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!