Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a budgeting queen! I can show you my original budget from our first year of marriage – 1988. In fact, I could show you budgets for every year since then. I have flowcharts, itemized expenses, lists of goals, and more! It’s a really thick file folder. I love to crunch those numbers, break life into short, medium, and long-term goals, and shoot high for saving and giving. But somehow the long-term goal of retirement remained a mystery to me. Sure, we saved money. We even had a financial planner. However, I had no concrete idea of a timetable for retirement. How much money we could really expect to have at that time and much of the terminology was like Greek to me. I know, given my love of figures with a dollar sign behind them, this admission will surprise many of you.
Thankfully, I was recently given the opportunity to be a part of the launch team for Chris Hogan’s new book “Retire Inspired”. Released just 4 weeks ago, it’s already a number 1 best seller, and for good reasons! Chris stresses that “retirement is not an old people thing, it’s a smart people thing!” He makes this whole “investment strategy” thing understandable to us “Non-CPA” folks. Not only that, he will add fuel to your fire of living within your means, saving for the future, and having a dream for retirement that is attainable. He assures us that one thing is certain, “If you are going to have a real dream, you need a real plan.”
People often approach retirement in the same manner they approach budgeting… they ignore it and hope that somehow it will just “work out.” Really! Only about one third of Americans live on a written budget and less than 40 percent have saved even $25,000 toward their own retirement. Chris Hogan’s “Retire Inspired” takes the mystery out of saving for retirement and puts you on a whole new path to freedom. Chris Hogan breaks down saving for retirement into understandable, bite-sized pieces that make sense.
To me, the most exciting part of the book was Chapter 8, entitled, “Use the Time You’ve Got: Retirement by the Decade”. Chris compares each decade of life to innings in a baseball game. He then gives you a plethora of ideas for investing. Are you in your 20s? Great! You are in the first or second inning. You’ve got time on your side. Get started, live within your means, invest regularly and you’ll be a millionaire before you know it! In your 40’s? You’ve still got time to “get in the game” and score some financial runs. Even in your 50’s, Chris assures that it is not too late to make strides toward retiring with resources.
The whole concept of approaching retirement not as an age, but as a number is a unique part of this new book. Chris gives you an on-line tool for matching your dreams for retirement to your age, the amount you already have saved, and the number of years you have until retirement. The magic of compound interest (and saving regularly) then reveal how much money you should have in your retirement nest egg by the date you wish to retire.
Chris Hogan’s book helped me to see retirement as an extension of the goals and plans that I had already made! The principals of good money management are transferrable to the retirement stage of life. Invest early. Invest regularly. Invest in what you understand. Invest for the long haul. Have a plan. Keep your eye on the prize. Don’t get weary in well-doing.
Get the book! Read it! Use it! Live well and live with a dream.