BTU #307 - How to prepare for retirement (Chris Hogan)

We live in a microwave culture. We want to fix things in one zap. We want an easy button. 
— Chris Hogan

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Why Listen:

In the 300+ interviews I’ve completed with military veterans about their civilian career, one of the most often cited pieces of advice is to understand your finances. Many guests have talked about how your financial situation can provide you with more time to find your ideal career, and avoid the stress that comes with a career transition. Chris Hogan is one of the world’s foremost experts on personal finances, retirement planning and more. It’s an honor to have him on the show, and I guarantee you’ll walk away from this episode inspired and with tactics you can put to use today.

About Chris:

Chris Hogan is a best-selling author, a personal finance expert, and America’s leading voice on retirement, investing, and building wealth. His goal is to help as many people as possible avoid financial traps and set their families up for the future.

His book Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number is a number one national best seller, and The Chris Hogan Show has millions of downloads. Chris is also a regular contributor to the EntreLeadership Podcast, a top podcast on business and leadership.

Along with speaking at events across the country, Chris works with business leaders, professional athletes, and entertainers to help them set goals and navigate their financial futures.

Our Sponsor: 

  • StoryBox- People trust each other more than advertising. StoryBox provides the tools and supports businesses need to take the best things customers say about them, and use them to drive more sales and referrals. StoryBox offers a 10% discount to companies employing veterans of the US Armed Forces.

  • Audible is offering one FREE audio book to Beyond the Uniform listeners. You can claim this offer here, and see a list of books recommended by my guests at

Selected Resources: 

Transcript & Time Stamps:


Joining me today from Franklin, TN is Chris Hogan. Where did your passion for helping the military community come from?

My grandfather was in the Army for many years so I’ve always had a real understanding of what a hero looks like. A hero stands for something - they help people, they protect people. That’s our nation’s military. So my heart goes out to the men and women of our military. 


Can you speak about your work with military members?

I’ve worked with many members of the military and I’ve enjoyed each of those opportunities. Most recently I did a joint civilian’s outreach conference where I spent 10 days working with members of all five military branches. I had the opportunity to really learn more about what our military members do on a daily basis. Getting the chance to hear more of their stories was really encouraging for me. 

Military members have a mindset of discipline and goal orientation. So for me, it’s just about getting the right tools in their hands. 

A lot of times we can feel limited or trapped financially. I believe that we don't have to be the sum total of those mistakes. You can choose a different future by learning and growing. Take the steps today to move in the direction that you want to go. 

I’m a coach at heart. I know people can feel discouraged by their finances. But I help people take one step forward and learn to do things a little bit better. 

People can suffer from analysis paralysis. We live in a microwave culture. We want to fix things in one zap. We want an easy button. I’ve worked with lottery winners and athletes that are handed a lot of money but end up with nothing because they don't have the tools to manage that money. 

If you have debt, I want you to take the time to write down all of your debt and order them from smallest to biggest. We teach something called a ‘debt snowball’. Getting out of debt is not about math, it’s about momentum. Make minimum payments on all your debt except the smallest one. Suddenly, that debt is going to shrink a little bit. Putting a red line through that debt is taking a stand for yourself. Once you start doing that, you’re going to build momentum that is going to help you pay off your debt even faster. 

I know military members understand the concept of readiness. The debt snowball is a tactical concept people can apply to improve their financial readiness. 


Can you talk about Financial Peace University?

Financial Peace University has helped over 5 million people get out of debt and build wealth. It’s a membership where you will learn the skills necessary to budget, get out of debt, and invest. We do it in a way that is very interactive. It’s an opportunity for people to take control of their own financial literacy. It’s a course that has changed my life. 

We’ve also made a push to get into more high schools across the country. We believe the financial literacy is  a life skill. 


What is the ‘retire inspired quotient’?

In an athletic competition, you need to be aware of how the game is going. That impacts your strategy and effort. As a financial coach, I see so many people that have no idea where they stand financially.

The ‘retire inspired quotient’ helps people understand what they will need to live the life the want when they retire. 

In order to find out your retire inspired quotient, you need to know how much money you will need to live in retirement. You also need to figure in how much you have saved and when you plan on retiring. Retirement is not an age. It’s about putting enough money away to provide stability for your family. You need to have a plan and know what steps you need to take to get there. 

A lot of people think Social Security is going to save the day for them. But for the typical person, Social Security will pay out about $17,000 a year. That’s not going to be enough for you to live on.

Our society wants people to look at debt as a friend. But debt demands from you constantly. You need to get out of debt and stay out of debt. 

I've been a part of Ramsey Solutions for 14 years. Over time, I’ve seen more and more people want to take control of their finances. That’s encouraging for me. 


Can you talk about the Roth TSP?

Whenever you hear the Roth, I want you to get excited. A Roth account allows you to have your money grow tax-free. If you have money in a Roth 401(k), that money is in a great spot. 

If you have a traditional TSP, you’re going to pay taxes when you take the money out. 


Are there any other financial tools you recommend?

There’s a net worth calculator on my website that helps people plan financially for the future. I also recommend The Chris Hogan Show. On that show, I take questions from viewers on all kinds of financial topics. 

Know what your dreams are for the future and be absolutely clear of where you are financially. And finally, be ready to take immediate action that will allow you to reach those dreams. 

You will come across naysayers - they’ll question why you’re wanting to get out of debt and encourage you to spend more. So you need to surround yourself with people that will encourage you and support you as you strive to reach your financial goals. 


Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Where you are financially now is not where you need to end up. You have an opportunity to write your own story. You can do this. Start making the right daily decisions and good things will happen for you.