Retirement Answer Man

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