Retirement Answer Man

It's New Year's Eve and I've got two important items to help you create a great year in 2015. So let's get to it.


Item 1 Get Your Retirement On Track

Starting January 7th, I'll be creating a retirement plan for a listener, "Carl", of the Retirement Answer Man Podcast ON THE SHOW. 

The best part is, you can plan along with Carl and I!!! Click here to find out all the details.

Item 2 Start Making Your Dream a Reality (with Lady J)

Tonight a special lady, Jevonnah Ellison, is hosting her book launching party. On January 19th, her book, You Have What It Takes: How to Finally Start Making Your Dreams a Reality, hits book stores. Lady J 3D-Book-A1

If you're feeling stuck and want to jumpstart your 2015, please listen to our talk and consider buying her book. She has an amazing message and spirit that just might start you on your journey.

You can visit her blog and get a free worksheet to help you discover your purpose here.


A big thank you, for all your e-mails, phone calls and messages. You're encouragement and content suggestions are great. I've got a lot of cool stuff planned for 2015 to help you find that balance between living well today and securing a great tomorrow.

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:36pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 10:51am CDT

One of the most common comments I get from readers is how hard it is to get straight answers to their most important retirement planning questions. "When can I retire?" "What lifestyle can I expect?" "Will I run out of money?" What am I missing???"

Starting January 7th, I'll answer these questions for a fellow reader (Carl). You'll get to listen in as we create his retirement plan each week, culminating in a LIVE webinar where you (and Carl) will hear the results for the first time.

NOTE: check out the bottom of this post for an opportunity to plan alongside Carl

Who is Carl?

  • 51 years old
  • Married 27 years with a 19 year old child
  • 29 year corporate executive

What He Wants From the Plan:

  • When can I get out?
  • Will I run out of money?
  • How do I plan for worst case scenarios?
  • How do I handle healthcare?

During the webinar, you and Carl will watch LIVE as I stress test Carl's plan against the most common retirement worries:

  • Bad market returns
  • High inflation
  • Long-term care costs
  • Outliving his assets

Here's the Schedule

  • January 7th   Defining Carl's ideal retirement
  • January 14th Reviewing Carl's financial resources
  • January 21st  Identiflying risks to Carl's plan
  • January 28th Reviewing Carl's estate and giving wishes
  • January 30th LIVE webinar presentation giving Carl his results

Register now and create your plan alongside Carl

You'll get:
  • Weekly summaries of Carl's plan
  • Free worksheets and checklists to plan alongside Carl
  • Free video tutorials to help you in each step of the process
  • Registration to the LIVE webinar on January 30th

Go to

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_45.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 10:49am CDT

Category: -- posted at: 8:48pm CDT

"Why won't someone give me a straight answer?" This is the comment I get most from listeners trying to find answers to their most pressing retirement planning questions. In 2015, I'm stepping up my game to help you find the answers to your most pressing retirement planning questions.

Announcing Retirement Plan Live

Want to find the answers to the most common retirement planning questions?

  • Can I retire?
  • What the risk is that I'll run out of money?
  • What lifestyle can I expect during retirement?
  • What risks could blow up my plan?

Starting January 7th, you'll get the chance to listen in as I work with a fellow listener, "Carl" , to answer these very questions as we create his retirement plan.

You'll listen in, as I walk Carl through each stage of the planning process culminating with a LIVE webinar in which I present the results of Carl's plan.

Who is Carl? Carl is a listener to the show. He reached out to me earlier this year with a fantastic idea. He said, "What if, you work with me to create a retirement plan and recorded the whole process so listeners can hear how it works?" "BRILLIANT", I said, "I don't think it's ever been done". So we did it.

Carl and I have never met and have only interacted for this project. Each week, we'll play our meeting for each stage of the planning process. On January 30th, we'll have a LIVE webinar where you can watch and listen as I present the results of Carl's plan. Frankly, I haven't done the analysis yet, so even I don't know the results.

This is your chance to get a demonstration of the retirement planning process and hopefully see how your most important retirement questions can be answered.

Want to Create Your Plan Along with "Carl"?

Sign up for weekly e-mail updates and launch yourself towards a great retirement. Each week during the month of January you'll receive a worksheet along with an instructional video to walk you through each step of the process.

How to Launch Yourself to a Great Retirement with Stacking Benjamins

My favorite financial podcast (besides my own ;-) ) is Joe Saul-Sehy's Stacking Benjamins. It's informative, funStacking Benjamins Logo and often times just goofy.  To quote his site, " In a world of hard-hitting, deep-thought financial stories, SB’s goal is lighter, more relaxed entertainment about money."

In this episode, Joe and I discuss his recent white paper,  "Why You Shouldn’t Follow Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman or the Motley Fool".

Joe doesn't  argue that you shouldn't follow a money guru, just that it's important you follow the right one. The right one depends on what stage you're your at in your money journey.

He says there are three stages of your financial journey and an appropriate guru for each stage.

  • Stage One        (Launch) Getting off the ground
  • Stage Two        (Orbit) Achieving financial freedom
  • Stage Three    (You could die) Build serious wealth. Create an awesome legacy

To get a copy of his free white paper click here.


Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_44.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:40pm CDT

Seriously, does watching the market and comparing your investment performance to some benchmark help you create a great life??? Of course it doesn't. So stop. Stop worrying about "keeping up with the market" and get down to the important work of creating a great life.


