Retirement Answer Man

This month on Retirement Answer Man we are focusing on you! We will be answering listener questions all month long. Since we just finished the Maximizing Social Security series I will answer some social security questions on this episode while the information is still fresh in our minds. If you had any more questions after listening to the Maximizing Social Security series then you will definitely want to listen to this episode to hear some excellent listener questions that I answer to the best of my abilities. Listen now to learn more about social security benefits.

Why should you have an agile retirement plan?

Have you ever wondered how are you doing relative to your peers? We all want to know how we are doing in comparison to our peers. When it comes to retirement savings sometimes it can be hard not to compare ourselves to others. But the truth is other people are on a completely different journey in life. It is important to be agile in your retirement planning so that you are ready for whatever obstacles may arise. Almost half of people end up leaving the workforce earlier than they had planned. This can be due to disability or a layoff from a decline in their field. Listen to hear some interesting facts about retirement to help you understand that it is important to have an agile retirement plan in place.

How do you calculate opportunity costs?

When trying to plan your retirement one challenge is factoring in when to claim social security and when to begin drawing on your own investments. One listener would like to know how to calculate these costs. No one can predict exactly what the market will do, but you need to look at specifically where the money is coming from. The first thing you should think about is: is the money coming from pretax assets or is it taxable? Another factor is whether you are married or not since this will bring spousal benefits into play. Listen to this episode to hear what else you should consider when calculating opportunity costs.

When is the best time to take survivor benefits?

A listener whose husband passed early on asks about survivor benefits. She is only 50 and wonders when the best time to draw survivor benefits is. The answer is different in each situation. Survivor benefits can start at age 60, but it may be a good idea to wait and claim it until full retirement age. You could claim your own benefits at age 62 and then wait until 66 to get the survivor benefits. Or you could do the reverse, you could claim survivor benefits starting at age 60 and then wait up until age 70 to claim your own benefits. One thing to remember is that you cannot double dip. Listen to this episode to hear more about social security benefits.

Can my husband file for social security and then suspend?

One listener asks about the file and suspend strategy for social security that has been used in the past. The social security administration has closed many of the loopholes that were once in play. File and suspend was one of these, so this strategy is no longer an option. Now your spouse must wait until you claim your benefits to receive spousal benefits. Another listener asks about inflation. Inflation is calculated into social security, but I’m not sure exactly how. Listen to hear the answers to all of these excellent listener questions and more on this episode of Retirement Answer Man.



  • [2:06] How are you doing relative to your peers?
  • [8:02] Almost half of people leave the workforce earlier than they planned


  • [12:00] If I defer my social security benefit until full retirement age can my wife claim half at 62?
  • [13:23] Is your social security income adjusted for inflation?
  • [14:58] How do you compare taking social security early as to withdrawing from investments?
  • [19:37] Can my husband file for his benefit early and then suspend it after I start receiving spousal benefits?
  • [21:32] A question about survivor benefits


  • [24:35] If you want to live a happy sometimes you have to laugh at yourself


  • [27:00] There is always someone that needs a little more grace, give it to them!

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

20 Retirement Stats That Will Blow You Away article

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page


Direct download: RAM232.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT