Building your influence for good before retirement

Retirement Answer Man Roger Whitney named a ‘Top 100 Most Influential Financial Advisor’ by Investopedia

Let me preface this by saying “I’m just a numbers nerd.”

I don’t want to come across as proud, haughty or arrogant.

Because I’m not any of those things.

But I do want to share with you that I just got an unexpected honor.

Investopedia, the world’s largest financial education and information website, just named me as one of their Top 100 Most Influential Financial Advisors.

Surprised? So was I.

Numbers nerd, remember?

Beyond the top 10, the financial advisors were just listed alphabetically. Which, as I can attest from being last on the role call all through high school, puts me way down near the bottom of the list.

Point is, I don’t know if Investopedia thinks I’m the 11th most influential financial advisor or the 100th. 

But that doesn’t matter. What this means is that I’m getting my message out that rocking retirement in the 21st century is a completely different animal.

One retiree at a time, I’m convincing people to look at life and retirement a little different than they have.

To find more joy in each day now.

To search out more fulfillment in retirement.

To noodle on agile retirements strategies that will carry you through your Golden Years.

And all without being a “smart” advisor.

Basically, to put more good in the world. To me, that’s pretty cool.

Roger? Most influential? Really?

Glad you asked. I don’t know that I really fit in with the financial advisors I admire on Investopedia’s list.

There’s Michael Kitces, for instance, who runs The Kitces Report and a podcast that numbers nerds like me love: Nerd’s Eye View.

Then there’s Jeff Rose, the CEO and founder of Alliance Wealth Management and

Kirk Chisolm with his 53,000 social media followers.

And on and on.

Until you get to me.

I’m honored to share space on a list with advisors like this. My influence may not stretch as far as these guys, but I am reaching people.

Retirement Answer Man podcast by the numbers

In fact, this might be a good occasion to share a few numbers for my podcast. I’m going out on a limb to do this, but these numbers get me amped up.

I’m a numbers nerd, after all.


  • I was on the air for two weeks before anyone (really!) downloaded my podcast. Ouch.
  • My first 100+ download day came 10 weeks after I started.
  • It was another five weeks before I saw that many downloads again.


  • In May, people downloaded episodes of the Retirement Answer Man more than 44,000 times.
  • In June, we’ll probably beat that number by a couple thousand.
  • Sometime early next month, listeners like you will have downloaded more than 700,000 episodes. (Barring a seriously tragic occurrence.)

Three years and a whole lot of persistence pays off.

Those numbers may not seem staggering to you or to fans of some of the other influencers on Investopedia’s list, but you can consider me staggered.

I never dreamed going into this that I could spread my net quite so far to noodle with listeners about the ins and outs of retirement.

But I want to share with you three secrets of influence that I’ve discovered that could help you if you’re trying to build your own influence before you retire.

1. Serve

I view my podcast as a service to help you live a better life now and through retirement. But beyond the broader mission, one of the most enjoyable things I do is Retirement Plan LIVE.

I invite listeners on the air to walk through a retirement planning process to show them (and you) a great framework for an ideal retirement. It’s fun for listeners to follow along with these case studies.

My downloads always spike when I do these. Getting permission to show my podcast listeners how I work has really upped my influence.

2. Listen

You don’t get more influential by telling people how to do things. You get more influential by allowing people to tell you how it should be done.

Taking feedback and running with it has been critical for me in achieving the meager influence I have. It will work well for you too.

3. Be Authentic

It’s hard sometimes to be yourself when you feel like people are listening to what you have to say. But I’ve managed.

Along the way to where I am, I’ve actually been accused of being goofy (which means someone is paying attention)!

My wonderful assistant has asked me not to sing on the air (and probably rightly so).

But whether people want to listen to me sing or not, that’s who I am. And people connect with that better than a stuffed shirt. I believe authenticity may be your quickest route to influence. Not everyone will connect with who you are, but some people will. And that’s how influence grows. 

Even for a numbers nerd.

Thank you for being part of my journey. I wish you the best on your own.

Question of the week:

I’d love to hear about the people that have influenced you on your retirement journey? Share them in the comments.


Roger’s YouTube Channel - Roger That

BOOK - Rock Retirement  by Roger Whitney

Ask Roger a question

Work with Roger

3-video Series: 5 Minute Retirement Makeover

Roger’s Retirement Learning Center

The Retirement Answer Man Facebook Page