Ranch Investor Podcast

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Episode 4 | Avoid Retirement Pitfalls: Mastering Ranch Asset Survival


Tune in now to this podcast segment where Colter DeVries interviews Roger Whitney, a seasoned financial planner and podcast host. Roger challenges the traditional idea of retirement, emphasizing the importance of options and time freedom over simply stopping work. He introduces the concept of “agile retirement management,” promoting adaptability in retirement planning.

They discuss the challenge of finding the right financial advisor, stressing the need to align your goals with an advisor’s process and cautioning against advisors focused on sales.

The conversation touches on the frustration of unclear disclosure about advisors’ compensation structures and the value of finding a supportive financial community, like the Rock Retirement Club.

They explore various financial topics, emphasizing the importance of clear vision, regular goal reassessment, and aligning financial decisions with personal values. Strategic planning is highlighted as a tool to filter out financial distractions, underlining the significance of intentional decision-making in financial planning. Don’t miss this!

Colter DeVries: 0:02
I’m Colter DeVries, owner of Ranch Investor Advisory and Brokerage Services. I’m an accredited land consultant with the Realtor Land Institute and proud member of ASFMRA.

Ranch Investor: 0:13
The Ranch Investor Podcast is the most downloaded and informative industry-specific content that intrigues while entertained.

Colter DeVries: 0:22
Mr Whitney, good morning.

Roger Whitney: 0:24
How are you doing, man? I have to be careful. I’m talking to a colt in in a little bit.

Colter DeVries: 0:29

Roger Whitney: 0:31
Get your name right.

Colter DeVries: 0:32
No worries, no worries, well thanks. Thanks for jumping on Before we get started. Just to give you a little background. Ranch Investor kind of my intentions with this recording is to we talk about, you know, all things investing in ranches and land owners, ranch owners and retirement is not an issue that we’ve touched on. And so what does retirement look like for single asset wealth? Because most land owners are, most ranchers are primarily single asset wealth. And how do you retire without selling the ranch? Good question, and actually I think we’ve already jumped into the podcast, so let’s just keep going on that. But first, roger, let’s get you introduced when are you located and what is rock retirement?

Roger Whitney: 1:46
I’m located in Fort Worth, texas. I know a little bit about ranches, but I’m originally from outside of Detroit, so that’s not my. My pedigree is a little bit odd. Rocking retirement is simply integrating the point of retirement in the first place. A lot of us sort of fall into it and are worried about the outside world and lack the confidence to actually lean in and create a great life, and then we end up dying with too much money. Rocking retirement is finding that balance between having an amazing life today and not being destitute physically or financially, you know, when we’re 80 or 90.

Colter DeVries: 2:28
Now. Now, when you say rocking, it sounds like you’re balancing a bunch of variables, but you are, we’re also a rock star, were you not? I was not, okay. A rock star when did that come from. Well, I think there is a Roger Whitney who is a musician. Is that not you? I’m not.

Roger Whitney: 2:52
I think there’s a Roger Whitaker who was like a musician, like a folks type of musician, a while back.

Colter DeVries: 3:02
Then with Detroit. So you grew up in Detroit. I was like, maybe, maybe you and rock were just kicking it.

Roger Whitney: 3:09
I have no musical ability whatsoever ever Colter Likewise, Likewise. So I think of rock, you said, you know I think of it as in the musical sense of really leaning in and having a amazing life. Right, it’s a verb, but to your point there is that balance I think of. You know. I think a teeter, totter or a seesaw is a really good visual for a lot of decision making. And when we think of retirement if you’re 60, let’s say there’s a tension that we constantly live with is we want to use whatever wealth we’ve accumulated and energy. We still have to create a great life while we still have our energy right, and that’s sort of the Yolo lifestyle. We want to have a great life today, but on the other end of the fulcrum is we know that in our 70s or 80s or even 90s we want to make sure that version of ourself is OK, right, and every dollar or everything that we do today could cost us. In lacking a organized framework of how to think about these things, most people will sacrifice their life right now for tomorrow.

Colter DeVries: 4:28
That’s what we’ve been taught.

Roger Whitney: 4:29
And so there’s a balance there.

Colter DeVries: 4:30
Huh, that’s what we’ve been taught.

Roger Whitney: 4:32
Well, it’s like gym day, right, we go to the gym and all we do is work. You know, upper body. We’re good at accumulating assets and we’ve been taught that because that’s generally how we built our estate in the sense of a ranch. I know the ranchers I know have a few clients that are ranchers and they’re number one thing. The way they build wealth is they buy land right.

Colter DeVries: 4:55
More and more. They’ll buy land right up to the day they die. It’s all about dying with the most land.

Roger Whitney: 5:02
Yeah, and anything adjacent. Oh yeah, we just got this. You know 100 acres over here. The two guys I think of are in Clyde, texas. They’re cattle ranchers and they’re always buying more land because they’ve been there forever, their second generation, two brothers that run it, and they’re just slowly buying everything around them. And so we’re good at accumulating, and especially ranchers too, because it’s so physically intensive and mentally intensive. We’re good at working and that’s good. I mean. I think happy people have projects. We should work until we die. But it’s easy to fall there because we’re comfortable with it. We’ve done it for forever and we forget to enjoy some of it, whether that’s creating experiences with grandkids or children or community. It’s easy to be you know, back to the gym metaphor really good at accumulation and working and really underdeveloped in the softer side of things, of creating memories and actually taking some time to breathe. And what can happen not with everybody, but what can happen is we get older and usually it happens in our 80s, and I’ve had these conversations and then we start to look back of, yeah, what could I have done? What memories could I have created with people, what impact could I have had outside of just accumulating more land and working every day?

Colter DeVries: 6:35
Well, this seems to be the next step. Talking about retirement and Rock Retirement Club, you have a peer group there. Seems like that would be the next step from a previous podcast guest that I had on who was part of a FIRE financial independence retire early movement, and I would assume that that does come with a lot of sacrifices if you want to retire early. But then-.

Roger Whitney: 7:03
That whole concept, that acronym Polter, just to pause on that, because I know a lot of people in that space. I like the financial independence. Retire early, I think is a horrible idea.

Colter DeVries: 7:17
Oh really. So now we’re in your world. Yeah, let’s hear more about that.

Roger Whitney: 7:22
Well, I think, the idea of retirement. I’m 56. I don’t have any plans to retire, and I’ve done this for a long period of time and I’ve talked to thousands of people walking this journey, and when you ask them what they actually mean by retirement, it’s generally not the lack of work, it’s time, freedom and the ability to have margin to do things other than work. And so I think we use this word retirement and we think of the brochures that we see. All the happy people, the really fulfilled people that are quote unquote retired, are doing something. They may not be getting paid for it. They may be volunteering, it may be taking care of the grandkids, it may be building furniture I’ve seen all sorts of things. They’re not doing nothing. So I think this idea of retiring early for your generation, because you’re a young dude, I think financial independence gives you options. The key is to have options to be able to live a life that’s more balanced than what traditional, at least career life is, because I grew up I don’t know how you grew up I grew up you just sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, and then I’ll be happy later on, and I think that’s actually a bad way to think about it.

Colter DeVries: 8:44
Well, I want to hear more about that, but let’s get into how you came to being Rock Retirement Club. I mean, what was your journey, what was your path? I don’t think you had a podcast 20 years ago, roger, so how did you come to this and then tell me about just that, the generational difference, and how you sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice?

Roger Whitney: 9:12
Well, I’m a classically trained financial planner, so I’ve been working with individuals since 92-ish and I had the normal iterations of. I started essentially in the early 90s because of the mentors around me. I was a stock trader. I traded technology stocks for eight years very unfulfilling and then I grew up and got all of my certifications and then started my own firm in 2003 and built a firm in the more traditional way. But honestly, colter, what happened with me was I got to my mid-40s and I had had enough success business-wise. Where I had time on my hands, I could work a little less and make a good living and provide for my family, and I had that proverbial midlife crisis that you’re not too yet.

Colter DeVries: 10:04
And Don’t be so sure.

Roger Whitney: 10:08
I think, yeah, we only have multiple midlife crises of it. This is what my life is supposed to be, and mine was around. I sort of had this realization I could provide for my family, serve a small number of people and have a great life from that perspective. But I started to get haunted by. Well, when I’m 60, 70, 80, what if? I don’t wanna wake up and say, what could I have done? So my answer to that question was I started a podcast, because I think naturally out loud, and so I started it about nine and a half years ago now so almost halfway through 20 years, I guess to think publicly about questions that I was grappling with with my clients. So because I work with clients, I walk life with them and I’m always dealing with can I retire? Should we buy this? Should we do that? How do I navigate this decision? So I just started to think through the problems publicly, mainly for myself, to sharpen my own saw, because I don’t know if you’ve ever taught. One nice thing about teaching, in addition to being a practitioner, is you have to be very organized in your decision making because you’re communicating it. So it forced me to be organized and then I just never stopped and that helped me identify what’s wrong with retirement planning, and there’s a lot wrong with how it’s traditionally done and what is a more logical way, at least for me, of how it should be done that empowers people more to be stewards of their life. And that’s how, and over time, over that nine and a half years, that led me to creating a process we call it agile retirement management, which is taking project management and applying it to retirement planning, and it’s changed my life all for the better.

Colter DeVries: 12:05
That’s like agile processing right or agile production, lean production.

Roger Whitney: 12:10
Yeah, yeah, agile project management is a production project management methodology originally talked about in the 70s that software developed which is essentially the easiest way to describe it is the old way they used to build software and buildings actually was what they called waterfall, which was this huge bloated project where they tried to figure out everything in sequential order before they even started, and that’s what. I’m sure you won’t remember this, but maybe some of your listeners will. That’s when we used to buy Microsoft Office and have to download it onto our computer and we’d have like 20 CD-ROMs and we just have to sit there and keep loading the CD-ROMs. That was done in what would call waterfall. They just built this big bloated piece of software and then, once you got it loaded, there was almost no mechanism for them to update it easily, and so agile came about is initially in the software world, to my recollection, and the best way to describe that is like your iPhone or your Android phone. When you create a product, you ship the essential, minimal, viable product that you wanna get out that solves the initial need, and then you very quickly get feedback from using it and users to fix bugs and add features, and it happens really, really quickly. That’s why we have all these updates on our phone that happen over and over and over again, because they’re responding in real time to problems with the software, but also features that needed to be added, and so that’s. It’s much more agile, and I think that is the way that retire any kind of planning should be done, when it comes to financial planning as well.

Colter DeVries: 13:54
So would you say, the more traditional model then for retirement would be like a Gantt chart where it’s we’re gonna start this project and when we’re four months into it or 14 years into it, we’re gonna reach this point and then we’re gonna move down to project B. That will trigger project B and we’re gonna move into that for five years and that will trigger project C. Is it traditionally kind of a Gantt chart then?

Roger Whitney: 14:22
Well, I think it. Traditionally it’s creating that Gantt chart, which is really cumbersome and time consuming and not very approachable or meaningful for the participant, meaning the person, that whose life. It is right. The Gantt chart never actually gets followed, but this is what a comprehensive retirement or financial plan is. So let’s try to think of everything all at once, which means and I’ve seen these meetings, I probably have hosted a few or two that means you’re going to sit in a meeting for hours, you’re gonna have multiple meetings and it’s just gonna get overwhelming. So you get very disinterested and disengaged very quickly and as soon as you come up with that Gantt chart, as you referenced, or that comprehensive plan, it’s all meaningless because you’re just trying to get through it and then you never actually implemented or look at it again. And that’s the problem, right, is that you never actually look at it and it’s not a living document that’s meaningful for you. So you felt like you went through an exercise, but you don’t know why the heck you went through it and you still don’t have any answers to your questions.

Colter DeVries: 15:29
An exercise in futility.

Roger Whitney: 15:32
Yes, man, a few words, I like it and then couple that with and I think we were gonna talk about this a little bit is, when it comes to retirement planning, the people that are taught to do retirement planning, which is are focused on investment assets as the hub of everything. You know your 401Ks, your liquid assets and even for people that don’t own ranches, your financial assets is what I would call them. That’s my vernacular, is part of a whole, but it’s not the focus. But everybody that does retirement planning are the investment guys, the financial advisors, and that’s what they wanna talk about and that’s only a piece of a much bigger whole right, even for people that don’t own ranches. But when you own a ranch or you own a portfolio of real estate, whether it’s ranch or commercial property or residential property, et cetera you have a you know, for financial advisors anyway, you have a very unusual net worth statement that they don’t know how to navigate because they wanna talk about portfolio management liquid assets that they can move around, based on annual yields and the value of those stocks. Right, which is not the point of planning right. That’s like going to an orthopedic who only wants to do surgery. If you go to an orthopedic surgeon to have a look at your shoulder, he’s not thinking about how to fix your shoulder. He’s thinking now I’m making drastic comments here, but he’s thinking about how do I operate on the shoulder to fix it right, where PT, physical therapy might be appropriate or some other thing? So what lens they use influences everything and I imagine in your world. That’s why a lot of ranchers and I would say also business owners don’t even get what financial planning is or retirement planning is, because everybody they encounter is talking about the markets and doesn’t want to talk about the real estate or cash flow or or debt and all that other stuff.

Colter DeVries: 17:52
Well, what about a generational difference? Because here you are, you’re a Gen Xer. So you’re naturally disgruntled, rebellious, you feel neglected. You guys have something to prove. I don’t know what, what, what. The chip on the shoulder is with you, gen Xers.

Roger Whitney: 18:12
But here you are talking to me. Am I Gen Xer?

Colter DeVries: 18:15
I don’t know what I am? Yeah, you’d be an Xer.

Roger Whitney: 18:18

Colter DeVries: 18:19
Yeah, yep, you’re an X and here I am millennial. And and we we coined unfortunately, I’m not proud of this one bit we coined the term Yolo. You brought up Yolo, but you know, the majority of people are boomers who are retiring with this significant amount of wealth that’s going to transfer to the next generation. Probably one reason for you Xers to be pissed it’s going to bypass you. It’s going to come to us millennials. I forget what 14 trillion or something huge like that. How do you, how do you communicate? Because there are so many generational differences. The, the boomers, were raised in a household where parents made it through World War Two, and some of you Xers were also raised in that household. World War Two, the Great Depression, save, save, save, buy cash, keep, keep, low, low debt. And then you get to the millennials where it’s spend, spend, spend, buy Bitcoin, leverage everything to the to your teeth.

Roger Whitney: 19:31
I want to process this for a second.

Colter DeVries: 19:33
Yeah, please, please, do take your time, because the challenge is that you’re, you’re approaching three different value sets. And now for Z’s, gen Z’s.

Roger Whitney: 19:47
They’re, they’re making a lot of money, they’re killing it and in fact, I think I don’t really accept your premise culture in that these broad generalizations about generations apply to everybody.

Colter DeVries: 20:00
Oh no, everyone fits into one box, Roger.

Roger Whitney: 20:04
It definitely simplifies the world. Right, it definitely simplifies the world. And I don’t even I didn’t know a generation I’m a member of, and this is the problem even with like average returns, nobody gets average. There is no homogeneous group of people. Every, most of the people that work with for me are millennials and they would not fit the stereotype that you would probably describe as a millennial. They’re not the and most of the baby boomers that I work with, because that’s primarily who I serve people over 50, so I guess some Xers, xers and boomers transitioning to retirement they probably aren’t going to fit the box in terms of attitudes. None of them want to leave any money, by the way, just FYI. I rarely encounter anybody that wants to leave money to kids or grandkids. They want to spend it or give it away. So, fyi, don’t count on it.

Colter DeVries: 21:02
Don’t count on this huge transfer coming.

Roger Whitney: 21:05
It may be there because they lack the confidence to go use it to create a great world. So it may be there by default because of that lack of confidence, but that’s generally not the desire. Now. That probably is different in the ranch world in terms of the multi generational ranches Right, and it’s sad. The statistics I know, at least with businesses businesses that are past generational tend to tend not to do very well Statistically.

Colter DeVries: 21:33
So, this is. This is the challenge I have with financial advisors. My own 401 K is that we do get put into a box as a customer and it’s like, well, you’re going to buy and hold you just dollar cost average over time. The market always goes up 6% annualized and this is the best thing for you to do and it’s like, well, I’m actually an individual, my income is drastically different than other millennials, 35 years old with two kids. Yeah, I mean, I probably have 80% of the similarities of my generation to some regards. But I’ve, you know, I don’t want this, this traditional registered investment advisor program, forced upon me like where’s my, where’s my smorgasbord of options? Where’s this custom tailored program for me?

Roger Whitney: 22:30
I think when you hide, when you talk to an advisor, you have to decide what am I trying to accomplish here? What do I want when it comes to wealth, and find somebody that matches what it is you’re trying to solve. For what do I want and what I’m trying to solve is a question that we overlook a lot and I think a lot of it. If you don’t know that, it’s easy to get mismatches, whether it’s an advisor or CPA or an attorney, because you want to find, if you’re going to work with somebody, you want to find somebody that has a process or a way of thinking that matches what you’re trying to solve. Right, I’m not going to go to a muffler guy to replace my engine Because he does mufflers. Just because it has auto on. You know, auto muffler on the title doesn’t mean I’m going to go to him to replace my engine Because he’s a muffler guy. So some of that is knowing exactly what you want, so you can go filter out very quickly all the people that don’t apply.

Colter DeVries: 23:33
So now in your retirement club you have a bunch of peers, you have a mastermind group, a meetup in Fort Worth annual conference, and this is kind of frustrating. It sounds like I have to do more work, finding specialists tailored to different aspects of my financial goals my retirement, my financial independence and early retirement. Retire early that there’s not a one stop shop, you know, I don’t even know where, where to look, to begin looking. What door do I knock on to find these experts?

Roger Whitney: 24:13
I don’t know why it’s frustrating. It’s your life and your money. You should do the work to find the right person. So I’m gonna challenge you on that. That’s part of it, that’s a feature, it’s not a bug. That’s agency, right. So I’m gonna. I’m gonna poke at you a little bit on that one. And if you want a one-stop shop, go to McDonald’s. They’re not gonna make the hamburger the way you want it, right? They’re gonna make their hamburger. So a one-stop shop, by definition, is going to give you their process. You know the. You know the Register investment advisory space is probably the most likely space, at least in the regulated environment, will you? Where you will find the off Market. You know. So, think of it like Baskin Robbins, right? That’s a good, good analogy. Most you know, oh, was it 31 flavors. So you’re gonna have 25 of the flavors are gonna be different versions of Bland McDonald’s, burger King, name your. You know, pick your poison. That’s gonna be like the. The advisory space You’re gonna have 25 of the 31 flavors are gonna be mainly in the main lane. You do have Advisors that are very particular taste. You know the rocky road things that the bland people aren’t gonna have that you know. Maybe Coulter wants the Bitcoin expert. There are registered investor advisory firms that focus on Bitcoin let’s use as an example or crypto it. You just have to find them and that is work. And Well, that’s part of managing money and managing your wealth. You got to do the work to go find people that Want you know that deliver what you want.

Colter DeVries: 26:04
Well, you hit on something. You put it back on on me that I often say you have to be your own best Advocate, you have to be your own agent, always, and I I’m. I’m at a point in my business, in my life, where I like to just outsource everything my lawn mowing, my bookkeeping, my marketing, I mean, if I can outsource it for so to someone else who has the competitive Advantage over me in my opportunity cost of time I’m going to, and that. I don’t agree with that at all. Well, and and now you brought up the Baskin Robbins Analogy in that, yeah, part of the issue is I go to one guy and he’s, he’s selling me the fear of well, you don’t want to run out of money in retirement, you don’t want to go broke before you die, you don’t want to outlive your savings. So let’s get you into an annuity income for life, or have you thought?

Roger Whitney: 27:02
about Advisor. That’s a salesman, but go ahead, yes.

Colter DeVries: 27:07
So then it’s okay, it’s a salesman. How do you know the difference between an advisor?

Roger Whitney: 27:12
We had in at our annual conference for the club, andy Panko and I had a breakout session of how to find a real retirement advisor, because we get asked all the time and we did the prep beforehand and it ended up being we don’t know, and the ones that we know aren’t accepting clients because they’re too busy, and so it was a really frustrating scenario. Or or session, because, in my opinion, most advisors are either unconsciously incompetent they focus on investments that they don’t do real planning or they’re consciously incompetent, or they’re. You know they’re on the progress on the, on the, on the journey towards mastery, but the vast majority are looking to build business Right, so there’s sales and service organizations, not planning organizations. Now, if you’re a real planner, you do have to have some service, you do have to have new clients, but our industry is structured such that it’s all about mainly sales and service, not the actual practice of being a planner, and that puts you as the consumer in a pickle because it’s hard to fair it out and you got to go kiss a bunch of frogs and it’s annoying, I get it, I’m sorry.

Colter DeVries: 28:46
And and it’s not immediately disclosed. They don’t just open the conversation with hey, I’m, I’m, I’m fee based. Today, when we talk about Managing your investments, and some of the advice I’m going to give you is fee based, but when I switch over to selling you long-term care insurance, that’s commission based. They don’t just come out and say Right, they’re wearing two hats and you know and legally, they have to disclose the potential conflicts of interest and how they manage them.

Roger Whitney: 29:12
So, legally there’s a structure there, but it doesn’t happen overtly for you right as a as a consumer and and that’s yeah I. I agree with you 100 percent how difficult it is. It just makes your job more difficult.

Colter DeVries: 29:29
So it seems like the community you have built around rock retirement club in that, that type of peer network, other other real examples, people who are, they’ve navigated this road, they’ve been down the process, same frustrations they can share that experience and and that’s a place to go where Maybe you do have your own agency, you have some Uh, alignment of interest and maybe you have some people who have nothing to to sell you. They’re at this, at this forum in Fort Worth, there’s there’s not going to be Five different Edward Jones people asking you to move your account to them.

Roger Whitney: 30:14
Yeah, so the club came from the podcast and and All of this. I’m pretty and I’m a pretty agile guy, coulter, so I had no plans to create it when we created it. It just sort of kept iterating and here we are. So A couple of reasons why we created the Rock Retirement Club is, I thought, of the consumer, right? The consumer is faced with two basic choices right now, in my mind Either one hire a financial advisor and either pay commissions or pay assets under management fees, which can be very substantial, and you have to be all in with them typically or DIY it yourself and go on the internet and get resources. And I view the internet as just one big sales funnel. Almost all content retirement related or anything is designed to capture your eyeballs, to either sell you something or put ads in front of you. Right, you learn that when you’re on YouTube and you’re looking at buying a new camera, a new bow or something, and you’re watching all the reviews on, you know here’s this latest camera and here’s all the features. They’re doing that so they can show ads to you or get you to buy it through their affiliate link, so that taints that kind of review. You’re not getting an honest review, because they’re not going to say it sucks because they want to, and so that’s how I view the internet. So the choice for individuals hire an advisor and we’ve talked about how difficult that is or go on the internet and try to find the tools and the education of how to do it. But the problem is everybody’s trying to sell you something there and you got the regular trolls and crazy people. So we created the Rock Retirement Club, which has a fee to go into it, where you brought together over a thousand people that are all in similar stage of life. They are very intentional and they are focused on creating a great life, and what we do within the club is we it’s a safe space. We don’t talk politics, we don’t talk religion. We talk about identifying agency and what should I do next? And then we have a masterclass where someone goes through at their own pace to build their own retirement plan, step by step, and I teach them how to do it, I give them the tools to do it, and then we have this community. That’s all following the same process, using the same tools, and within the club, nobody sells anything. It’s not a business acquisition for me. I don’t need any more business. It’s not for any of my faculty. It’s a safe place where you’re going to get world-class education with nobody trying to sell you something, so it’s not tainted by that.

Colter DeVries: 33:12
So where would be a good place to start for? Does it matter whether you’re 35, 45, 55 or 65?

Roger Whitney: 33:23
For what?

Colter DeVries: 33:25
For this retirement getting involved in understanding. So self-advocacy, your own agency saying you know what. This shit is not getting any easier. I keep getting pitched long-term care insurance, income for life annuities and my 401k is about to go down 40%. I’ve asked my financial advisor to readjust my account seven times and he just says dollar cost average over time and you’ll be fine at 6% annual growth. And it’s like no, I need to get a restart. I need to take a fresh look. How do I get? How do I do that?

Roger Whitney: 34:05
So probably the best place to start in my little ecosystem is my podcast, which is the Retirement Answer man. It’s a weekly show and all I think you know. The premise of the show is you don’t have to survive retirement and feel like you’re being acted upon by the outside world is, if you do the work in an organized way, you can lean in and rock retirement. All I do is think about how do I, how do you think about all these things logically? So if you ask me at my core what I do, I’m a decision-making partner and I’m a project manager. I care about logical thinking and it’s so easy not to have that in financial decisions. So it’d be the podcast.

Colter DeVries: 34:48
Okay, the podcast is a good place to start. We have the.

Roger Whitney: 34:50
Rock Retirement Club and we open that about three times a year for new members. But the podcast is a filter for that. We typically don’t talk about the club outside of the podcast, because that’s a good filter, because people listen to me and they’ll say that dude’s an idiot and never listen again. And then the people that how we think about things in our culture will self-select themselves, which makes a really nice tight group that join.

Colter DeVries: 35:20
So I start listening to the podcast and I start taking notes as I’m driving. My wheels are turning in my head. I’ve got ideas, but I need a sound board, I need someone to talk to about these ideas and I have mainly my questions are what are the rich doing for retirement? What do the elite, the wealthy of America, what do they do? Because I hear of things like Peter Thiel. He used his Roth IRA to invest in Facebook, which grew 40,000% from his seed money, and now all of that is going to come out tax free and it’s like well, that’s a pretty good idea. Why didn’t my advisor recommend that to me? Or someone talks about a self-directed IRA and me, being self-employed, I would like to use my IRA to invest in more real estate, which I currently can’t do. So I’m listening, I’m getting ideas. Then where do you go? Are there other peers that you can just call them and be like, hey, here’s what I’m looking at. What’s your experience? Do you have a person who could help facilitate this?

Roger Whitney: 36:32
We have weekly meetups within the club and everybody in the club is 50, 60s. Right, I’m a pokey again, coulter, you ready?

