ability to do transactions. Here’s how. * [12:22] Value experiences, not things. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [13:35] Answering listener’s questions today. * [14:20] Current plan is to hit the mortgage hard and pay it off in two years, then transfer that effort into maxing out that 401K. Is that the right thing? 

 #184 – Passive Investing: What You Should Understand | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 35:09

Passive investment management has taken over the world. Nine of the top ten mutual funds are based on passive investing. On this episode, I explain what passive investing is and how it works, the top two indices that most funds are based on, and the advantages and disadvantages of investing based on those indices. I also take some time today in the Practical Planning Segment to answer listener questions. Listen in to expand your understanding of passive investing and hear answers to questions that you might be asking. The two indices that most passive investment portfolios are trying to model Eight of the top ten passive investment funds are focused on the S&P500 and the Total Market Index. On this episode, I describe asset allocation within these funds and how the funds are weighted. Is this model an efficient way to for you to implement a passive investment strategy? I’ll fill you in on the advantages and some of the questions around these funds on today’s episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Are market indices focused on a smaller segment of the market than it first appears? The S&P 500 and the Total Market Index have, respectively, 500 and 3600 individual equities. So at first it appears that passive investments that mimic these indices would be spread out among those equities. On today’s episode, I explain how the equities are weighted and the percentage of the indices that are in large or giant companies. Listen in to get a clearer picture of these two popular indices and to think about whether or not that is an efficient way for you to implement a passive investing strategy. Index rebalancing on fixed dates is like the Nike store on Black Friday. Have you seen the videos, or experienced in person, what it is like to shop for great deals on Black Friday? When the indices rebalance on fixed dates three times each year, any funds invested to mimic the index will be moved as quickly as possible. Everybody is running in the exact same place at the same time. Kind of like the Nike store on Black Friday. On this episode, I talk about this downside of passive investing based on the two most popular indicies. Listen in to learn why I’m a fan of passive investing but wonder if there could be a more thoughtful way of doing it. Answers to listeners’ questions I’m always glad when listeners send in their questions. On the Practical Planning segment of today’s episode, I respond to questions that have recently come in. “What about the ‘Equal Weight’ S&P 500?” “What happens with a 401K loan if your company switches you to independent contractor status?” “Should I adjust my asset allocations as I head into retirement?” and “Should I empty my retirement account to pay off my credit card debt?” Listen in for answers to these questions and an invitation to send in questions of your own. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] Black Friday madness * [2:33] Disclaimer – Don’t take advice from me on this show. * [2:50] Today’s topic: Mutual Funds that mimic indices HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:22] Passive investment management has taken over the world. * [5:13] What hypothetical portfolio is a passive investment trying to model? * [7:13] If we accept that passive investing makes sense, what passive investment strategies make the most sense for us? * [8:00] Understanding the Total Market Index * [9:45] Understanding the S&P 500 Index. * [11:46] Index rebalancing on fixed dates is like the Nike store on Black Friday. * [14:43] Does passive investing have to track one of the most popular indices? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [16:24] The “Equal Weight” S&P 500 index gives you broader exposure, but here’s why I’m not a fan. * [19:31] Be aware of 401K loan penalties if you leave employment or change to in...

 #183 – How Pre-tirement Could Save Your Retirement | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:46

