The Retirement Playbook with Dale Tondryk

Ep 73: Getting it Right: Irreversible Financial Decisions

There are plenty of decisions that you’ll make in the retirement planning process that can’t be undone, so you want to make sure that you make the right call. In this episode, we’ll explain why these decisions are so important and can’t be undone.


While a few of these have slight caveats, you won’t want to miss your window of opportunity to make the choice that is right for you.


Listen to today’s episode to learn what steps you can take to better prepare yourself for these potentially life-changing decisions.


Key Points:

  • Be careful not to start using your social security too early. (1:41)
  • Should you select the spousal benefit option on a pension? (5:15)
  • Why you should get life insurance early in life. (7:25)
  • What happens if you retire….then change your mind? (9:40)


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Ep 72: Can’t Get No Satisfaction… Or Can You?

Want to know the secrets to experiencing satisfaction in retirement? We’ve discovered five key situations in which your financial plan needs to lead you. If you can key in on these five points, you’ll have a high chance to achieve retirement satisfaction.


Wouldn’t it be great to retire knowing you’ll have enough to live off no matter what is going on in the government? Or knowing you have enough to care for yourself, so you won’t have to depend on the family?


Listen to today’s episode to learn the strategies we outlined for you so you can better prepare for financial roadblocks that may come your way.


Key Points:

  • It’s important to have peace of mind that you can retire no matter how the economy may change. (2:53)
  • Diversify your income so if one fails, you have something to fall back on. (4:10)
  • Save enough so that you never lose confidence in having enough to live comfortably. (6:04)
  • Prepare for total independence to eliminate potential stress in retirement. (8:58)


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Ep 71: Going Against the Grain to Achieve Your Retirement Goals

Being a good advisor isn’t about winning a popularity contest or just saying the same things that everyone else in the industry says. It’s about giving the best advice that you can for each individual situation.

On today’s show, we’re going to peel back the curtain to discuss some areas where a good financial advisor’s opinions might go against the grain with mainstream ideas in the industry.

Investing always involves a certain amount of risk, but how much risk is right for you? For example, it could make sense to pay off your home, even if you use a large portion of your savings. Speaking of which- are you keeping enough cash in the bank?

The right financial advisor will tailor their advice to their client’s specific needs. Listen to find out if going against the grain could help you achieve your financial goals more successfully.

Key Points:

3:01- Should you pay off your house?

4:47- How to handle debt

7:12- Why you might want to repurpose your life insurance

9:13- Using annuities the right way

11:40- When it makes sense to keep extra cash in the bank


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Ep 70: Should You Follow These Retirement Rules of Thumb?

You’ve most likely heard plenty of “rules” you’re supposed to follow to retire successfully. Some of these rules are stated so confidently, that you’d be crazy not to immediately accept them as fact.

But we don’t mind the threat of being called crazy, so let’s dive into some of the most popular retirement “rules of thumb” to see if they truly lead us down the path of good financial guidance or run a chance of leading us astray.


Join us on today’s episode as we break down these rules of thumb:

  • The Rule of 100: A risk tolerance rule that tells us investors should have a percentage of investments that match 100 minus his or her current age. (3:25)
  • The Rule of 72: You take 72 divided by the current interest rate and that’s how fast your money will double. (8:30)
  • Rule of 5: On average we experience a bear market every 5 years. (9:49)
  • The 4% Rule: You should be able to take out 4% of your portfolio each year of retirement without running out of money. (12:05)

So, are these rules really wise or is there a better and more customized approach to retirement planning out there? Times change and so does the advice we should listen to. Listen to today’s episode and find out!


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Ep 69: Navigating Retirement and Divorce

We are going to discuss a tough topic today, divorce. Going through a divorce at any age is difficult but doing so close to or in retirement adds additional complications. There are a lot of little nuances that go along with splitting your assets and it can be an emotional investment as well.


If you’ve been married a long time and you’ve grown a family it can be easy to be emotionally attached to the house. But you want to consider other financial assets as well.


You also need to consider the tax implications of dividing those retirement accounts. So, if you find yourself going through this tough situation what missteps do you need to avoid and what should you look out for?



Key points: 

1:18 – Do you often work with divorcees?

1:52 – Should you keep the house?

4:52 – Ignoring tax implications of accounts

6:56 – Rules around divorce and your accounts

8:11 -  Working with an advisor to help you through

10:31 – Mailbag: Should I take money out of my retirement account?


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Ep 68: Retirement Planning Pop Quiz

Can you get an A+ on this retirement planning pop quiz? Don’t worry too much about acing this quiz though, there’s always time to improve your grades.

At what age should people start saving for retirement?

  1. When you begin working
  2. When you buy your first home
  3. When you pay off all your debt

Definitely not when you pay off all your debt, it’s likely you’ll have debt on and off throughout your life. The best time is when you start working, especially if your job offers a 401(k) match.

Which of these is the best estimate of how much income you’ll need in retirement?

  1. 50% of your current income
  2. 85% of your current income
  3. 100% of your current income
  4. None of the above

Your retirement income is never going to be 100% because of deductions. It’s fair to say none of the above. Around 65% is going to be the most common estimate, but finding a customized and personalized number is important for your plan.

Join us today as we answer these retirement trivia questions and see how well you do with your financial knowledge.



Key points: 


1:49 – At what age should people start saving for retirement?

3:36 – What is the best estimate of how much income you’ll need in retirement?

6:23 – Which of these do retirees fear the most?

8:04 – Which of these represent a diversfied retirement plan?

9:48 – To make sure you don’t run out of money, only take _____ out



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Ep 67: Are You A Risk Taker? How To See If Your Tolerance for Risk Matches Your Plan

Do you like to take risks? Or would you rather play it safe and steady? When it comes to the market risk can come with great reward, but it can also be damaging if our risk tolerance is out of balance with our plan. Most people don’t realize how much risk they are taking on and have a much lower tolerance than their portfolio reflects. 

When the markets are going up everyone feels good and when it goes down a lot of people panic. Why is this? Very often a client’s tolerance for risk doesn’t match their investments. If you’re having a hard time sleeping because you're stressed about the market, that’s a good sign you need to take on less risk.  

On today’s episode, we’ll break down how risk plays into your retirement plan and what we need to do if it’s out of balance with your needs.



Key points: 

0:50 – Do you take risk?

2:32 – Does your tolerance match your portfolio?

4:00 – What should you do?

5:03 – Ask your self how you’re going to feel

6:07 – Why do you think we are set up this way?

7:12 – You might not be de-risking as much as you think

8:32 – What options do we have?

10:40 – What’s the first step?



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Ep 66: Picking Sides in Important Financial Debates

When it comes to financial debates, there are a few that we often hear. "You should always pay the house off before retirement“ or “Individual bonds are better than bond funds“ are some common ones you may encounter. But the reality of any financial debate is that the correct answer usually depends on your situation.

Paying off the house before retirement is a great goal, but if you have to compromise your retirement accounts to do so you may need to think about it twice. Individual bonds can be better than bond funds, but they can also be worse. Really it’s all about your goals and where you want your money focused. Join us today, as we explore these financial debates and more. Which side of the aisle do you agree with?



Key points: 


1:07 – How are you doing?

1:26 – Always pay off your house

5:32 – Individual bonds vs. bond funds

7:15 – You don’t need life insurance in retirement

8:58 – Fee-based advisors instead of commissioned broker

9:58 – Annuities are always a rip off

12:17 – You’ll be in a lower tax bracket in retirement

15:07 – You should never use credit cards

16:42 – You should start Social Security as soon as possible


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Ep 65: Are These Retirement Statistics Encouraging or Disturbing?

We’ve gathered some updated retirement statistics from across the country. It’s time to find out if these are encouraging or disturbing findings if they’re reflective of the average client, and what you can do to improve your own retirement preparedness based on this information.


Overall, it appears women have smaller retirement savings compared to men. Dale finds this disturbing but he has seen this trend in women who have gone through divorces. While experts are estimating we need about $1.4 million to retire, Dale thinks this may be a little high. It’s not always about the numbers but about the kind of lifestyle you want to lead. Join us today as we explore these statistics and what you can do to protect your financial future.


Key points: 

1:46 – Women have smaller retirement accounts

4:19 – Experts are estimating you need $1.4 million

5:50 – It’s going to come down to your lifestyle

8:13 – 55% of workers plan to work in retirement

10:31 – 25% of Americans increased their savings during COVID-19

11:47 – More people are getting Social Security benefits

13:01 – How does retiring early impact your strategy?



