Retirement Answer Man

My listeners have been asking great retirement questions, and this podcast episode is focused on giving answers to some of those. I’m excited today to bring on my awesome sidekick, Nichole, to play the part of the listener and ask the questions. One really important question is whether your financial advisor should have access to your 401(k), including your username and password. While this can be convenient for you and for your advisor, it’s not a good idea and is typically not allowed. Listen to today’s episode to find out why.

Important differences in spending cycles for single and two-person households

Spending habits change for people, depending on age and household size. The changes in spending habits are important for each household to understand, because they affect planning for retirement. In the Hot Topic section of this episode, I explain why the changes are quite different for single and two-person households, and how each needs to consider how this affects their retirement planning. Listen to find out how spending cycles might affect your household and hear answers to other retirement questions, and then follow up with today’s Smart Sprint and get clear about your financial needs in retirement.

Should I lower 401(k) contributions to build up my emergency fund and college savings?

Bill is 59 ½ and has all his savings in his 401(k). He puts in 9% with an employer match of 3% and has a son going to college. His retirement question is whether he should lower his contribution to 6% to start building his emergency fund. On this episode, I explain several reasons why it would be a good idea to lower his contributions even further to give him more flexibility in how he makes financial decisions, and Nichole and I have a conversation about whether or not parents should cover college expenses from their retirement account and what other options might be available.

When thinking about jobs for pre-tirement, be sure to consider the work environment

Mark Miller at sent in a helpful comment about pre-tirement jobs. He suggests that people carefully consider the physical aspects of the job, such as whether their body can handle walking on cement floors all day. There is also a concern for retirees working in retail environments where the schedules are not given with advanced notice, which creates problems for the time-freedom someone might be expecting in pre-tirement. On this episode, you can hear the details about these considerations, and also get answers to other retirement questions.

Listener ideas for pre-tirement

Quite a few listeners have chimed in with comments or questions about the pre-tirement episode a few weeks ago. On this episode, we’ll take another look at the math from that show, and demonstrate how numbers significantly lower than the ones we used can still work for you. We’ll also hear the ideas that various listeners have for jobs they would like to do in pre-tirement. Listen in to hear their thoughts and also get answers to other listeners’ retirement questions.


  • [0:00] Equifax data breach. Action plan - six steps you can take to minimize credit fraud and stay vigilant.
  • [1:02] To get to great, you have to blow up what’s good!
  • [1:44] Intro this episode - listener questions with Nichole Mills.
  • [2:49] Disclaimer - Don’t take financial advice from me on this show. This is tips and education.


  • [3:12] Important differences in spending cycles for single and two-person households.


  • [7:17] Bill’s question: Should I lower my 401(k) contribution to start building my emergency fund?
  • [9:47] Should parents consider covering college expenses with their retirement account?
  • [11:47] Should my advisor have access to my 401(k)?
  • [14:08] Mark Miller: When thinking about jobs for pre-tirement, be sure to consider the work environment.
  • [16:16] John: Is the math in the pre-tirement episode a little high to be realistic?
  • [18:36] When is your book coming?
  • [19:26] Ideas for pre-tirement jobs from Michael, John, and others.


  • [21:51] You can even make a commute happy as long as you are intentional about it.


  • [23:33] 7-day goal: Dial in what your financial needs are for retirement


Free Credit Action Plan for those affected by the Equifax breach

Episode #183 - How PRE-tirement could save your retirement

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Direct download: RAM187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT