Retirement Answer Man

With the holidays coming up shortly it can be a troubling time of year for many as they gather together with family that they may not see often. One way to make family time less stressful is by trying to understand differences in personalities. Everyone approaches life differently and it can be a challenge to understand why some people make the choices they do. Gretchen Rubin is the author of the book The Four Tendencies and joins me on episode 246 to discuss the four personality types that she outlines in her book. Understanding these can help you understand family around the holidays and even help prepare you for your retirement planning.

What are the 4 tendencies?

There are many personality tests that people and organizations use to help understand personal behavior. These can be great tools to help inform us of our own behavior and that of others. Gretchen Rubin has laid out 4 tendencies that help explain why people behave the way they do. The 4 tendencies are the upholder, the obliger, the rebel, and the questioner. Upholders meet outer expectations and inner expectations they set for themselves. Obligers meet outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations. Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations, and questioners question all expectations, even their own! Listen to this episode to help you understand which tendency you are.

How do the 4 tendencies differ from other personality tests?

Each personality test is different and can teach you something about yourself and others. They all have their own vocabulary and pinpoint different aspects of people’s nature. Each one can tell you something about yourself. They will all tell you something but none of them will tell you everything. Understanding your tendency can help you understand how to achieve a goal or decide what type of accountability you need to get things done. When creating your retirement plan you can use your tendency to help you harness your strengths and understand your weaknesses.

How can understanding the 4 tendencies help your retirement planning?

Planning your retirement is really planning a change in your lifestyle. Attaining more time freedom leaves you time to pursue your dreams. But having more time freedom doesn’t necessarily mean that you will achieve all of your hopes and dreams. Understanding your tendency can help you meet your retirement goals. For example, obligers often feel that they will be able to tackle everything once they have more time. But then they find that they disappoint themselves because without external accountability they often have a hard time attaining their goals. Have you ever set a goal for yourself that you didn’t achieve?

Should you moderate your tendency or own it?

Each tendency comes with its strengths and weaknesses. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your family members can help you relate to others. Learning how to harness your strengths can help you achieve your goals. Once you understand more about yourself then you can find tools that help you move forward to achieve your goals. You will still have weaknesses but knowing how to navigate them and create solutions will help you do all the things you want to do. Listen to this episode to hear how to apply the 4 tendencies to your life and relationships and rock retirement.



  • [3:24] People approach life and their problems differently
  • [5:45] Nichole and Roger took the personality test


  • [9:49] How do the 4 tendencies differ from other personality tests?
  • [13:37] What are the 4 tendencies?
  • [15:47] Understanding these can help you better yourself
  • [17:43] How can understanding the tendencies help someone navigate change?
  • [22:08] Should you moderate your tendency or own it?
  • [24:53] Know yourself and your partner


  • [27:48] What are you going to do to be happy over the holidays?


  • [29:56] Learn more about yourself and your spouse

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

The Four Tendency Quiz

BOOK - The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

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: RAM246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT