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NFL great Dan Marino on creating a successful second act

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino played 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins and has had much success—not without facing some challenges—in creating a winning game plan for his financial future.

He knows managing your money is just as important as earning it, no matter your line of work. That's as true for professional athletes as it is for everyone else, especially as you approach retirement.

How do you transition to life off the field? How do you create a "second act?"

Just days before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, Marino talked to CNBC about how to figure out "what's next?" Whether you've hit the magic age of 50 or found yourself thrust into another career in your late 30s or 40s, it's critical to figure out how to make transitions in your career and maneuver around situations that will cause you to fumble the financial ball.

(Read more: Money moves you need to make now)

Marino's second acts—there are several—have taken him into film, sports broadcasting as well as entrepreneurship. He has investments in real estate and restaurants and has had some failed business ventures in his portfolio at times as well.

Marino, 52, is one of the ambassadors for AARP's "Life Reimagined" campaign that has teamed up with the NFL to help players make the transition off the field and navigate through the "fifth quarter of life." Whether you're an athlete or anyone transitioning in a career, Marino says it's important to ask yourself "what's next and why do I work?"

(Read more: Making those new year financial resolutions stick)

"That question allows you to reflect a little bit about your next step and what do you need to repack," says AARP's Chief Brand Officer Emilio Pardo. "Sometimes you have to let go of some things that you were doing in your previous job or in your transition." Find out what skills are needed for the next part of your journey.

After all, many athletes spend their lives dreaming of playing in the big game, but most of them will be off the field faster than they had ever dreamed. The average player only spends about four years in the NFL, Marino says. In a tough economy, anyone's career may be uncertain or short-lived. Thinking only of your game plan for today is a big mistake.

(Read more: Financial planning: Do this, not that in 2014)

Marino says the key to success in transitioning is surrounding yourself with a team of people you trust and discovering what you like beyond football or your current career.

Here are Marino's five tips for making a transition to your second act and reimagining your financial life:

1. Ask yourself "why do I work?" Your answer to this question is the gateway to finding the core of what really matters to you. Make a plan to spend the rest of your life doing what makes you happy.

2. Think about your next experience not necessarily next a career. What is the experience you want for your second act? If you're passionate about something, then success will follow.

3. Get a plan. Visualize your plan. Think about what success would look like and what could go wrong so that you are prepared for any of life's fumbles.

4. Make a list of who you want to be on your team. Also make a list of who you need to let go. Come up with a team roster and surround yourself with those whom you admire and trust. Pick a few people you need on your team who you can hold accountable. Take stock of those relationships that you need to let go. A smaller team might be best.

5. Keep track and reward yourself. Keep track of your thoughts and understanding of your progress. Then, reward yourself for a job well done. Rewarding yourself as you accomplish small steps can keep you motivated.

Follow me on Twitter @sharon_epperson . Tweet me at #GetAPlan with questions and comments about your "second act" and how you plan to re-imagine your financial life.

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