I didn’t learn to drive a car by dreaming about it. Writing “I really want to get my driver’s license” on a sheet of paper didn’t get the job done.

I became a confident driver because I memorized the handbook and practiced driving and parking a car. My confidence prepared me to make quick decisions and to react appropriately under all kinds of driving conditions.  

Confidence is fueled by the power that comes with knowledge. That’s the confidence women need when it comes to personal finances and money management. That’s the confidence we need as we approach the subject of retirement.

Dreaming about traveling and spending time with family during your retirement years is not going to give you the confidence you need to achieve it. You have to do something about it, starting now.

It’s time to stop procrastinating. Any reason you might have to put off learning about and saving for retirement is just an excuse. It is not valid. You need to learn everything you can now about personal finance and money management. That knowledge will help you develop confidence—that quiet knowing that you can trust yourself to make wise decisions and good judgment calls—no matter what your situation might be. This is how smart women think.

This excerpt is from The Smart Woman's Guide to Retirement (2013) by Mary Hunt. Used with permission of Baker Publishing Group. www.bakerpublishinggroup.com.

Mary Hunt is the award-winning and bestselling author of several books, including The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living. She and her husband live in California.

Publication date: November 4, 2013