Colter DeVries: 36:43
I’m ready, I can handle it.

Roger Whitney: 36:44
What? Yeah, the examples that you gave is what I call bling, you know bling is right, it’s all shine. It’s all shine. It’s all shine. It’s all tactics and there’s a point to enhance in some fancy way. Right? So I’m looking at you. You look like a chic ranch dude. You got your vest on and your ranch hat on. You look good, right? So you got the basics Right. You got your pants on. Thank God, I hope you do. I can’t quite see. You got your shirt on. You got your vest on. You got your hat on, right. So then, when you got the basics done, now you can think about the bling of planning, right? Just, you know, I don’t know, do you have a bolo tie on or? Do you? you know, whatever it is, you know a rancher dude is going to do to bling up their outfit, which you’re probably not much right, I’m not into bling so much I should incorporate the bolo tie.

Colter DeVries: 37:43
Those are bad ass. That could be your trademark. That could be your go-to.

Roger Whitney: 37:48
But I those things can enhance the journey, but it’s very easy to let those things lead the lead, the lead the discussion. Right, because if we start to go there first and I’m all for enhancing journeys I like that. But most people want to focus there and not on the basics, because the basics aren’t exciting. Right, you put your pants on every day, it’s no big deal. But when we think about wealth and this is something your generation doesn’t get older millennials- that’s the preaching we’re used to. That’s right. No, not for me, baby, not for me is, and actually my generation too. And it started really happening in the 80s, because in the 70s and 80s the 401k plan and IRA schemes really started to blossom and pensions started to go down. And that’s when the financial industry ballooned on a personal one-on-one realm right. And so the Dollar-cost averaging story, the long pie charts that grow and grow and everything else Got marketed. These firms you know all the major firms you can think of and all the Independence have billions of dollars that have preached invest, become a millionaire, invest, invest, invest. Partly because you had to to grow your assets, but other because that give us the more money to invest, give us the more money to invest. And so this, what wealth is, and how you create wealth, has been Perverted. You go traditionally, and how wealth is created? It’s created through your work, right? You Run a ranch, you buy more property over time and then you run the ranch at a larger scale, you build a business or, if you work in a corporate environment, you earn an income and you spend less than you earn, and you take that excess, which is the free cash flow, and reinvested in yourself or reinvested in other things and wealth is created that way Investing traditionally in public assets, bonds and stocks and things like that. The traditional role of those things were to preserve and grow your wealth over time, not to create it. And but that’s all been perverted. Now we talk about, no, it’s all these financial schemes you can do to create wealth and it’s not what it’s meant to do. So it forces us to go down a lot of really bad rabbit holes of strategies that sound great but they’re really stupid and not well thought out and take too much risk, like the Peter Thiel one as an example. Well, it’s predicated on him buying the right stock and it actually working right. That’s what the whole thing is predicated on, and so that’s when that’s. I tend to push against all the bling because it misses the point. Right you call the way Coulter is going to build wealth is number one by creating a man that is really capable at what he does and Constantly growing intellectually and professionally so he can increase it. Use that Capacity to increase his income, whether it’s through the business that he has or the ranch that he’s running, etc. That’s where wealth is created, especially for you young ins, the money part. That’s where all the you know that human capital is what you need to focus on, more than what the latest and greatest strategy is. I put my soapbox away. I’m sorry, man.

Colter DeVries: 41:50
No, I love it. Bring it up, bring it back out, because, yeah, I’m eating this up. You hit on. You hit on several Topics that have been top of mind for me, I think in some of my own private personal discussions, talking about investing plus Lifestyle. So, to two kids a new one two weeks ago, a three-year-old, and you got a growing family. You’re also trying to grow a business, trying to invest, trying to work the tax schemes, the 401k, ira, college savings, and and then it’s like, okay, well, the housing market is difficult. Or housing market is difficult right now. It and I was talking to a friend of mine and actually I will plug him, I don’t think he’ll mind me me saying this but Nick DeCastro, the founder of land trust calm, who has a Hunting platform, outdoor recreation we were talking about I might like to relocate to the Bozeman Montana area, but right now just isn’t a good time. You know excuses, because that real estate market is is super inflated, low amount of listings, high interest rates. You know a lot, all the typical excuses and and I said you know, I think the the answer is just wait. Just just sit on the investments and and the CDs and and Play it safe and wait for that market to crash 40% and he goes, or just make more money.

Roger Whitney: 43:31
Well, that is a lever right in. The younger you are, the the more you should focus on that investment is your capacity to make more money, and it’s hard time Meanwhile. I mean, I’m trying to build a house in Colorado Right now and we already have the land, already have the architecture work done and the builder just came back like a month ago with you know this is what is gonna cost and it was like 50% higher than what we were expecting. Right, and that’s Difficult.

Colter DeVries: 44:02
Yeah, you do it X’s. You guys have been colonizing Colorado.

Roger Whitney: 44:06
I know, I know now you guys are trying the Californians Better, us, the Californians.

Colter DeVries: 44:11
Yeah, you, and now you Texans are trying to colonize Montana too. I know it’s probably really.

Roger Whitney: 44:16
Hey, you have more Californians coming over there there in Wyoming, all the pretty boys with their beautiful, you know show, you know bling ranches.

Colter DeVries: 44:25
Oh, absolutely, that’s yep, you nailed it on the head.

Roger Whitney: 44:28
So then, the other Texans are a little bit more of your culture.