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Ep 64: Counting Down the Days Until Retirement

Those days, months, and years leading up to retirement can start to fill with anxiety about what needs to get done. No one wants to make that transition without having their ducks in a row so today we’re going to tell you what you should be doing as you start approaching retirement.


If you’re able to create a checklist and start going through each of these things on your own and with your financial advisor, you’ll feel confident about retirement and that’s what we love to see.


Key points: 

0:50 – Waiting for the weather change

2:17 – Getting healthy

4:25 – Plan for the free time

6:39 – Start focusing on something in advance

7:35 – Post Retirement Career

8:31 – Save more

9:33 – Paying off debt

10:30 – Reduce the risk

12:27 – Final thoughts


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Ep 63: Common Retiree Housing Questions

With the state of the housing market and rising interest rates, a lot of retirees have questions about their house and how it fits into their overall retirement plan. For many of us, we may feel our house is our biggest asset and is a big part of the financial equation.


With the Fed raising interest rates should you pay the house off as fast as you can or keep with your minimum payment? Dale recommends paying it off as soon as possible, you’ll save thousands in interest and you can enter retirement without that burden. Traditionally, a lot of retirees consider downsizing once their family moves out. But in our current market you may end up paying just as much for a smaller home. As with anything though, the answer to these questions will depend a lot on your situation and retirement plan. On today’s episode, we discuss these common housing questions and more.



Read more and get additional financial details here: 



What we discuss in this episode: 

0:50 – Golf season!

1:09 – Should you pay the house off ASAP?

4:35 – Should you downsize?

7:28 – Using your home as an emergency fund

8:36 – Signing the house over to the kids

10:46 – How it fits into the estate plan

12:21 – Make your wishes clear

14:15 – Looking into a reverse mortgage

Ep 62: The Retirement Diet - Fixing Unhealthy Financial Habits

Much like our physical health, we often find ourselves struggling to keep up our financial health despite knowing what we should and should not do. Eating healthy and exercise is critical to taking care of our body much like saving and budgeting are crucial to our financial future.


Even though we know what steps we should be taking, it doesn’t mean we always follow through. Cutting corners and taking cheat days with our money happens just as often as it does with our diet.


On this episode, we’re going to look at the many of the similarities between health and finance and discuss what we can do to fix those unhealthy habits.


Read more and get additional financial details here: 


What we discuss in this episode: 

2:04 – Empty calories

4:40 – Too much sugar

7:30 – Trans fats

10:20 – Inflation

12:31 – Final thoughts

Ep 61: Home Run Retirement Planning

After listening to today’s episode, you’ll never attend another baseball game with the family and look at it the same way. We’re going to show you how taking some of baseball’s most basic principles can also lead to financial success in your retirement portfolio.


If you’re a casual baseball watcher you probably want to see a home run. Similarly, you want a home run in retirement but you and your advisor still have to consider the long-term strategy and steps to get there. So, grab your peanuts and crackerjack, and let’s take the financial field.


What we discuss: 

1:08 – Are you a baseball fan?

1:55 – The homerun

4:31 – Small ball

5:55 – Logic and numbers

7:32 – 5 tool players

12:13 – The stadium


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Ep 60: Guessing at Retirement Planning

There are some things in life that you can guess at. However, when it comes to your retirement plan there are a few major questions and factors you certainly don’t want to guess at. This is especially true if you aren’t working with an advisor. A lot of people estimate the monthly income they need, but just guessing a number won’t cover it.

Do you know what major purchases you are going to go through with once you are retired? You can’t guess for these big purchases, you have to plan them out in order to protect your emergency savings. Join us today as we discuss 4 areas in retirement planning you shouldn’t be guessing at and what could go wrong if you do.


What we discuss: 

1:27 – Monthly income

4:03 – Major purchases

6:00 – Inflation

9:44 – Healthcare costs

11:51 – Having a plan


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Ep 59: Who Even Needs an Advisor?

While most people probably need an advisor, some people might not need one. So who really needs an advisor and why? For the last 12 years, the market has been pretty favorable, meaning most DIY investors have been doing fairly well. However, if you are a procrastinator or simply don’t know where to start saving for retirement, having an advisor can be a great way to get some extra support and motivation.

There is a lot to figure out. When will you start taking Social Security? Will you live off of your 401(k), IRA, or both? If you have the time and resources to strategically plan that’s great, but for the rest of us an advisor may be necessary. On today’s episode we’ll talk through a few signs you may need an advisor.


What we discuss: 

1:11 – Are you a procrastinator?

3:30 – You don’t know where to start

4:25 – You don’t know what you don’t know

6:16 – Do you have the time?

7:26 – Can you navigate the information?  


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Ep 58: Planning for The Things We Can’t Predict

How do we plan for things we can’t predict? The stock market, healthcare, and taxes will all change in the future, but how? The stock market has been great over the past decade, yet a crash could happen at any time. Despite speculation, we can't be sure what the future holds.

What about healthcare costs? You can’t predict what medical coverage will cost in the future. However, we can assume it'll be higher. It’s important to structure your plan in a way that protects you from the unknown. On today’s episode, we’ll discuss the things we can’t predict when it comes to our finances and how we can protect our financial future anyways.


What we discuss: 

1:29 – When will be the next market crash?

4:09 – Can you predict healthcare costs?

6:35 – What will tax rates be in the future?

9:56 – How long are you going to live?


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Ep 57: Don’t Fumble Your Retirement in The Financial Red Zone

It’s playoff season! How is football a lot like saving for retirement? Well, you want to protect your plan as you enter the retirement red zone. Similar to how a quarterback protects the ball as he gets close to the end zone. The last 5 to 10 years before you retire is considered the financial red zone. During this time, you want to lock down your plan and get really serious about planning.


Protecting yourself against unnecessary risk and debt is really important during these years. On today’s episode, we’ll discuss the common mistakes people make during the retirement red zone and how you can avoid fumbling your retirement plan.


What we discuss: 

2:56 – What is the financial red zone?

4:36 – Why do you need to play it safe?

6:20 – Taking on more risk than necessary

7:41 – Running the time out for victory

9:44 – Why is retirement planning easier?

11:51 – Having a coach on your side


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Ep 56: How “The Great Resignation” Could Impact You or A Loved One’s Retirement

A record number of people are leaving their jobs. They are either retiring early, looking for new positions or taking a break from work. A lot of people don’t want to return to the office and are opting for early retirement instead. Others people are questioning their values when it comes to their work-life and are taking time off. But if you do this, what are the consequences on your retirement plan? On today’s show, we’ll discuss how this decision could impact your Social Security, 401(k) plan, and more.


Forbes Article:



What we discuss: 

0:56 – Happy New Year!

1:30 – What is “The Great Resignation“?

4:33 – Taking a break from Social Security

6:09 – How will this impact your income plan?

7:56 – Your 401(k) is not a rainy-day fund

8:46 – The negative consequences of taking money out

10:20 – Take your 401(k) with you

11:35 – Will taking your 401(k) be taxable?

12:37 – What are the challenges of retiring early?

15:46 – Does your plan account for longevity?


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Ep 55: Sorting Out What’s Important About Legacy Planning

Most people realize that it’s usually best to have an estate planning attorney helping them with their estate plan, but it’s also important for the financial advisor to be part of that conversation. On this episode, we’ll explore the role an advisor plays in the estate and legacy planning process and uncover some of the basic mistakes people often make when trying to sort all this out on their own.


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What we discuss: 

1:01 – Merry Christmas!

1:57 – What role does an advisor play?

4:19 – How do people view their legacy?

7:05 – What are some basic mistakes?

8:15 – Beneficiary designations not up to date

9:21 – Dale’s story with a client

Ep 54: 5 Signs of Financial Health

Are you financially healthy? On today’s episode, we will be discussing 5 signs of financial health. So what are some good indications you are on the right track? Spending less than you make, understanding tax implications, and having an income plan are all good signs your plan is healthy and stable. If you are married, do you both know enough about the retirement plan? Do you worry about the financial future? 


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What we discuss: 

2:45 – If you spend less than you make

5:08 – Understanding your future taxes

6:16 – Both spouses are familiar with the plan

7:42 – You actually have a retirement income plan

8:49 – You don’t worry about the financial future

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