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Chat retirement strategies with AARP’s Jean Setzfand today, Oct. 24th, at 2:00 p.m. ET

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Your Life Calling

Reinventing Herself as a Home Stager

Former stay-at-home mom finds her dream career: Rearranging decor for houses going up for sale

Q: Any specific advice for aspiring stagers?

A: Chances are if you're thinking of becoming a stager, you probably already have a knack for decorating.

 If you want to see if you can translate this knack into something a little bit more professional, I would go to somebody that I knew who was planning to put their house on the market, and ask them if they'd let you try staging it for free. Rearrange the furniture —– bring in some pillows, lamps, flowers and do some other things, just to see if it's something you can do and something you enjoy doing. You don't want to invest any money until you know that this is going to be something you enjoy. In the beginning, try to get a couple of people to let you do it for free, and see what happens.

"You don't want to invest any money until you know that this is going to be something you enjoy."

Q: What's next for you?

A: I certainly don't see myself adding any more employees. The business has grown to the point that I do need a lot more help than I used to, and I don't want to lose the control over the individual projects. I would not be able to devote the attention to detail that I really feel is so necessary. So I think that for the time being, I can probably keep on along with the way I'm doing things. When I get to be in my 80s, will I be doing this? Probably not. But for the foreseeable future, I can't imagine doing anything else.

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