Retirement Answer Man

Hello friends, Roger here. Today’s podcast is going to be a bit unusual, but not too unusual. I’m going to strictly be answering listener questions about the question I’ve been dealing with all month long, “When I Can I Retire?” We’ve got questions about taxes, balancing portfolios, average expenses for the various stages of retirement, and a little bit of a rebuke to me about my comments from a few weeks ago when I was talking about buying a brand new automobile. You’ll find lots of good stuff in this episode so let’s get started!


How are taxes figured into my retirement number?


One of the questions I got over the past few weeks had to do with figuring taxes so that the “retirement number” can be nailed down nice and pretty. But the problem I have with the question is that I’m not so sure that figuring a “retirement number” is the best way to go about it. In fact, I don’t know that you really CAN calculate any retirement number. There are just too many variables. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t give an answer about taxes, which was the gist of the question in the first place. So listen in to hear who I advise to consider the tax liabilities you might have during your retirement years, on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man.


An investment company has advised me to balance my portfolio? Is this a good time to be buying bonds?


That’s the question a listener asked after chatting with someone from their investment company. The company was concerned that the investor’s portfolio had too much equities and not enough bonds to achieve a 75% equity to 25% bond balance. But is this a good time to be buying bonds? Well, it’s not quite that simple to answer unless you first understand and accept the principles behind portfolio theory, which I do… but I also believe from my experience that there’s an art to it as much as their is a science. So... the answer is, maybe. You can hear my response in its entirety (and I do say more than just “maybe”) as you listen to this episode.


What are you thinking, Roger? Wanting to buy a brand new car!???


OK, I deserve this one. A listener heard me mention a couple of weeks back that I was considering buying a brand new Jeep Cherokee (they’re really nice). He wrote me an email to chide me for making such a rash and thoughtless comment, after all, the depreciating value of a brand new vehicle can be demonstrably shown to be a bad investment. Agreed. This listener’s rebuke is well founded and I deserved his rant. However, I just want to say… a guy can dream a bit, can’t he? You can hear my full response in today’s episode.

Are you signed up for my upcoming webinar yet?


Coming up on October 21st and October 22nd I’m hosting a real live, in person webinar to walk you through the 4 steps you need to consider when answering the question, “When can I retire?” It’s not a complex question to answer IF you have a wise approach, and I’m going to do my best to give you that in these free webinars. You can be a part of these webinars, which will include Q & A, by going to and registering. And even if you can’t be there at the exact time of the webinars, go ahead and register. I’ll offer a 7 day replay for those of you who sign up but don’t attend.




  • [0:24] Roger’s introduction to today’s episode.
  • [1:52] Still time to register for the upcoming webinar!




  • [4:32] Question #1: How are taxes figured into the retirement number?
  • [9:46] Question #2: Is this the time to be buying bonds?
  • [19:52] Question #3: What are the average expenses for people in the go-go, slow-go, and no-go stages of retirement?
  • [22:30] Question #4: What are you THINKING by considering buying a brand new car, Roger?




Register for the retirement webinar:


Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM090.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

You know, there’s a lot of talk these days about the human lifespan being extended because of medical breakthroughs. Is it really going to happen? I tend to think that it’s likely just because of all the advances in nutrition, medicine, and even DNA research. If it does, what are the impacts that living longer is going to have on your retirement? In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking on the topic and believe it’s worth sharing. So on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, you get to hear me, Roger Whitney, wax philosophical and retirement investing as it relates to your later years… which could be longer than you expect.


HOT TOPIC: Oil prices are low… way low. What impact does it have on you?


Yes, the immediate answer is that decreased oil prices mean savings at the pump and on your utility bills, and with winter already hitting some parts of the Unites States that’s nothing but good news to your monthly budget. But oil prices being this low have other effects that aren’t so easy to spot because they are international effects that have to do with countries, governments, politics, and lots more. That, in turn, can impact your investments. I’ve been giving this some thought and want to give you some insights into those global issues and share with you how it could affect the decisions you make about your investments and your retirement… so give this episode of The Retirement Answer Man a listen.


If you live longer, your income level during retirement could increase.