Pre-tirement is that phase between full-time work and what we think of as traditional retirement, and it could be the key to you having a great retirement. Traditional retirement planning that focuses only on investing just doesn’t work. It doesn’t inspire much confidence or clarity about what your future could be. On this episode, I explain the advantages of pre-tirement and give you some ideas to get you started thinking about it. Listen in to learn why you should consider pre-tirement before retirement! Why is pre-tirement important? Saving and investing for retirement is extremely important. But it is not all of the story. Your nest egg cannot be all of it. It just doesn’t work. As you think about your retirement, consider pre-tirement as part of your plan. It takes some pressure off of the saving mentality and allows you to build a better life when you do reach full retirement. On this episode, I give you a number of reasons why pre-tirement is important, explain the advantages, and suggest ways you can go about it. Listen in and get started on planning your pre-tirement! Pre-tirement offers numerous financial benefits Pre-tirement (thinking of retirement like a dimmer switch) offers numerous financial advantages over full retirement (the on-off switch). On today’s episode, I will explain how pre-tirement benefits you in terms of preserving investments, delaying Social Security, reducing health-care costs, and moderating spikes in post-retirement spending. Listen in to learn what you need to know about pre-tirement and how it could save your retirement! Pre-tirement offers qualitative advantages that you could miss out on with full retirement As you are planning your retirement, qualitative considerations are as important as financial ones. When you treat retirement like an on-off switch, you miss out on a number of qualitative advantages that come with treating retirement like a dimmer switch, by embracing pre-tirement. Join me on this episode to learn about the difference that pre-tirement can make in your social network, your sense of purpose, and in your mental and physical health and motivation. What can I do to start exploring pre-tirement? You want to start planning your pre-tirement sooner than later. On this episode, I describe several steps you can take to get started and provide a few questions you can begin thinking about. Should you stay in your same industry or do something different that you love? How do you go about building a new network? What opportunities should you consider? Listen to this episode of The Retirement Answer Man Podcast for answers to these questions and more. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] What is pre-tirement? * [0:33] Why do I need something different than traditional retirement planning? * [2:23] Disclaimer HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:04] Why Americans are still not confident or ready for retirement. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [5:38] What excites you most about retirement? * [7:30] What does pre-tirement look like? * [12:24] Why is the pre-tirement phase important? * [14:57] Transitioning into retirement is a period of significant change. * [15:35] Pre-tirement preserves your savings. * [17:29] Pre-tirement allows you to delay Social Security and keep your full benefit. * [19:49] Pre-tirement can reduce health-care costs. * [21:34] Pre-tirement can help you moderate post-retirement spending. * [23:45] Pre-tirement helps you maintain a robust social network. * [26:42] Pre-tirement can help you maintain a sense of purpose. * [28:25] Pre-tirement supports your mental and physical health. * [29:10] Getting started tip #1 – Start planning earlier than later. Questions to ask. * [31:09] Getting started tip #2 – Build your...

 #182 – Want a Great Retirement? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:47

If you want a great retirement, you don’t need better answers, you need better questions. Pretty much everyone in financial advice and the media want us to stay with tactical questions like “How should I allocate my investment account?” “Are interest rates going to go up soon?” and “Am I saving enough?” These tactical questions are like tools in a toolbox that can’t be used well until after you decide what you are building! On today’s episode, I’m going to suggest some better questions that will help you make better decisions. You’ll learn to start with the design and work your way down to the tactical decisions for a great retirement.   Address the incongruence between your financial worries and what you are actually doing A recent Gallup poll pointed out the top three financial worries in America. On this episode, I’ll share those with you and point out the ways that our actions tend to be incongruent with what we are concerned about; how we often are not actually doing anything that addresses the concern about not having enough money for a great retirement. Listen in and get motivated to take specific steps that can actually help to mitigate the financial worries that you have. Power questions you can ask when you’re feeling stuck on a decision When you’re feeling stuck on a decision, it’s important to be able to step out of the immediate moment and ask questions that will help you move forward. On today’s episode, I’ll share a couple of power questions that can help you get unstuck and get a clear vision of what really matters to you. Don’t look for better answers, listen in and start asking better questions so that you can move forward towards a great retirement. Key questions to ask when you’re thinking about your future When you are thinking about your future and a great retirement, it is important to ask yourself some good questions that will help you envision what you really want. On this episode, I’ll give you some key questions to ask, not only as you are planning your retirement, but also along the way into and through retirement as your goals and priorities change. Listen to learn the questions that matter far more than just what you should do with your portfolio. Keep good questions in front of you to help you make better decisions Asking good questions is essential to a great retirement. On this episode, I’m sharing what I think are the important questions to have in front of you. This week’s Smart Sprint is to write those questions on a card and keep them top of mind for a week so that you can refer to them whenever you are in a quandary and use them to help you make better decisions. Listen to today’s podcast to start asking yourself good questions and taking steps to get out of the tactical world and start taking intentional action to build the life that your 90-year-old self is going to be proud of. . OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:27] Tactical, transactional questions are great, but should never be discussed first. * [2:32] Disclaimer. Don’t take advice from me on this show. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:02] The 5-minute Retirement makeover – not your parents’ retirement planning. * [3:53] America’s top three financial worries. * [5:09] The incongruence between financial worries and what people are actually doing. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [8:36] Design first, and work your way down to tactical. * [12:16] Question #1 – “If I knew the answer (hypothetically), what would it be?” * [14:00] Question #2 – “What would my 90-year-old self want me to do?” * [16:19] Question #3 – Do I still want to do this? * [17:30] Question #4 – What does this make possible? * [18:40] Question #5 – How does this help me towards my goal?

 #181 – Stop Financial Stress Now! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:09

The top financial stress in America, according to a Gallup poll, is not having enough money for retirement. Some people choose to ignore it to avoid the stress, but for others, the worry is a motivator to be proactive and get moving in the right direction. In this podcast interview with Emily Guy Berkin, we will discuss why there is so much financial stress, how to get a better understanding of your relationship with money, and specific steps you can take to decrease your stress about money. Listen in and stop financial stress now! What does money mean to you? Money is just little green pieces of paper. It doesn’t have any meaning except for the meaning that we humans assign to it. In today’s podcast interview, Emily Guy Berkin gives us tools to help us start thinking about what money means to us, how our relationship with money changes over time, and the influence of our culture on how we think about money. Listen in and begin to identify the meaning of those little green pieces of paper in your life. How has your relationship with money changed over time? Your relationship with money changes throughout your life. One really big change in your relationship with money is when you retire and no longer have a job. We often don’t prepare for the emotional stress that comes with this change in relationship. Listen to this episode of The Retirement Answer Man podcast to learn to identify your relationship with money, manage the change in your relationship with money, and decrease the financial stress that often comes with retirement. Financial security is a myth Financial security is a myth, and pursuing it can be destructive. Find out why on this episode of the Retirement Answer Man podcast, where I talk with Emily Guy Berkin about how the idea of financial security can actually contribute to our financial stress and be counterproductive. Listen in to learn about what matters more than building a big nest egg and how you can take steps to reduce your financial stress regardless of how much money you have saved up. How to decrease your financial stress What would it mean to you and to your family if you could stop the financial stress that you are facing as you head into retirement? In today’s interview with Emily Guy Berkin, we will discuss how to identify what money means to you and to recognize when you are doing things that are counterproductive. Listen in to learn how to bring your mind back into the way you use money and to recognize when your emotions about money may be leading you down the wrong path. If you want to stop financial stress, then this episode is for you! OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] Financial stress comes when life seasons change. * [2:37] Disclaimer – Don’t take advice from Roger Whitney on this show. * [3:12] Getting confidence and clarity about managing your financial life in retirement.   HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:05] The top financial worry in America is not having enough money for retirement.   PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [6:54] Introducing Emily Guy Berkin. * [7:26] Emily’s experience with financial stress. * [10:00] The meanings we put on money cause our financial stress. * [11:49] How has your relationship with money changed over time? * [13:59] The messages of our culture influence the way we use money. * [16:56] How to decrease financial stress. * [19:32] Financial security is a myth. * [22:33] How to manage the day-to-day spending. * [24:43] Helpful tools can be found in Emily Guy Berkin’s book, End Financial Stress Now. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [25:21] Identify one area of your life where you have financial stress, and take one proactive action to deal with it.

 #180 – Should You Retire Overseas? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:29

Have you ever considered that it might be advantageous to retire overseas? Where your home will be when you retire can dramatically change what the landscape might look like financially. There is a growing trend of Americans retiring outside of the country. Should you be one of them? That’s the topic of today’s episode and interview with Keith & Tina Paul, who are retired and living in Cuenca, Ecuador. Listen in to get a glimpse of what it is like to retire overseas and find out how you can begin exploring the idea. The top ten countries for retirement living There can be some huge advantages from a financial perspective if you have the spirit to do something like retiring in another country. On this episode, we’ll talk about those advantages and I’ll tell you the current top ten countries for retirement and give examples of how much it costs per month to live there. If you think, even for a moment, that you might like to retire overseas, then this episode of the Retirement Answer Man podcast is for you! A window into overseas retirement living What would it be like to retire in another country? How would you go about finding a place? Keith and Tina Paul, of, are retired and enjoying life in Cuenca, Ecuador. On today’s episode, they share their story of how they planned, researched, and found their new home and what it is like for them to live there. Listen in and enjoy this glimpse into what it is like to retire overseas, and then take my Smart Sprint challenge to dream a little! I’d like to retire overseas, but what about . . . ? If you are thinking about retiring outside of the US, you likely have a number of questions and concerns. What about health care? Would I feel isolated? Is it safe? These questions and more are addressed in today’s podcast interview with Keith and Tina Paul. Listen in to find out why they think the health care is even better, their experiences in connecting with people, and what the crime rate is like where they live. If you have questions about the wisdom of a decision to retire overseas, you will love this episode of the Retirement Answer Man! Home is where the heart is Do you feel that a different house in a different location will never feel like home? I know exactly what that is like. On today’s Happy Lab segment of The Retirement Answer Man podcast, I’ll tell you my story and how I found out that home really isn’t a house. It’s where your heart is. And your heart can change locations. If you’re feeling concern about moving to a different home or a different country, today’s episode just may give you the encouragement that you need. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] Choosing to live somewhere less expensive can buy you retiring 3-4 years earlier. * [3:25] Have you watched the 5-minute makeover videos yet?   HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:16] There is a growing trend of Americans retiring outside of the country. * [5:08] The top ten places to retire overseas. * [06:30] Use your vacation to explore places you might like to live.   PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [08:15] Introduction to Keith and Tina, bloggers of * [9:14] How did two American professionals end up moving internationally? * [11:01] Keith and Tina’s criteria, research, and visit to find a place to retire overseas. [15:27] If you retire overseas, what about health care? * [17:04] Does retiring in another country make you feel isolated? * [20:27] Do you feel a lack of purpose because of the overseas retirement lifestyle? * [22:23] The financial aspects of overseas retirement. * [23:34] What to look for when considering retirement outside of the US. * [25:11] Is it safe to retire overseas?

 #179 – A Simple Tool to Estimate Retirement Spending | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:35

Do you want to have a great retirement? Make sure you value the right things. It is possible to make a million dollars and feel poor, or to make $60K and live a rich and full life. On today’s episode, Jason Parker joins me to talk about how to calculate your retirement spending and make wise choices that will benefit you long-term in your retirement years. Listen in to learn about the new software tool that Jason has developed that helps with this process and to find out how you can get started on counting the cost of retirement. The empty-nester lifestyle can be wonderful . . . and dangerous As empty-nesters, there are many opportunities for us to spruce up our homes and enjoy some time freedom that we have not had in years. But there is a danger with the spending increase that can come along with this life phase as well. On today’s hot topic segment, I’ll explain what I mean by this danger, and how you can avoid falling into it. Listen in to learn to count the cost and prepare well for retirement spending. Understanding your spending is key to your retirement cash flow plan Did you know that the more income people have, the worse they are at understanding what they are spending? As Jason Parker says in this episode, one of the most important pieces of a good retirement cash flow plan is understanding your spending. Listen to today’s interview to find out why you need to count the cost on your lifestyle, how you can get a clearer picture of your spending, and where to find a great software tool that will help simplify the process. A simple tool to estimate retirement spending Jason Parker, host of the Sound Retirement Planning podcast, has developed a software tool that can help you understand your current spending and help you plan for retirement spending. On this episode, Jason talks with me about how this new tool came about, how it works, how it is different from other budgeting tools, and where you can get it. My listeners will get 50% off, so be sure to listen to the podcast and get the coupon code. It’s never too soon to start planning for retirement costs Whether you are retiring next month or in 20 years, getting a clear understanding of your spending is an important part of your overall financial well-being. On this episode, Jason Parker and I talk about the importance of calculating your spending and your retirement costs and explain how to do it. We cover how to account for costs that don’t fall into your monthly expenses and how to balance your money so that you don’t run out too soon. Listen in and then take my seven-day challenge to begin getting a clear picture of your spending. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] Make sure you value the right things. Don’t build a financial cage that gives you no options in life. You can make a million and feel poor and scared, and make 60,000 and live one of the richest lives. Conversation on spending and counting the cost for retirement. Jason Parker * [3:13] Disclaimer * [3:53] Traditional retirement planning doesn’t work. Doesn’t give you much confidence about the future. Just completed a 3 video series called the 5-minute retirement makeover. Go to   HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [5:09] How empty nester lifestyle creep can mess up your retirement. Kids are leaving, you’re making more money than you ever have, starting to define your life without kids. Can also be dangerous. You have more time freedom. Can explore other activities. Can update the house, etc. Re-nesting as an empty nester. But, when you increase your lifestyle, it’s always hard to scale back again. You can expand your lifestyle in your 50’s and then it’s hard to maintain when you retire. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [09:49] How do you count the cost on your lifestyle?

 #178 – The Science of Index-Based Asset Allocation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:33

There is a lot of weird science out there when it comes to investment management. But if we’re going to be successful in investing for retirement, we need sound science. Last time we talked about asset allocation for the flexible portion of your portfolio. Today we’re going to talk about the science behind the fixed portion. Index-based investing is currently the popular way to manage this side of your investments. But remember, you want to “know what you own and know why you own it” (Peter Lynch). Listen to this episode and follow through with the 7-day goal to gain a better understanding of what you own and why! What is an investment index? Index-based investing is taking over the world. But what, exactly, is an index? It is not something you can invest in directly. It is a mathematical model that represents a broad swath of the US equity markets. Index-based investment products try to mimic the model. On this episode, we’ll use the S&P 500 index as an example and explain how it works. Listen in to learn more about what the index is and how it affects asset allocation in your portfolio. Following an index when allocating assets might boost your retirement Index-based investing has a few distinct advantages, one of them being lower cost. As I explain the science behind an index, using the S&P 500 as an example, I will describe the factors that reduce costs for index-based investments and make them more efficient. Listen in to learn how index-based asset allocation can benefit your portfolio. Your retirement might suffer if you follow the S&P 500 When looking at index-based investments, there are nuances to consider that may be disadvantages. On today’s episode, I will explain how the S&P 500 index works, and why it can be great when huge companies are doing well, but concerning if they are not. I’ll also describe how the changes made annually to the index can result in inefficient trading and higher prices. Listen in to learn about index-based asset allocation so that you can know what you own and why you own it. Are there options other than an index-based product for the fixed portion of your portfolio? It is important to carefully consider your options when investing. While index-based products are the popular “go-to” for the fixed portion of your portfolio, there are other options out there. On this episode, I’ll talk about these options, which for some people may be a smarter way of investing. Listen in to learn about index-based asset allocation, other options, and what you can do in the next seven days to get a better understanding of what you own. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:25] There is a lot of weird science when it comes to investment management. * [1:04] How do you go about thinking about the fixed allocation to index-based portfolios? HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [2:22] Index-based investing is taking over the world. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [6:28] How do we choose managers to invest the passive/fixed part of a portfolio? * [8:08] What is an index? * [9:42] What are the advantages of following an index like the S&P 500? * [11:09] What are the potential disadvantages of following an index like the S&P 500? * [18:29] Are there other options out there? * [20:09] Focus on the things you can control. * [21:21] Please send me your questions about this topic or series. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [21:58] Get a better understanding of what you own by looking at the fact sheets. THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT * [23:06] Take some time to appreciate someone else and to acknowledge appreciation you receive. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 #177 – The 5 Ps of a Good Investment Philosophy | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:20

David Booth once said, ““The important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one.” But how many people who are actively planning for their retirement actually DO have one? You’d probably be surprised to know that much of the planning side of “retirement planning” is pretty haphazard. Even among investment advisors. But I’ve learned that it’s vital to know what your goals are and WHY you invest in certain types of investments so that you can know if what you’re investing in will get you to your goals. Does that make sense? On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to walk you through “5 Ps” of a good investment philosophy that you need to consider in order to make the best choice for reaching your goals. When it comes to investment philosophy, all we care about is repeatability. When you assess the investment opportunities before you, there’s really only one thing you should care about in the long run. That’s what I call “repeatability.” Will the investment you’re considering continue to perform at the rate and along the line of what it’s done in the past? That’s a pretty difficult question to answer when you get right down to it. That’s why I have decided to publish this episode of the show, to walk you through the things I consider when doing my “due diligence” part of helping a client determine their investment philosophy. It takes some time, but it’s worth it to ensure that what you’re investing your money in is actually going to give you the outcome you want. To assess an investment philosophy, look at People, Parent, Process, Performance, and Product. When it comes to the analysis of a potential investment you need to look deeper than the returns it’s currently getting. There are a number of factors that impact that return and looking deeper will provide you the opportunity to see patterns in a number of areas that will indicate whether that return is normal, will continue or can be expected to taper off. So what should you look at to make your decision? I call them “5 Ps” – People, Parent, Process, Performance, and Product. You can hear what I mean by each of those and even how I go about assessing them, on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Why it’s important to know something about the people behind an investment fund. One of the things most investors don’t think about when it comes to assessing an investment fund is that they need to keep abreast of the goings on within the company that is managing their investment. That means knowing something about the individuals who manage the fund and make the decisions about how it will be run. If you’re able to see patterns in the behavior and decisions of those individuals, or if you see that personnel changes have taken place within the investment firm, you’re able to pay closer attention to see how or if that change is going to impact your investments. But if you aren’t paying attention in the first place, you could experience outcomes you weren’t expecting. Find out more about how to assess the people behind your investments, on this episode. I don’t consider any investment that has less than 10 years of track record. Your investment philosophy needs to be built on a solid set of data, clear numbers that indicate why the investment choices you make are good choices for your goals. One of the things I have made a rule of thumb for myself (and therefore my clients) is that I won’t even consider an investment possibility that has a track record of fewer than 10 years. Why? Because there’s simply no way I can tell how the investment will perform. Any recommendation I make to a client in that scenario is nothing more than a guess…. And my clients deserve better than that. On this episode, you can hear how I go about assessing an investment’s track record to help my clients attain their retirement goals.

