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Making Healthy Financial Choices for Life (Part 1 of 2)

Air Date 08/10/2017

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Chris Hogan, author of the national best-selling book Retire Inspired, offers practical advice for taking control of your finances by making wise short- and long-term plans with your money. Topics include establishing a budget, eliminating debt, planning for retirement, and more. (Part 1 of 2) 

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Episode Transcript



Chris Hogan: We all have dreams inside of us. We all have things we want to accomplish. We all feel that tug where the Lord is calling us to do certain things. And I think the more we take control of our money it gives us the opportunity to be able to go do those things sooner.

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, you’re gonna be hearing more from Chris Hogan about taking control of your finances, particularly with regard to retirement, on today’s “Focus on the Family.” Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Hey, John, the Bible talks a lot about this issue of finances and then we’re all smiling, ‘cause it’s true right there in Luke. [In] Luke 16, we’re reminded, “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” And I think there are so many Bible verses, especially when you look at the issue of marriage. I bet many of you money is an issue for your marriage. It’s become a wedge. It’s a point of contention.

I know that the top two or three things that we hear from married couples that are causing them strife, it’s this issue of not being able to budget, spending more than they take in and debt eventually. That’s the big issue and the crushing blow that that is to a marriage.

Well, guess what? We’re here for you today and this is one of the reasons Focus on the Family exists, is to provide you tools and resources, introduce you to great thinkers on this subject and we have one of the best thinkers and writers in the area of budgeting that we could find.

John: And that’s Chris Hogan. As I said, he’s a very popular speaker about personal finance and retirement and leadership. And he works with the Dave Ramsey team in Nashville, Tennessee. 


Jim: Chris, welcome to Focus.

Chris: Well, thank you all. It’s a pleasure to be with you.

Jim: You know, we were talkin’ before we went to air here and you mentioned your background, which I think people would find interesting. You were a collector way back when--

Chris: Yes, sir, I was.

Jim: --and what you learned in that role. Describe that when you would pound on a door, askin’ for the money that was owed.

Chris: Yeah.

Jim: I mean, that’s gotta be the most gut-wrenching moment on both sides of that equation.

Chris: It really was. It was very eye-opening for me, because I would loan out the money at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month, I had to go collect. And so, go knock on doors was very eye-opening, because you see ‘em as an account number and amount owed, right?

Jim: Right.

Chris: And you knock on the door and someone answers and you go to sit down and you realize this is a family. This is a family that is having a financial tough time. And so, what happened for me was this transition from them being an account number and account balance, to being a family that was hurting. And so, for me, it was a tough, tough job. I only did that for a couple of years before I transitioned out, because my heart started to hurt. You started to see the realities of what people were goin’ through.

Jim: And what you’ve given your life to now, you went into banking after that and then eventually, nine years I think, you’ve been with Dave Ramsey and helping people plan ahead and hopefully, save for retirement. Is that … ?

Chris: That is true. It’s goin’ on 11 years and it’s now more about prevention. You know Dave’s whole mission is to provide hope to people. And so, that’s what I see me doing now, tryin’ to help people learn from my own mistakes, mistakes that I’ve seen other people make, so they don’t repeat them. You know, everyone wants to make progress. Everyone wants better for their kids or their grandkids. And the only way to get better is if you work smarter and you work a plan that actually works.

Jim: Yeah. Hey, let’s get God into this quickly—

Chris: Yes.

Jim: --because I think He’s the bedrock of everything. And when you look at the issue of retirement from a Christian perspective, from a godly perspective, what does it mean?

Chris: I think it’s going more toward what God’s called you to do. As you start to look at that, you
want to have options. And you know how the Lord works. He opens doors. He can close doors, but I want to be available to go do what He’s calling me to do.

Jim: So freedom.

Chris: It is freedom and it’s not stopping. I think it’s more serving, whether it’s mission trips, whether it’s starting your own business, whether it’s doing what you’re doing right now, but able to have more margin in your life. We’ve all had those God-moments where you spent that time havin’ that conversation with someone. And you look back on it now and you realize, you poured into them, but they also poured into you.

