4 Easy Ways to Visualize Your Retirement Goals

4 Easy Ways to Visualize Your Retirement Goals

By Chris Hogan of the Dave Ramsey Team It’s a great time to take a look at your retirement goals. How much money did you put away last year? Are you on track? What do you want to do moving forward? Those new goals are your road map for 2016. Once you’ve got your retirement goals for the year, what’s next? You need to do something with them. Otherwise they’ll collect dust in the back of your mind. Keeping your short-term and long-term goals in front of you is critical, especially when it comes to retirement planning. Because planning and saving for retirement is a marathon, not a sprint. You need reminders of the end result. That’s why you should visualize your goals. What Is Visualization, Really? Now, when I talk about visualizing your goals and dreams, it can mean different things to different people. Here’s a simple definition: visualization is creating a mental image of a future event. Athletes do this all the time. They picture themselves catching a football, breaking a record, hitting the ball on the sweet spot of the bat. That same technique can help you keep working toward your goals. There are lots of ways to keep a mental picture of your dream retirement. Here are a few ideas. 1. Create a vision board. Get a poster board or bulletin board. Put it in a place where you can see it every day. On that board, put pictures, words, symbols, quotes and other reminders of your goal. For example, if you want to open a small business, post pictures of the products you want to sell or the work you want...
What’s Your Excuse? Reasons People Don’t Plan for Retirement

What’s Your Excuse? Reasons People Don’t Plan for Retirement

By Chris Hogan of the Dave Ramsey Team As a part of my Retire Inspired event, I hand out sticky notes to the people in the audience. Then I tell everyone to write down the excuses they’ve made for not taking retirement seriously. At the end of the session, I tell folks to leave their excuses at the door—literally. They cover the doors with their sticky notes as they leave. I keep those notes and read them when I can. From one side of the country to the other, people list similar reasons for their lack of focus and planning for their retirement years. Maybe yours is among some of the most common: I Want to Play Now Of course you’ve heard this excuse before. You probably said it when you were a kid! Who wants to do grown-up stuff like chores and homework when there’s so much more fun stuff to do? Guess what? You’re a grown-up! That means you get to do grown-up things, like planning for the future. If you don’t take retirement seriously now, you won’t be able to play when you get older. You’ll be working! Keeping Up With the Joneses  Welcome to America, where everybody looks wealthy, but over half of the people are just one paycheck away from financial disaster. That’s because most people are spending money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need (or even want!) to impress people they don’t know. If you need stuff to wow your circle of friends, get new friends. And tell the Joneses to shove off. Time People say they don’t have enough time to dream, plan or save for...
Why You Need to Invest 15% of Your Income For Retirement

Why You Need to Invest 15% of Your Income For Retirement

By Chris Hogan If you’ve been to one of my live events or listened to an interview, you’ve heard me tell people that they need to invest 15% of their gross income to build wealth for retirement. So why is 15% the rule of thumb? Why not more? Or less? There are a couple of reasons. They’re called your mortgage and your kids. Most people want to invest for the future, but they feel overwhelmed in the face of more pressing needs in the present. Chances are, you want to save up and buy a home. And at some point, a majority of Americans have kids. Kids mean college funds. Investing 15% of your gross income leaves you enough wiggle room to pay off your mortgage and save for your kids’ education at the same time. How you invest that money depends on whether or not your employer offers a savings plan and a company match. Some companies match your contribution (to a point) when you put money into a retirement account. If you have the opportunity to participate in a match benefit, take it! That’s free money! Investing With Roth 401(k) If your company offers a Roth 401(k) option, you could invest your whole 15% there and not have to worry about investing elsewhere. With a Roth 401(k), you contribute after-tax dollars, so your money grows tax-free! You may get a match on top of your contribution, too. Talk about making saving for retirement super easy! Take it one step further by signing up for automatic withdrawal. This takes the money straight from your paycheck to your retirement fund. You won’t even see it. This keeps you from...
Answers to 3 Common Retirement Questions

Answers to 3 Common Retirement Questions

By Chris Hogan People ask me retirement questions all the time. They catch me at events, comment on my social media feeds, and stop me in the hallways. You might have questions, too. Here are a few I hear often: Why should I pay an advisor a commission when I can invest in the same things on my own for free? That’s a great question! If you chose the same investments as an advisor, and if you kept the investments for the same length of time an advisor would, you could match the advisor’s returns and save on the commission. But those are two big assumptions! What are the chances you’d pick the exact same investments? And when you go it alone, you’re more likely to make decisions based on emotion—like bailing out when the market dips. Those two assumptions could cost you a lot of money. DALBAR, an investor behavior research group, found that solo investors earn 4.6% less in the long term than stocks in the S&P 500. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but over 30 years, that 4.6% means the difference between $1.1 million at retirement and $525,000 at retirement (hello, compound interest). If I were you, I’d pay the commission up front and earn myself an extra $500,000! What if I’m behind where I need to be for my age group? Should I take even more risk? Should I give up hope and plan on working for the rest of my life? Don’t give up! Don’t ever, ever, ever give up! It’s never too late to buckle down and get serious about retirement....