Make your money last

You're working and you're investing. As retirement gets closer to reality, you'll need a plan for turning all your savings into security - so you can really enjoy the next phase of your life.

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If the money you'll get each year lets you afford the retirement you've always wanted, great. Live the dream. Should you find yourself coming up short, however, there are several things you can do about it.

If you're not already retired, one option is simply to hold off. You're eligible to begin collecting Social Security at 62, but you can boost your payment significantly if you delay just a few years. Similarly, staying on the job a bit longer could really increase the size of your nest egg.

Obviously, the choice isn't entirely yours. Almost 40% of early retirees didn't plan on quitting: Their health or their company gave them a push. But if you have the option, a little more time at the office can make retirement easier.

Already retired? You've got options too. You can always drum up a little extra income by taking a part-time job, although you need to set reasonable expectations about how much you might earn. The median earnings of workers 65 and older were below $18,000 in 2005.

You could also consider downsizing to a smaller home taking out a reverse mortgage - or for that matter, even relocating to an area with lower living expenses, where your money will go further. But here too a reality check is in order.

Downsizing and staying in your town tends not to save you all that much. You get the biggest bang from relocating if you move from a big city to a small town. Clearly not everyone can or wants to do that.

And while a reverse mortgage can be a good way to get at your home's equity and still live there, the up-front fees on these loans (in many cases 5% of the home's value) make them a poor choice if you need only a little cash or if you think you'll move in a few years.
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.