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Episode 061 – All-American Football Player and Retire Inspired Author Chris Hogan

Posted on Oct 26, 2017 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments


Chris shares the keys to winning a football national championship, why it’s so important as a leader to have your financial house in order, and how to buy your houses and cars.


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Hey everyone and welcome to the All-Star Leader Podcast, where together we learn about leadership from the best and brightest, and keep it fun by connecting it to our passion for sports!

I’m your host Daniel Hare, and I am more than excited to bring you today’s guest. Chris Hogan is a financial coach, best-selling author, motivational speaker, a leader within Dave Ramsey’s organization Ramsey Solutions, and a former college football national champion.

He released his first book in January of 2016 titled Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age It’s a Financial Number. I looked just before this conversation and 19 months after the release the book it continues to rank #6 in its category on Amazon.

This is Chris Hogan. Chris thanks so much for being with us!

Interview Questions:

  1. First of all, Chris tell us a bit of your story. What was growing up like for you, and how did you find your way to playing football at Georgetown College?
    1. Grew up in big family; close-knit; competitive; lots of love/care/concern
    2. Pastor helped him find his college, which was close to home
    3. Loved the coaches and campus, and appreciated the smaller school
  2. You all won a national title during your time there, which is a remarkable accomplishment. What are two or three keys that made that team special and propelled you to that level of success?
    1. Starts with the leaders; phenomenal coaches (head coach to grad assistants)
    2. Everyone was on the same page
    3. Incredible culture of winning; looked for certain individuals with certain skills/mindsets/coachability
    4. Talent! Players who could have played at larger schools
    5. Appreciation from seniors to freshman of what they were trying to accomplish; everyone knew their value and role
  3. And now you’re writing bestsellers, headlining events alongside Dave Ramsey and others, and coaching everyone from young/struggling families to celebrities in their financial journeys…share with us how you got where you are today.
    1. Worked in banking and wealth management and became connected to a number of influential individuals
    2. Got to know Dave, which then led to the opportunity to join the team
    3. Trying to empower people that better is available, and give them a plan to achieve it
  4. Before we go any deeper into your financial teachings, I don’t want to lose my leadership purists. Can you speak to why it is so important for leaders to get their financial house in order? Also how the principles you teach apply to other areas of a leader’s life?
    1. Money permeates all areas; impacts your business, relationship with team members and how you do business
    2. You don’t want to be needy in business, where you begin to look at customers as transactions instead of relationships
    3. If you’re focused on relationships, you’re looking to serve customers. But if purely transactional, you’re just trying to push products.
    4. So if you’re healthy financially, you can stay focused on building people
    5. You’re not just running an organization or team, your job is to help build people and help them perform better in what they do.
  5. How would you describe your philosophy on money and finances? What are the key principles?
    1. Live on less than you make
    2. Have a plan for every dollar that comes in
    3. Your confidence will grow and you understand the path you’re on
    4. Be intentional; boss your money around and don’t let it control you
    5. Many people say they will wait until they make more money before they get serious; but they won’t. Your lifestyle will grow along with your income, and you’ll continue to spend more than you make.
  6. What does it mean when you say retirement is not an age but rather a financial number?
    1. As he was working as a financial coach with Dave, he kept hearing people talk about an age for retirement (65, 60, etc.)
    2. But he had met a 41-year-old who had worked and saved for 24 years and was set to retire; this was an epiphany that no, retirement isn’t an age, but instead the financial number needed to allow you to do exactly what you want to do.
  7. As Dave Ramsey outlines in his foreword to your book, the foundation for building toward retirement are the Baby Steps he has taught for years (disclaimer: going through Financial Peace University was required by my wife and I’s pre-marriage counselors!). Let’s highlight those real quick for those who aren’t familiar, and along the way please share why these steps are so important.
    1. Money fights are the number one cause of divorce; so we need this
    2. The baby steps are a clear road map for you to gain control of your money
      1. $1,000 emergency fund
      2. Pay off all debt with the debt snowball
      3. Save 3-6 months of expenses
      4. 10%-15% into retirement
      5. Save/pay for kids’ college
      6. Attack house
      7. Build wealth/give
    3. (Daniel – cannot out-Give God, and encourage others to give)
      1. As a Christian, resources aren’t mine and we’re just managing it
      2. Many things that you can give: talent, time