Jim: Yeah, I’m reminded a couple of our board members, they went into retirement, but every board meeting they’ll tell me how they’re busier now than they ever were, because they’re, you know, doing service. They’re on boards. They’re serving their church, their community. And they’ll often say, “Man, I’m busier now. I didn’t [know] (Laughter) retirement was gonna bethis.” (Laughter)

Chris: Yeah, but I think it is a matter for your listeners out there to start to look at this and understand, we all have dreams inside of us. We all have things we want to accomplish. We all feel that tug where the Lord is calling us to do certain things.

And I think the more we take control of our money, it gives us the opportunity to be able to be able to go do those things sooner.

Jim: And for you, that idea of retirement isn’t wrapped around ageper se. It’s a financial number that you want to arrive at that allows you the freedom to go do what you want to do.

Chris: It really was, ‘cause I had an epiphany. It was about four years ago. I was workin’ with a gentleman. He was in his mid-40’s. He was about to travel the world, had never made more than $50,000 a year, but had started investing at age 18. And so, for me, I’m thinking, how can this guy be retired? He’s got all his hair, right? (Laughter)

Jim: That’s a disqualifier right there. (Laughter)

Chris: Absolutely. He walked in by himself. There was no oxygen mask. And so, in my mind, I realized, I had retirement as this thing at age 70 or whatever it was, and it wasn’t. And I started to look at things and realized, retirement has nothin’ to do with how old you are. It’s about a financial number.

Jim: Yeah. Not long ago I was at a small gathering of young CEO’s, I mean, like 20-, 30-somethings. Andtheir goal was to live on a standard of $100,000 a year. There’s a little group out of Harvard, a group of Christian students there at Harvard Business School. They formed what they called The Board for Life, just about seven people and they’re holding each other accountable to these themes of trying to live on a, you know, very reasonable number and then give everything else away. Now you start thinking about the next generation. That inspires me that 20-, 30-somethings are thinking like that.

Chris: Oh, absolutely. I mean, it takes a whole different level of thinking, you know, to be in control enough so you can be a blessing to other people.

John: Chris, you mentioned that there’s kind of a retirement number, not an age. Is there a number that everybody in our audience is gonna have to work toward? Or what do you mean by that?

Chris: Well, everyone would ask me that. They would say, “All right, how much am I gonna need, Chris?” And I’d sit down with ‘em for an hour and a half to try to …

John: That’s what all the newspaper and magazines—

Chris: That’s right--

John: --and websites--

Chris: --and try to figure it out.

John: --will tell you.

Chris: But here’s what I determined. It’s much like God’s call on our life. Everybody’s call is a little bit different. So, your number’s gonna be a little bit different. And so I sat down with some of our developers at Ramsey Solutions and I said, “Guys, here’s what I want to do.” And I sat with people much smarter than me, right? I had the vision. They had the know-how. And I said, “Can we develop a calculator to help people arrive at this number in four or five like, little brief data points, right?”

And so, we came up with the Retire Inspired Quotient. And what I wanted to do was literally boost people’s IQ about retirement. I wanted people to get smarter. Like we’re not working just to work. We’re working toward our dreams.

And so, the R:IQ was developed. It’s a free tool at my website,( And you can go there and plug in a few numbers. For example, how much money do you want to live on per month? How many years till you plan to retire? And how much do you have saved? That’s all you have to type in.

Once you do that, you will see the big number you’re gonna need based on the monthly amount you want to live on. But it takes it a step further. It shows you how much you need to be investing now to get to that number. Now this is a free tool, right? You can change the rate of return and withdrawal rate. I just wanted to boost people’s IQ, so that they started to really look at this differently.

John: I’ve taken that R:IQ test and I’ve got the pdf on my computer just to remind me. If you’d like to take that, we’re gonna link over to it at

Jim: Hey, Chris, most people are panicked when they hear “retirement savings.” I don’t know about most, but some definitely are, because they haven’t thought about it. They didn’t get goin’ in their 20’s. They had too many demands in their 30’s and 40’s. Then you hit your 50’s. You begin to worry.

Talk about the panic portion of this, no matter what generational demographic you’re in, what do you need to do? Don’t panic is probably the first thing, right?

Chris: Yeah, I think, you know, whenever people panic, it causes a lack of clear thinking. And I think, you know, for people that are out there that feel that stress of maybe they’re behind. I understand where you’re comin’ from, but I need you to hear me.

It’s not too late, okay? And I’m gonna repeat that, because I can’t say it enough. Regardless of your age, it’s not too late. But what we don’t want to do is waste another day or another month or another year.

Jim: You gave an example of somebody just saving the money they might spend on a latte every day. Describe that, ‘cause that’s powerful.

Chris: Well, it is and it’s a matter—

Jim: It’s painful, but powerful.

Chris: --it is and I think the more we can start to look and understand, we have more control than we think we do. But our lifestyle tends to get in the way. You all know the fancy coffee shops, right? You can’t get out of there for less than five bucks, right? But if you can control that and instead of going five days a week, let’s see you only go two days a week and “redivert” the other three days of that money you would’ve spent, now toward retirement savings or just savings.

Jim: That’s about 60 bucks a month, right?

Chris: Absolutely, that little step is a step in the right direction. And now we start to look at eating out, right? You start to look at your travel, little things. So I want people to take action quickly, but the best way to do that is to tap into what is it you want to do? What’s God’s call on your life? Do you feel like you need to be doin’ more mission work? Or do you need to spend more time with family? Or what is that? But I think tapping into that is the “why” people are willing to do what they need to do.

Jim: You have a story about the early years of your marriage around budgeting—

Chris: (Laughing)

Jim: --and goin’ to the grocery store with your calculator.

Chris: Yes.

Jim: Now how old were you when you did this and what was the “aha?”

Chris: Oh, my. (Laughter) I was probably … I want to say 28.

Jim: Okay.

Chris: And for me, I love, you can tell by lookin’ at me, I love to eat, okay.

Jim: (Laughing) I’m with you, bro.

Chris: And I love to cook. (Laughter) I love to cook. And so, when we first got connected with Dave’s message, I started to reassess our habits. And our habits are more powerful than we’re aware of. So, every Saturday I would go to the grocery store. Out of habit, I would spend three to $400, right? My wife and I were both working. We weren’t hurting anybody. We had the money.

And I sat down and I started to look at our budget. Where is our money goin’? And I realized, the grocery store was getting close to 1,500 to $2,000 of our money every month. And I said, “Enough’s enough.” Because I realized I was makin’ the grocery store rich, instead of building wealth for my family.

Jim: Huh.

Chris: And so, that was my wake-up call. And so, I decided, guys, I’m gonna go in with cash and we’re only gonna buy what we need.

Jim: Now how’s your wife responding to this?

Chris: Well, she was in. I mean, I was the problem, right? (Laughter) I mean, she was the smarter one, right?

Jim: She wanted to get right to it here.

Chris: Yes, but she knew what I was chasing and we had just started talkin’ about havin’ kids.

Jim: Right.

Chris: And so, you really start to zero in on your habits. And so, I go into the grocery store with my $150 in cash. I’ve got my calculator. I’m puttin’ stuff in the buggy and I’m addin’ it up, because I don’t want to be embarrassed.

Jim: No credit card with you.

Chris: I did not … no credit cards. No credit cards. I didn’t even take my debit card. I went cold turkey. I was going cash. So, I get halfway through the grocery store, bump into a friend of mine who starts talkin’ to me. And I’m chit-chattin’. Lo and behold, I hit “Clear” on the calculator by accident. Now I don’t know where I’m at. I don’t know how much, right, what I’ve got left. So, what did I do? I had to make a big-boy decision. I go back and I put everything back in the grocery store and I started over.

And I go up to the line and I check out and I think I spent $145 with tax, but I walked out of the grocery store and I thought, this is possible. And it was a little bitty step, but it was ahugemovement in my brain shift to stop that habit, to start somethin’ new that’s gonna lead me to somewhere.

Jim: Now it makes so much sense, Chris, to do it this way, but why do we struggle as human beings? I mean, we can hear those stories and we don’t get started. We don’t decide this is motivating us.

Chris: You’re absolutely right. I think there are a few things. No. 1, I think there’s fear. We don’t think that anything can ever improve. I think there’s doubt that working a plan that’s really gonna work for them.

And then I think there’s some stubbornness, where we choose to just stay where we are. And I think you have to be honest with yourself. Change comes from two areas. No. 1, you gotta understand what’s in it for you, if we’re just bein’ honest. How is it gonna benefit you?

Jim: Right.

Chris: And then is change truly possible? Will it work? And I think when people sit down and they tap into that motivation, that’s what leads to sacrifice. So, my kids, for me, were my motivation to change. And so, lookin’ at this, the only way for my kids to have better is for my wife and I to work smarter with a plan that actually works.

Jim: Yeah, no, that’s good. What happens when the spouse, you’re not in sync—

Chris: Yes....

Jim: --you and your spouse and you have a spender and a saver? Or you—

Chris: Well—

Jim: --have two spenders.

Chris:--right, well, I mean, money fights are the No. 1 cause for divorce in North America. And the thing that motivates me to get around to talk about this, it’s not only the relationships of husband and wife, but it’s also the collateral damage, the little ones in the home.

And so, if mom and dad can work together, they’re gonna be better off. And so, I think it’s one of those where you have to acknowledge your differences, but above all, acknowledge the Lord you serve.

John: Uh-hm.

Chris: Being aware of that will allow us to kind of change our mind-set. I’ll never forget. We did a pre-marriage counseling before we got married and the counselor told me, “Chris, you need to speak ‘we,’ not ‘me.’” And I looked at that and I thought, oh, my. And so, I kept saying “me” and “I” and “me” and “I.” And when you get married, it’s about “we.” It’s a team.

And so, when you look at that, I think it’s collaborating and talking about your differences, but gain agreement on the results you desire and then you can start to gain agreement on the process you’re gonna work together.

Jim: Okay, you talk about the retirement side inRetire Inspired, but you mentioned it all starts with budgeting. We’re kinda touching on this area of budgeting. Why do we hate budgeting?

Chris: I think budgeting has this connotation of this bad thing. It’s a limiter, right? People think of it as handcuffs. And if I can get people to understand, if you budget, you actually give yourself a raise. I’m gonna repeat it. If you budget, you’ll give yourself a raise.

And what I mean by that is, you start to tell money where to go instead of wondering where it went, as my friend, John Maxwell says. And so, so many people have no idea what they’re spending. They never feel like they’re making enough.

But to just sit down and start to put some safeguards in place. Start to say, “You know what, with groceries; we’re gonna spend this amount. Eating out, we’re gonna spend this amount.” And lo and behold, you can look up and find that, “Hey, we can do these things without having the guilt or the strain on ourselves financially.”

John: Chris Hogan is our guest today on “Focus on the Family.” You’ll find out more about his book,Retire Inspiredat .

And just one more thing on the couples here, Chris, because it’s so common, asJim said. We hear so much. You mentioned it. How does a couple come to a] actual agreement about what the vision is and what the budget should be?

Chris: I say it takes a dream date. Now I know it sounds weird, but I think having a dream date, and you don’t have to leave the home, but put the kids in bed. Sit down at the kitchen table. Light a candle and I want you to talk about the things you want to do later in life, for yourself and for your kids.

I think it’s one of those things. Everybody’s got it personal inside of us, what we want to do. Don’t judge each other’s dream, ‘cause we can do that as husbands and wives, right? Don’t judge it; just hear it. See, tappin’ into that is the motivation why people will make the changes. That’s why you’ll budget, because if you know you want to go to a mission trip in Africa or you want to serve in South America and you want to go over there for a month, not seven days, not you’re tapping into things that get your heart happy.

And so, doin’ that, it’ll back into now this is why we gotta talk about this budgeting, ‘cause if we budget, we can gain the right to do that sooner than later.

Jim: Chris, God does talk a lot about finances in the Scripture. Elaborate on that for us. Draw Him into the picture, because we don’t necessarily integrate God into our budgeting and those kinds of things. So, speak from a spiritual heart—

Chris: Yes, sir.

Jim: --about what God is expecting in all this.

Chris: Well, I think when you step back and you look at it, you realize there are over 700 Scriptures about money in the Bible. And if you look at that and you think that if the Lord gave that much attention to this topic, it’s a pretty big topic. And it’s one of those things that money knows no socio-economic status, no ethnicity. It is one of those things we need to survive.

But I think the mind-set that we need to have is that we are not owners. You can’t have a pronoun problem when it comes to money. You can’t say “I” and “my.” You gotta understand anything you have is a result of a blessing from your Lord and Savior.

So, our job is to manage it, just like with our children. Our job is to manage and guide those kids as best we can. We need to do the same thing with our money. And if you understand that and know that you are in a position to manage what He has blessed you with, it gives you a whole different level of obligation and responsibility.

Jim: Chris, let’s put you to the test. You had with your family, ‘cause kids can sometimes feel and frankly, parents, too, budgeting is a downer. That means we can’t go to Disneyland. But you and your family planned a trip to Disneyland and it turned out well. How did you go about taking care of that?

Chris: Well, we actually saved up for it. I mean, we literally set aside, where we were puttin’ money aside for several months out. And so, we intentionally ... And you gotta understand somethin’. When we got serious about budgeting, we went to the envelope system, all right. That means you set aside an envelope and you physically fund this--

Jim: Put the cash in there.

Chris: --for eating out and for vacation.

Jim: Yeah.

Chris: And so, we started to do that and so, we surprised our boys with the trip down to Disney and we had a blast. But it was one of those things where doin’ that and seein’ the excitement on their faces, I knew that our sacrifice, ‘cause we cut back on some things to be able to do that, but the sacrifice was worth it.

Jim: Chris, you mention in your book,Retire Inspired: How Debt Can Keep Us From Those Dreams, why are … I would say “lazy” maybe, are we just so lazy at times we’re not motivated enough to get out of that trench of …

Chris: Some of it, I think can be laziness. The other side of it is, we’re the most marketed to country on the planet.

Jim: That’s true.

Chris: I mean, just take a look at TV, right? The commercials are comin’ on to make you feel bad about what you don’t have or what you need to buy. And so, as you start to see that, I think we become numb to the messaging.

Some of the credit card commercials, I mean, they’re out there. They’re humorous and they’re engaging. You know, “What’s in your wallet?” right? My boys love to ask daddy (Laughter), “Daddy, what’s in your wallet?” I’m like cash. Daddy has cash in his wallet.” (Laughter)

But I think if we start to look at it and see it for what it is, that debt is a thief. It keeps you from giving to people that you know are in need. And we’ve all been in that situation where financially we couldn’t. But you heard about somebody in your church body or in your community that had a home fire or was in need and you just couldn’t.

And for me, that was my heartbreaking moment - hearing of somebody that was in need and my wife and I literally looked at each other like, we couldn’t. We were so busy sending money to American Express and Discover and all the rest of ‘em. We didn’t have margin to help people that we loved. And that was the “no more” moment. That was the moment where we looked at it and we started to realize, no more handcuffs.

We want to be able to do what we’re called to do, so we’ve gotta get serious and you gotta attack this thing. So, I want people to see debt, not as a tool, not as your friend, but it is a thief. It’s stealing from you and your dream and it’s taking from your opportunity today.

Jim: So, folks are hearing this, maybe for the first time or they’re feeling convicted—

Chris: Yes.

Jim: --for the first time, saying, “Okay, we do need to make a change.” What’s step one?

Chris: I think step one, if you’re feeling that way, is to acknowledge it and then talk to your spouse if you’re married or your accountability partner if you’re single or newly single. And I think, havin’ that conversation where you can start to share it together.

And then the next step is, make a list of your debts, smallest to biggest. And I’m talkin’ about credit cards, car payments, student loan, everything but your home. Make a list of that and look at it and I want you to attack it smallest first and here’s how.

I want you to look at your budget and cut back on eating out. Start to allocate money instead of just going to do it. See, there’s a difference between budgeting versus accounting. Accounting is where you track where money went after the fact. Budgeting is on the front end where you’re telling money where to go in the beginning.

Jim: And it is discipline.

Chris: It is discipline, but it’s also about chasing your dream. You’re not budgeting just to budget. You’re budgeting to get to your dream. So, make a list of those debts, smallest to biggest and I want you to have a yard sale.

Sell some stuff and attack. Throw all that money at that little-bitty debt and watch what happens. See, for me, I put our debt snow ball—that’s what I call it--listed smallest to biggest on our refrigerator. And we had friends come over. My wife was like, “What are you doin’? You know, you’re putting our business out there in the street.”

But it was one of those things where, in my mind, it was a motivating factor, because I knew the next time we had them over in a few months, that debt was gonna be gone.

John: So, did you have a yard sale?

Chris: We had a yard sale and I was so against it, guys. I told my wife, I’m not a yard sale kinda guy. We made $625.

John: Okay, was there one thing of yours that you got rid of—

Chris: I sold—

John: --that was kind of painful?

Chris: --I sold some golf clubs. It was an extra set. (Laughter)

Jim: The back-up set.

Chris: The back-up set that I’m not good at golf anyway. But we sold things, just everyday things, things that we did end up missing. The big sacrifice came with me sellin’ the motorcycle. And it was one of those where it was a grow-up moment, you know? But that motorcycle represented two credit cards goin’ away forever. And so, I would encourage your listeners out there to think about things you can sell. If you’re married, make sure you’re makin’ a list of your stuff, not your spouses.

John: Yeah. (Laughter)

Chris: But make a list of things you could sell. Identify, gain agreement and then direct every dime of that money towards the debt you’re tryin’ to knock out.

Jim: Okay, so for the couple or the family that has been on a budget. They’re out of debt. They’re thinking now, what do we do for retirement? What do you look at?

Chris: I think the first thing is, I’m gonna still tell them to tap into their dream, but I want them to make sure they’re using some of the best vehicles out there for building wealth—401(k)’s and 403(b)’s. Those are pre-tax things that are offered at your job, that you have an opportunity to connect with.

But also utilize Roth IRA’s. Whenever you hear “Roth,” I want people out there to just understand, we’re talking about tax-free growth. The government doesn’t touch this. And so, everyone can set up a Roth and contribute up to 5,500. If you’re over age 50, you can go up another thousand to 6,500. So, it’s an opportunity for us to get a game plan.

I would encourage them if they’re hearin’ this and it sounds like I’m speaking a foreign language, about 401(k)’s and Roth IRA’s, just go to my website. Click on the Dream Team button. I’ve got people all around the country, Dave and I, that will talk with you and walk you through this investing thing so you don’t have to be scared. You can be confirmed and understand what it is you’re doing.

Jim: And we’ll put a link to that, as well, John.

John: Yeah, we’ll link over there, as well.

Chris: Yeah.

Jim: Um … your grandparents were really important to you. They showed you a portion of the way. What was that modeling like?

Chris: It was time. My grandparents were phenomenal. They made so many deposits in this little bitty Kentucky boy, by (Laughter) … spendin’ time. I can remember playing Scrabble, playin’ Rummy with my grandparents, just sittin’ still. You know how busy we are nowadays with things buzzin’, ringin’ and dingin’. Back there just sitting at the table or sitting on the front porch.

I look back on it now and I realize the value of that time. My grandfather, he would give me a stick of Big Red gum as a young man, which was tantamount to chewing a charcoal briquette, you know. My mouth (Laughter) was burnin’, but walking with him and listening to the stories, I realize he was making deposits. He was talkin’ to me about what it takes to be a man and so, to see them and their life and how they served people.

