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HIV and

HIV and


George Kresslein just celebrated his 50th birthday, an especially meaningful milestone for the Virginia accountant since he never thought he'd live that long: Fourteen years ago he was diagnosed with HIV infection, when such news was considered a death sentence.

But having survived the disease thus far, Kresslein has a new worry: planning for retirement. "The reality is, I never thought I would reach retirement, so I did not save for it," he says. "In fact, I cashed in my life insurance and pulled money from my retirement plans."

Kresslein is like many clients we see: HIV-positive men who are stressing out over golden years they never thought they'd see. But even if you never planned for retirement, getting on track is not that difficult. The basic actions are the same for anyone who hasn't seriously thought about his or her financial future:

* Benchmark your current financial position.

* Maximize contributions to retirement plans.

* Reduce your future expenses (by, say, downsizing to a smaller home).

* Eliminate credit-card debt.

* And consider a postretirement job.

The main thing to do differently is to take advantage of any long-term care insurance offered by your employer, since people with HIV aren't eligible for a private policy. Some companies offer group policies that may not require medical underwriting, though, so check with your benefits department. Although you might have to wait until an open-enrollment period to qualify, it's worth the wait to make sure you're taken care of--if and when you can no longer take care of yourself.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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