Retirement Answer Man

Does navigating this bear market in retirement terrify you? If so, you are not alone. No one can (or should try to) predict what will happen next. 

A financial advisor’s advice during bear markets is often ”stay the course,” however this can leave one feeling powerless. On this episode of The Retirement Answer Man, Tanya Nichols and I analyze what you can do if you are feeling terrified in a bear market, you’ll also learn how to navigate Social Security and an ex-spouse, and how to use retirement funds to self-insure long-term care. Press play to hear Tanya and I answer these listener questions and more. 

What to do when you are terrified about your financial future

It is easy to be terrified about the future when every day you watch the value of your accounts drop precipitously across the board. Everywhere you look the markets are getting worse: the Nasdaq, the S&P 500, and even bonds are plummeting. The vision of the future that seemed so bright just months ago is no longer so optimistic. The words “I’m terrified” are not an overstatement when you are no longer working and you’re living on your life’s savings.

What you can do in a bear market besides “stay the course”

Tony is worried about the current market volatility and wants to do something besides “stay the course.” He understands that markets bounce back, but he also realizes that his time horizon may be shorter than it takes for the market to bounce back. He feels his dream retirement slipping further and further away. 

Unfortunately, no one can predict what the future will bring, so it is important to try not to beat the system during a bear market. If you jump out of the market at the wrong time your accounts may never recover. 

Instead of trying to calculate what will happen, it is important to build a framework to navigate these difficult financial situations. When you are confident in the framework you have built you’ll be able to think through challenges thoughtfully and avoid overreacting one way or the other.

Your framework can help you map out where you want to go and how to get there. If you are feeling terrified, now is a good time to revisit your plan of record. Is it feasible? Is it resilient? Making small iterations while sticking with your carefully laid out process will ensure that you make it through these unsettling times.

Doing something during a bear market provides a sense of agency

Creating an action item can help give you a sense of agency when you have so little control of the big picture. That action item could be something as small as canceling Netflix, checking your net worth statement, or even reassessing your risk tolerance. However you choose to take action, remember to consider how that action fits into your overall financial plan. 

Using retirement funds to self-fund long-term care

Long-term care insurance is expensive which can make planning for a long-term care event challenging. As with any financial plan, it is important to plan for long-term care in an organized way. Rather than writing off long-term care insurance as too expensive, consider all the options. One resource you can use to explore the various possibilities is LTCI Partners

Listen in to hear Tanya’s guidance on rebalancing, Social Security, and tax rates. Don’t miss the answers to all kinds of listener questions. 



  • [2:08] Feedback from my recent conversation with Amy Bloom
  • [6:48] Why I’m terrified


  • [15:40] Claiming Social Security based on an ex-spouse’s benefit
  • [17:24] What to do when you are terrified about the future of retirement
  • [26:18] A tax rate question
  • [28:21] What to do with a CD to pay for a parent’s assisted living
  • [30:19] On using retirement funds to self-fund long-term care
  • [37:17] Guidance on rebalancing


  • [44:38] Review your net worth statement and think about what you can do

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

LTCI Partners - take the long-term care insurance questionnaire!

Align Financial

Behavior Gap with Carl Richards

Vanguard white paper on rebalancing

Episode 442 with Amy Bloom 

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM444.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CDT