We would always have people coming over to eat. My grandfather was always working on someone’s house or fixing their car. And I never saw money change hands. And it just started to concern me. I was like, shouldn’t you get paid? And he goes, “Son, you don’t worry about that. You just help people where you can.” And so, again, lessons, right, constantly. And it was more about their example than their words.

Jim: Chris, do you see that as one of the main problems today is we don’t have that kind of mentoring going on with young people, that they’re not walkin’ down the road with grandpa anymore?

Chris: You know, I would say it’s definitely a cause for alarm. I think as we get connected, I think we can get so busy that we miss those God moments.

Jim: Yeah.

Chris: And so, I want to encourage people out there, if you’ve got family members you haven’t connected with or you haven’t seen, pick up the phone, you know. We can be more connected nowadays with Skype and we can see faces. There’s no reason to be distant.

Jim: We are out of time.

Chris: Wow.

Jim: And we flew by here.

Chris: It’s amazing.

Jim: So, I think it’ll be good for us to come back next time and talk about the decades of retirement. What you do in your 20’s, what you do in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

Chris: Fantastic.

Jim: A lot of people in their 60’s might think it’s too late, but you have some strategies--

Chris: Yes, I do.

Jim: --that people in their later working years can deploy in order to soften the blow of the lack of retirement.

Chris: Absolutely.

Jim: Chris, can we do this? Can we come back?

Chris: Yes, sir. I’d be honored.

Jim: Okay, let’s do it.

John: Well, what a great conversation we’ve enjoyed with Chris Hogan and you can learn more about his book and get a CD or a download of this conversation. And if you could, make a donation to this ministry at or call. Our number is 800, the letterAand the word FAMILY; 800-232-6459.

Jim: And John, let me amplify what you said there, to donate to the ministry. You know, we’re here for you. That’s our goal at the ministry. We have donors who support us in such a way that we can provide counseling. We can provide resources. We can produce this radio program. I hope that you’d consider being part of the team to be able to deliver this great content that we work hard at delivering, so the Lord can use it and improve where you’re at in your family, in your marriage, in your parenting, all of those things that in the end, as Chris was alluding to, these are the core things, guys. It’s not about the money. It’s about the legacy that you leave behind. So, in part, can I ask you to leave the legacy here with Focus so we can build into many families together? And I’d appreciate it if you could do that.

John: Yeah, donate generously at and when you do, we’ll send a copy ofRetire Inspired. It’s a terrific book. It’s our way of saying thank you for supporting the work of Focus on the Family and doing as Jim just said - building a legacy for families of the future.

Jim: Hey, Chris, I don’t want to leave on a low note, so you’re a person of optimism I can tell. So for the person that’s feeling like we just put a bit of a load on their shoulders, we talked and punched them right where they’re tender—

Chris: (Laughing) Yeah.

Jim: How can they sleep tonight? Give ‘em some hope.

Chris: I think the big thing is, is I want you to pray. I want you to pray for the energy, the focus and the courage to do what you need to do next. You’re not done yet. You woke up with breath in your lungs. The Lord’s not done with you. You still have an opportunity and uh … people are out there to guide you. And what I want you to do is connect.

You gotta plug into a source stronger than you and that’s our Lord and Savior. But then you have to work a plan that actually works.

Jim: Amen. 


John: Some great advice from Chris Hogan. And what a privilege to have him here. I’m John Fuller. On behalf of Focus president, Jim Daly, and the entire team thanks for listening today. We’ll invite you back next time as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Chris Hogan

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Chris Hogan is the national best-selling author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number, and host of the "Retire Inspired" podcast. A popular and dynamic speaker on the topics of personal finance, retirement and leadership, Chris helps people across the country develop successful strategies to manage their money in both their personal lives and businesses. For more than a decade, he has served at Ramsey Solutions as a trusted financial coach. You can follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook, and learn more about him by visiting his website.