This quote from Chris Hogan’s new book Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number made me chuckle. As the mother of two young daughters I can totally relate to delusional thoughts about fairies as I have been waiting for the cleaning fairy to stop by for years.
But in reality the current state of retirement planning is not very funny at all. And as the book pointed out, it is actually quite alarming. Here are some interesting statistics for you to ponder:
- 60% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for their retirement.
- The average Social Security benefit is $1194 a month.
- Among people ages fifty-five to sixty-four, the average household retirement savings is only $12,000. **
Many Americans are extremely unprepared for their retirement years, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have the retirement that you dream about, but the government won’t be funding it and a fairy won’t be delivering it.
It is only possible if YOU make it happen, but it will take hard work and preparation.
5 Steps to Start your Retirement Planning
1. Allow yourself to dream about retirement.
This is the fun step, so allow yourself to dream about what you want your retirement to look like. Those years might seem so far off, but the reality is, the sooner you start planning for it, the less likely you’ll be relying on your below poverty level pittance from Social Security. Do you want to travel? Do you want to spend time on your hobbies? Will you be relocating? What are YOUR dreams?
My husband and I envision ourselves traveling in an RV during our retirement. That is the one dream that we have talked about at great length, so how can WE make that happen?!
2. Determine YOUR number.
Retirement isn’t an age, it’s a financial number.
How much money will you need to live your dream retirement? It’s not easy to answer, but Chris Hogan has developed an assessment tool, Retire Inspired Quotient (R:IQ), to help you determine that number. To use the tool, you will need to enter how much you already have saved, how long you have until retirement, and how much income you think you will need to fund your retirement. In return, the tool will determine how much total money you will need to retire, and how much you need to save each month between now and retirement.
3. Become the CEO of YOUR Retirement
Starting today, take charge of your finances. You must become meticulous with your money. People will spend hours planning a one week’s vacation, but fail to put in time to plan their retirement years that could last decades.
I designated myself our Family Office Manager after the birth of our first child. It was my way to contribute to our finances while I was staying at home with her. Even now that our daughters are in school full-time and I’m working outside the home, I still consider myself the FOM and it’s a job I take seriously, and you should too.
4. Get Your Financial House in Order
This is a big step, and it can be overwhelming, but it must be done. BEFORE you invest in your retirement, you must follow Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps that he outlines in the forward of this book to pay off your non-mortgage debts and establish a fully funded emergency savings.
Currently, we are snowballing our non-mortgage debts, otherwise known as Baby Step 2. We hope to be done by the end of 2016.
5. Read Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number by Chris Hogan
Chris Hogan is a financial coach, retirement expert, and a Ramsey Personality. Often retirement planning books come across as dry, complicated, and stuffy, but Chris Hogan’s book is very relatable, easy to understand, and quite motivating to get your retirement plan in place. It is a book for all ages and Chris reminds us that retirement is not the END, but the beginning. He will encourage you to dream about this next chapter in your life, and to take it very seriously. And most importantly, he will educate you on budgeting, investing concepts and strategies, building your dream team of experts, and planning ahead for retirement.
Our Retirement Planning Status:
At 54 & 46, my husband and I have become a bit unnerved at the proximity of our retirement years. After years of building our business and having our family, we are starting to dream about what our future years will look like. While we were quite active with retirement contributions prior to following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps, we have temporarily stopped the contributions in order to pay off our non-mortgage debts. Therefore, 2016 is a very important for us. We MUST pay off this debt, so we can move forward and start contributing to our retirement accounts again…and PLAN for that RV.
There is no retirement fairy…nor a lottery fairy…so make 2016 the year that you start planning for your next chapter and #RetireInspired.
What’s your retirement story? Have you started dreaming? And have you started planning? Let us know in the comments.
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This is a sponsored post by Chris Hogan and Retire Inspired. All opinions are my own & I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy.
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