 #176 – The Role of Asset Allocation in Retirement Planning | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:55

“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” (Pablo Picasso). When I was taking a math refresher course for my certification, I had to memorize and practice calculating investment specific formulas. I have never had to use that skill again. But it did serve a purpose in giving me a greater appreciation for the rules as well as an understanding of where those rules are useful and where they are not. It’s important to understand the rules. In this episode on the role of asset allocation in retirement, I’ll talk about how we also need to break some of the rules to serve us in creating a great life. Why is asset allocation what everyone uses if it doesn’t really work 100% for retirement? Asset allocation is focused on maximizing return for a given level of risk. It is not tied to your retirement goals or your life. So why does almost everyone use asset allocation in retirement planning? On this episode, I’ll explain how asset allocation works, its benefits, and its downsides. Now that we’re not dealing with the accumulation of assets but are starting to deal with decumulation of assets (retirement), we are starting to see that asset allocation may not be the entire answer. That doesn’t mean we throw it out. Listen to today’s podcast to find out what I do to balance it with more flexibility. Tie your investment strategy to the goals that you want to achieve Asset allocation builds a solid foundation for making better investment decisions. But you also need to have an investment strategy that is tied to the goals you want to achieve during the retirement (decumulation) stage. On this episode, I help you understand the need for more than just asset allocation in retirement planning. Listen in to hear how I implement portfolios with clients as they are entering and in retirement. The “Fixed and Flexible” approach to retirement investing The way that I have come to manage assets with clients is what I call “Fixed and Flexible.” It starts with fixed allocation as a foundation and then adds actively managed investment vehicles for more flexibility. On this episode, I describe how to choose where you want to be in the “river” of capital markets, and I clarify the difference between actively managed vehicles that are flexible and those that are not. Listen in to learn how to develop an approach that has both stability and flexibility.   Evaluate your investment types according to your retirement goals In the next seven days look at each of your managers, ETF’s, mutual funds, whatever it is you own and identify what type of investment mandate they have. Are they passive, active, or flexible managers? Why do you have these different types and these different portions and how does that relate to what you are trying to achieve for your family? Listen to today’s podcast to get the information you need to ask and answer these important questions about your investment portfolio. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:27] Why learn the formulas? * [4:03] How do we break some of these rules to serve us in creating a great life? * [4:20] Disclaimer.   HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [5:05] Why is asset allocation what everyone uses if it doesn’t really work 100% for retirement? * [8:56] What are the benefits of the asset allocation model? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [14:03] Asset allocation is a sound framework for investment decisions, but not the entire solution. * [15:52] The “Fixed and Flexible” approach – asset allocation. * [21:56] The “Fixed and Flexible” approach – Actively managed investment vehicles. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [32:46] Identify what types of investment mandates your funds have. THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT

 #175 – Market Forecasting: Who Can You Trust To Tell You What to Expect During Retirement? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:11

