Jean Chatzky
Looking ahead to the golden years? Jean talks with Ed Slott, one of the country's leading retirement experts and author of the new book Your Complete Retirement Planning Road Map. Ed says much of the country is not saving a significant amount of money for retirement. Here are his tips to help you prepare for your retirement years:
  • Make your contributions automatic. "The only way it really works is if you never see the money," Ed says. Get into your company's 401(k) and max out.
  • Start an IRA, even if you're already involved in a 401(k).
  • Start young, Ed says. The power of compound interest is one of the major factors in boosting your balance.
  • In 2010, anyone can convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA (currently, you can only do so if your salary is $100,000 or less). Ed urges you to do it at that time because a Roth IRA leaves the government out of your account, meaning more money for you.
  • Get your children on the right track by replacing a few holiday or birthday gifts with deposits to a Roth IRA account.
Jean also checks in with a Money Group she first introduced on her show in January 2007. Since the show, the Smart Cookies have received an influx of e-mails, including one from a group of 80-year-old women who started their own Smart Cookies chapter. What's the Smart Cookies' advice to these new groups? Meet regularly and stick to an agenda for the best results!