Retirement Answer Man

Michael Balchan from Heroic and I have been discussing how to live a heroic retirement for the last several episodes. Today, we wrap up this theme and learn to integrate the subjects we have discussed in the past 4 episodes into rocking retirement.

As usual, after the main theme, I’ll answer your listener's questions. If you have a question that you would like answered on the show, now is a good time to ask since next month we’ll focus solely on answering your questions. You can submit your question at You have the option to either type in your question or leave an audio question. We love audio questions, so leaving an audio recording is like getting a fast pass to the front of the line. 

Rekindle your best self each morning

If you have ever been camping you understand the importance of building a campfire. This camping essential provides heat and a way to cook, however, each night you must turn it off when you go to sleep. In the morning, you rekindle the fire to warm yourself up and start the morning off right.

This is just like living your best self. Each morning you must wake up and consciously rekindle your fire. By setting your intentions, you provide a way to set yourself up for success each day.

Live each moment to create your best life

Since all we have is the now, each moment is an opportunity to live your best life. All you can do is show up one moment at a time to live life fully and completely. Looking back on your life you’ll see a bunch of separate great and not-so-great moments strung together to create a life. 

If you are prepared to show up one moment at a time and live fully and completely you’ll find that those movements create an amazing life. 

Rocking retirement is about living heroically while mastering your finances

Here on this show, in my book, Rock Retirement, and the Rock Retirement Club, we talk about rocking retirement all the time. So it’s important to understand what I mean by rocking retirement. Rocking retirement is integrating the business of retirement with the act of living a heroic life. 

The business side of retirement means getting the financial side of retirement correct. With agile retirement management, you’ll adjust your financial plan in a series of little changes so that you can have the confidence to weather the storms that life throws at you

By living a heroic retirement, you’ll create an amazing life for yourself each day by showing up and consciously choosing to become a better person.

The RRC can help you live a heroic retirement

The Rock Retirement Club helps people with both sides of their retirement journey. Marrying the two together is how to really rock retirement. 

The Rock Retirement Club is a safe place both online and in person to take the baby steps to set you on your way to rocking retirement. In the club, you’ll receive a world-class education from financial and retirement experts while walking this journey with other like-minded individuals who are traveling the same path. 

Our next enrollment for the RRC is at the end of October, so be on the lookout if you have been considering joining the club. 



  • [4:38] It can be easy to beat yourself up for being human
  • [9:52] How living your best self has to do with rocking retirement


  • [12:12] Does Social Security count 401K withdrawals as income
  • [14:58] Single retirees are often struggling alone
  • [16:30] Should we charge for the podcast?
  • [17:37] Does it make sense to sell higher fee funds and reinvest in lower fee funds?
  • [24:00] On balancing the portfolio in today’s market


  • [30:45] Finding Kevin’s retirement identity


  • [36:00] Discover a morning ritual

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

BOOK - Atomic Habits by James Clear

Episodes on retiring single: 210219220221222

Heroic app

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center


Direct download: RAM450.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CDT

“You are who you are here and now” – Bruce Lee

We all live life with the best intentions, yet rocking retirement is all about what we are actually doing–not intending to do. Do the things that you say are important to you now.

In this episode of the Living a Heroic Retirement series, you’ll learn how you can begin to live a heroic life today. Michael Balchan and I break down what we are doing to live our best lives. We bring the macro level that we have been discussing in the past few episodes down to the micro level. Press play to learn how to embody your virtues by taking baby steps towards your goals.

Life is like a game

When you are young, you going to school is like a game where you get motivation and rewards for doing well. You get to level up each year and then move on to the next stage. Work is also like a game. There are boundaries, a scorecard, and of course, more leveling up. 

In retirement, you have a clean slate, but since we are already so gamified you might as well continue playing. The difference is, that now you get to decide the rules of the game you are playing. Take the game and personalize it to your own needs. 

How to play the game

Your virtues are how you want to play the game. Once you decide which virtues ring true to yourself then you can set targets that align with those virtues. Set 3 targets that you can do today to make sure that you are living a life that aligns with your virtues. These targets are a way to make commitments to the behaviors that you want to act upon. 

When you set your intention your attention follows. 