If you are investing without trying to achieve some greater goal, you're setting yourself up for disappointment.

Comparative investing is a losers game. It can:

  • create a never good enough mindset
  • cause you to over trade and chase investments
  • make you susceptible to product sales pitches
  • cause you to take too much investment risk (for no reason)
  • increase your stress
  • cause you to become disillusioned with investing

Last week, I asked a recently retired couple what they wanted. Did they want to keep up with the market or have confidence that they could maintain their lifestyle? You guessed it, they didn't care about the market, they cared about their life. Smart ones, they are.



During working years a lot of our purpose comes from our job, but once we stop working nothing will automatically replace them. Unless we are intentional and planful, retirement can feel like a big let down.

John Knowlton, CFP just launched to help you avoid this big letdown. He's created resources  in 3 areas that research has shown are critical to a healthy retirement:

  • Purpose (a reason to get out of bed)
  • Meaning (what if leisure isn't enough?)
  • Social contact (people to connect with)

Listen to our great conversation for key insights into how to create your own fulfilling retirement.

Want to Learn to Retire with Confidence?

Get ready for a special never before seen event coming in January.  Get Ready for Retirement Plan LIVE.

Sign up at for free updates on this special month long event. 

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_43.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 9:34pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

Yeah, there are lots of articles this time of year talking about year-end tasks to complete, but mine are Super Simple ones.  Okay...maybe it's just my way of trying to sound different. Still, these ARE 7 relatively simple  tasks that could make a big difference in your financial life (so indulge me).

Invest Wisely   When Should I Rebalance My Portfolio?

Today I read an article on market watch titled "The Hidden Truth About Rebalancing Your Portfolio" on marketwatch.  The article discussed a recent study that argues that rebalance can actually increase the risk in your portfolio. In this episode, I discuss my observations on their conclusions and my "best practices" for rebalancing a portfolio during retirement.

Plan Well   7 Super Simple Tasks to Complete Before You Rock in the New Year

  1. Pay your real estate tax bill, before year-end if you want to deduct it on your 2014 taxes.
  2. Get your RMD done. If you are over 70 1/2 or have inherited an IRA you need to do this before year-end to avoid a huge IRS penalty. Click here to learn more.
  3. Identify opportunities to harvest tax losses. If you have realized gains for the year, look for current positions with losses that you can use to offset your gains. I discuss a few strategies for doing this.
  4. Conduct an annual beneficiary review.  Even if you know the primary beneficiary is correct, you still need to make sure you have contingent beneficiaries. There is a worksheet to do this in the Retirement Toolbox
  5. Consider year-end giving. You can give $14,000 to any individual without tax consequence. If you have charitable intent, consider making charitable gifts before yearend.
  6. Change your important passwords. Changing your passwords is like locking your door at night. It's just common senseThis is so important and almost no one does it. The holidays are a perfect time to do this. I use a password manager (1Password) to create and track complex passwords. 
  7. Consider diversifying your tax liabilities. The pressure to save on taxes each year can cause you to save too much in tax-deferred accounts. It's important that you have assets in taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free account. When you retire, you'll have more flexibility to manage your cash flow and tax bracket. If all you do is save in tax-deferred account (like most people), you could end up staying in a high tax bracket during retirement


Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_42.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:34pm CDT

Category: -- posted at: 8:35am CDT

You'd think that with all the great information and tools available today that making smart money choices would be easy. The fact is, it's harder than ever before. We live in a world designed to get us to "buy now" or "avoid that". These messages are designed by savvy marketers to get us to take action. Take action, when most of the time, doing nothing is the best course to take. 

Recently I fell pray to one of these "buy now" messages and made a really poor money choice. Two weeks ago, I was in Charlotte working on a project when a e-mail arrived announcing the closing of registration for a $2,000 training program. It was a program I really wanted to take (I'm a sucker for learning) but I'd already determined I didn't have the time or the budget this year. The e-mail offer included extra valuable resources if I registered before the deadline. I fell for it. In the middle of my meeting, while focused on the task at hand, I clicked on the link and bought it. What a sucker. 

Later that night, as I was driving home from the airport literally pulled over on the freeway and requested a refund. 

In this episode, I outline 3 habits that will help you (and me!!!) make smarter money choices. They are simple and organized around the acronym R.A.W. Think R.A.W.

Plan Well Segment

“We no longer live life. We consume it.” Vicki Robin

The next time you feel the pull of a marketing message remember R.A.W.

  • Remember to review your 1 year financial priorities every week. this will keep your "why" top of mind.
  • Avoid marketing messages. Don't browse in stores or online, unsubscribe from sales e-mails. 
  • Work your plan. Have a plan for how you make money decisions and stick to it. It can save you.

Invest Wisely Segment

Economist Paul Samuelson reminds us, “investing should be more like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas” or Wall Street."

The next time you feel the urge to react to market news remember, R.A.W.

  • Remember why you are investing. Your purpose for investing should drive your decisions.
  • Avoid market messages. Financial media does not help you invest wisely. Avoid it.
  • Work your investment plan.  Have an investment plan based on facts and stick to it. It can save you

Want Free Checklists to Help You Make Smarter Money Choices?

Click Here

Direct download: Retirement_Answer_Man_41.mp3
Category:Finance -- posted at: 8:34am CDT