Retirement Answer Man

Are you nearing retirement and wondering how you should pay for large out-of-pocket expenses? Should you dip into your emergency fund, take from your retirement savings, or is there another way? 

We’ll consider this question, hear how Larry is living intentionally, learn how visual aids can help when trying to discuss finances with elderly parents, and discuss dollar cost averaging a lump sum payment on this episode of Retirement Answer Man.

All month we’ll be answering your questions. If you have a question that you would like to submit head on over to and type in a question or use the record a question function to shorten the wait. We love audio questions so we bump those to the front of the line!

Tune in to hear these listener questions plus a summary of what was on my summer reading list. Make sure that you are signed up for the 6-Shot Saturday newsletter to learn all the details about the books I read this summer.

How to pay for big-ticket expenses as you approach retirement 

One listener would like to know the best way to pay for large expenses as she approaches retirement. She has already retired from her career and is now working (for minimum wage) as a teacher’s aide while her husband still works. They live in a high-cost of living area, and while their home is paid for, it requires a bit to keep it up. 

Digging into cash reserves for big-ticket expenses can be scary since it is a drain on the assets, so she would like to know if her husband should decrease his 401K contributions so that they can increase their cash flow. 

This is a good time to ensure that you have enough cash reserves in your after-tax bucket. While you are in the middle of dealing with a large expense it can be challenging to look ahead. But while it is important to meet those immediate needs, it is also essential to plan ahead. 

Take some time to map out your plans for the near future. How long does your husband plan to work? Do you plan to stay in your high-cost-of-living area? Do you plan to downsize? This way you can explore the options you have to discover how to get on a sustainable path for the future. Building a decision-making framework can empower you to improve your situation and your future.  

How I approach reading

Before I share the books that I’ve been reading over the past couple of months, I wanted to share with you my approach to reading so that you can better understand my system and where I’m coming from.

  1. I try to make reading my default activity. Instead of looking at my phone or turning on the TV, if I have some extra time, I grab a book and read.
  2. The books I read vary based on my interest at the time, but I mostly read nonfiction books about business and retirement. 
  3. I always have more than one book going on at a time. I generally have an audiobook and a few different physical books around the house. 
  4. I learned a few years back that I don’t have to finish a book and that changed my life! Sometimes I don’t read a whole book, rather, I use certain books like reference books and pick and choose what I want to get out of them. 
  5. I prefer physical books to ebooks. I also write, highlight, and underline in my books so that I can easily refer back to them. 

Books I’ve been reading

Now that you understand how I use books and reading in my life you can check out my summer reading list. 

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

Hero of Two Worlds by Mike Duncan

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The Second Mountain by David Brooks  

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Originals by Adam Grant

Red Teaming by Bryce G. Hoffman

I’d love to hear any book recommendations that you have. You can simply reply to the 6-Shot Saturday newsletter to let me know what you have enjoyed reading this summer.



  • [3:30] How I approach reading
  • [6:22] What I’ve been reading this summer


  • [14:32] On making your portfolio an all ETF IRA
  • [20:21] How Larry is living intentionally in retirement
  • [22:39] Dollar cost average or a lump sum
  • [27:02] Using a visual aid to help elderly parents understand overspending
  • [29:15] Large expenses approaching retirement


  • [33:54] Instead of taking big actions find tiny actions that you can do consistently

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Rock Retirement Club

The Pie Cake episode

Cal Newport

BOOK - The Lost City of Z by David Grann

BOOK - Hero of Two Worlds by Mike Duncan

BOOK - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

BOOK - On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca

BOOK - The Second Mountain by David Brooks

BOOK - The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

BOOK - Originals by Adam Grant

BOOK - Red Teaming by Bryce G. Hoffman

Michael Connelly books

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM451.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm CST