Retirement Answer Man

Purpose and finances are two important legs of the retirement stool; however, a stool needs 3 legs. Finances and dreams don’t mean anything if you can’t function well enough to enjoy them. 

The often-overlooked leg of the retirement stool is functional health–which is why this month we are focusing all 4 episodes on how to improve your functional health in retirement. 

Since I am not a health expert, I have invited Dr. Bobby Dubois to join me for this relevant discussion. This week Bobby helps me define exactly what functional health is and why it is important to retirement. In week two we’ll explore exercise and movement followed by week three’s examination of nutrition. 

On the last episode of this series, you’ll learn how to create your own functional health plan to help you navigate this essential part of your retirement plan. Press play to learn how important functional health is in retirement. 

What is functional health?

We have seen a tremendous increase in longevity over the past 50 years. Now, it is not uncommon for people to live 90+ years. While longevity gives people quantity of life, functional health gives quality of life. Without investing in your functional health you will live longer but your life will suck more. 

When you are young you can do anything–play a round of pick-up basketball, hike up a mountain, or paint your house. But as you age you quickly learn that you aren’t in shape for everything anymore. Since you lose 1-2% of your muscle mass each year starting in your 30s, by the time you reach your 60s you may not be able to do these same activities with ease. 

The happiest retirees are those that have a high quality of life and the ability to do the things they want to do. Functional health doesn’t train you to run marathons or win bike races–unless those are goals that you have for your retirement. Instead, functional health can help ensure that you can pick up your grandkids, lift carry-on luggage over your head and into the compartment, or climb ancient cobblestone steps in Europe. 

How to set up a framework for functional health

The best part of functional health is that you have control over how healthy you want to be. Setting up a functional health framework is much like the rest of retirement planning. You will begin with the end in mind. Who do you want to be in your last decade of life? What do you want to be doing when you are 90? Do you still want to be able to golf or hike? Or do you just want to be able to make it to the bathroom by yourself? Whatever your goal is, start from there. 

Be precise in setting your goals and creating your plan. Just like with a financial retirement plan, you’ll want to personalize your plan based on your goals. Traditional advice, like working out 30 minutes a day 3 days a week or walking 10,000 steps, isn’t the way to achieve your functional health goals. A one size fits all plan won’t work for your health plan just like it won’t work for your retirement plan. 

Next week, we’ll explore ways that you can use exercise and body movement to achieve your functional health goals. If you have a question or thought regarding functional health respond to the 6-Shot Saturday newsletter or hit the Ask Roger button at to leave a voicemail question. 



  • [4:56] Why Dr. Dubois volunteered to discuss functional health on the show
  • [9:54] You have to put money in your physical bank to enjoy the life you want to live
  • [13:05] What is important to physical health?
  • [15:34] What is functional health?
  • [19:07] How to set up a framework for functional health


  • [28:18] When to convert from tax-deferred accounts to Roth
  • [34:45] An SIPC protection question
  • [37:45] Use the Social Security detailed calculator to personalize your earnings
  • [40:07] To pay or not to pay off the mortgage


  • [44:37] Think about how well rounded your health regimen is

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Register for the live webinar on May 19 at

Boomer Benefits

Social Security detailed calculator

Episode 407 - Retirement Planning Guidebook With Wade Pfau 

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Work with Roger

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM433.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CST