Retirement Answer Man

Anyone who is a reader would be happy to give you their “top 10” list of book recommendations. But today’s episode is not about my top 10 - it’s simply a list of books that have had a great impact on my life through the years. Your list will by default be different than mine and that’s OK. I just wanted to put these books on your radar so that if you’re not familiar with them, you might consider them as a resource for your growth as an investor and as a human being. So grab a pen and paper so you can jot down these titles and the synopsis I give of each one - OR you can sign up for my Six Shot Saturday emails and you’ll get them sent directly to you. Either way, I hope this list of influential books is helpful to you.

Today I’m giving you 5 investing book recommendations and 5 “other” book recommendations.

You’d expect a guy called “The Retirement Answer Man” to give you a list of financial or investment related books for you to read. But those aren’t the only types of books I think you should be reading. There’s a ton of great insight out there into what it takes to be a better and more productive person who makes greater contributions to the world we live in. So I also wanted to give you some recommendations of books that could help you in that realm. And if you’ve got books that didn’t make my list, that’s great! Listen to the episode to find out how you can recommend your favorites to the entire listener community!

If you’re not a reader, you’re missing out on a lifetime of education.

I get it. For various reasons reading may be difficult for you. But I’m often reminded of the people all over the globe who literally CAN’T read and would give anything to be able to learn the skill. Most of them feel that way because they know that reading and the knowledge that comes from it can change their lives. This episode is an encouragement for you TO read as much as it is my recommendations of WHAT you should read. And don’t forget, audiobooks are now an option for you, so there’s really no excuse to be busy about the work of growth, education, and development in your own life.

One of the ways you have to be careful about what you read these days.

We are in a new era of publishing. Have you noticed? Now it’s possible for anyone to publish a book of their own making without any gatekeepers at a huge publishing house telling them they can or cannot publish their book. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us regular guys and gals to share the insights we’ve learned throughout life. But just like it’s wonderful that anyone can publish a book these days, there’s also a downside: anyone can publish a book these days. That means there’s a whole lot of junk out there you’ve got to wade through in order to find the good stuff. That’s one reason I’m giving you my book recommendations for investing and personal growth, on this episode. I trust it will be helpful.

Do you have book recommendations the listening community might enjoy?

Inevitably, when someone shares their recommended reading list with an audience (like I do on this episode) there’s going to be somebody who says, “What? I can’t believe you didn’t include (insert book title)!” It’s impossible to share every influential book, especially because books can have a particular impact on each of us at different times and seasons of life. So I invite you to listen to this episode to share your personal book recommendations in the areas of finance and personal growth. I will compile the list, create a PDF resource, and share it with the community in one of my 6 Shot Saturday emails. Are you game?



  • [0:25] My introduction to this episode about books I’ve read (that you should read).


  • [3:38] What is a “book” these days?
  • [4:50] Some of the disadvantages of the self publishing movement (for readers).


  • [6:22] According to PEW Research less Americans are reading these days.
  • [7:29] The age group breakdown: younger folks are more likely to be readers.


  • [8:49] My book list for your consideration, dear listener. :)
  • [10:33] 5 books that have impacted me in terms of investing.
  • [18:59] 5 non-investing books that have helped me.


  • [27:52] Email me an investing book and another book that has impacted you. I’ll compile all the recommendations and share them with you via “6 Shot Saturday.”


PEW Research study on American’s and Reading

Contact Roger:

Roger’s retirement learning center:

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook page:


Direct download: RAM138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

All of us can become better decision makers but we often don’t realize that one of the most important realms of life we need to do that in is relating to the small things. Small things add up over time to become really big things. Just ask the alcoholic or an inmate in a penitentiary. They’ll tell you that what I’m saying is true. On this episode, I continue my thoughts about how to make better decisions with a focus on the small decisions in life - and I respond to some listener feedback from last week’s episode of the show. I hope you’ll MAKE THE DECISION to listen. :)

Are you aware of the compounding effect of small decisions?

Every one of us is a decision maker. We decide about things all the time and act on them. Getting out of bed each day. Brushing our teeth (or not). Eating healthy or unhealthy. Every one of these actions flows out of a decision we’ve made. But it’s important that we understand that small decisions like these are not actually small in the long run. They will each have their own little impact that contributes to the whole of our lives. Today’s episode is all about how we can take control of those little decisions that compound over time to ensure our lives benefit from them instead of suffering from them.

If you want to be a better decision maker, it helps to define the issue.

