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How to Be Ready for Retirement Without Losing Sleep

By Chris Hogan

4 Minute ReadTopic: retirement

It’s almost time for football season.

Across the U.S., millions of people have already circled the date on the calendar when their favorite team plays its first game. And you can bet that those teams have been hard at work to get ready for the season. Coaches have been looking at film, breaking down plays and creating schemes. Players have hit the weight room, practiced on the field, and studied their playbooks. And when the season begins, you quickly learn which teams were ready . . . and which ones weren’t.

When it comes to retirement, you can tell which people are planning and preparing and which ones are not by how anxious they are and how much sleep they’re losing.

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Numbers Don’t Lie

In 2016, Ramsey Solutions commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 adults to see how they’re doing with their retirement planning and saving. The survey also focused on how thinking about retirement affects Americans’ stress levels and sleep patterns. And the results aren’t surprising: 56% of Americans lose sleep thinking about retirement. And the top emotion those sleep-deprived Americans feel? Anxiety.

"56% of Americans lose sleep thinking about retirement." @ChrisHogan360

What might be surprising is that 61% of people who are actively saving for retirement are still losing sleep over it, compared to 49% of non-savers. Why are so many people counting sheep at night even though they’re saving for the future? Because saving money alone doesn’t take away the stress associated with retirement. But something else does. One action moves people from anxiety to confidence.

Going on Autopilot Won’t Get You There

The research study showed that when people have a plan for retirement, their confidence rises. In fact, 63% of confident retirement savers say they spend time working on their retirement plan. Confident savers are most likely to have a specific retirement goal, and 73% of them know what steps they need to take to reach it. Those who think about retirement-related topics about once a week report the highest level of confidence. Having a plan matters.

"When people have a plan for retirement, their confidence rises. Having a plan matters." @ChrisHogan360

When a Plan Comes Together

If you want to exchange anxiety for confidence, you need to make your own plan for retirement savings. Think about what retirement looks like for you. What do you want to do? Travel? Visit grandkids? Open a small business? Give to charities? Once you know your dream, look at how much you’ve already saved. When you know where you are and where you want to be, you can begin to close the gap.

Chances are, you’ll need to make some sacrifices to get there. Take a second job for a while. Cut the cable line. Opt for a staycation. You can’t keep doing what you’ve always done and expect to feel better about your retirement savings.

The numbers tell the tale—ignoring the future will rob you of sleep today. But with a plan and some hard work, you can sleep with confidence.

"Ignoring the future will rob you of sleep today." @ChrisHogan360

For more information about retirement, sleep and anxiety, check out the full report at daveramsey.com/research.

A popular and dynamic speaker on the topics of personal finance, retirement and leadership, Chris Hogan helps people across the country develop successful strategies to manage their money, both in their personal lives and businesses. His new book, Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age. It’s a Financial Number, released in January 2016 and is a #1 national best-seller. Chris Hogan has also created the R:IQ (Retire Inspired Quotient) to help people figure out how much they need to save for retirement and create a plan that works. You can follow Chris on Twitter at @ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com.

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