Retirement Answer Man

Welcome once again, to the only retirement focused show that gives you ME - Roger Whitney, the Retirement Answer Man. In this episode I’ve got a ton of great things to share with you - everything from a super announcement about our second annual “Retirement Plan LIVE” event that will be going on, to a quick definition and discussion of capital gains and dividend distributions, Christmas planning and tax savings, a conversation with a great guest, Emily Birkin, and a smart sprint tip that involves time travel. Honest, I wouldn’t make this stuff up. It’s on on this episode so make sure you set aside some time to give it a listen!


Would YOU like to get a free retirement plan done by THE Retirement Answer Man?


One lucky listener will be chosen to participate in the 2nd annual “Retirement Plan LIVE,” a real-life retirement planning session that I record and publicize to help everyone out there who’s looking to plan their retirement know the kinds of things they need to look out for and consider when they’re doing their plan. The only requirements I have is that you’re within 5 to 10 years of retirement, that you don’t have a huge pension (because I’d like to make this a bit more interesting), and that you’re willing to allow me to record our conversations to air for the retirement planning LIVE event. Your name would be kept out of it for the sake of confidentiality and you’d be helping a TON of people with your generosity and daring! If you’d like to be considered as a candidate, got to


A mutual fund mistake I made years ago that I want you to avoid!


When I first started out as a retirement advisor - you know, way back before I was THE retirement answer man - a client I’d just advised to invest in some mutual funds gave me a very frustrated call. Well, he wasn’t just frustrated, he was downright angry? Why? It had to do with the mutual funds he’d just purchased at my suggestion. It seems that I hadn’t checked a very important thing and he was already having to pay taxes on his income through that mutual fund when he hadn’t actually made any gains. Can you guess what my mistake was?  You’re going to hear it in this “true confession” time on this episode.


You can save for Christmas by saving on your taxes. I’m going to show you how!


The holiday season is upon us and it’s only a few days before Christmas shopping starts in earnest. Did you know that there is a way you can get all of your Christmas shopping expenses paid for through wise financial planning? Really, it’s true! The way you handle your tax liabilities before the fiscal year ends could enable you to save enough money on your taxes that your Christmas shopping would be a wash, of sorts. Are you curious? On this episode of The Retirement Answer man I’m going to give you 3 ways that you can do that. Take a listen!


A “S.M.A.R.T. Sprint” for the Thanksgiving season.


I’ve begun sharing what I call “S.M.A.R.T. Sprints with you over the past few episodes. They’re small things you can begin to do that bring about large changes in your life. In today’s smart sprint I’m going to air some dirty laundry by telling you 4 of the worst times in my life that have taught me lessons that I’m thankful for. I’m doing it to give you some examples of how you can turn this season of Thanksgiving into an opportunity to count your blessings for the lessons learned from your own hard times. It’s not easy to go through that stuff - as you’ll see from my examples - but if you’re able to come out on the other side with some experience and wisdom under your belt, you’re going to be way ahead in this game we call “life.” Hear it all on this episode.


OK, so what’s with the “time traveling” reference?


No, I haven’t gone out and bought the “Back To The Future” Delorean. I’ve learned to think about a very common practice that we all do, in a very different way. It has to do with regrets, hurts, offenses, bitterness, worry, and all the other things that get into our heads and cause us to live anywhere but in the present. When we do that we actually make ourselves unhappy - because we’re focusing on things that we can’t do anything about. What I’m learning is that I can keep myself in the present moment, focusing on the things in my life that are going well, and keep myself from “time traveling” to those places that do nothing but bring harm to my life. Want to know more? You can, by listening to this episode.



  • [0:29] Welcome - and Happy Thanksgiving!
  • [0:39] A HUGE announcement - the 2nd edition of “Retirement Plan LIVE”
  • [3:10] How you can connect with Roger to be considered as a candidate for the RPL.



  • [4:32] DEFINITION: Capital gains and dividend distributions.
  • [6:47] Why you need to understand what these terms mean!




  • [8:03] Christmas is right around the corner!
  • [8:15] How would you like to have a free Christmas? It only takes some wise tax planning in many cases.
  • [9:10] Review how you could offset your realized capital gains.
  • [11:58] Contribute to a charity or make gifts to family to offset taxes.
  • [12:41] Maximize your IRA contribution.




  • [13:06] Introduction of today’s guest: Emily Guy Birkin
  • [13:25] What can people learn about retirement from Emily’s book?
  • [14:42] Coming to terms with where you’re at in your retirement goals.
  • [16:42] How does “dreaming big” figure into the retirement picture?
  • [18:44] Learning how you are wired when it comes to money.
  • [20:47] How your wiring can impact your close relationships.
  • [23:58] The biggest retirement myths that impact how you plan for retirement.
  • [25:47] The many aspects of retirement beyond saving and investing.
  • [27:49] The reason great balance is needed in retirement planning.
  • [28:49]




  • [29:49] What lessons are you thankful for that came from bad things that happened?
  • [30:43] The lesson Roger learned when his mother died young.
  • [31:22] What Roger’s marriage problems taught him.
  • [32:22] How almost bankrupting his family taught Roger good things.
  • [33:21] Losing big clients taught Roger some great lessons.
  • [34:04] The lesson learned when Roger hurt his back (numerous times).



  • [35:06] A concept Roger just “got” that is helping him become more happy.
  • [35:38] “Stop Time Traveling?” What’s that all about?

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE - sign up to be considered for Retirement Plan LIVE


Contact Roger:


Roger’s retirement learning center:


The Retirement Answer Man Facebook page:

Emily’s book: Choose Your Retirement

Direct download: RAM094.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Hey there all you retirement-interested listeners out there, welcome to another episode of The Retirement Answer Man, with yours truly, Roger Whitney. I’m so thankful you’re taking the time to listen today and want to do everything I can to make that investment of time worth your while. On this episode I have a great chat with the “Doctor of Happiness”, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirski. She has scientifically researched the issue of happiness and it’s going to give us some very interesting insights into the issue of happiness. I’m also going to debunk some financial jargon that you’ve probably heard, AND I’m going to introduce you again to the concept of SMART SPRINTS, simple tricks you can do that can rejuvenate or revitalize your retirement strategy. So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, a pen or pencil and something you can write on… because nothing I share is going to make a difference in your life unless you make a point of taking action on it!


What is a S.M.A.R.T. Sprint and how can you use them in life?


One of the things I’ve discovered, not just in my retirement planning practice but in all of life, is that long terms goals can become draining. I get that… the long haul is sometimes very, well, long. :) But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on goals that might take longer. You can break them up into what I call “S.M.A.R.T Sprints.” What’s a sprint? It’s something you focus on for a shorter period of time and as you do so, you give it all you’ve got. You’ll be surprised how much a time of focused intensity can help you overcome some obstacles or set some new habits that will enable you to progress faster over time. Today I’m going to explain that topic a bit more clearly than I did last week and show you why these S.M.A.R.T. Sprints are a great idea.


Do you know the difference between various types of financial services people - and why it’s important?


Do you know how the various people who work in the financial services industry are paid? Do you know the legal standards they are under when it comes to how they do their job and how they relate to you? If you’re going to make decisions that you are confident is truly in your best interest, then you really need to know those difference and rules. So today, I’m filling you in on all of that so you can know the difference between someone who is trying to sell you a financial product and someone whose main job is to give you investment advice. You’re going to find some very practical tips in this section, so make sure you give this show a good listen.


Today’s S.M.A.R.T. Sprint is one we all need.