After last week’s show, a listener wrote me to say that one of the most important parts of his decision making paradigm comes at the very beginning of his process. He takes the time to clearly define the issue he’s dealing with and why it’s important. I see the logic and the wisdom of what he’s saying - do you? If we don’t know exactly what it is we’re dealing with and why it matters we may not be as motivated to make effective decisions about it. That could result in us putting off the decision, or neglecting it. You can hear more helpful listener comments like that and my responses to them on this episode.

When making decisions, Tony Robbins suggests you have a conversation with your older self.

One of the tips Tony Robbins often gives to people about the topic of decision making is to imagine yourself near the end of your life. You’re still healthy, still looking good, and still have all your wits about you, but you're looking back on a lifetime of experience. What would that older self say to you about the decisions you’re making right now? Is there any wise counsel to be found from that version of you? I can see how this could be a helpful way to get outside the limitations of your current thinking so that you can approach the situation with a fresh perspective. What do you think about this approach? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Decision makers who are effective usually set deadlines for their decisions.

When you’re faced with a decision it’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of what it takes to understand the situation and actually make the decision. It’s a paralysis of analysis that we all fall prey to now and then. Effective decision making requires that you set a deadline by which time you will make your decision so that you can avoid that trap. You should be wise about that timeframe so you don’t cut your time frame too short, but a deadline needs to exist. This gives you some internal accountability to not only make the decision but to do the research and investigation it takes to make it wisely. That was a concept one of my listeners sent to me after last week’s episode - and you can listen to today’s episode to hear more listener suggestions just as good as this one.


  • [0:24] My introduction to this episode of the show.


  • [2:39] Today’s word: COMPOUNDING
  • [4:07] The concept of compounding when it comes to decision making.


  • [6:13] CNBC reports that a librarian built a huge fortune.


  • [8:58] Listener questions and comments about decision making.
  • [10:15] The importance of defining the issue.
  • [11:41] What would your older self say you should do?
  • [14:25] Making the decision about adjusting your retirement plan due to changes.
  • [17:31] Why deadlines for decisions can be a powerful help.


  • [20:57] How decision making can improve your happiness.


  • [22:29] Make a decision in the next 7 days (big or small).



CNBC article about the Librarian who built a fortune

Text “Planning” to “33444” to get “6 Shot Saturday”

Contact Roger:

Roger’s retirement learning center:

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook page:

Direct download: RAM137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Decision making: It’s been said that not making a decision is actually making a decision. But we tend not to think of it that way because it doesn’t feel like we’re making a decision. It feels safer to go on the way things have been instead of making a change. But is that true? On this episode of the Retirement Answer Man, I’m excited to share some of the things I learned from a recent event I attended that have to do with making decisions that move you toward the goals and results you want to see happen in your life. What I learned is a 10 step approach to decision making that I think will benefit you greatly, so please - for your own sake - please take the time to listen.

How inertia can be an enemy to good decision making.

I’m no physics professor but I know that inertia has to do with the movement of things that are already in motion. You may not think of it this way but there are many things in your life that are already in motion. Your career. The direction your family is headed. Your financial condition. And much more. Many times the existing inertia in various areas of life becomes an enemy to making good decisions that could move our lives into a better place. On this episode, I’m going to talk about how you can avoid the trap of inertia and make decisions that set you up for a happier and more secure retirement.

Intentionality about life is the friend of good decisions.

Many times, the reason we don’t make decisions is that we’re not committed to actually DOING the things that are best for our own lives, families, and futures. We’ve got vague ideas of good things we’d like to see happen, but we haven’t committed ourselves to actually seeing them happen. Before you will be able to make good decisions about your future you have got to become intentional about it. You’ve got to become committed. Listen in as I ramble a bit about the importance of intentionality in decision making and give you 10 steps you can use to evaluate and make the best decisions for your life.

If a decision moves you away from the vision you have for your life, well...

Doesn’t it make sense that if a decision is going to move you away from your life vision, you shouldn’t do it?

“But wait a minute Roger, what’s all this talk about life vision? I don’t even know what that is!”

Yeah, I get it. Most people don’t have a life vision. On a previous episode, I talked about the importance of having a life vision and how you can go about creating a clear and compelling vision for the rest of your life. And believe it or not, it’s an important compass for the rest of life, including this issue of making good decisions that I’m dealing with on this episode of the podcast.

Why don’t you create a good old “pro and con” list for each decision?

Many things that we might consider “old” ideas are still around for a reason. They work. One of the 10 steps I give for making good decisions on this episode - it’s #9 - is to put together your own “pro and con” list regarding the decision. Brainstorm it. Write down every advantage and disadvantage to the decision you can. Sometimes this step alone brings enough clarity that you are able to see exactly what you should or should not do. And like I said, that’s just one of 10 steps I share on this episode so be sure you listen. It could help you make the best decision about that thing you’re contemplating right now!


