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Carrick newsletter: Stud, dud, thud – the three stages of a man’s life

Men dying younger may have something to do with testosterone.

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This is no country for old men. Census data from 2016 shows us that among seniors aged 85 to 99, there were 54 men for every 100 women. Among people aged 100 and up, there were 19 men for every 100 women.

The reasons why males die younger may have something to do with testosterone and the way it makes men stronger in the near term, but weakens them in the long run. There's hope that medical advances will enable male lifespans to catch up to women. But as I mentioned in a recent column, the most overlooked aspect of retirement planning might just be that women live longer than men.
There's research that shows women are less prepared for retirement than men.

Here are some basic tips to help fix that, including a call for young women to increase their saving. A U.S. study found that young men are saving more, even though they probably won't live as long. Finally, some tips for both men and women on how to have a long and healthy retirement.

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Are you over-thinking your retirement?
Yes, you can worry too much about saving for retirement.

Busting two credit score myths
Heavy household borrowing has had the effect of increasing people's interest in – and anxiety about – their credit scores. Here's a look at two common misconceptions about credit scores.

High commissions, risky deals
A useful reality check on syndicated mortgages, an investment built on the financing of real estate projects. A Vancouver-based financial adviser says he's seeing a lot of pitches for syndicated mortgages lately, most of which he rejects.

The finer points of sandwich-making
A proven technique to save money is to bring your lunch to work rather than buying it. Here are some tips for making a better sandwich.

The case for using a robo-adviser
Presented in case you're not hip to robo-advisers, which manage investment portfolios at a lower cost than traditional advisers. Robos aren't for everyone, but they're an excellent choice for some

Today's featured financial tool
Looking for a financial planner to help you manage your money? Here's a list of 10 questions to ask so that you get the services you need. This material is provided by the Financial Planning Standards Council, which oversees the respected Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

Ask Rob
The question: "We are snowbirds who rent a condo in Florida. Would it be a good idea to buy our U.S. dollars for next season now? We normally need approximately $15,000."

The answer: "There's zero consensus about what's ahead for our dollar. The currency has certainly been a dud so far in 2017, but some experts say all the bad news has been priced in and a rebound is possible. How about buying $5,000 every three months until you have the $15,000 you need? That way, you minimize the risk of buying at a low point and give yourself the opportunity to buy at a better exchange rate in the future."

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories
- A serious illness at a young age can trigger a financial crisis
- TD says buy Canadian bank stocks in wake of Home Capital trouble
- The (tax) pros and cons of getting married

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