What you base your assumptions on when it comes to market forecasting and retirement planning will determine the course of action you take. Forecasting typically comes from respected “experts” who we all look to for advice, but here’s the problem: None of them are 100% accurate. In fact, even with all their knowledge and experience, they are often way off in what they predict. How can you plan for retirement when you don’t know which market forecast to rely on? That’s the topic of this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Imagine trying to track your weight when every scale gives you a different number? I experience this every time I go to my Doctor. The nurse takes me to the scale before I take a seat in the exam room and it almost always shows me to weigh 8 to 10 pounds heavier than my scale at home. Naturally, I wonder: “Which scale is right?” To me, that’s the same thing we all experience when it comes to looking at the market forecasts the experts make. They all tell us something different is going to happen. Sometimes the differences are negligible, but other times they are huge. Who should we trust? I don’t think we can fully trust any of them, and on this episode, I tell you why – and what I do instead. Assumptions about investment returns are one of the ways market forecasting goes awry. Every market forecaster has to make assumptions. It’s the only way they can have any sense of continuity to their predictions that are tied to reality. But notice, their predictions are only TIED to reality, they’re not reality itself. In order for a market forecast to be reality itself, we’d have to have a crystal ball that could tell us exactly how investments are going to perform in the future, and none of us has that kind of foresight. But there are ways you can use the historic data to inform predictions that don’t require you to follow a given expert in lock-step. Find out how on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Are your investment decisions for retirement tied to your lifestyle goals? They should be. One of the things that happen when using return assumptions to plan for retirement is that our fear of pessimism prompts us to make decisions based on those assumptions (whether accurate or inaccurate) instead of on what really matters: the type of lifestyle you want to have during retirement – and what is needed to provide it. It’s a nuance you’ll have to have explained a bit more in order to understand, but you’re in luck! That’s what I address on this episode of the podcast, so I hope you take the time to listen. How much of your investment portfolio is based on market guesses? I know that’s an odd question, but it’s one that reveals a lot about how you’ve approached investing up to this point. If you’re making investment decisions based on what you or some expert THINKS is going to happen, you’re simply guessing. Yes, it may be an educated guess, but it’s a guess nonetheless. What’s the alternative? This episode of the Retirement Answer Man is an introduction to a more agile way of retirement planning that I believe you’ll find helpful. Be sure to listen. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:30] The thing I don’t like most about going to the Doctor: weighing myself. * [3:41] The benefit of one consistent source of data when it comes to asset allocation. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [5:30] How forecasters view the art of forecasting markets (not like you might think). PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [8:49] The wrinkles that come into play using investment return assumptions for retirement. * [11:07] What return assumptions should you use in retirement planning? * [14:48] A look at the results of some of the more respected market forecasters. * [20:34] How I approach retirement planning in light of market forecastin...

 #174 – Does the Institutional Approach to Asset Allocation For Retirement Work These Days? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:30

Part of my job as the Retirement Answer Man is to help you face the current issues that impact your retirement planning decisions. Part of that is the non-glamorous task of assessing the traditional approaches to retirement planning to see if they still work. So on this episode, I’m going to take a fairly deep dive into the institutional approach to asset allocation that has been the basis for retirement planning for many years – and I think once you understand the premise behind it, you’ll see that it’s a bit antiquated for modern retirement planning purposes. But never fear, I’m also going to point you in the right direction regarding how you can make up for the deficit! An institutional approach for retirement asset allocation doesn’t work because YOU are not an institution. I say that with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, but I also really mean it. Institutions do a very good job of allocating their assets for THEIR particular goals, but YOUR goals for retirement are vastly different than theirs, don’t you think? So following their pattern may be helpful (and it is, in some ways) but it’s not enough. You need to know the potential pitfalls of following an institutional lead and how to avoid them. That’s why I’m here.

 #173 – Investment Risk Management for Regular People | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:10

  Get ready for part three of our Retirement Investing series. On this week’s episode of the Retirement Answer Man, we’ll talk about risk management, types of risk to watch out for, and why the common approach to managing risk might not be a good fit for you. This one will be a lot more technical than our previous two shows, so get ready to get your geek on! You can’t get something from Nothing As my mother always said, “You can’t get something from nothing.” This rings true especially in the world of investing. You can’t expect to reap the rewards of your investments unless you are willing to give up something. For most that sacrifice comes in the form of risk. All investing has risks and the better you understand those risks and know which are worth taking, the better prepared you will be to invest wisely for your retirement. Stay tuned to get a glimpse of the different risks you might have to face. Diversify your portfolio to fit your goals Investment risk is very real, but if you are wise about how you invest your assets, you can reduce that risk. However, a diversified portfolio that eliminates risk might not help you meet your investment goals. It’s important that you become clear on what you want out of your retirement investments so that you can know how to diversify your assets in order to meet those goals. Join me in this episode of the Retirement Answer Man to hear my tips on how to create a good balance. Mainstream risk management might not be right for you Risk management is a topic we hear a lot about in our modern investing culture. There’s even a common method used to discern how much risk it too much. In this episode of the Retirement Answer Man, I’ll discuss why I think the mainstream view of risk management falls short and how you can develop a balanced view that will help you achieve your retirement goals. Don’t listen to the Investment Professionals There is a huge disconnect between investment professionals and the regular person. Most people think of risk as losing money and are more concerned about what their investments can do for them to create their ideal retirement than they are about optimizing their portfolio. The professionals on the other hand look at risk management based on statistical factors in order to create an optimized portfolio. Often times an optimized portfolio has nothing to do with the life goals you and your family may have. In this episode, I dive into the thinking behind the professionals so we can figure out if the standard approach is right for you.   OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN [0:30] You can’t get something for nothing. [0:45] In order to reap the benefits of potential investments, you have to be willing to give something up. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT [2:24] Markets are at an all time high and risk is being more sensationalized than ever before. [3:00] Mainstream Risk management. [4:00] Types of risk that are not talked about very often. [5:00] The Risk of Longevity. [6:00] The risk of Inflation. [6:45] Managing the boogie-man of risk. WHAT’S THAT MEAN SEGMENT [6:55] What is an index? [8:27} What is standard deviation? [12:08] What is a correlation? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT [14:00] “Between calculated risk and reckless decision making lies the dividing line between profit and loss.” [14:50] There is a huge disconnect between investment professionals and regular people. [16:55] 2 Major types of risk that we are affected by. [17:00] Risks can be reduced by the diversification of assets. [19:00] Systematic and Market risk. There is no way to eliminate these risks. [26:50] How do I know what my risk tolerance is? [27:00] The disconnect.  

 #172 – Building A Strong Foundation For Your Retirement Investments | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:30

Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Retirement Answer Man Show, I am your host Roger Whitney and I am the Retirement Answer Man. This show is part 2 in our series on investing. Today we will look at why maintaining a strong investment foundation is so important as you enter retirement and what steps you can take to build it. We’ll walk through three major types of investments, their average returns and how inflation can affect them. It may have more of an impact than you realize. Keep listening to hear the details. Investing during retirement is like riding into the wind When we were younger, working in our career, and contributing regularly to our investments, we enjoyed a bit of flexibility. Flexibility to adapt to market downturns or to our own bad investment decisions because we had a constant flow of money going into our investment plan. However, now that we are nearing retirement, that flexibility is fading and will eventually be gone. We will no longer be working a job that allows us to contribute to our portfolio and we will most likely be drawing on our investments in order to sustain the life we desire in retirement. This loss of flexibility makes it crucial to have a strong investment foundation when you enter retirement so that you can pivot your investments to work for you instead of you working for your investments. Listen to this episode to hear how to build a great foundation. Common asset classes, their returns, and what history reveals There are three main asset classes we think of when we talk about investing. Cash or Cash-like assets, Bonds, and Stocks or equities. More than likely your portfolio is made up of a collection of these three classes. Some are useful in generating income for your retirement and some are not. In today’s episode, I want to dive into each of them and look at the historical returns to get a rough idea of how we can expect each of these asset classes to perform in the future. In addition, I’ll factor in inflation and see where that leaves these common three. Make sure you listen to this episode to get my thoughts on the usefulness of each of these assets. Taking steps towards Retirement Success In last week’s show, I challenged you to gather up all of your investment statements into one place so that we could work on them together.. Well, the time has come. Go grab those statements and get ready to analyze them with honesty and discernment so that you can begin taking steps towards building a foundation for a great retirement. Don’t over rationalize happiness! If you are anything like me, there are activities you do that make you happy. For me, it is mountain biking. The feeling of a good workout, the exhilaration of pushing my limits, and the peace of relaxing in nature brings me a lot of happiness. The other day I was planning on going out for a ride, but as the time approached I found myself trying to talk myself out if it. I came up with some pretty good reasons why I shouldn’t go but in the end, I went anyway. When I finished, I realized that the happiness it brought me was worth it and I should try to not over-rationalize it again. Do you have something that brings you joy, that you often talk yourself out of? Don’t!   OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:30] The weird science of Investing. * [2:56] Building a good investment foundation. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:42] Investing wisely when you are nearing retirement is more important than ever. * [5:00] When you need your investments to work for you to generate the life you want, you need a specialist to aid you. * [7:00] When you are entering retirement, you have less ability to absorb market fluctuation. * [8:45] Without the ability to continue contributing to your investments, it might feel like you are riding against the wind.


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