Leo works as an Uber driver in San Antonio, Texas, almost every day and earns $980 a week on average. The 63-year-old is a retired maintenance worker making ends meet on his own time and in a leisurely way.

“I like driving and meeting new people,” Leo said.

Of the $980 he clocks a week, Uber takes a percentage that equals about $256 and he pays $174 to lease a 2016 Nissan Altima from the company. That includes an oil change.

“I still take home a significant amount of money,” he said. “And it’s better than sitting at home watching television.”

Leo is among a growing number of the 75 million boomers in the U.S. taking advantage of the sharing economy as a way to make up a shortfall in retirement savings. Some 24% of those over the age of 50 said they would consider using their car as a source of income, according to a recent Merrill Lynch/Age Wave study called “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions.”

“There’s an emerging realization that if you can't afford retirement as a solo project then there are other ways to get there from here that aren’t that painful,” said Dr. Ken Dychtwald, San Francisco-based president and founder of Age Wave. “In fact, some of them might even be better for you and better for everyone.”

While the sharing economy, which includes services like Uber, FlightCar, Craigslist and TaskRabbit, may have been created by millennials for millennials struggling to stand on their own two feet financially, it’s those over 50 years old who are taking the concept to the next level. About 69% said they'd be willing to barter or trade skills.

“More and more people are enabled by the internet in creating and relying on the village movement where communities, not just retirement communities, are rising up and posting on neighborhood websites their needs and the services they can offer in exchange,” Dychtwald said.

For example, a retired lawyer might be willing to help a neighbor with legal issues in exchange for their help painting his house.

“I’ve had a few of these conversations with my older clients,” said Steven Sivak, a financial advisor with Innovate Wealth in Pittsburgh. “TaskRabbit is gaining traction and notoriety for things around the house that aging clients don't want to do anymore, and I’ve seen multiple clients download Uber. Several clients are now using Care.com to look for help with certain things, and retirees who are still handy advertise their services on Craigslist to pick up small jobs on the side.”

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