Retirement Answer Man

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