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


 #156 – How Your Personal Net Worth Statement Can Inform Your Retirement Decisions – Retirement Plan LIVE Ep. 2 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:17

Planning for retirement will be next to impossible if you don’t have some sort of barometer of your financial situation – and that’s why I always create a personal net worth statement with my clients to have a starting point for retirement planning. On this episode – the 2nd in the 2017 Retirement Plan LIVE sessions – I’m talking with Kim about her and her husband’s financial status, and you’ll hear us go item by item through their financial situation to build their net worth statement. It’s the first step, and one you can take easily enough on your own. Find out how on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. What the HECK is a personal net worth statement? Your net worth statement is a document that will provide you a quick look at your financial situation at any point in time. By calculating your net worth you’re able to see what all the work you’ve done in your life has provided for you – as well as what you’ve spent so far. But tracking your net worth over time gives you even more insight into your financial picture. On this episode, I’m talking with Kim about the current assets and expenses she and her husband have right now, a few years before retirement. This will enable them to know where they are starting from as they begin to set retirement goals. You’ll see how applicable the net worth statement is to retirement planning, on this episode. Here’s the simple way to create your own net worth statement. You can calculate your own net worth statement pretty simply with very little effort. The hardest part is assembling all the facts and figures that go into a simple subtraction problem. Here’s how you do it: Total up all your assets (things you actually own that have value, including cash accounts at the bank), total up all your liabilities (the things you owe money on) and then subtract your liabilities FROM your assets. That will give you a net worth figure. Now that you have it, how do you use it to plan for retirement? I’m glad you asked because that’s what I’m covering with Kim, on this episode. How can you use a net worth statement to plan for retirement? When you’re planning for retirement you have to do more than just dream up fancy things in regard to your future without knowing how those fancy things are going to be funded. Your personal net worth statement will enable you to know what resources you have available to build upon in order to fund your retirement plans. Think of it as a starting place, the dot on the map where you are now. Once you understand that figure you’ll be able to see how far you are from the ideal retirement you’ve imagined. If you’d like to build your net worth statement with a little help from a retirement planner, here’s your chance. One of the things I love about what I do is that I’m able to help people accomplish financial goals through the creation and use of simple tools that are truly helpful. One of those is my “Build Your Net Worth Statement” worksheet – which is yours for free if you want it. If you’d like to get your own copy and find out how to get started with your own net worth calculations you can find it on my learning center page. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:30] My introduction to this “part 2” episode of the Retirement Plan LIVE. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [2:43] What IS your net worth and how is it calculated? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [12:30] Looking at Kim and Joe’s personal net worth statement to plan for retirement. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT * [42:39] Identify the location of all your important documents and write down those locations for your loved ones. THE HAPPY LAB SEGMENT * [44:20] Mishandling stress is a bad way to build happiness in relationships. RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

 #155 – Retirement Wishes Start With Good Planning (Retirement Plan LIVE 2017) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:19

What are your retirement wishes? Do you have any? This episode of The Retirement Answer Man is all about retirement wishes – dreaming up the kind of retirement you really want to live (forget about what seems practical for now). I’m walking through an initial retirement planning conversation with Kim and Joe – this year’s participants in my Retirement Plan LIVE event. In this conversation, you’ll hear how I help clients think through retirement needs and wishes and in coming episodes we’ll begin planning for how to accomplish them. It’s a hands-on conversation, so jump in to hear how we do it. Can you think a little bigger about your retirement? What are your wishes? For many people, the word “wishes” equates with the word “unrealistic.” But that’s not what we’re shooting for on this episode. In this conversation with Kim and Joe I’m trying to dig deep – to find out what they really want to be able to do during their retirement years so that we can create a plan that makes it possible once they get there. It’s a practical and exciting process and I hope you learn from this example so that you can start creating YOUR version of an ideal retirement in the future. Learning to dream bigger is not all that easy, but we need to do it. Most of us have a hard time envisioning what it’s going to be like during our retirement years. We hope for the best but often don’t know how to plan for it. Part of that struggle is that we have a difficult time knowing how to dream bigger, how to think of the things we really WANT to do during retirement instead of being limited by what we think will be realistic. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m helping Kim expand her thinking when it comes to her retirement plan so that we can figure out now how to make her retirement wishes come true. Are you interested? It’s a great conversation. It’s impossible to forecast every retirement need, but you still need to do it. None of us know the future so it’s reasonable to think that retirement planning is a hopeless cause. Afterall, you can’t predict every expense you’re going to have, right? Well, sort of. On this episode of the show, you’re going to hear how I help Kim think through the needs she and her husband might have during retirement and establish a baseline budget that they will be able to live on but will also afford them some of the finer things in life. And we take into account many of the “unforeseen” issues as well. You’ll need to hear it in order to totally grasp it, and you can do that by listening to this episode. Your retirement dreams need some “placeholders” in your retirement plan. None of us truly knows what retirement is going to hold. Are we going to be healthy or are we going to face a health crisis? Are we going to be able to travel or will we feel like we want to be a homebody? But you can’t let the lack of certainty keep you from planning for the retirement wishes you have. That’s why you need to plan on some of the fun things you think you may want to be in your retirement by adding “placeholders” for those expenses. On this episode, I help Kim create some placeholders – and it will serve as a great example of how you can do the same. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:28] My welcome to this first conversation of the 2017 Retirement Plan LIVE! * [1:10] Learning to dream bigger is not all that easy – but we need to do it! * [2:50] How you can get your summary of the Retirement Plan LIVE sessions. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [4:07] Getting the lay of the land in Kim and Joe’s situation – when will they retire? * [7:18] What will be Kim’s purpose after they retire? * [11:00] Dealing with a long retirement timeline from a financial perspective. * [16:50] The conversations Kim and Joe have around finances.

 #154 – Introducing Kim and Joe, the Couple Planning For Retirement via Retirement Plan LIVE. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:19

Every year I conduct a grand experiment in internet broadcasting that features everyday people like you. It’s called Retirement Plan LIVE and it’s my attempt at helping you know the ins and outs of effective retirement planning – and I do it by inviting listeners to take part in a to-be-aired set of conversations that walk through their actual financial situation. If you would like to take part, all you have to do is listen to this episode. It’s going to be a fun ride! Fast moves by our new President. What does it mean for you as you plan for retirement? Donald Trump is now President of the United States and his first weeks in office have brought a flurry of activity that directly impacts the financial markets. If you are looking toward or planning your retirement in such tenuous times, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out exactly what you should do. So what SHOULD you do? On this episode’s “Hot Topic” segment I’m addressing my view on such things and I hope you’ll see that you don’t need to worry or fret if you adhere to some simple principles. Meet Kim and Joe: this year’s Retirement Plan LIVE participants. Today we get to meet Kim and Joe, the kind and generous souls who have agreed to come on the show and bare all (except their identities) to help you see how I go about walking a family or individual through the monumental task of wisely planning for their retirement. These two are a great example of everyday folks who are beginning to consider the important things that need to go into making their retirement the best it can be. You’ll enjoy getting to know them, hearing about their hopes and dreams for retirement, and learning how you can take the first steps toward planning for YOUR retirement just like them. Do you have an I.C.E. plan for your personal finances? Why not? Do you know what a financial I.C.E. plan is? It’s the way I refer to an “In Case of Emergency” plan – something that your loved ones need to have in the unfortunate case of you being seriously injured or killed. Creating an I.C.E. plan is one of the most compassionate, caring things you can do for your loved ones and sadly, most people wait until it’s too late and never create it. On this episode, I’m going to give you a homework assignment: your first step in creating your own personal I.C.E. plan. If you are serious about caring for your loved ones even after you may be done, this plan is for you! Are you signed up for “Six Shot Saturday?” Join the few, the proud, the financially astute! Every week I send out an email to those brave and daring souls who are eager to receive that little bit extra in terms of financial information, tips, and strategies to help them maximize their efforts at planning for retirement. I only send it out to people who really want it – those action-takers who are willing to go the extra mile. Is that you? I’d love to send it to you so be sure you listen to this episode to find out how you can get on the list! OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:30] Meet Kim and Joe – this year’s participants in Retirement Plan LIVE! HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [2:22] Fast moves by our new Commander in Chief. Wow! * [4:29] What do you if you are planning for retirement in such an uncertain time? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [8:25] Meet Kim and Joe – this year’s RPL participants. * [9:52] Why Kim wanted to do RPL with me this year. * [12:46] General ideas that Kim has of what she’d like to see her retirement look like. * [15:00] Meet Joe: his perspective on their financial situation. * [17:24] Joe’s reaction to being on the podcast in such an open way. * [19:03] Joe’s conception of retirement – and planning toward it. * [24:00] What Joe wants his retirement to look like. TODAY’S SMART SPRINT SEGMENT

 #153 – Real Life Personal Growth And Finance Stories with P.T. Money | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:07

Every one of us has a Facebook face – right? It’s that face we put on for the Facebook watching world (at least we HOPE they are watching). Here’s what it looks like: We have a great life, great relationships, new car, enviable vacation pictures – you know the drill. It’s the adult way of impressing our friends and family. But the problem is that it’s not entirely true. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m talking with a friend of mine, P.T. Money about the real life personal growth stories we all have related to our finances. It’s seldom pretty. We all have fits and starts in the journey. P.T. has a new podcast featuring those stories and I want you to hear about it, on this episode. None of us get our finances right in the beginning. It’s OK. It’s personal growth. I remember when I started out as a young adult – at least I thought I was an adult. I was doing the things I wanted to do, thinking I knew everything I needed to know, doing what came naturally and easily. I made a LOT of mistakes, with money and with my relationships. But it was those mistakes that woke me up to the needs in my own life, to the areas of growth that I needed to take seriously in my own life. On this episode, I’m trying to point us toward the real life struggles we all face so we can understand that none of us is alone on the journey. We all make the bone-headed mistakes that grow us up over time. Did you know what you wanted to do right out of high school? Me neither. Very few of us do. But we have this crazy-headed notion that if we don’t know what we’re going to do for the rest of our lives by the time we are 18, something is wrong with us. And even worse, we think that once we are in that career or in a serious vocation, that’s it. We’re stuck there for life. My guest today is P.T. Money – he’s a guy who almost literally fell into being an accountant because it was the family trade, so to speak. But by the time he was 30 years old he discovered that it actually WASN’T what he was wired to do. You can hear his story, how he discovered the bad fit, and what he did to pivot away from accounting and build a happier and more profitable career, on this episode. The growth curve exists all throughout life. Get used to it. Early on in life, I believed that one day I’d arrive, I’d get to the place that my personal growth would taper off. But that’s not at ALL what’s happened. I turn 50 this next week and one of the many things I’ve learned in my time on the planet is that the growth curve never stops, no matter how old and experienced you become. So if that’s true, how can we maximize the learning curve to amplify personal growth and make the most of the years we have? That’s the topic of discussion on this episode, with my guest P.T. Money. Building toward your retirement through a side-hustle is an incredible idea. We’re all hoping for the best retirement possible. That includes plenty of money to know that we’ll be comfortable and secure for the years we have left after leaving our full-time employment or career. But I want to challenge you to think a bit bigger than that. What can you do to put together a side hustle based on an area of interest or passion, and use it to make a bigger difference in the world – both now and during your retirement? What would that look like? I bet you could make it happen. My guest P.T. Money and I talk about that possibility on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:29] My introduction to this episode about life evolutions and personal growth. * [5:02] What happens with something (someone) who evolves. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [6:18] Burnout is evolution gone wrong. * [9:00] How to pivot your work to serve you rather than the other way around. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

 #152 – Financial Forecasting: 2017 Predictions And The Impact They Have On YOU | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:26

Financial forecasting season is upon us! It’s the new year and there’s always a handful of predictions you see regarding politics, markets, social trends, and much more. If you spend much time listening to the talking heads out there you can come away very confused. Why? Because you’ll hear as many opinions and forecasts as there are talking heads! On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to talk a bit about the role financial forecasting should play in your financial decisions. You’re going to find out what I think of all the expert advice out there, so be sure you give this one a listen. Financial forecasting is often primarily about attention, not truth. Don’t get me wrong, the people out there making their financial forecasts truly believe that what they are saying is really going to happen. But they’re not making their forecasts solely for the sake of helping you know what to do. They are trying to get attention, to get eyes on themselves and their organizations. That enables them to be positioned as an expert in the field and hopefully (they are hoping) they will get some clients or business as a result. So how should YOU take action based on the forecasts? I’m going to tell you what I think, on this episode. What is a donor advised fund and how can you use one? On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I received a question from a listener about the wisdom of putting some assets into a “donor advised fund.” What is that you may ask? A donor advised fund is essentially a philanthropic financial vehicle established at with some public charity. It allows you – or any donor for that matter – to make a charitable contribution, receive an immediate tax benefit and then recommend grants from the fund over time. So in this way, as a donor, you are able to also be an advisor to the fund regarding what they do with the money that’s given. So in answer to my listener’s question I dive into those types of funds and give a bit of advice about how you can wisely contribute to and participate in them. Do you have retirement funds in an ESOP? Is there any way to move them out? One of the things I love to do on The Retirement Answer Man show is answer listener questions – and on this episode, I got a great one about ESOP accounts. An ESOP is an employee stock ownership plan. It’s a qualified plan designed to invest primarily in the stock of the company where you are employed. ESOPs are “qualified” in the sense that the ESOPs sponsoring company, the selling shareholder and participants receive various tax benefits. But the listener who asked the question wants to diversify the account. Is it possible? I’ve got some suggestions for him on this episode, so be sure you listen. Are you device-addicted? You should take the question seriously. I recently saw a video created by a very thoughtful and wise guy named Simon Sinek. He was talking about the tendency among Millennials to be “device addicts.” He pointed out that the “ding” of a device notification stimulates the very same chemicals in the brain as shot of cocaine. That means we are able to become physically addicted to the sensation on certain levels. Why am I asking the question? Because I’m concerned not just about retirement planning, but retirement planning that leads to a HAPPY life. And if you’re addicted (to anything) I doubt you’re going to be your happiest. Find out how I suggest you go about answering the question on this episode. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:32] My introduction to this episode of the podcast and an invite to check out the blog. * [2:31] Retirement Plan LIVE begins February 1st with a new couple! HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:26] The issue of predictions for the markets for 2017. * [6:49] How I think about predictions (it’s all about attention).

 #151 – Setting Retirement Goals and Working Toward Them: How One Couple Is Doing It | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:26

Welcome, welcome welcome! It’s 2017 and time to address those retirement goals you’ve been putting off. And I’m here to help. I’m Roger Whitney, otherwise known as The Retirement Answer Man. I’m here every week to help you think through, plan for, and take action toward a better retirement than you can conceive! Well, maybe not that extreme but I do want you to have a happy and healthy retirement that is personally rewarding for you and yours. This podcast is all about that end goal. On this episode, I’ve got a lot to share about where we’re headed in the next year and we talk with our very first participant in the Retirement Plan Live event from a few years ago, Carl. I hope you’ll take the time to listen. I’m now BETTER EQUIPPED to help you with your retirement goals. As I was looking toward 2017 and trying to focus on the things that I believed would help me serve you and my clients better, I decided that I needed to make a huge change in my life. I dropped some of the licenses that I’ve held for over 20 years. Why would I do that? Because now there is a lot less government regulation inhibiting the kind of things I can talk about on this podcast and on my blog. Now I can actually mention common retirement vehicles like “mutual funds” and others. I’m better equipped to help you navigate your retirement goals and am eager to do so. Find out how I do it week to week on this episode of the Retirement Answer Man. Retirement goals are not something you should put off. Most people wait far too long to begin setting retirement goals. It’s easy to think that you have plenty of time but the sad reality of the way life goes is that time sneaks up on you and retirement is here before you know it. You’ve got to start setting goals and reaching for them NOW so that your retirement is a happy, secure, and meaningful one. On this episode, I’m talking with the very first person who participated in my annual Retirement Plan Live event, Carl – and he’s going to share how he’s doing with his retirement plan and the enthusiasm that has come into his life from doing so. You’re going to want to hear this one. How sharing your story could help someone else navigate their own retirement. In this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I talk with Carl. He and his wife were two of the very first people I worked alongside in my Retirement Plan Live event a few years ago. Carl has begun to share his own story of planning and moving toward retirement in his own blog. What he’s discovered is that his story is beneficial to others who are on the same path he is – and I would venture to say that every one of you has the same ability to impact others with YOUR story. So what are you waiting for? Listen to this episode to find out how you can tell your story among the Retirement Answer Man community and see how it encourages others. Our very first Retirement Plan Live participant is on the way to his retirement goals. Carl and his wife are just a few years away from retirement. They’ve got their retirement goals laid out before them and are systematically ticking them off the list, one at a time. In this conversation, Carl and I talk about their recent move from their long-time home to a cabin in another community 100 miles away. The transition has gone well and Carl points to a few things they did that he believes made the transition less of a hassle than they expected. He also shares how he’s built a “bridge” into his retirement and why he recommends that everyone who is a few years away from retirement do the same thing. Carl’s a wise man and you’ll learn a lot from his experience, so be sure you listen. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [1:51] My word for the year that I’m going to be focusing on: Focus * [1:30] What is YOUR word that you want to focus on this coming year? HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

 #150 – Dealing With Failure By Seeing It As Feedback | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:07

Dealing with failure is never an easy thing. We all have things we regret, wish we could do over, or would like to have never done in the first place. This episode of The Retirement Answer Man is filled with YOUR feedback to this show – over 220 responses you sent in at my request, responses to my annual listener survey. And you didn’t hold back! There was lots of great advice for making the show better and a few criticisms that I have to admit stung a bit. But I’m not going to take it personally – I’m making the choice to deal with the potential failures revealed in your feedback as exactly that – feedback. I’m going to use it to become better! I hope you listen in. The Retirement Answer Man 2016 Listener Survey – the results are in! I am one of the few podcasters I know who actually does a listener survey each year – and I do it for a very specific reason. I honestly feel that the podcast is about you. I want to talk about the things that YOU feel will be most helpful to you, so I need to hear how the things I’m doing are impacting you on a practical level. As a result of the excellent feedback I received this year, I have some changes to announce and some promises to make about the show going forward. If you want to know what’s coming on the RAM show in the next year, take a listen to this episode! Could you use some practical case studies of real-life retirement issues? Apparently, all of you who listen to The Retirement Answer Man show are a practical bunch. The listener survey reveals that you want me to do more case studies – you know, the practical stuff that helps you apply retirement strategies and principles to real-life situations. And because you asked for it, that’s exactly what I’m going to do in 2017. In addition to my annual “Retirement Plan Live” (which is coming up after the first of the year), I’m going to do a few more case studies of various sorts throughout the year. I want the show to be as helpful to you as possible, so thanks for letting me know what you want! Do you feel like a failure when it comes to your retirement planning? Many people wait far too long to start planning for a happy and healthy retirement. It takes time to build up the funds needed for a secure retirement and you know, time has a way of sneaking up on us all too quickly. If you’re feeling fearful about your retirement I want to encourage you that it’s never too late to start. There are some important things you can begin to do today to mitigate the damage of procrastination and get moving in the right direction. Don’t worry about what’s coming in the future. Start focusing on what you can do now to make your future better. These are the top fears people have when it comes to retirement. The 220 participants in my 2016 Listener survey were very clear and honest when it came to expressing their top fears relating to retirement. Would you like to hear what they said? Number one on their list of fears was the rising cost of healthcare. That makes complete sense because our senior years are often years of rising medical costs. A close second on the list is a related issue in a sense, and that is that they will run out of funds to live on before they run out of life! What can you do to offset your fear and ensure that they never come true? One thing you can do is listen to The Retirement Answer Man podcast. Each week I’m aiming at helping you prepare for the happy and healthy retirement of your dreams. You could learn a lot by listening. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:24] The quote I’ve learned to live by and how we need to think about failure and feedback. * [1:15] A personal example of my first major failure: debate class. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:20] The responses I received from 220 of you on my annual listener survey! * [7:15] Your most enjoyed segments of the show...

 #149 – How The Temptation of Hyperbolic Discounting Can Bite You In the End. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:13

