Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Jean Chatzky has a new show, "Cash Call with Jean Chatzky," which premieres February 28 on RLTV. On "Cash Call," Chatzky -- the financial editor for NBC’s "TODAY" and the personal finance contributor for Newsweek/The Daily Beast -- will focus on financial questions from post 50s.
Chatzky shared some of her financial advice for those over 50 -- including tips on retirement and downsizing -- with The Huffington Post. Check out our interview and a clip from "Cash Call" below and keep reading to see how you can submit your own questions to Chatzky.
What's the single most-important bit of personal finance advice you would give to Post 50s today?
They need to figure out how to make their money last. Until now, we have focused so much of our attention on accumulation -- you have to save, you have to max out your 401k, you have fund your Roth IRA. Now the challenge for most boomers is how to take that sum of money and turn it into an income stream that will last the rest of their lives. They have to give that as much consideration as they gave the first half.
What are the top three financial issues you see facing Boomers?
Retirement, health care -- and include long-term health care in there -- and dueling family pressures. We are in the squeeze; at 55, people today are looking at how to pay for college for their kids and how to help their parents who may need it. On top of that, we are trying to retire ourselves.
Has rehirement replaced retirement?
Yes -- although I've never heard it phrased that way. I like it, "rehirement!" I call it "rewire" instead of "retire." We are talking less and less about retirement as a time of not working but instead are seeing it as a another period of our lives where we do something different, hopefully something we love, and making a little bit of money at it.
What specific financial guidance would you give to Post 50s today?
These are hard times. If you have reached this point in your life and you dont know where you are financially what with the volatility of the market, unemployment, and everything else ... then it's time to sit down and run the numbers and figure it out.
I know it's a perennial question, but how much money does someone need to retire today?
The answer is very individualized. If you have paid off your mortgage, have a decent amount saved in retirement funds and don't want or need a lavish lifestyle, you are probably fine. If you still have a mortgage -- which many boomers do -- if you have parents to take care of, had your kids late and want to send them to college, or if your 401k was decimated, it's a different story. For me to say you need 'X' would be doing you a disservice. You need to sit down with a financial planner and figure out what you have and what you need. If you aren't close, you have to ask 'what can I change now to potentially get there?'
We hear a lot about downsizing. What does downsizing look like?
Downsizing means reducing your monthly nut, what you spend to live. It can include where you live, how often you take vacations, how often you eat out, where you shop. It means living simpler and spending less. It means asking yourself, "How can I shrink my cost of living so I can save more?"
Many boomers may have missed the boat on long-term care insurance. What do you suggest for them?
We are starting to hear more about longevity insurance, which is very specific insurance you pay for when you are in your 50s and 60s and you dont get anything back unless you live past 85. It's like a delayed annuity. By the way, being in your 50s isn't too late to get long-term care insurance. Even at 60, and with chronic illness, it is still available but much pricier.
You have five rules of personal finance, and boomers, as a generation, seem to have violated one of them big-time. I'm talking about your rule that "You need to spend less than you make." What can those folks do about it now?
If you are the kind of person who didn't listen to what financial advisors told us in our 20s and 30s, well, you aren't alone. If you came to the party late, you need to be saving more aggressively now. It's really essential that these people spend time right now figuring out where they stand and what steps they need to take to reach their retirement goals.
OK, so for those who have managed to accumulate some savings. What should they do with them? How aggressively should they invest?
Don't invest too conservatively. I recommend a 60/40 asset mix. And if you aren't sure what to do, get some help.
What will "Cash Call" focus on?
We are an interactive show with viewers calling and emailing in their questions. It's targeted for 50+ and debuts on RLTV on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Watch a clip of "Cash Call" below:
Viewers can submit questions to "Cash Call with Jean Chatzky" via RLTV’s Facebook page and Twitter (@RLTVLive) feed, Jean Chatzky’s Facebook page and Twitter feed (@JeanChatzky), Skype (Cash.Call) or phone at: 1-855-550-RLTV (7588).