Color of Money: Dreaming of retirement? Don't forget to plan.

Michelle Singletary on

"If you're like a lot of the people I've coached over the years, the very word retirement might give you the same shivers you'd get from watching a Stephen King movie," Hogan writes. "That fear might get your attention for a moment. And while fear can be a wake-up call, it is also a negative emotion. Fear doesn't create energy, and it doesn't really cause lasting change."

So what causes enduring change?

A retirement dream with a plan, Hogan says.

He says to ask yourself: "What is that one dream you have for your future? That one thing that would make you wake up every day and think, I get to do this?"

I'd like to travel for months at a time. And when I'm not on the road, I want to continue working in the financial literacy field, volunteering at my church and in prisons. But to make my dream come true, I can't be worried about money. My house has to be paid off. I need financial security to free me up to serve.

Here's the thing. A secure retirement isn't accidental.

"People generally don't enter retirement with no savings because their plan didn't work; they retire broke because they didn't have a plan in the first place," Hogan writes.

Here are Hogan's five fundamentals of an inspired retirement.

-- You've got to dream. "Dreaming is an action."

-- You've got to have a plan. "Let the plan be your GPS to get you to your retirement dreams."


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