Retirees can convert time into money

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Travel. Being time-flexible with travel can reap tremendous bargains. Last-minute flights, hotel rooms and cruises, for example, are sometimes deeply discounted because companies need to fill seats and beds that would otherwise go unused.

Besides signing up with individual airlines for their deals, you can check many of the big online booking sites, such as Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz, which all feature discounted last-minute flights and hotel rooms.

And while traveling, a flexible schedule means you can volunteer to be bumped from a crowded flight and collect whatever cash or airline credit the carrier is offering. So-called "repositioning" cruises, one-way seasonal relocating of cruise ships in fall and spring, are often lengthy and deeply discounted — although they require you to arrange return travel.

Volunteer. "I think a lot of people don't realize there are a lot of volunteer opportunities that come with pretty nice benefits," Yeager said.

Those benefits are often free admission if you're willing to work at film or music festivals, for example, or usher at theaters, concerts or some local sporting events.

For volunteer opportunities at national parks near you, visit and click, "Get Involved."

Library. It's more convenient to buy a book at a bookstore or have a magazine delivered to your mailbox. But if you have time to visit the local library, many of your reading and entertainment needs can be met for free. If it's been a few years since you've visited, you might be surprised what modern-day libraries offer, including music, movies and digital books you can read on a device, such as a Kindle or iPad, without even leaving home.

So alleviating fears about not having enough money in retirement isn't necessarily about sacrifice and deprivation, Yeager said. "I try to encourage people to find joy in these activities," he said. "If you spend smart, you can spend less and you can get to where you want to be."

Twitter: @spendingsmart

Do you need an intervention?

In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, known for jokes that start, "You might be a redneck if," Yeager has his own version. He says, "You might need a cheapskate intervention if:"

— your retirement portfolio consists of an envelope full of scratch-off tickets.

— you own both a riding lawn mower and a treadmill.

— you complain about the high cost of gas while waiting in line in your SUV to go through the drive-through at McDonald's.

— you think a mortgage burning party is a possible alternative to foreclosure and involves hiring an arsonist.

— your plan to avoid outliving your retirement savings involves a license, a background check and a mandatory waiting period.

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