  8. Another key foundation for your book are the statistics on how unprepared people are for retirement and how dependent they are upon others (whether that means family, the government, charities, etc.). Can you talk more about that and why it’s important we take control of our retirement destiny?
    1. 52% of American workers have less than $10k saved for retirement
    2. Social Security is barely enough to make a house payment
    3. We have an epidemic: people are working longer/harder than ever, and don’t have much to show for it. Debt is stealing from people’s financial future.
    4. We have to take steps to help ourselves and not hope the government will save us.
  9. You refer to a Herm Edwards quote where he says that a dream without a plan isn’t a plan at all, but rather a wish. I think this is so helpful not only in finances but in any goal we’re trying to accomplish. Can you elaborate on the difference between a dream and a wish.
    1. Wishing is the sitting back/non-proactive way
    2. Dreaming is based on action, but we need a plan
    3. What am I willing to give up, in exchange for what I want to gain
  10. Something your coaches used to tell you, and probably some who listen to this show use with their teams today, is “it’s not about the last play; it’s about the next play.” People will sometimes beat themselves up for past mistakes or even what they see as unbreakable flaws or bad habits, but you have something else to say to them don’t you?!
    1. It’s never too late
    2. We’ve all made mistakes; we’re all human; but don’t stare back at those mistakes
    3. Windshield is bigger than rearview mirror
    4. More opportunities ahead than what are behind
    5. Be proactive and use the time ahead of us
    6. Never too late to make a decision for your future
  11. Talk to us about the importance of budgeting, and a tip or two that could help us put that piece of the puzzle into place.
    1. The budget is the roadmap to you making progress
    2. He was able to give himself a raise just by putting a budget into place and taking control of the money
    3. What do we need to live on month in/month out; what are our spending habits? Set limits on groceries/gift buying/etc.
      1. Story – took cash to the grocery store and knew exactly had much he had to spend ($150). Had a calculator with him to add up his costs through the aisles. Gets halfway through the store and accidentally clears the calculator. GROW UP MOMENT! Put everything back on the shelves and started over!
      2. Checked out at $136
    4. (Daniel talking about buying online and picking up curbside to avoid picking up unnecessary items)
      1. Chris agrees, but warns that in-home shopping generally can cause us to overspend
  12. You describe five fundamentals for retiring inspired: dreaming, planning, execution, commitment and vigilance. Can you talk about the importance of dreaming about our retirement, and how to then translate that dream into a plan we can execute on?
    1. Dreaming is important because it helps us set our sights on what it is we’re working toward
    2. Is it hang out on the lake? Start a dream business? Spend more time with family? Do mission work?
    3. Getting people to tap into that and understand what they want to do and who they want to do it for; dreams motivate us more than fear prevents us
  13. I love the story about your grandmother’s chili: can you relay that story and how it applies to our lives both in finances and becoming successful leaders as well?
    1. Grandmother made incredible chili
    2. One day Chris decided he was going to make it, but didn’t have the recipe and wasn’t sure of the ingredients
    3. Went and got what he thought went in it and basically made chili-colored glue; it was terrible
    4. He called her and she laughed; she gave him the recipe and also coached him as to the timing – helped him vastly improve his chili
    5. We have to follow a plan in order to succeed; if I don’t control my finances, I could end up anywhere
  14. I want our audience to walk away from this show with specific/practical advice they can apply to major expenditures most of us have. The first is housing and the second is cars
    1. Housing – What should we be thinking when it comes to renting versus buying our homes, and if buying, how to finance it.
      1. Renting is not a bad thing; allows you to save up to buy a home the right way
      2. When you buy, and something breaks, you get to fix it
      3. If buying, only do 15 year fixed rate mortgage; don’t just do what the mortgage company says; do your research
    2. Regarding cars, can you talk about leasing versus buying, buying new versus buying used, and the impact these decisions can have on our long-term retirement situation?
      1. Cars are a depreciating asset; with each year, they drop in value
      2. Average new car payment is over $500
      3. Pay cash for a used car
      4. Leasing is very expensive and you are limited on the amount of mileage you can use
      5. Pay yourself each month to save up for the used car repairs and to replace it; this helps you upgrade over time as well
  15. There is so much more we could go into, and I would encourage anyone interested in learning more to commit to studying and utilizing the tools you provide in your book and various other platforms. Where can people go to connect with you and take any next steps regarding their own finances?
    2. Smart money events in Indy, St. Louis, Kansas City, others
    3. Retire Inspired book (Affiliate Link)

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Group – music
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite – voice over




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