Colter DeVries: 44:32
Well that that that might be a stereotype or a preconceived idea, yeah, so. Yeah, I think the answer is just make more money. If you’re, if you’re Got the pains, if you’re struggling about what you can afford and how long it’s gonna take, the answer is go make more money. And so then, roger, I saw you had a comment, but I got, I got to get this out there. What really go, what really pisses me off, is I would prefer to invest in myself, in my own business, but I go after that carrot being dangled in front of me for the college savings account tax write-off, or write down the 401k tax write-down, the IRA tax write-down, I the HSA tax write-down. I go for all that bullshit and I invest in other people’s companies. I invest in their stocks and not my own stock, and it, vanna, pisses me off. I.

Roger Whitney: 45:35
I can. I understand that, so I can understand that in A great book I’ll plug a book, a great book, around this concept. For anyone that is called so Good, they Can’t Ignore you. It’s by Cal Newport, probably the number one book I recommend to anyone thinking about developing their ability to earn an income and have options, and it talks about building career capital. Part of, I think, what happens, coulter, is we do these. It’s like shopping at the grocery store when you’re hungry but you don’t know what you want to eat. Right Is that? We just randomly walk down the aisles and things catch our eye. Oh, that tax deduction for the 401K, I’ll put that in here. That IRA Johnny’s doing this business deal, I’ll put a little money into that. And we just sort of grab this tapestry that doesn’t make any sense of stuff by individual decisions rather than having an overarching vision of where I want to go and strategy. To get to the tactics and this is just strategic planning, right, it’s very easy to go tactics and never really have a strategy of what do I want? Which wife’s name? Coulter.

Colter DeVries: 47:05

Roger Whitney: 47:06
Krista? Krista, rather than go like at your age and I do this at my age, so it’s not a generational thing is I’ve always tried to make decisions of where do I want to be three to five years from now? Right, I don’t think you have to plan much longer than that. I mean, you want to think longer than that. But for you and Krista, what do we want our life to look like three to five years from now? Where do we want to live? What atmosphere do we want to have around us? Who do we want to be near? What kind of day do I have? This is how I built my business, because I was a, you know, when I started my independent firm in 03, and we had a downtown office. I had local clients and after the podcast and you know my journey there I divested myself from my partnership. I work from my house. I only have clients nationally. I rarely meet in person. I have location and time freedom for the most part. I did that, I had intention to do that and I made decisions to get me to a point where, like I’m going to Mexico to play golf next week, you know, I go to Colorado for five weeks a year until we build our house there. But I did that because I was thinking three to five years ahead. So all these little decisions, but you have to have a vision so you can create the strategy. That way you can say oh, that’s BS, I don’t need to focus on that. No, that doesn’t work for me right now because it doesn’t align with where Krista and I want to go. And that’s, I think, the problem with not just you or me, but everybody is it’s not organized enough, so we end up just throwing stuff in the cart not just you, me too, baby, I’m the same way.

Colter DeVries: 48:59
Yeah, well, that makes you bring up a good point. So we did three years ago we did a family mission, vision and value statement, as you would for a startup, a new business, where and I’ve got one on my wall here for the business where you have your mission, you have your five core values. Yeah, core beliefs and values, like you’re showing there. We have our five points of vision. Culture is another one what kind of culture are you creating? And then five points of strategy. And we did that three years ago, probably before our first child, which our income was drastically different three years ago, pre-2020, the market, the price of assets, cost of living all that’s drastically different today, second child. So I guess it’d probably be best if we sat down and revisited that mission, vision and value board.

Roger Whitney: 50:00
Well, I think, I think I was actually literally thinking about this before we got out, I don’t know why, because I saw this. I have an older version. I think I have another older version, I think this one’s different. No, it’s the same one, but I have like three or four different versions of this for the business, and I think that’s the point. Right is, and this is, we’ll go back to agile and I think of this with the retirement planning or financial planning or business managing. The business is. All of this is written in pencil and it’s a framework to constantly make little decisions, right? So my old joke used to be that, yeah, I talked to somebody and I’d say you know what the key to a great marriage is? You know what that is called, walter?

Colter DeVries: 50:50
I do not at this point. I’m sorry, roger.

Roger Whitney: 50:54
Yeah, it’s half joking, right. My key to a good marriage is I’ve been married 33 years and is never to have a big conversation with my spouse. If I can avoid having a big conversation, I’m probably doing okay right, because I didn’t let anything fester.

Colter DeVries: 51:14
Right, lots of little conversations.

Roger Whitney: 51:17
You walk in the room and you see the face and you’re like, oh boy, this is going to be a big one. Or you have something uncomfortable that you need to talk about. And the way that I’ve learned I’m not perfect, but the way that I’ve learned is the way you don’t have big conversations, say with you and Krista is you continue to walk hand in hand. Because if you don’t have little conversations, sometimes uncomfortable conversations what will happen is that you’re walking together, you just start to walk this way and not even realize it, and then one of you will wake up, there’ll be a pressure point. You’ll look across and you’re like you know yards away and you’re like, holy crap, I don’t know who you are anymore. Right, and that is true with planning. So, like I would argue, you know and I’m amazed that you’ve done that, because most people don’t do that for the business, much less their personal life. I have my top core values, for my personal life too is this is something you should have regular meetings and not have to go through some deep thing. But where are we at? And that great time to do it? Let’s say you do it twice a year. You update your net worth statement, which is my favorite document. You update your cash flow statement, which is another great document, and you sit down and you figure out the direction, say, for the next three months, the next six months. What’s one thing we can do right now to move us towards where we say we want to go Pick one or two things and say, okay, let’s just do this one thing over the next three months, and that helps filter out all the BS that we get presented all the times. And then when you get presented with a investment opportunity, I’m I have a meeting today With a potential partnership with someone and I’m really excited about it. They’re a great person. I can see lots of matches, but I can see some issues and I have to filter through. Does this fit? Does this fit this, even though I like everybody and it could be fun, but does it fit my mission? That helps you filter through it to guard you against yourself? Right, and I think financial decisions are the same way.

Colter DeVries: 53:33
That has I can attest to a new marriage, a growing family, changing income dynamics over the last three years that we often have to say, well, we got to go look at the board. We got to go look at the mission, vision and values board and see how this option or this opportunity fits within our goals when it works well.

Roger Whitney: 53:58
That’s how it works right.

Colter DeVries: 54:00
Which, yeah, I guess you know. Now that you point that out, I can say that the 401k and the what I call bullshit tax schemes they did fit in the last three years because my income, my business, were at a risky point. You know, real estate is always risky, starting a new business is always risky, and so to bring in that type of stability well, at least you got the 401k so you won’t be destitute when you’re 65. You know that type of basically conservative and structure. I think that was good over the last three years. It fit. We brought in that stability, that balance. But now it’s like I think we need to revisit the board or you know, you said it was written in pencil. It’s time to use the eraser on some things.

Roger Whitney: 54:50
I have private real estate investments. I deal with a lot of people that are business owners or substantial real estate investors and owners. I would argue a little bit on financial assets 401k, et cetera. They don’t have to be conservative. It’s just the difference in structure. But it’s a different asset. Is the default generally with somebody in real estate? Is more real estate, like we’ve talked about right? For me, as an entrepreneur who runs a couple of businesses, my default is investing in my business. Right, I have a, I’m comfortable with it. I’m betting on myself, it’s a write-off, so I’m really that’s my default is to invest in my business and not take money to a 401k or to some other investment. And that is good to a point, I think, because there’s a false sense of efficacy and competence there and we tend to discount all the things that could go wrong. Right, and because it’s just our natural domain and we feel like we have control and we all have a lot less control than we actually do over everything, right, and so I think actually a 401k where you’re maxing out for you and Krista and it’s invested in equities that you never look at is a really good compliment to all of the other things. One is a good discipline, so you don’t get over your skis. I used to have a oil and gas client a long time ago and everything that we managed on his behalf he called it is don’t go broke money, because he knew he was a deal junkie. Right, and real estate is an amazing investment, but it’s not the only investment and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. They tend to go wrong quickly, right, whether it you know, it tends not to reveal itself because it’s not priced to market, like stocks are day to day and you’re not thinking about the economy and everything else they tend to. You don’t find out until the end, or when you have to refi if you’re using debt for it. That’s when you start to reveal it. So when they go wrong, they can go really wrong. They’re much more binary and illiquid and there’s a great and that’s a great investment vehicle, but it’s not everything and we tend to think it is just like my business and investing my business. It feels much safer, but it’s not.

Colter DeVries: 57:40
Yeah, there’s that bias, as you mentioned.

Roger Whitney: 57:42
Yeah, yeah.

Colter DeVries: 57:44
Roger, this has been wonderful. I appreciate. I appreciate this, for for my own personal benefit and that’s that’s part of the reason why I do the podcast is I bring on people that I want to glean from personally and then I just drop it and share it with anyone out there I.

Roger Whitney: 58:03
that’s how I’ve done my podcast for years. I had no clue I’m coming on a ranch investors podcast. I was like, okay, I don’t know what I’m going to talk about, but we’ll have fun.

Colter DeVries: 58:11
Yeah, and so for our listeners, ranch investors, that are interested to hear more you mentioned so good, they can’t ignore you as a book. We will put that in the show notes. So you’re, you’re club, you’re meetup in Fort Worth and your podcast. Tell us one more time about those.

Roger Whitney: 58:35
Yeah, the retirement answer man podcast is the best way to listen to me more. It’s a weekly podcast we’ve done for nine and a half years and all I do is noodle in an organized way of how do we take baby steps to create a great life or rock retirement. So that’s the best place to connect with me. My website is Roger Whitneycom, which is where the podcast lives. Those are the two places.

Colter DeVries: 59:04
Okay. Well, if anyone has any questions, how can they reach out to you, and is it directly through the website or social media?

Roger Whitney: 59:13
Yeah, there’s a, there’s a. I don’t do much if any social media. That’s the best place at the website. There’s a place to ask a question and we we answer a ton of questions on the show.

Colter DeVries: 59:23
Well, thanks for coming on the ranch investor podcast, Roger.

Roger Whitney: 59:27
I enjoyed hanging out with you, jenna uh Xers.

Colter DeVries: 59:30
Yeah, and if you, uh, if you and your Texan buddies make it up to Montana on your conquest of other states, be sure to be sure to reach out. Give me a call.

Roger Whitney: 59:43
All right, colter, I appreciate it, I enjoyed it.

Colter DeVries: 59:46
Thanks, Roger.

Ranch Investor: 59:47
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Rock Retirement Club and Wealth Strategies
Creating Wealth Through Work and Investing
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Website and Social Media for Whitney