Today’s S.M.A.R.T. Sprint is a life oriented project, and after you hear what it is you’re going to see why it’s such an important personal skill we all should develop. Here’s a little hint as to what I’m talking about… there’s an old quote and we’re not exactly sure who originally said it, but it’s value is unmistakeable. Here’s the quote: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” That’s a very insightful statement that we can all relate to simply because we’ve hard times in our lives when we fought our own hard battles that others knew nothing about. My challenge in today’s S.M.A.R.T. Sprint segment is one that I’m asking you to participate in… and to connect with me and other listeners on the Retirement Answer Man Facebook page to keep each other accountable. Are you up for the challenge?


Do you know what true happiness is?


Today’s episode makes me really, really happy? Why? Because Dr. Sonja Lyurbomirski did a great kindness to me by agreeing to be my guest on the show. She’s known as the “Happiness Doctor” because she’s done extensive research on the issue of personal happiness - and she’s got some great insights to share with us. In particular, I was eager to hear her thoughts on how planning toward important things such as retirement, figure into our happiness quotient, and how we should be thinking about those things in light of her research findings regarding what truly makes people happy. Is that intriguing? It should be because it’s a great conversation, so be sure to listen.




  • [0:29] Welcome to this episode of the Retirement Happy Man.
  • [0:35] A summary of our guest and things covered on this episode.



  • [3:14] DURATION: What is it and what is it all about?
  • [4:22] How to use the concept of “duration” when you manage your portfolio?




  • [6:26] A great illustration from a family road trip.
  • [8:17] What IS a SMART sprint and how can you use them in your retirement planning?
  • [10:37] Places in your life you can set some SMART sprints.
  • [12:11] How long should a SMART sprint be?




  • [12:32] The tendency toward skepticism even when we want to trust people.
  • [13:28] What is a fiduciary standard and why is the current debate going on?
  • [15:05] Product based financial businesses VS advisory based financial businesses.
  • [18:12] The current battle going on surrounding this issue.
  • [18:38] Simple fixes to resolve the issues (my take on it).




  • [20:04] The things we all face.
  • [21:59] Today’s SMART sprint: Show somebody some grace.



  • [23:34] My conversation with “The Happiness Doctor” - Dr. Sonja Lyubomirski
  • [23:44] What makes us happy? - Research suggests 3 things.
  • [24:22] How retirement plans are related to desires to be happy.
  • [26:14] Why happiness is not an achievement, but a lifetime of growth.
  • [27:54] The relationship between happiness and contentment.
  • [28:54] Scientifically proven steps we can take to increase happiness.
  • [30:59] Why the cliches are not cliches.
  • [32:12] The Happiness Doctor’s view of retirement as it relates to happiness.




Dr. Sonja’s book: “The How of Happiness.”


Another of her books: “The Myths of Happiness.”


Contact Roger:


Roger’s retirement learning center:


The Retirement Answer Man Facebook page:

Direct download: RAM093.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Hello there and welcome to this show notes page for episode 92 of the Retirement Answer man, I’m Roger Whitney, THE retirement answer man and on this episode I’m shaking it up a bit, throwing in some new segments that I believe are going to simplify and energize your retirement planning. I’d love to hear your feedback on this episode’s new format, so feel free to shoot me a note or record a message to me at . I LOVE to hear from listeners to the show… and if you leave a question or comment that seems particularly helpful to the rest of the listeners, you just may hear yourself “on the air” on an upcoming show. So don’t be shy… let me know what you think!


Are you tired of all the JARGON yet?


To be topped only by the U.S. Government, the financial planning industry has more than its fair share of jargon and acronyms. Because of that I’m bringing you my new “Jargon Talk” segment each week to break down the terms you may have heard repeatedly, but were too embarrassed to ask, “What in the HECK does that mean?”  In today’s segment I’m going to address a phrase that’s gone around a lot over the past 4 to 5 years and that is “interest rate risk.” Do you know what that means? If so, good for you! But do you know what impact it has on your retirement planning and why you should be concerned? I’m going to unpack it on this “Jargon talk” segment for you, so stick around to listen to the show.

You can optimize your retirement planning by doing a number of smaller, “SMART sprints.”


You may have heard the acronym S.M.A.R.T. It stands for Specific - Measurable - Actionable - Realistic - and Time-bound. Most of the time people use it in referring to goal setting or planning. Since we’re addressing retirement planning it fits very well. This is yet another new feature I’m bringing to the show starting today because I want to be as much service to you as I possibly can by providing practical things you can put into action right away. Today, on the very first “SMART Sprint” I’m laying down a challenge to you.. something that could save you $5000 in one year’s time and allow you to make serious headway toward your retirement goals. It’s so simple, it makes me hungry… that’s a hint. Listen in to find out what I’m talking about.


More Social Security Changes are coming… and you need to know about this one!


In last week’s show I spoke about the changes that the Budget Reconciliation Act is having on the way you’re able to maximize the use of your Social Security retirement fund. A listener took me to task for only focusing on one aspect of those changes so today I’m bringing you another element of the changes that could have a huge impact on your future plans. You see, in the past you could File for SSI benefits prior to actually retiring so that the non-bread-winning spouse could begin receiving spousal benefits - then you were allowed to suspend your filing. That allowed the spouse to get the benefits and the bread winner to wait before drawing theirs. But the Budget Reconciliation Act is taking that loophole out of the picture. In today’s episode I cover that and outline what it might mean for the way you plan for your retirement. Are you interested? Find out more on this episode.

A listener mentions “Preferred Stocks” as a great strategy his father used in his retirement planning. Is it still as good an option for modern investors?


Once upon a time there was a great benefit to using what is known as “Preferred Stocks” to set yourself up for retirement. But as is often the case with long-lasting financial instruments, preferred stocks have changed over the years. Nowadays they are so tied to interest rates (for reasons I’ll cover in this episode) that they’re not necessarily the best way to go, especially in an economy like ours where everyone is concerned about interest rates going higher any day. You can listen in as I answer this listener’s question - and you can ask a question of your own so that I can answer it on future episodes. I tell you how on this episode.




  • [0:01] Kevin’s retirement announcement!
  • [0:57] Congratulations to Kevin!
  • [1:37] How you can leave a message for Roger.
  • [2:31] A different format today...


  • [3:53] Introduction to the new “Jargon Talk” segment.
  • [4:32] What is “interest rate risk” and how does it impact the value of your fixed income portfolio?



  • [6:22] Intro to the “SMART Sprint Segment.”
  • [7:35] What is a “Smart Sprint” when it comes to retirement planning?
  • [9:33] Roger’s first “sprint” challenge: Take your lunch to work every day this week.




  • [11:58] The changes to Social Security law and the “file and suspend” aspect.
  • [12:53] What is the “File and Suspend” aspect of Social Security law?




  • [17:56] Listener Question: How does it work to take out money from my 401K without penalty after I’m 55, but before I retire?
  • [20:59] Listener Question: Why don’t I hear more advisors talking about “preferred stocks” as a retirement planning option?  




  • [30:36] What is this new segment about?
  • [31:46] The power of gratitude in being happy.




http://www.RogerWhitney/com/retirementanswers - leave your question for Roger

Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM092.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Hey friends, Roger here, and I want thank you - truly THANK YOU - for being a part of the Retirement Answer Man community. My greatest hope is that the information I share on this podcast enables you to retire happily and wisely so you can make the most of your future. I kind of consider this episode to be a “star studded” episode because I’m featuring two powerful guests who you should get to know if you don’t know them. First, in the “hot topic” segment I have a great conversation with Joe of “Stacking Benjamins” who has some important updates about changes in federal laws regarding social security benefits and then, in the main topic segment I chat with Chris Hogan of the Dave Ramsey group about his upcoming book, “Retire Inspired.” You’re going to hear some great information on this episode, so stick around.


Many people have taken advantage of a Social Security loophole… but it’s soon going away!