  • [0:29] What is your decision making framework?


  • [4:54] How do we make a choice about the current election situation?
  • [5:50] Is the situation corrupt or crude? (from an article I read)


  • [7:03] What is inertia?
  • [7:53] How inertia can be an enemy to good decision making.


  • [13:27] A framework for making important decisions.
  • [15:14] Why intentionality is an important beginning step.
  • [17:19] #1 - Trust your gut (at least to admit what it says to you).
  • [18:20] #2 - Does the decision align with the vision for your life?
  • [19:32] #3 - Do your homework. Research what the outcome could be.
  • [20:00] #4 - Consult the important, trusted people in your life.
  • [20:51] #5 - Does a certain decision make you passionate.
  • [21:29] #6 - Do you have the strength to do it?
  • [24:08] #7 - Is it the right timing?
  • [27:09] #8 - Does this align with my personal values?
  • [28:49] #9 - Create a pros and cons list.
  • [29:40] #10 - Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
  • [32:16] How you can get the worksheet for these steps.


Get “6 shot Saturday” by texting “planning” to “33444” - Deb’s website

Episode about Life Vision

Episode about Personal Values

Episode about Choosing a Financial Advisor

Contact Roger:

Direct download: RAM136.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

It’s not a good things when the financial services industry is freaking out.

I mean really - these are people who are giving advice to you about your finances and retirement. Does it make YOU feel good when you see them freaking out? You might be wondering what in the world I’m talking about. It all has to do with a new regulation that’s being passed regarding how people who work in the financial services industry serve their clients and customers - and the people who have the most to lose because of this new regulation are those who haven’t been doing the best job all along. So… there are plenty of people freaking out. You can get the details on this episode because I’m going to tell you about them. :)

Do you know what the term “fiduciary” means?

The new rule that’s causing such a stir in the financial services industry is aimed at making sure that people who are advising you what to do with your money are only able to directly benefit from the advice they give you when the advice is in your best interest. Serving a client in that way is serving as a “fiduciary.” In other words, these rules are trying to keep advisors from giving you advice solely because it will make them more money. That sounds like a good thing, right?

Why you should hold everything close to the vest when you begin a conversation with a financial advisor.

On this episode, I’m laying out a handful of tips that I suggest you take into consideration when you’re interviewing a possible fiduciary (financial advisor). I want you to find the exact right person, a financial artist who is able to help you reach your goals for retirement and a happy life. The first of those is that you should hold your details and your situation close to the vest at first. The reason? You want to find out from them who their ideal client is before you reveal much about yourself. When you’re able to do that you’ll know right away if they are describing you or not - and whether there could be some ways that the relationship is not a good fit. Find out more on this episode.

Has your financial advisor (or a potential advisor) jumped from company to company?

What’s the big deal if a financial advisor you’re considering has jumped from company to company? Well… it could show that the person has functioned as more of a salesperson than an actual fiduciary who works in the best interest of their clients over the long haul. It’s not the only thing you should look at but it could be a tell-tale sign. As I walk through a handful of things you should consider when looking for a financial advisor you should write down a few things so you’ll know the right questions to ask when you need to have that important conversation.

Why somebody who is providing you financial services should have an optimistic view on life.

Think about this for a minute. What kind of advice will you receive from somebody who works in the financial services industry who has a pessimistic view of the world, or of life? They may be ultra conservative (not a bad thing, but possibly not a good fit for everyone). They may not be willing to make you aware of certain opportunities simply because they don’t think it’s a true possibility. Think it through… there are lots of potential issues. On this episode I want you to follow along as I walk through some potential “red flags” when you start interviewing potential financial advisors. You can thank me later.


  • [0:28] Recommended things to do in Chicago and an amazing painting I saw there.
  • [2:35] Comparing the artist to the painter.
  • [4:00] How do you find the artist (perfect financial advisor) to help you manage your investments?


  • [5:08] Today’s word: Artist (when it comes to financial advisors).


  • [7:32] Why people are freaking out in the financial industry: new fiduciary rules.


  • [10:24] A few reasons you may - or may not - want a financial advisor.
  • [20:25] 3 guidelines to help you identify a great financial advisor.
  • [25:06] 15 questions you should use to interview a potential fiduciary.
  • [28:36] Why YOU typically do a poor job interviewing potential financial advisors.


Contact Roger: - type in the name - get a report. - look up professional and disciplinary history.


Direct download: RAM135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT