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Shot of an unhappy senior couple sitting separately on a couch after having an argument at home

Yuri Arcurs peopleimages.com/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Content from The Globe’s weekly Retirement newsletter. To subscribe click here.

Call them what you want – diamond divorcees, silver splitters or grey divorcees – but data show that older Canadians are ending their long-standing marriages in greater numbers than ever before. According to Statistics Canada, the number of divorced Canadians over age 65 grew by nearly 80 per cent from 2010 to 2020, soaring from 352,000 to 630,000. That’s partly due to the overall greying of the Canadian population, but not entirely (the population of married individuals over 65 grew by only 45 per cent in the same period).

“I would say about every one in three people contacting me is a retiree,” Holly Brady, a certified divorce financial analyst in Calgary, tells Matthew Halliday in this article.

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Retirement levels expected to surge after pandemic-era slump, RBC report says

A new report from RBC Economics says it expects a renewed surge of retirements in the second half of this year as Canada works to get past the pandemic. Senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz says in the report that the number of retirements fell about 20 per cent last year compared with the 12 months ended February, 2020. He says the dip was likely a result of uncertainty about retirement savings as the pandemic arrived.

“It’s what’s held a lot of people back,” Agopsowicz said in an interview with the Canadian Press.

Can this Ontario couple with income properties retire on $100,000 a year?

Richard, 53, owns a successful small business and Rachel, 46, works part-time in the civil service and does some work for the family business. They have two adult children who are financially independent. They also took on a lot of debt to invest in income properties. They are looking at retiring when he’s 60 and she’s 57, or a couple years earlier with a spending target of $100,000 a year after tax. Ralph Muth, vice-president and associate portfolio manager at Leon Frazer & Associates Inc. in Toronto, looks at their situation in the Globe’s latest Financial Facelift column.

Why some older seniors are about to get an extra $500 from Ottawa

The Liberal government has set a date for its one-time payment to older seniors this summer. Seniors Minister Deb Schulte says Canadians who are 75 as of next July will receive $500 during the week of Aug. 16 this year. The one-shot cash injection is part of a government plan laid out in the April budget to boost old-age benefits over the long term. The Canadian Press has more in this article.

In case you missed it

‘It’s never too late’ to fight off risk of dementia as you age

Every day, Christine Elsey take vitamins, maintains a healthy diet, practices yoga and walks up to five kilometres. The 68-year-old swims in the ocean near her home in Deep Cove, B.C., year-round and, even though she retired from teaching, she will continue in her role as secretary of the New Democratic Party in her riding and has a book in the works. As she ages, Ms. Elsey is determined not to be among the growing number of Canadians who suffer from dementia. As Dene Moore reports, there are 564,000 people in Canada with dementia, the broader category of cognitive impairment that includes Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. It’s estimated that around 40 per cent of dementia cases may result from modifiable risk factors including physical activity, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight within recommended ranges. A healthy diet, maintaining social connections, reduced stress and challenging the brain with new learning are also key factors.

What else we’re reading

How to lower your blood pressure with just five minutes of daily breathing exercises

Working out just five minutes daily in a practice described as “strength training for your breathing muscles” lowers blood pressure and improves some measures of vascular health as well as, or even more than, aerobic exercise or medication, according to a new study from the University of Colorado at Boulder. The study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association and “provides the strongest evidence yet that the ultra-time-efficient manoeuvre known as High-Resistance Inspiratory Muscle Strength Training (IMST) could play a key role in helping aging adults fend off cardiovascular disease,” according to the university. You can also read more about the study in this article.

A cautionary tale for aspiring gardeners

If you dream of doing more gardening – or starting – in retirement, here are a few tips from a green thumb in Ontario. In this piece, part of the Globe’s First Person series, Linda Woods warns that gardening is fun, but also hard work.

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“Your nails are going to break, your knees might become permanently stained and standing up will take some effort.”

Still, she highly recommends it, but with a warning: “A bit of scratching in the dirt could lead to a full-on passion that has you perusing catalogues and wandering retail aisles, coveting any number of available accessories and implements.”

In other words, maybe make extra room for your new addiction, er, hobby in your retirement planning budget.

Ask Sixty Five

Question: I am working and started taking my Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits at age 60. I am paying back into CPP. Will this increase my monthly benefits?

Answer from Evan Turner, a financial advisor at Nicola Wealth Management Ltd.:

Yes, you will be enhancing your CPP benefit through what is called the post-retirement benefit, or PRB, by continuing to pay into CPP. You would be eligible if you are between the ages of 60 to 70, working, and contributing to CPP while already receiving CPP payments. The PRB will be added to your monthly CPP payments the following year of your contribution. Each additional year you contribute to CPP will incrementally add to your PRB. A PRB increase is effective as of January the next year, but the increased payment may be delayed to the spring months with a retroactive payment to January. PRB payments will continue for the rest of your life and are indexed to the cost-of-living adjustment, the same as regular CPP payments. You don’t have to apply to receive your PRB. If you are eligible, it will be paid to you automatically unless additional information is needed.

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How much PRB you could receive is dependent on a few factors: How much you earn, the amount of CPP contributions you made the previous year, and your age as of the start date of the PRB all influence the amount you receive. The maximum PRB you could receive for one year is equal to one-fortieth of the maximum CPP pension. If you contributed less than the maximum CPP contribution, the amount of the year’s PRB will be proportional to your contributions.

I will qualify that everyone’s situation is unique and there can be different variables that may influence decisions such as the decision to continue to pay into CPP (after age 65) or the timing of receiving your CPP benefit. All are important decisions that should be reviewed with your financial adviser.

Have a question about money or lifestyle topics for seniors, or want to suggest a story idea for the Sixty Five series? Please e-mail us at sixtyfive@globeandmail.com and we will find experts and answer your questions in future newsletters.

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