The recently passed Budget Reconciliation Act is like your typical legislation - there’s pages and pages of stuff that is irrelevant to the average citizen. But down deep in the verbiage is a section that addresses some loopholes in Social Security law that made it possible for retirees to get as much as $60,000 more from their SS retirement than if they didn’t use it… and that issue is changed in the legislation. It’s going to make a big impact on retirement planning from here on out so it would do you good to hear the details… and thankfully, I’ve got Joe from “Stacking Benjamins” with me to go over the specifics.


There is a difference between retiring and retiring inspired.


In my main segment today I’m thrilled to have Chris Hogan with me. Chris is one of the big shot guys at Dave Ramsey’s organization and he specializes in the area of retirement. He’s got a new book coming out in January 2016, “Retire Inspired.” He’s trying to make sense of the retirement scene with the same clarity and life inspiring challenge that is characteristic of the Ramsey group, so I’m eagerly awaiting his book’s debut. In this episode we cover some of the topics he addresses in his book and chat about why it’s important to aim for a specific number, not a specific  year for your retirement. What’s that all about? You’ll have to listen to get the specifics.

One of the biggest tips for retiring inspired…


Don’t go it alone. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who simply put their cash into a 401K or IRA and expect that they’ve done the best they can do toward their retirement. But the reality is that very few of us are a retirement expert so our efforts, however good or well intentioned they may be, are likely going to fall quite a bit short of what is possible. As a result we won’t maximize our retirement through better investments, better strategies, or better planning. It may sound like a simple thing (and it is on one level) but it’s one of those simple things in life that makes a huge difference. Chris Hogan spells out that issue for us on this episode of The Retirement Answer Man and gives practical tips on how you can take advantage of the expertise of others to help you retire inspired.


If you’ve not maximized your retirement planning and you’re getting up in years, it’s not too late.


In this conversation with Chris Hogan, of the Dave Ramsey group, I had a great time hearing his thoughts on the place many people find themselves: They’re past 55 or even 65 and haven’t done a very good job of planning for retirement. As a result it looks like they may not get to retire at all. Chris gives a very encouraging example of a woman he worked with who discovered (through his counsel) that she could put aside an extra $600 every month toward her retirement, which created a very positive snowball effect to build her retirement quickly and effectively. It’s just one example, and of course, every situation is different. But it serves to show that if you take a close look at your situation with the right kind of help, you can carve out small steps that make a difference and turn into big steps in time. Listen to this episode to hear more of Chris’ advice on this important topic.




  • [0:27] Welcome to this star-studded episode of the RAM, featuring Joe (host of Stacking Benjamins) and Chris Hogan (of the Dave Ramsey Group).
  • [1:37] Roger’s thanks to the participants of the live webinars - and the introduction of “The Retirement Master Class” (enrollment ends Nov. 7, 2015. )



  • [3:48] A big change for filing Social Security from the Budget Reconciliation Act.
  • [5:36] A story that illustrates the changes this legislation enacts.




  • [10:05] Introduction of Chris Hogan, today’s guest.
  • [10:49] The habits Chris saw that motivated him to focus on retirement issues.
  • [13:19] Why retirement is not an age, but a certain number.
  • [15:08] The value of intention in retirement planning.
  • [15:50] The biggest question for people planning for retirement.
  • [16:37] How you can feel confident planning your retirement amount.
  • [18:51] How to play “catch up” at an older age.
  • [19:51] How taking small steps can empower you to change your financial future.
  • [21:37] The self-sabotaging behaviors that Chris has seen.
  • [22:31] How to get out of the credit card debt trap.
  • [23:47] The difference between retiring and retiring inspired.
  • [25:49] What is YOUR plan to retire inspired, Chris?
  • [27:10] Roger’s thanks to YOU, for joining him on this episode.




Register for the Retirement Master Class:


Get your copy of Chris’ free tool “The RIQ” -


Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM091.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT