Retirement Answer Man

This episode of the Retirement Answer man is filled with some debt-crunching, retirement building, volatile market enduring advice to help you put your financial life in order. The feature segment of the show features the story of Jamie and Ruth, a couple who paid off over $83,000 in debt in just over 30 months. 30 MONTHS! It’s a testimony to what a unified goal and lots of hard work can do. You’ll hear Jamie’s account of how that one decision has changed the course of their lives and set them up to have a greater vision for their future!

What should you do when the markets are so volatile?


The recent roller coaster that has been the S&P 500 has a lot of people in a conundrum. Do you change your retirement plan when the markets fluctuate so much, or do you stay the course? Roger Whitney says you have to keep your overall strategy in mind when making any decisions during volatile times. If your goal is to set aside money for retirement, you should be very slow to make changes in your strategy because of a temporary spate of volatility. The long term historical averages show that your investments are more than likely going to be alright by the time you retire. Find out a couple of other tips Roger has for you in this episode of The Retirement Answer Man.


When it comes to retirement and financial planning it’s so tempting to feel like you don’t measure up.


Think about it. We’ve all made those bad financial decisions. None of us has done everything we could have to save up for our retirement. What do you do when you realize that you haven’t measured up to the ideal you held out for yourself. Roger Whitney advises that you’ve got to come to grips with the truth that you are enough. What you’ve been able to do is enough. You can’t go back and change things. All you can do is to make changes moving forward, and you can do that, because you are enough. Hear more of Roger’s thoughts on this episode.


30 months to pay off $80,000 in debt. An amazing story!


When Jamie and Ruth made the decision to do everything they could to pay off their debt as fast as possible, Jamie didn’t even have a job. He’d been laid off and they didn’t really know how they were going to be able to accomplish such a crazy goal. But they were determined. Throughout the 3 years they worked to pay down their debt, Roger took all kinds of extra and radom jobs, and their income actually went up! They hammered away at their debt until they were able to pay it off. Now their future is different and their attitudes about life and what they can do in the near future to make the world a better place has grown. Hear their story as Jamie tells it, on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man.


Coming in October 2015: Group coaching based around the question, “When can I realistically retire and what will it look like?”


Roger is super excited to announce that coming up next month he’ll be starting some group coaching relationships to help you develop a plan for your retirement that is practical, simple, and doable. The space for these groups will be limited, but Roger’s convinced that anyone who participates will get a ton of value out of the time they spend in these groups. If you’d like to be a part of these groups, contact Roger at




  • [0:24] Overview of today’s show.
  • [1:47] Thanks to iTunes reviewers! And could you leave yours?
  • [2:23] Thanks to you for leaving your feedback on the listener survey.
  • [2:48] The focus of October’s shows: When can I realistically retire? and what will it look like?
  • [4:13] November’s new program to coach you toward retirement.




  • [5:46] The markets are still volatile: What are basic things you can do?
  • [6:25] The importance of cash reserves.
  • [7:40] A quick best case VS worst case scenario to consider.
  • [13:59] The importance of understanding the historical averages.



  • [14:35] Roger’s thoughts after visiting his grandmother who recently passed away and what it has to do with his contentment.
  • [16:50] Why it’s OK to not be enough.


MAIN TOPIC SEGMENT - Listener Questions


  • [18:01] Jamie and Ruth’s “get out of debt” story, as featured on the Dave Ramsey show.
  • [21:49] The key to paying off tons of debt in a short time.
  • [22:42] Jamie’s story as told to Roger.
  • [23:45] What Jamie thinks of when he hears the word “retirement.”
  • [24:33] Is peace an internal state regardless of what you’re doing financially?
  • [25:43] Why retirement will not be sitting around and playing golf for Jaime.
  • [27:28] The “We’re debt free scream” story, from Jamie’s lips.
  • [28:38] How aggressive Jaime and Ruth were in paying off their debt.
  • [31:27] What worries Jamie about retirement and financial independence now that their debt is paid off.
  • [32:20] How do you know when you have enough?
  • [34:42] It’s never too late to start.
  • [34:47] What is the worst financial decision you’ve ever made?
  • [37:03] The hardest thing to manage in the financial realm.
  • [37:47] How hard was it to become united in their communication as a couple.
  • [38:25] The resources that have impacted Jamie the most.
  • [40:23] How do you want to be remembered Jamie?



BOOK: QBQ: The Question Behind the Question


BOOK: The Millionaire Next Door


Financial Peace University


Contact Roger at

Direct download: RAM086.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Congratulations to YOU, the listeners of the Retirement Answer Man! Why are we congratulating you? Because you are the reason behind the recent honor Roger and the RAM show received at the FinCon Confernence. Roger received the equivalent of an Emmy award for broadcasters in the Financial Services Industry - a Plutus Award. He couldn’t have done it without you, your great questions, and the great guests who have come on the show to tell their inspiring stories and share their expertise. Thank you for supporting the show!

What happens historically after markets take a big drop?

Back in August 2015 we saw 4 days straight where the S&P 500 was very, very low. But it seemed to bounce back. What typically happens to the markets after a series of down days like that, and what impact should it have on your investments and investment decisions? In this episode of The Retirement Answer Man Roger gives the stats on that phenomenon and his advice on how you should respond to the information.

9 Books that have helped Roger invest and live with wisdom and confidence.

In the “Practical Planning” segment of today’s Retirement Answer Man show, Roger is talking about books. In particular, the 9 books that have most recently had an impact on how he lives and how he works. These 9 books range from financial and investing topics, to books on life, mindset, and how you arrange it all together. You’re sure to find something that is intriguing to you as you listen to this episode.

Can you work now to increase the amount of Social Security Benfits you’ll receive when you retire?

The answer is yes! Social Security is calculated based on your highest earning 35 years in the workforce. What that means is that if you’re nearing retirement and would like to increase the amount of benefit you will receive after you retire, you can intentionally take on more work (in order to generate more income) so that you’ll have another higher-income year to add to the average. In this episode Roger gives his advice on how to go about making that decision, including how to have a conversation about it with your local Social Security Administration office.

STRETCH IRAs: How can you roll them into ROTH IRAs?

A listener asks Roger a question about how to maximize the advantages of us stretch IRA when rolling it into a ROTH IRA and as always, Roger has some great advice. There are a lot of particulars and exceptions in how to handle a situation like this, so make sure you listen to this episode and take some good notes so you’ll know exactly how to ask your investment adviser about doing the same thing should you need to.


  • [0:24] Welcome and CONGRATULATIONS for helping the Retirement Answer Man win a “Plutus Award” at the recent FinCon conference.
  • [1:34] Preview of the episode
  • [1:59] Ways you can help get the word out about the Retirement Answer Man.


  • [3:37] What happens to markets  after a big drop?
  • [4:32] Was the August 2015 drop in the S&P 500 a market correction in 4 days? Apparently so…
  • [6:07] How has the S&P done after large drops, historically?
  • [7:41] What are the takeaways for us?
    • The importance of knowing the truth about market reactions.
    • You need to be proactive in your investment decision making.
    • Be slow in changing strategies.
    • Remember that you can’t believe all statistics.


MAIN TOPIC SEGMENT - Listener Questions

  • How are Social Security benefits calculated and how can I improve the amount SS will pay me?
  • How does a Stretch IRA work with a ROTH IRA?


The Retirement Planning Center - Text “Planning” to “33444.”

The How of Happiness

Love Does

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Winning the Losers Game: Timely Strategies For Successful Investing

The Truth About Money

The Investment Answer

The Millionaire Next Door

Q.B.Q.: Practicing Personal Accountability At Work and In Life

Direct download: RAM085.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm CDT

In today’s podcast Roger hosts a terrific conversation with Marc Miller. Marc is a veteran of the corporate world, having worked for IBM for many years. He ‘s made what he calls a “pivot” in his career journey by exiting the corporate world and starting up his own consulting and coaching business to help others pivot their lives into something more satisfying and enjoyable for the later half of their lives. You’ll hear all kinds of great topics in this chat as Roger asks Marc about how he made the transition, whether he truly IS happier now, and what others can do to position themselves for a great pivot of their own. Be sure to listen in to this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, with Roger Whitney.


Help Roger help you, by taking part in the annual listener survey


One of Roger’s greatest desires is to help you position yourself for retirement so you don’t find yourself facing financial hardship as you approach the last stage of life. Toward that end he wants to make this podcast the most helpful it can be. He’d love to hear what you like about the show and what you think has room for improvement. You can take part in the 2015 Listener Survey by texting “RAMSurvey” (all one word) to “33444.” Please take just a few moments to let Roger know what you think of the show.


Has your insurance company or investment advisor informed you that your insurance policy could be bought out?


There are a number of big name insurance companies that have decided that the “income products” they’ve offered as part of insurance packages were not such a good idea. As a result they’re offering to “buy out” those policies from policy holders. But something Roger’s noticed that irks him a bit is that some of these companies are offering a “bonus” of sorts for investment advisors who take the time to help their clients make the decision TO sell out their policy. It may be the best decision for the client, but Roger’s concerned that providing a bonus may produce a conflict of interest for some advisors, and that many clients could be misguided as a result. Find out the details on this episode.


10 rules for retirement planning


In the “Practical Planning” segment of this episode, Roger covers a handful of the 10 rules for retirement planning. In particular, he refers to the old adage, “Pay Yourself First” and points out that it not only means setting aside the first part of your income for your savings or investments, but also that “lifestyle creep” could also be a factor in not setting aside enough of your income. What is “lifestyle creep?” Find out as Roger explains the concept and its effect on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man.


Marc Miller has made the pivot from corporate career to entrepreneur and he’d like to help you navigate those waters too.


After years of working at IBM as an engineer, Marc moved out of the corporate world in favor of building his own business and the life of his dreams. He’s achieved great success and now serves people who were once in the corporate shoes he wore, helping them discover the way forward that uniquely fits them and positions them best for their retirement years. Listen to this great conversation between Marc Miller and Roger Whitney to hear Marc’s story, the lessons he’s learned, and how he helps his clients navigate out of the corporate world.




  • [0:24] Welcome to this episode - where we work together to create not just a healthy retirement, but a healthy life.

  • [1:57] Help  Roger help you… by taking part in the 2015 Listener Survey - text “RAMSurvey” to “33444”




  • [4:29] Welcome to “Roger’s Rant” about a subject that came across his desk this week.

  • [5:09] The “income products” being offered by insurance companies, and the buy-out options the companies are offering.

  • [6:32] Why Roger’s so angry… the letter he received from a major insurance company.

  • [9:26] How you should evaluate a “buy out” option on an insurance product.




  • [15:33] 10 rules for the retirement realm… a few tips to help you.

  • [16:06] The importance of paying yourself first, and what it really means.

  • [18:26] Don’t rob tomorrow

  • [18:44] Put time on your side - today’s the best day to start.

  • [19:08] Don’t count on social security.

  • [19:45] Be slow to borrow from your investments.

  • [20:00] If you’d like access to the Retirement Learning Center to get the rest of these 10 rules, text “Planning” to “33444.”




  • [21:03] Marc’s journey so far.

  • [23:30] How Marc’s thoughts on retirement changed once he got out of a major corporation.

  • [24:23] The thing that excites Marc the most about pivoting toward retirement.

  • [25:08] Does Marc think his story is a “special case” that others can’t duplicate?

  • [26:25] The comparison between Marc’s life when he was 30 or 40 and his lifestyle now.

  • [27:01] The things that worry Marc the most about being in his new stage of life.

  • [29:09] Marc’s assessment of how he’s doing in his “independent” stage of life.

  • [29:31] The transition from a big company to an entrepreneurial lifestyle.

  • [31:24] The worst financial decision Marc ever made.

  • [33:29] The biggest struggle Marc has managing his own finances.

  • [35:58] The two books that have impacted Marc most.

  • [37:38] How Marc wants to be remembered.

  • [38:56] Marc’s new e-book - Personal Branding for Baby Boomers

  • [40:53] How to connect with Marc Miller.



The Retirement Planning Center - Text “Planning” to “33444.”


Marc’s book: Personal Branding For Baby Boomers -


Marc’s website:


Marc’s email:

Direct download: RAM084.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Direct download: RAM083.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

One of the most tempting but dangerous things investors (and investment advisors) do is to react in light of what current markets are doing. Don’t misunderstand, it’s always wise to make adjustments when needed, but not to your overall strategy or plan. You put together that strategy to accomplish certain goals within certain timeframes, and over the long haul, it should accomplish your goals given the expected amount of time. When you change your investment strategy because of the markets, you’re changing horses midstream, and you could wind up in deep water! Roger’s got some great advice about how to stick to your plan even though the current market situation seems shaky, on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man.


Do you know what a STRETCH IRA is, and how it can benefit you and your loved ones?


When making investments for retirement, one of the oft overlooked issues has to do with what happens to the investment should you pass away. If you neglect to designate a beneficiary of your IRA for example, the money will simply pass into your estate upon your passing, and will be taxed almost immediately. That’s not a very good use of the money you worked hard to earn and save, is it? A Stretch IRA enables you to designate beneficiaries and actually S-T-R-E-T-C-H the tax benefits of that investment beyond your lifetime, into the expected lifetime of your beneficiary. Find out how this works on this episode.


Do you know how to choose an investment advisor wisely?


That issue alone could make or break your retirement investment strategy. You’ve got to know that the person advising you on your retirement is not only experienced, but the right fit for you and the goals you have. What should you ask a potential investment advisor to see if there’s a good fit? Do you know? In this episode of the Retirement Answer Man Roger spends a good deal of time discussing what you should look for in a good retirement investor and how you can ask the right kind of questions to discover if that advisor is the one for you. Listen in to hear Roger’s hard-learned advice.


How should a small company go about setting up retirement plans for employees?


There are many options out there, and sometimes the administrative costs make it very difficult to set up a plan that is generous to employees but also affordable for the business owner. In today’s episode Roger fields a “live” question from his friend Mark about how to assess the various retirement plan options, how to educate employees on the options without boring them to tears, and how to find the right investment advisor to guide the company and the employees through the process of setting up what is best for each individual. It’s a valuable conversation about retirement plans and small business. Listen in to hear the entire chat.


Did you know that Roger would love to answer your questions about retirement?


That’s what the Retirement Answer Man podcast is all about. You can ask your specific, personal question and Roger could answer your question on the air. It’s as easy as clicking a button and talking. Go to to record your question and Roger may address the issues you raise on the next episode. Where else can you get free, experienced, trusted advice on something as vital to your future as retirement planning? Don’t wait. Ask your question now!


Free Resources to help you do your retirement planning wisely.


Roger is an investment advisor. That means he makes his living advising people about how to wisely make investments for their future. But beneath that is a deeper motive to help people. One way that Roger is doing that is by creating his “Retirement Learning Center.” It’s a free resource on his website ( where you can find all kinds of resources - from how to interview a possible financial planning partner (discussed on this episode) to caring for Elderly parents, to wise estate planning. You’ll be amazed at the valuable resources Roger has packed into the learning center, so make sure you get over there to check it out!




  • [0:32] Roger’s welcome

  • [1:00] Roger’s daughter turned 18 years old - got a tattoo - and why it matters!

  • [3:06] Thanks to some iTunes reviewers!

  • [4:24] Constructive feedback from a listener (Rick) and a great resource shared from another listener (Mark).



  • [6:38] Still talking about the markets!

  • [7:00] A conversation Roger had and what he realized from it about asset allocation.

  • [9:40] The temptation to change or alter your investing strategy during down times in the market.




  • [13:00] What is a STRETCH IRA?

  • [15:00] The tax benefits of setting up a Stretch IRA correctly.

  • [16:27] Advanced strategies for IRAs.

  • [17:23] The Retirement Learning Center resource concerning these IRA options - text the word “planning” to “33444.”





  • [17:52] An email from Elliot: 3 questions about recording income in a consulting business, setting up lifestyle expenses, and dividends from retirement accounts!

  • [22:50] A question from Mark: How should I set up a small business retirement plan for my employees?



The upcoming Investing Seminar - Text “Ram Webinar” to “33444.”


The Retirement Planning Center - Text “Planning” to “33444.”


How To Find a Financial Advisor” worksheet


Mark Menard’s “Elevating Beyond” podcast




Use a #StretchIRA to maximize #TaxDeferred benefits for loved ones


How should you account for #consulting income? Find out on this episode


#SmallBusiness TIP: How to set up employee #RetirementPlan benefits


Ask your #retirement related investment questions from a pro! Find out how, here


Free resources to help you make wise #RetirementPlanning decisions

Direct download: RAM082.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT