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9 ways to stretch your dollars

These common-sense strategies can help you stave off poverty in your golden years.

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1. Work longer. If you retire at a young age from one job, move right into a second job with additional retirement benefits.

2. Slash your spending. Make shopping a job, not a hobby.

3. Eliminate debt. Pay off credit cards. Put extra money on your mortgage to eliminate that expense when you retire.

4. Establish a nest egg. Save as much as possible while you're living on a full salary.

5. Keep home repairs current. Two benefits to this: it's easier to sell and cheaper not to let small repairs escalate into big jobs.

6. Know your limits and capabilities. Can you help your parents or grown children if needed? Do the math. Are you sandwiched already? Assess your resources.

7. Separate wants from needs. Indulge your wants if you must, but make certain there's enough left to cover unexpected expenses.

8. Get healthy. Eat right, lose weight, exercise daily. Have regular physicals. If you start retirement healthy and fit, you'll reduce medical expenses down the road.

9. Factor in life changes. Could you survive if your partner died, needed full-time care or the two of you split? Figure your expenses as a single retiree.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Updated: Oct. 1, 2007
 
 
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NATIONAL OVERNIGHT AVERAGES
IRA MMA 0.51%
1 yr IRA CD 0.77%
5 yr IRA CD 1.85%
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