If you’ve been ignoring retirement saving, Chris Hogan has a few words for you: He starts with “budget,” sails on to “stay out of debt” and ends with “invest.”
In between, he might implore you to avoid appearing “fake rich” with a variety of savings-sapping upscale toys such as expensive cars you really can’t afford.
Hogan, 44, is returning to Kentucky to promote his book Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number (Ramsey Press, $24.99).
A native of Versalles, Hogan played football at Woodford County High School and Georgetown College. He has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown and a master’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania. He is a personality with the organization of Dave Ramsey, the Tennessee-based financial guru and radio personality.
Hogan learned about debt when he began his post-graduate school career as a lender and bill collector. Given his football player’s frame and his deep voice, he was successful, but it disturbed him to see people living paycheck to paycheck.
As a financial coach and motivational speaker, Hogan finds that “we are so focused on consuming, we don’t understand the significance of savings, which can give you peace in areas you didn’t know were stressed.”
He tells people to get out of debt and establish an emergency fund, which are Ramsey standards.
Establishing a budget should be simple, Hogan said in a telephone interview: “All we’re doing when we’re budgeting is making your money word hard for you. We’ve all been there; we’ve all run out of money by the end of the month.”
Hogan suggests that people not rely on Social Security or pensions, which are uncertainties in the current job benefits landscape, to finance their retirements. The same goes for expected inheritances from family members who have done a good job managing their assets.
“If you get an inheritance, that’s great,” Hogan said. “But the last thing you can do is count on it. That’s the same thing with Social Security. What I don’t want to do is put my financial future in the hands of a government that’s proved time and time again that it can’t count.”
Hogan’s book takes a decade-by-decade approach to retirement: what you should be doing, and the stumbles that you might make.
Those in their 20s need to understand that even a little bit invested at this point starts the engine on the power of compound interest — the financial snowball created by the interest paid on interest already earned: “People in their 20s, if they can just take a few steps in that direction, can take advantage of compound interest.”
But the retirement saving and investment stumbles are particularly troubling in your 40s, Hogan said, when people who have worked hard for two decades fall prey to the consumer siren song of “I deserve it” when it comes to luxury goods.
“That ‘I deserve it’ mentality can not only derail you from your plan; it can lead you in a whole other direction,” Hogan said.
Hogan is seeing too many people in their 50s with no retirement plans, and that can be disastrous if not immediately remedied, he said. “I want them to understand that it isn’t too late, that they still have an opportunity to take one step forward.”
He cites the example of a woman in Denver who was concerned about her lack of retirement resources. However, she had a paid-off house, the sale of which could be an asset to finance her retirement.
Hogan recalls the woman’s expression when she realized that, with her children grown, she was living in a potentially huge retirement asset: “She looked at me like I had literally just invented fire.”
The question Hogan said he hears most often is: “Is it too late for me?”
“It’s never too late for improvement, to budget or take a second job” and devote more money to a retirement nest egg, Hogan said.
Some people tell themselves that they’ll never retire, but Hogan said that’s unlikely: “I love what I do, but at some point my body may not let me, my mind may not let me. The only way I gain that option (retirement) is by working the plan.”
If you go
Chris Hogan’s Retire Inspired events
When: 6:30 p.m. May 19
Where: Southeast Christian Church Indiana Campus, 1309 Charlestown New Albany Rd., Jeffersonville, Ind.
When: 6 p.m. May 20
Where: Barnes & Noble Hamburg, 1932 Pavilion Way, Lexington