Remember that this is your own game so set yourself up for success. Listen in to hear how Michael and Roger play their games differently using the Heroic app

Why celebration is important

It is important to celebrate your wins, but many of us have a hard time doing so. Celebrating your wins can feel inauthentic, or manufactured. However, celebrating acting on your virtues use positive reinforcement for your brain. Positive reinforcement creates a reward system for your brain to help you rewire and create positive habits. By celebrating your wins you create an internal sense of joy and satisfaction and therefore become more likely to make positive decisions



  • [4:03] In retirement, you get to decide the rules of the game you are playing
  • [8:50] Set targets
  • [18:24] Be excited about showing up in the next moment 
  • [19:52] Why is it so important to celebrate the wins?
  • [29:38] The heroic app gamifies living out your virtues


  • [36:09] Bart’s inherited IRA question
  • [38:48] David’s question on the pie cake
  • [47:38] Adam’s simple question
  • [49:51] How to fund a hybrid long-term care insurance policy


  • [53:33] Set one target that supports living your best self

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

The Heroic app

BOOK - 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

BOOK - Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson

BOOK - Top 5 Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware

BOOK - An Audience of One by Robin Dellabough

The Long-Term Care series - Episodes 311312313314

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM449.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am CDT

“What one can be, one must be.”--Abraham Maslow

Do you know who you want to be in retirement? Here at the Retirement Answer Man, we want to give you the confidence to not just survive retirement but to rock retirement. To truly rock retirement you need to have both a financial and non-financial plan. 

Over in the Rock Retirement Club, we have licensed Michael Balchan’s Heroic app and in these past few episodes, we have been discussing how to live a heroic retirement. Today we’ll discuss the 3 domains that are important to develop aspirational identities. You’ll learn why this is important and how to create your own aspirational identities in these 3 areas. 

Make sure you are signed up to 6-Shot Saturday so that you can get the free workbook to help you develop your identity in these 3 domains. 

Break big things down into smaller chunks

How do you run a marathon? One step at a time. By breaking down big things into smaller chunks you can string them together and keep them in motion. 

It’s okay if you don’t know what you are going to do with your entire life. The goal isn’t to have one giant all-encompassing purpose that you strive towards forever. Instead, aim for Ikigai. Ikigai is the current goal, meaning, or purpose that you are working towards right now. 

Identity drives behavior

Most people think that sour feelings drive our behaviors but this isn’t true. Our identity drives our behaviors which then drive our feelings. Our identities are linked to what we do and who we are is what we repeatedly do. Every behavior we display and action we complete is casting a vote for the person that we want to be. 

Think about who you are when you are at your best. You can draw from previous experience or visualize the person that you want to be. That exemplar self is who you are striving to be. 

The 3 identity domains

Our identities are so often linked to what we do for a living so when we retire its like we lose a part of our identity. Now that you are no longer the VP of sales, the corporate attorney, or the head of HR, who are you? You have a blank slate to work from and the ability to reinvent yourself in retirement.

Breaking identity down into 3 domains helps you understand how the different parts of your life intertwine. 

  1. Energy is the foundation of everything. 
  2. Work doesn’t have to mean a traditional career. It can mean your avocation, activities, or hobbies.
  3. Love means how you show up relationally with your partner, family, friends, or even acquaintances. 

When choosing your new identity, it doesn’t have to be set in stone. Pick something that means something and is important to you. If it works well, then that’s great. If not, switch it up. Playing around with your new identity will help you consider how you want to live up to your best self.

Listen in to hear how I identify with each of these three identity domains.



  • [3:25] the 3 identity domains
  • [6:45] Ikigai - what is the current thing you are working towards?
  • [14:34] Be willing to break big things into smaller chunks
  • [18:56] Identities drive behaviors that drive feelings
  • [30:14] Your work identity


  • [41:00] Should Randy sell his home to enjoy the go-go years?
  • [49:09] Steve’s suggestions
  • [51:46] How to help Cheryl’s parents
  • [56:58] Santiago’s Social Security question


  • [1:00:32] What can you be at your very best in energy, work, and love?

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Boomer Benefits


BOOK - The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha

BOOK - Ikigai by Hector Garcia

BOOK - Atomic Habits James Clear

BOOK - Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell

Tony Robbins

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM448.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CDT

This month on the Retirement Answer Man we are learning how to live a heroic retirement. Michael Balchan joins me to discuss what it takes to be the hero of your own story. On this episode, we explore the virtues that heroes embody. 

If you are looking to be an exemplar then you’ll exhibit some core universal virtues plus some that are uniquely your own. Learn about these virtues and what it takes to be a hero on this episode of Retirement Answer Man.

Keep striving toward your ideal self

Hercules is a typical hero. We often think of him as being a hero because he was strong, but it was because he put himself on the line and faced mythical beasts to help others. 

Before you can help others you must know yourself and what you are capable of. Striving to be your best self is a heroic act. Self-actualization–expressing the best version of yourself–is impossible yet continually working towards self-actualization will make you a better person.

Striving toward your ideal self is an asymptotic act, like the curved line in mathematics that gets closer and closer to another line without ever touching. You may get closer and closer to your ideal but never actually realize it. You may continually advance on your best self but you’ll never actually reach your highest form. What is important to recognize is that even though you will never reach your ideal, it is important to keep striving.

4 Universal virtues

Every ancient tradition recognized 4 universal virtues

  1. Wisdom is knowing the game you are playing and playing it well.
  2. Self-mastery is having the discipline, temperance, and structures in place so that you can pause before responding. 
  3. Courage comes from the heart and allows you to take action in the place of fear.
  4. Love means being present, connected, genuine, and encouraging.

Put your virtues into action

Rather than seeing yourself as falling short of your ideal self, if you keep doing the hard work involved in self-improvement you will continually improve yourself. Instead of judging yourself based on a past or future outcome, study your process. Are you striving to do your best at this moment? If you didn’t make the right choice, try to do so next time. Keep going and do what needs to be done. Our ideals are like a guiding light rather than a distant shore.

You won’t want to miss this episode to hear the rest of the virtues of positive psychology. Listen in to learn how you can apply the virtues and actions test to your heroic retirement quest.



  • [3:11] You will never achieve self-actualization
  • [13:53] The 4 ancient virtues
  • [21:12] The 5 virtues of positive psychology
  • [27:52] Personal virtues


  • [32:33] A bucketing question
  • [35:30] A cash value insurance question
  • [39:41] Optionality is undervalued
  • [42:50] A Social Security survivorship benefit question
  • [46:00] How to protect your legacy from financial abuse
  • [51:40] Thoughts on Connie’s question from episode 434


  • [54:24] Be aware of the moment between stimulus and response

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Michael Balchan

New Retirement calculator

Tal Ben Shahar

BOOK - Mindset by Carol Dweck

BOOK - Rethinking Positive Thinking by Gabriele Oettingen

Personal Virtues test 

Episode 434 with Connie’s question

FINRA Brokercheck

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM447.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am CDT

You may be planning a peaceful retirement, an active retirement, or an engaged retirement, but have you ever thought about living a heroic retirement? Over the course of the next several episodes, we’ll explore what it means to live a heroic retirement with Michael Balchan from Optimize

In this series, you’ll learn how to build a framework to lean into the kind of person you want to be every day. I’m excited to bring this teaching that we already use in the Rock Retirement Club to you. Listen to this episode to learn what a hero is and how you can be the hero of your own retirement. 

Michael Balchan understands the search for meaning

Michael Balchan is 36 and not approaching retirement. However, he is working on his second act. His first career was as a commodity options trader and after achieving all of the outward trappings of success he had to reassess his life. He recognized that he had achieved everything he set out to achieve yet he felt that his life was a bit hollow. This led him to explore what would give him true satisfaction. 

Michael understood that the default path that he had fallen into brought wealth, fame, and popularity. These extrinsic goals were not bad goals to have, but they gave him no inner fulfillment. He then began to recognize that a deeply meaningful life comes from expressing the best version of himself in service of something greater than himself.

What is a hero?

Oftentimes, people’s second act steps away from the outward displays of success. They shift from a “what can I get” mentality to one that explores “what can I give?” This is why we are exploring the concept of the hero. 

The word hero comes from the Greek word and means the protector, but not necessarily in the way that you think. Greek heroes are protectors of the values and community that they hold most dearly. Heroes do the hard work by taking courageous action with their secret weapon: love. 

Heroes live a life of deep meaning by intentionally expressing the best versions of themselves in service of something greater. You can be a hero in your own life by looking for the places where you fall short and taking courageous action to improve them. Lean into the amazing abilities that you already have. Consider how you can help or connect with others.

How to find your purpose

The top tier in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is self-actualization, however, it is said that there is actually a level beyond self-actualization: self-transcendence. We can go beyond self-actualization in service of something bigger than ourselves. 

However, being a hero doesn’t mean that you have to set out to save the world. You get to choose your sphere of influence. Being a mentor, a great neighbor, a grandparent, or a spouse are all ways that you can serve others. The size and scope of your impact is up to you. 

Upon retirement, you may not know your reason for waking up in the morning. Your purpose gives you energy and vitality so it is important to think about what lights you up. To find your purpose it can be helpful to look back at what you have done in the past. Look at your past experiences and consider what brought you meaning. 

Find the ways in which you already make an impact in what you are doing. How are you already creating purpose and meaning in your life? Start to look for other opportunities to make contributions in the lives of others.

Make sure to come back next week to learn the core virtues you can use as guideposts to build intentionality into your retirement. If you found this episode helpful, make sure to share it with a friend!



  • [6:00[ What is a hero?
  • [18:48] You get to choose your sphere of influence
  • [21:05] How to find your purpose


  • [30:08] How long does it typically take to recover from a bear market?
  • [35:55] Should Bill’s wife take Social Security now or wait for Bill’s delayed benefit?
  • [38:31] How should Steven allocate his mom’s savings?


  • [43:40] Find the ways in which you already make an impact in your life

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

LTCI Partners

Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler

BOOK - The Second Mountain by David Brooks

BOOK - Flourish by Martin Seligman

BOOK - The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky

William Damon

Heroic App

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Rock Retirement Club

Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

Direct download: RAM446.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:25am CDT