In 1996, HIVer Tom Swift, now 43, cashed out his retirement funds andmoved to California—to die. Then, HAART arrived, and, like many HIVers,Swift realized he would indeed survive —and need cash for the future.He consulted a financial planner, who, typically misinformed about HIV,told him: Keep planning to die. So he started his own HIV-friendlyservice, Financial Avengers (415.773.2174;

Even now, Swift says, many HIVers don’t save. Some stillbelieve they won’t live long enough. Also, health costs,disability-income caps and other HIV expenses can make saving seemimpossible. “Folks should adopt a plan balanced between living for themoment and the future,” Swift says. “Most people just aren’t sure howto plan. But it’s never too late.” First, master your employeebenefits. Then, make a plan to conquer debt. Trim expenses so that youhave enough to invest, say, in matching company plans. And beware:Disability benefits generally end at 65. Your local AIDS serviceorganization likely offers HIV-specific financial planning. Now settledown—and keep those nest eggswarm.