You may not even know what “hyperbolic discounting” is. But it’s something we all fall prey to numerous times, at least weekly. It’s the temptation to do something now that you know is not the best long-term. On this episode, I tell the story of how I bought a set of noise canceling headphones even though I knew that the money spent on them could have been invested more wisely in other ways. It’s an example of hyperbolic discounting that I use to show you how you and I need to be careful that we’re not making decisions today that will come back to bite us tomorrow. Is your retirement fund really going to be there when you need it? As human beings we have this amazing capacity to convince ourselves that the decisions we’re making are the best decisions we could make, when in fact, they simply aren’t. It’s called self-deception and it’s part of being human. One of the ways we do that is by giving in to the temptation of hyperbolic discounting – justifying a choice that’s a short-term gain at the expense of a bigger long-term payoff. It’s why we eat the cookie now rather than “being good” for the sake of reaching that ideal level of fitness that we really want. On this episode, I’m talking about the role that hyperbolic discounting plays in retirement planning and why it’s important to have the outside perspective and help of a qualified advisor. I hope you’ll take the time to listen – for the sake of your long-term goals. My 3rd annual Retirement Plan LIVE will begin in February. Do you want in? One of the most popular and helpful things that I do on The Retirement Answer Man podcast is the annual Retirement Plan LIVE. It’s where I take a real-life person (maybe you) and work through their financial situation alongside them to devise a plan toward the things they want to have in place when they reach retirement. But I can’t do it alone. I need someone who’s willing to be the subject of the plan. Is that you? You can find out who I’m looking for and whether you’d be a good fit on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man! Anytime an advisor makes recommendations before he understands your situation, you should run! A listener wrote to me to ask what the difference is between annuities and a whole life insurance policy. It turns out her questions stem from a conversation she’s been having with an insurance advisor who’s encouraging her to look into the possibility of whole life insurance instead of annuities. I don’t know enough about her situation to say that he’s giving her bad advice but I do know this: Anytime and advisor begins to point you in a certain direction without having assessed the entire situation, you need to be very, very careful. Find out why I’m so cautious, on this episode. One way you can avoid hyperbolic discounting is by taking a small step of immediate action. Hyperbolic discounting is when you choose a small benefit today at the expense of a larger benefit later. It’s the opposite of practicing delayed gratification. On my smart sprint segment of this podcast episode I give you a simple, easy plan to increase your retirement contributions that you won’t even feel month to month but that will enable you to avoid the temptation of doing nothing at all to increase your retirement. You can find out what it is on this episode. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:27] The struggle with temptation we all face and the cost they can have on life.. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:00] Beginning 2/1/2017 – The 3rd annual Retirement Plan LIVE begins! * [5:00] What it takes for YOU to be my RPL subject for this year! WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT * [8:30] What is Hyperbolic discounting? PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [12:37] How should you evaluate your insurance needs in light of current insurance plans?

 #148 – Maximizing Social Security For Your Best Retirement Ever! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:57

You want to get the most out of your Social Security benefits, right? I’m with you, maximize Social Security as much as you can! But there’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about what you should do to make that happen. Some advisors are saying you should take early but reduced benefits in view of life expectancy while others are saying the early benefit is wise because social security is not a very stable system and it may not be around by the time you can take the increased benefits. What should you do? On this episode I’m going to walk you through the outline of a presentation I gave on this very subject, so grab your thinking cap and let’s get to work! Why are more retirees taking their early, reduced social security benefits? It’s more common than ever in recent years that people who qualify for taking social security are doing so at the earliest possible moment. It’s totally legal and OK to do, but when you do you get a reduced rate of benefit – and you’re locked into that rate for the rest of your retirement years. If you get less money, why are more people doing it? On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to explain it to you and even walk you through a few scenarios of what the numbers look like if you take the early benefit VS waiting. I think you’ll be surprised at the difference! Is social security even going to be around when you reach your maximum benefit age? There are many people who take the early but reduced benefit on their social security because they are not confident that the social security system is stable enough to last until their full benefit age. I get that. There’s been lots of scary prognosticating surrounding the viability of social security that’s made the rounds over the years. Coupled with that is the sentiment many people have that they’ve worked hard all these years to fill their social security fund so the minute it’s available, they want it! On this episode, I’m going to give you my opinion about whether or not the good old SS administration will be around for very long. I hope you listen. Before you decide to take your social security benefits at the earliest date, think of your family. I totally get the eagerness many people have to tap into their social security benefits the moment they can legally do it. But when you do so you need to realize that the decision you make will not only impact you, it will also impact your spouse and possibly your surviving children. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to walk you through a scenario or two to show you what could happen by taking your benefits early and give you some things to consider about whether it’s the best move or not. If you want to maximize social security maybe you should work some during early retirement. I know, it sounds crazy to work during retirement. But on this episode, I’m going to show you the huge financial difference it could make if you simply work a small amount during the earliest years of your retirement. It will not only help you maximize social security for your own benefit but will also dramatically change the quality of life you enjoy during the later years of your retirement. Interested? I think you will want to hear this perspective. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:21] My introduction of this episode about maximizing your social security benefits. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [4:04] Michael Hyatt’s “Your Best Year Ever” course and why I’m promoting it! PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [6:04] My whirlwind tour of Texas, speaking to CPAs. * [8:08] Something important to consider about social security. * [10:55] Why you need to review your SS earnings statements. * [13:15] How some people take a reduced rate on Social Security benefits. * [15:40] Calculating the “break even” age to decide if a reduced rate make...

 #147 – Avoid The Retirement Crisis By Building Retirement Dreams | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:32