For some of you that’s a no-brainer. You understood it the moment you read it. But for others, you’re kind of scratching your head. So let me explain… The assumption I’m making is that if you’re living longer, it’s because overall, you’re healthier. And if you’re healthier, you’re going to be able to generate income longer, even if it’s just a part time job you love or a hobby you turn into an online venture. Either way, you’ll have the potential to not only live on your retirement savings and investments, but also to add to the household budget by bringing in additional income on the side. That’s just one of the impacts longevity could have on your retirement. You can hear the rest on this episode of the show.


OK, I’ll give you one more impact longevity could have on your retirement: your monthly spending.


Why would living longer impact your monthly spending? There are actually a number of ways but let me give you just one. If you’re living longer because of the advances in medicine and science that we’re hearing so much about, it will mean that you’re generally healthier at an older age than has traditionally been the case. That means that instead of slowing down, you may be in better physical shape to enjoy the first season of your retirement years. You could be more active, more eager to get out and do things you always wanted to do, to see the world, see the grandkids, and all kinds of other great things. And all of those things take what? Money. So do you see how that could impact the amount you need to save for retirement? In this episode of the show I’ll be giving some of my thoughts on how you can plan for that possibility.


When can you retire? I’m doing a free webinar to help you figure that out.


It’s not a very smart idea to simply retire from your job because you’re 65, or because it’s traditional. You need to know that you will have enough money saved up to last you for your projected lifetime. That makes answering the question of when you’ll be able to retire much more difficult. Coming up on October 28th and 29th I’ll be doing a free webinar to educate you on all the variables involved in setting a retirement date. It’s going to be an interactive, fun, hands-on process where you can figure out the formulas using your own income and information. If you want in on this webinar, you can register for it by going to - and if you can’t make the live webinar, I’m going to have a limited time replay available, so be sure to sign up anyway.




  • [0:24] Welcome and intro to this episode: Current oil prices, how Longevity can impact your retirement, and a couple of listener questions.
  • [2:40] Roger’s upcoming webinar October 28th & 29th!




  • [13:00] The dangers associated with low oil prices.
  • [18:31] What should you do in light of lower oil prices, as an investor and as one preparing for retirement?




  • [12:09] The 5 major impacts longevity could have on your retirement.
  • [13:39] Life expectancy continues to rise in the Unites States.
    • [16:15] Spending issues impacted by longevity.
    • [19:27] Income potential could increase because of longevity.
    • [23:27] The impact on mind and body.
    • [27:45] Lifestyle choices are impacted by longevity.
    • [30:10] Your investments can be impacted by longevity issues.




Register for the retirement webinar:


Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM089.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Hey folks, Roger here… Do you know what the 6 biggest expenses are that you’ll face during retirement? In this episode of the Retirement Answer Man, I want to walk through those expenses for a couple of reasons: 1) You need to have a clear picture of where you’re headed so that you can be prepared when you get there. 2) Because in keeping with the theme of my show this month, WHEN you can retire could depend on whether you actually make those preparations or not and on the decisions you make about the expenses you’re going to have to support during retirement. I’ve put together a great show for you, so I hope you’ll hit the play button, listen in, and give me your feedback to this episode.

In our “Hot Topic” segment: Is a Qualitative Easing 4 coming?

In case you’re not familiar with the term “Qualitative Easing” let me put it in a nutshell for you. Simply put, QE is when the government, for various reasons, decides to put more money into the economy. How do they do that? Basically, by printing more money and making it available. Their hope is that the new money they pour into the economy goes into the investing and business development sectors, thereby boosting the economy. There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether or not another QE is coming and in today’s hot topic segment I’m going to tell you what I think about the possibilities and give you a small bit of practical mindset advice about how you should think about it.

You don’t have to be at the mercy of your retirement expenses.

While it’s true that you won’t likely have the same amount of income during retirement as you have pre-retirement, you don’t have to feel like your lifestyle and ability to live is being ripped out from under you. I’d suggest that one of the main ways you can take control of those things is by examining and planning the expenses you’re going to face during retirement. You’ll have some big ones to contend with: Housing, Health care, Automobile expenses, and three others, but the choices you make about those could determine what your lifestyle is like during retirement AND whether you might be able to retire a bit earlier. In this episode I spend a good deal of time walking through each of those expenses so that you can not only go in with your eyes open, but also make good decisions ahead of time to enable you to make the most of your retirement dollars. Give it a listen.

Do you know what the #1 biggest retirement expense is?

You probably guessed it, it’s your housing. It makes sense that the biggest expense you have before retirement is going to be the same after retirement. But when you think about the cost of your housing during retirement it’s always helpful to keep in mind all the things related to housing that could impact the costs you pay. For example, I often see clients make the choice to downsize their home or even to move to another state where property taxes aren’t as high. Those are not necessarily easy decisions to make but can dramatically impact the amount of money you’re paying out each month so that you can keep a bit more in your pocket or to support the lifestyle you want to have in your later years. I’ve got lots of tips for you about how to plan for and mitigate your retirement expenses in this episode.

When can you realistically retire? I’ve got a free webinar coming up to help you figure it out.

To culminate my October theme of “When can you retire?” I’m going to be hosting 2 identical webinars to help you answer that question. I’m going to walk through a 4 step method you can use to answer the questions, “When can I retire and what will my retirement look like?” I I’m excited to bring you this informative and practically helpful webinar to help you discover the most things that will determine the answers to those questions. The webinars are coming up on Oct. 28th and Oct. 29th, 2015, and I’d love to meet you on that platform. To register or find out more about my free upcoming webinar go to Choose the date that’s best for you… and even if you can’t attend go ahead and register because we’ll have a replay that you can watch later at your own convenience.


  • [0:27] Preview of this episode: QE4, When can I retire?, the 6 biggest costs of retirement
  • [1:14] 2 live webinars coming up: a 4 step method to determining your retirement timing


  • [3:15] Is “Quantitative Easing 4” coming?
  • [3:45] A good working definition of quantitative easing.
  • [5:06] How the economic data impacts rates and QE.
  • [6:04] What happens if quantitative easing is implemented?
  • [8:06] The bottom line whether QE happens or not.
  • [9:14] What to do if QE4 happens.  


  • [10:11] Taking control: acknowledging and managing the 6 biggest costs of retiring.
  • [10:47] The mindset that impacts the decisions you make about when to retire.
  • [15:46] The number one biggest cost in retirement: Housing.
  • [22:01] The second biggest cost in retirement: Healthcare.
  • [26:28] The third biggest expense in retirement: Taxes.
  • [31:35] The fourth biggest cost in retirement: The car you drive.
  • [35:52] The fifth biggest expense in retirement: Travel.
  • [37:54] The sixth biggest cost in retirement: Caring for our children.    


Register for the retirement webinar:

Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM088.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Direct download: 3-talks-you-should-be-having-now-to-work-toward-a-great-retirement-2.pdf
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34am CDT

If you’re in your 40s or 50s you’ve probably started to wonder when you can retire and what your retirement lifestyle might look like.  You’re ready to be free from the set schedule of work and have more control over how you send your days. You’re ready to spend more time with your family and travel more. Maybe you’ve even played around with online calculators to see what your retirement might look like.

So why do you avoid putting together a plan to work towards the retirement you’ve dreamed about?

Let me guess:

    • You feel you haven’t saved enough and are afraid of what type of retirement is truly possible.
    • You have a awesome concept of what you want retirement to look like but you’re not sure how to put it all together.
    • You want help, but you’re not sure where to turn or who to trust.
    • It’s on your to do list, but somehow it never gets treated as a priority.

Busy people (like you and me) can easily get trapped in the urgent demands of day to day life. When we do have time to plan for our future, it’s easy to seek out quick, simple solutions rather than being intentional about creating a great retirement.

In my experience, I’ve found four major myths embedded in “simple” retirement plans are to blame for many people sacrificing too many of their retirement dreams.

I’m going to debunk those myths for you and show you how to work towards a better life in retirement.

Myth #1:  Your Retirement is a Number

True. You need to save for retirement, but it’s not as simple a specific amount of money. You don’t have a retirement “number.” Saving and investing is just part of the process of creating a great retirement..  If you make it your only focus,  you're placing the success of your retirement on things you can't control or predict (the markets).

In short, finding your retirement number may feel good in the moment but does little in helping you create a great retirement.

How to Avoid

A truly effective retirement planning process involves implementing strategies in 6 areas:

  • Setting meaningful priorities (needs, wants, and wishes).
  • Planning lifestyle expenses in retirement (see myth #2).
  • Planning future income sources (see myth #3).
  • Managing your balance sheet (assets and debts) not just your investments.
  • Having the right “little conversations” to manage the uncertainties in your life and in the world.
  • Investing in your health and relationships.

Myth #2 You’ll Spend a Consistent Amount Throughout Retirement

In reality, spending in retirement typically goes through 3 stages.

  • In the “go go” years of retirement, your spending may be at its peak. This is the time for travel, activities, adventures and family.
  • in the  “slow go” years, your spending may slow as you become more settled.
  • In the “no go” years, you may spend even less as you settle in even more.

Absent, unforeseen health issues, these stages are becoming more the norm.

A “simple” retirement plan, just assumes you spend the same amount each year, adjusting for inflation. This seemingly reasonable assumption can drastically overestimate how much money you’ll need during retirement potentially forcing you to work longer or lower your lifestyle during retirement.

How to Avoid

Start by having a realistic discussion of how you'd like each phase of retirement to look like. Then put reasonable estimates of what each phase would cost on an annual basis. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do you want to front load your travel why you're healthy?
  • Do you want to extend the time in your home before downsizing?
  • Do you want to create experiences with your kids and grandkids while their less busy.
  • Are you willing to live more simply later in life to experience more now?
  • Are you willing to live more simply now to have a more consistent lifestyle throughout retirement?

Once you've defined the spending estimates for the different phases of retirement, you can start to create a more thoughtful plan to work to achieve the things you care about most.

Myth # 3 Retirement Means Not Working

In the past, retiring meant quitting the rat race and never working again. Today, more and more people are finding ways to transition from a full time career to a more independent style of work. They’ve seen the benefits physically, mentally, socially and financially.  Whether it’s freelancing, consulting, advising or normal part time work, the trend is to stay engaged….and earn some income.

Earning even small amounts of income early in retirement can have a big impact on what you can achieve during retirement. If you see yourself always doing something, then factor this into your planning. Doing so could allow you to take less investment risk, save less now, retiree earlier or increase your lifestyle during retirement.

How to Avoid

Stop thinking of retirement as an event and approach it as gradually transitioning to a more independent lifestyle. Think about what you enjoy doing that you could earn income doing. Nearly everyday, I hear of unique ways people are turing their interests it to money making ventures. Some questions to consider are:

  • Can you become a consultant for your current employer?
  • Could you transition to working from your home?
  • Is there a side business you start now to discover what you'd enjoy?
  • What skills could you use to do freelance work?
  • Do you have a skills you could use to teach others?

Myth #4 Having a Financial Plan is Enough

Sure having a financial plan is important but it’s just the starting point. As soon as the ink is dry on your plan, everything starts changing. Your life starts to unfold in unexpected ways.

  • Interests change.
  • Family priorities change.
  • spending patterns change
  • Employment and income change.
  • Health changes.
  • Inflation changes.
  • Taxes change.
  • Markets move through cycles of bull, bear, and flat markets.
  • EVERYTHING changes, most times quicker than we think

How to Avoid

The secret to creating a plan to help you work towards your ideal retirement is not figuring it all out in one, hundred page document. It’s faithfully implementing a process to make sure you’re having the right “little conversations” as your life unfolds so you can make LOTS of minor adjustments along the way.

Learn From Other's Retirement Mistakes

I’ve been creating financial plans for over 20 years now and have witnessed MANY mistakes along the way. You don’t need to do the same. I've created a cheat sheet on the 3 Talks You Should Be Having Now to Work Toward a Great Retirement (and How to Have Them). Click Here to Get the Cheat Sheet

Direct download: RAM087.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT