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Family 411: Using online selling to supplement income

CRESCENT SPRINGS, Ky. (Sheila Gray) -- Everyone has a way to deal with the rising cost of living.
   
Maybe you pack your lunch instead of buying, cut back on driving, or shop at discount stores.  Others take to the internet to sell their surplus stuff and financial experts say they ought to use that money to plan for the future.
   
Jennifer Burdette tells us, "I started when my third child was born because I got laid off from being a stock broker."
   
Burdette is no stranger to the high cost of raising a family, "Now I have two kids, one's in college, one's in high school, and one's getting ready to go, so I have to have some extra money."
   
She started selling on eBay 12 years ago.  Selling items on eBay is nothing new, but a recent study by MGM Advantage shows 1 in 5 baby boomers are selling their possessions online because they're concerned about staying afloat financially.

"They may have made a mistake and overspent," said financial adviser Jeff Daniher.

Daniher says buying and accumulating too much is common in America.  And now people in their 40's and 50's, and 60's are realizing retirement may not be in reach.

"The old version of you retire and you don't have to do anything, that's pretty much obsolete today," he said.
   
And it's the number one concern for baby boomers ahead of staying healthy and the death of a spouse.  Jeff became an eBay seller years ago when he needed extra cash, and he says selling some possessions could be a good way to start changing some habits.

"Take that money and put it into your retirement plan, pay down your debt or get it so you have an emergency fund," Daniher said.
   
Over the years Jennifer has made up to 400 dollars a week on everything from her own kids' clothes to things she finds at estate sales.

She tells us, "It's kind of like gambling.  How much can I get for this?"
   
For her, the online gamble has turned into guaranteed income and something Jennifer enjoys.

That study Sheila mentioned also shows about 30 percent of baby boomers plan to downsize their homes to fund living costs for retirement.


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