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the so-called retirement crisis that’s happening in the United States. And what I think has happened is this – a long-held belief that rising costs and the decreasing value of the dollar make retirement more and more difficult – has conditioned us to think in terms of survival instead of in terms of possibility. We approach retirement planning with a crisis mindset instead of taking the time to dream about what might be possible. On this episode, I walk you through how I would advise one of my clients to dream up their ideal retirement to avoid any crisis thinking and live their best life as a result. Why you need to ignore the news about the so-called retirement crisis. It’s easy to get into negative ways of thinking without even knowing it. Pessimism comes naturally to people who want to think wisely, which most people who actually engage in retirement planning are. How do we get out of the pessimism trap when it comes to our retirement planning? I think first off we have to realize that there IS no retirement crisis. It’s really a crisis in how we think about retirement. I’ve got some ideas about how you can plan for your ideal retirement from a place of possibility and dreams instead of a place of pessimism. Listen to this episode and you’ll get an earful of how I have seen it happen. Learn to dream about your retirement to open the door to possibilities. One thing I’ve learned from taking trips is this: you aren’t able to see the next mile down the road until you first travel the mile you’re on. It’s a simple and obvious truth about the way life is. When it comes to retirement planning you’re not going to know what’s possible unless you first take steps toward those possibilities – and one of the primary ways you can do that is by dreaming. I mean the nothing-off-limits dreaming we’re often afraid of. It helps you set the stage for what your ideal retirement could be. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I walk you through how I advise my clients to dream up an incredible retirement and then show you how we plan for it practically. It’s not theory or rainbows and unicorns, it’s real life planning that makes for a great retirement. Avoid the retirement crisis by getting your financial spaghetti in order. I like to think of retirement planning like a plate full of delicious spaghetti. There are 3 primary things that go into the dish. The pasta, the sauce, and the spices that give it the “zing” you want in a good Italian dish. If you miss any of those things you won’t have the flavor you want and won’t be very satisfied as a result. Too many people approach their retirement planning with a focus on only one of the very important things that go into a great retirement. Can you guess what that is? On this episode, I’m going to tell you what it is – and tell you how to avoid the kind of thinking that gets you into that situation in the first place. Your retirement is YOUR retirement. Make it what YOU want it to be. As I work alongside clients I see it time and time again – people who are concerned that they have the same kinds of things their parents had during retirement, or that they are able to maintain a standard of living comparable to a friend who just retired. You know, I get that way of thinking but I can’t say it’s the best approach. That’s because your retirement needs to be exactly what YOU want it to be, not some vague standard set by somebody else who traveled the road before you. On this episode, I want to say few words about this important issue because if you can make the switch to think of your retirement as truly YOURS, you’re going to discover a retirement that makes you truly happy. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:28] Why I’m going to emphasize how you can think bigger and thrive in retirement. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

 #146 – The Strength of the Dollar, The Forex Market, and Listener Questions About Asset Allocation | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:22

In case you haven’t noticed, the recent election has had a pretty significant impact on the strength of the dollar worldwide. The U.S. dollar is actually gaining strength in the world economy – it’s at a 13 year high – and it’s in large part because of what financial gurus around the world believe is going to happen in the U.S. economy because of the election of Donald Trump. But do you know what impact the growing power of the dollar will have on you? If you want to hear how this phenomenon happens, why it happens, and what it means for you, I’ve got you covered on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Do you understand what the FOREX market is? The term “FOREX” stands for “Foreign Exchange Market” and it’s where people worldwide trade in currencies. You may not have even known such a thing happens. But anytime you go to another country and you have to trade U.S. dollars for another currency, you’re taking part in a FOREX style trade – one currency value compared to another and exchanged in kind. With the rising value of the dollar these days the FOREX market is going a bit nuts at the moment. Find out why and what it means for you on this episode. Is your long-term care policy safe even if your company is no longer providing long-term policies? After my comments on the last episode of the podcast about John Hancock’s announcement that it will be getting out of the long-term care business, some of you were a bit concerned. You have JH long-term policies so you’re wondering what’s going to happen to that policy. On this episode, I walk you through the scenarios of what typically happens when a large insurer like John Hancock makes an announcement of this type, including how they take care of the policy holders they already have on the books. I think you’ll find that it’s not as bad for you as you may be fear. Should long-term market averages impact the way you draw cash from your retirement account? A listener to the podcast wrote to me this last week pointing out that long-term averages indicate that market downturns are almost always corrected over time. Looking at that fact he suggested that because the market will correct itself in time we shouldn’t be so concerned if we are living through a market downturn during retirement. But I’ve got a slightly different take on the issue simply because even though the facts and figures do add up just like he’s saying, we are emotional creatures and aren’t always able to live with the reality of what’s happening around us. You can hear my entire train of thought about the subject clanking along the tracks, on this episode. What retirement-related issues do you want to hear on this show? It’s time once again for my annual listener survey. It may not sound like a very exciting thing for you to take part in but the responses I receive from the listener survey are the primary way I determine what I’m going to be talking about over the next year’s episodes of the podcast. I’d really love to get your feedback and input. It’s a great way that you can help me help you! If you’d like to know how you can take part in this year’s survey I cover it step by step on this episode of the podcast so set aside some time and give it a listen. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:29] My introduction to this Thanksgiving episode – and my plans for the show moving forward. * [1:19] My 2nd annual listener survey – would you help me create better content? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT * [3:34] What is the Forex market? HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [5:27] The 13 year HIGH the U.S. Dollar is on right now. * [6:45] How President-elect Trump’s policies are stimulating this change. * [7:52] The impact of a high priced U.S. Dollar, worldwide. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT * [9:48] Mike asks,

 #145 – Year End Financial Issues You Should Consider | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:38

It’s almost time for that year end tax planning. 2017 is going to be here before you know it! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking with quite a few of my clients about their year end financial planning and realized that the things I’ve been talking about week after week these days could also be of help to YOU! So on this episode, I’m going to walk you through some of the most common things I suggest to my clients at the end of the year that can put them in a better tax and financial position as the end of the year approaches. I hope you find it helpful! The year ends with some BIG NEWS from John Hancock insurance. Did you hear the latest news from John Hancock insurance? The company announced just this month that they will no longer be offering long-term care insurance. That may not sound like such a big deal to you but with the rising cost of healthcare, and especially the type of care that’s often needed in the later years of life, this is a big deal – because John Hancock is one of the biggest players in the insurance industry. Does this indicate a move that other insurance carriers will be making in the future? You can hear my thoughts on the subject on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. Are embedded capital gains going to mess up your year end financial planning? You have those investments that you never think about – they’re often part of a retirement or investment package that you have in your company plan. Part of the perk you get from those kinds of investments is that they accrue investment profits (hopefully) without you even having to give them a second thought. BUT, when it comes to your year end planning and trying to offset your tax liability you can often get a bite from those plans because the gains you’ve accrued through them are more than you expect – or you forget about them altogether. On this episode, I explain what embedded capital gains are and how you can take them into account for better year end planning. Don’t forget about managing your gains and losses to minimize your liability. It happens every year. I see it again and again. Someone comes to me eager to reduce their tax liability just before taxes are due and they did nothing before the previous year ended to effectively manage their losses and gains to offset their tax liability. Folks, you’ve got to start thinking about those things now, before the year ends to ensure you’ll be able to do the smartest things you can before you have to pay your taxes. That’s just one example of a handful of things you can keep in mind as you do your planning for the next year. Be sure to listen, I share the most common ways you can make better year end decisions, on this episode. Do you have a flexible savings account with cash in it? Use it up before you lose it! Many people don’t realize that flexible savings accounts – though a great financial tool to use – are typically set up in a way that you have to use the cash in it before the calendar year ends. So if you don’t use it – that’s right – you lose it! On this episode, I give you some suggestions (not advice mind you) about the kinds of things you could do to make the best use of those funds before your time runs out. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:34] My welcome to this episode! HOT TOPIC SEGMENT * [3:36] Big economic news: John Hancock will no longer be selling traditional long term care insurance. * [6:15] The rise of hybrid policies and what it means for you and me. * [7:31] Why traditional policies have plummeted in popularity. * [9:45] How I typically deal with long term care issues with clients in my practice. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT * [11:26] Today’s term: Embedded Capital Gains PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT

 #144 – The Power of Reading For Life, Success, and A Better Retirement. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 34:16

The power of reading is something you shouldn’t underestimate. Even if you don’t enjoy reading. That’s because there’s no other resource in the world where you can spend $20 and get a potential return of thousands of dollars, increased happiness, greater success, and a whole lot more. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’m discovering that the older I get the more I appreciate books. On this episode, I’m going to let you listen in on a conversation I had with Jeff Brown, the guy behind the Read to Lead podcast. He’s got some great insights into the power of reading, what it can do for you, and even gives us some tips on how to get more out of our reading. I hope you take the time to listen. 42% of college graduates will never read a book after graduation. Can you believe that? It’s really a shocking statistic but apparently, it’s how the world is going these days. I think it’s a tragic sign of the passive way people are going about life in the modern era. People appear to be losing their motivation to make something of their lives – and it may seem strange that I’m making that conclusion based on stats about the decline of reading, but it’s really common sense. Reading is one of the primary ways anyone can increase their knowledge and improve their life without having to depend on anyone else. But it requires initiative, doesn’t it? On this episode I hope to challenge you to pick up a book and get busy learning, growing, and making more of yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re retired or not, you can always learn something and make your life happier by reading a book. You’ve heard it said that leaders are readers, right? It turns out it’s true. Every successful person you can think of is a purposeful reader. Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Cuban, and many other highly successful people have openly shared that they read significant amounts every day. In fact, when Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockets his answer was, “I read books.” On this episode my guest, Jeff Brown is going to share what he’s discovered about the importance of reading on his path to entrepreneurship after years in the corporate work world. He says it’s imperative that you be a reader if you are going to develop the new mindsets you need in order to make a change for the better in your life. And we all want to see “better” happen in our lives, right? Would you like to know how you can better tap into the power of reading? On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, my goal is to challenge you to increase your happiness and quality of life both before and after your retirement by becoming a more effective reader. Toward that end, I’ve invited Jeff Brown on the show to share some insights from his experience in reading great books and interviewing the people who have written them. You’re going to find yourself not only challenged but also inspired by what Jeff has to share. He’s got some great tips for how you can get even more out of your reading. I hope you’ll take up his challenge to be more intentional about the way you read. My listener recommended book list is ready for you! Here’s how you can get it. For the past few months, I’ve been compiling a list of book recommendations that listeners to my podcast have submitted. The books on the list cover all sorts of topics, from financial planning to personal development and growth. If you’d like to see the top books that my very intelligent and world-changing listeners recommend, you can get them free of charge. All you need to do is sign up for my “6 Shot Saturday” emails – and you can find out how to do that by listening to this episode where I chat with Jeff Brown from the Read to Lead podcast. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:22] The impact of my discussion with Dr. Andrew Scott a few weeks ago.

 #143 – Sunk Cost Bias and How It Makes YOU Your Biggest Retirement Obstacle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:24

Do you understand the concept of sunk cost? It refers to anything you’ve invested time or money in and afterward discover that the thing is not going to play out the way you thought. It could be an investment, a hobby, a project of some kind, a purchase, even a political candidate. The tendency we have when this happens is to stick with the unproductive thing simply because we’ve sunk so much into it already (the sunk cost). In the long run, it may be better to cut those losses and move on. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, I’m going to walk you through a number of areas where you might be your biggest retirement obstacle because of a bias you have regarding sunk costs. Intrigued? I hope so. Let’s do it! Sunk cost bias can keep you stuck when you don’t need to be. There are many reasons we won’t give up on things that are clearly not taking us in the direction we desire, but one of the most prevalent is what is called “sunk cost bias.” It’s when we have invested so much in the direction of a failing effort that we’re unwilling to give up all that investment. In reality, that’s probably the very best thing we could do because it will enable us to move on to more profitable things. If you’re unwilling to admit it you might be holding yourself back from the opportunity to make a bad situation into a better one. This episode is full of examples of how sunk cost bias can cost us and includes a couple of tips to help you get past the losses and move ahead to your goals. Do you need to cut a loser investment out of your portfolio? Sometimes sunk cost bias can be an issue when it comes to investing. Maybe it’s a particular stock or opportunity that we spent a lot of time researching or examining and then finally took the plunge to invest in. But over time it’s become apparent that the investment we thought was going to be such a great opportunity has turned out to be a real loser. It’s hard to cut that investment loose because it reminds us that we misjudged it in the first place – and to cut it loose would be an admission of failure. But hey, we all make mistakes, right? Maybe it’s time to cut it loose, get out of your own way, and start using the funds you have left to build something better? Are you being loyal to your company or are you holding yourself back? Many people stay at the company they’ve been at for years simply because they have invested a good deal of their life in it. I understand that, but when you do so – no matter how you’re treated, no matter what changes have come to the company in terms of compensation, benefits, leadership, training, and more – you may be sticking around because it’s easier to stay than it is to go – and that’s a form of what is called “sunk cost bias.” I think you deserve more than that so on this episode I’m going to give you some ideas of how you can get past those kinds of SCB obstacles to move yourself, your career, and your life forward. To overcome sunk cost bias, get yourself some clear goals. Nothing helps you unpack the baggage that comes with sunk cost bias (the belief that you’ve put too much into something to give up on it now) than having clearly defined goals. Once you’re able to say exactly what you’re shooting for you’ll be able to look at the things that pertain to that category and evaluate whether they are serving your goal or keeping you from it. You’ll be surprised how the simple act of setting clear goals can help you clarify what’s holding you back so you can get rid of it. Sunk cost bias is my topic on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN * [0:28] A personal example of why you are your biggest obstacle to a successful retirement. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT * [4:46] What are “sunk costs?” * [6:13] An example of sunk cost. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT

 #142 – How Do Financial Markets React To Presidential Election Cycles? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:27

The 2016 Election in the United States is being hailed as one of the WORST campaigns in American history. It’s pretty bad but historically it’s actually not the worst that has happened. The election of 1828 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson was truly vicious and I for one am thankful that we’ve come a long way from those days. But in every Presidential election cycle, the financial markets are impacted no matter if it’s a good campaign or an ugly one. On this episode, I want to walk you through some of the statistics of how the financial markets react during Presidential election cycles. America’s practice of peaceful transition of power enables a healthier economy. In the U.S. we often take for granted this thing we call a “peaceful transfer of power.” But we shouldn’t. The absence of coups and hostile revolutions has enabled our country to maintain a fairly healthy economy over time due to the consistency that the peaceful transition provides the financial markets. On this episode, we’re going to think together a bit about what happens to the financial markets during a Presidential election cycle so that we can identify the upturns and downturns and do what we can to insulate our investments and finances from the down times. Did you know that financial stress can make you feel older? It seems like common sense but it’s recently been shown that worrying about the financial markets puts a stress-load on your body which in turn causes you to age faster. Sometimes you can look in the mirror to see the evidence (more wrinkles, more gray hair), but other times you notice it in how you feel physically. On this episode, I want to give you 3 strategies for insulating yourself from the ups and downs of the financial markets so that you can live more of a stress-free life. If you want to insulate your finances from market volatility, here are some tips for you. It may not seem like rocket science, and I guess it isn’t, but by having an emergency fund in place you can take a HUGE step toward alleviating the stress that comes from the ups and downs of the financial markets. A well-funded emergency account enables you to stop worrying about whether the car or water heater breaks down because you know that you’ve saved up the cash to take care of those kinds of things. That fund alone will keep you from derailing your carefully crafted plan for income and expenses and investments. You can hear a couple of other ideas for insulating yourself from volatility, on this episode. There will always be financial ups and downs. Should they dictate your happiness? One of the realities of life is that the financial markets will always be volatile. The markets are like the waves of the sea – driven and tossed by any number of things. It’s just how life is. But you and I can take steps to insulate ourselves from those variables so that we don’t have to bear the weight of stress that can come from not having a good, solid strategy in place. On this episode, I’m going to walk you through what typically happens to the markets during a Presidential election cycle and give you some approaches you can adopt to make sure you don’t suffer because of any ups and downs that may come. OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE RETIREMENT ANSWER MAN [0:34] My thoughts about our current election and some thoughts from what I’ve read this week. [1:26] The election of 1828 between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? SEGMENT [5:23] What is a peaceful transfer of power? [6:17] The U.S. holds the record for the longest running peaceful transfer of power. [6:53] How this practice impacts financial planning. HOT TOPIC SEGMENT [8:30] How financial stress can make you older. PRACTICAL PLANNING SEGMENT [12:04] What can you do to insulate your investments fr...


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