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

Michelle Singletary on

-- You've got to execute your plan. "It involves investing, budgeting, avoiding debt."

-- You have to commit to the plan. "Commitment means embracing the sacrifices necessary to get you to your dream."

-- You've got to be vigilant. "Vigilance means knowing that 'stupid' is always lurking around the corner. It is the admission that someone is always trying to sell you something you really don't need. It is watching out for people trying to get you to invest in a risky, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will most likely leave you broke and embarrassed."

You also have to watch out for the happy dance in retirement. Hogan tells the story of one couple who decided to upgrade to a bigger home. With the move came more expenses they hadn't planned for.

The couple had to go back to work. They had to "un-retire," Hogan said. "So at a time when they should've been simplifying life, they actually complicated everything with one bad financial decision."

Here are three of my favorite quotes from the book:

-- "Debt is a thief."

-- "The word deserve puts you on the fast track to stupid."

-- "Taking personal responsibility for your own retirement is the first step toward success."

Fear can be a powerful motivator. But frighten people too bad and they give up. They see their retirement number as unattainable.

Hogan doesn't ignore the scary statistics. He just turns them around to inspire people to work toward the best retirement they can afford.

I'm hosting an online discussion about "Retire Inspired" at noon Eastern time on Oct. 19 at Hogan will join me to take your retirement questions.


Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook ( Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group



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