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AARP The Magazine

Take Charge of Your Money at 70+

AARP financial ambassador Jean Chatzky has a plan for making your savings last

What We Make And Save

The Plan for What You Make (and Save)

1. Spark a sell-off

Entering retirement opens up a new universe of saving options, big and small. For example, selling your car — and ridding yourself of the insurance and maintenance charges that come with it — can be a great source of cash. Downsize your cache of belongings, if you haven't already: List that mid-century bedroom set or your comic book collection on eBay or Craigslist.

2. Get back to work

About 60 percent of people say they'll work in retirement, according to CareerBuilder. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that only 32 percent of men and 19 percent of women actually do. Career coach Nancy Collamer recommends targeting temporary positions.

"We are becoming a nation where work is handled on a freelance or temp basis," she says. "For older people who don't want a full-time job, there's a lot of opportunity." Sites like can help you find seasonal jobs in resorts and national parks.

"Think about how you want to spend your time," says Collamer, "then think about whether you can get paid to do it." You might earn $3,000 (and a trip to Europe), she says, to lead a coach bus tour. The International Guide Academy offers training at Or be an inn sitter: "The reality of owning a bed-and-breakfast isn't as much fun as you think. As an inn sitter, you relieve the people who own the place and want to get away." Learn more at sites like and

3. Make a policy decision

This sounds morbid, but if you're not in good health and have a life insurance policy that's difficult to maintain, you could sell the policy, sometimes for more than the cash value, says Stephen Rothschild of the LIFE Foundation. This is not a transaction to do yourself, Rothschild notes. Find a professional adviser through the Life Insurance Settlement Association ( Nor is it something you should do without exploring other options, like borrowing against your policy or collecting accelerated death benefits, which you might do if you have less than 24 months to live.

Next page: The plan for how you invest. »

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