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Exercise and continuous learning can go a long way to fighting off cognitive impairment.

Pamela Joe McFarlane/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

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

‘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.

Can this Toronto-area couple retire in their 40s with one income?

Ben and Lucy are in their early 40s with two children, no company pensions and a burning desire to retire very early. Lucy earns $59,000 a year, Ben $79,000 a year. Both have mid-level management jobs. They own a $1.4-million house in Toronto – their former home – that they rent out for $3,600 a month. Last fall, they moved to a smaller community not far from the city, where they bought a house valued at $850,000. They have about $1.2-million of debt. They want to know the best path to achieve a retirement with $55,000 a year income after tax, and reached out to the Dianne Maley’s Financial Facelift column for advice (for subscribers). Read what Matthew Ardrey, a vice-president and financial planner at TriDelta Financial in Toronto, says about their situation.

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BlackRock’s chief strategist for Canada on how to position your portfolio

Think you’ve seen it all in the 2020 stock market crash and subsequent rebound for the ages? What’s ahead for investors may rival that. Think inflation, higher interest rates and an end to the era of strong gains for both stocks and bonds. Rob Carrick, the Globe’s personal finance columnist, recently spoke to Kurt Reiman, chief investment strategist for Canada at global investing firm BlackRock, about what’s ahead for investors with tougher investment days that are expected to come. Here’s the interview (for subscribers).

In case you missed it

Should you move to a small town in retirement?

A few days after she retired from her job at age 54, Carla Fraser and her husband packed up their home in Maple Ridge, B.C., and moved to a lakefront vacation property in Sheridan Lake, in the B.C. Interior. “The plan was always to retire somewhere on a lake … We found this place and fell in love,” says Ms. Fraser, a former manager with the Canada Revenue Agency, now 56. The Frasers are among the many young retirees giving up urban living for the small-town life, and, in many cases, lower house prices. According to Statistics Canada, from July, 2019, to July, 2020, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver saw more people moving out to other regions of their provinces than they did moving in. As Dene Moore reports, many are people who now work from home, but retirees are considered to be among the home buyers heating up traditionally recreational markets.

What else we’re reading

As Karen Kain retires from the National Ballet, the dance community reflects on her lasting legacy

What will Karen Kain’s legacy be? To mark the Canadian ballet icon’s retirement and shift to the role of artistic director emeritus, Sarah Laing spoke to some of the many people she worked with and inspired over her five decades at the National Ballet of Canada. As one principal dancer says, “Karen made ballet about being an artist. Her exceptional international career was instrumental in bringing a spotlight to ballet in Canada and making the world take notice.” Here’s the full story in The Globe.

Why the retirement age is set to become an election issue in France

France has one of the lowest retirement ages in the world, which is a big headache for President Emmanuel Macron as he heads into an election next spring. As this CNBC story explains, Mr. Macron had plans to change France’s pension system before the pandemic hit, including raising the full-benefits retirement age from 62 to 64, which sparked protests in the country. He was forced to put his plans on hold when the pandemic hit in early 2020, but it hasn’t gone away. The prime minister reportedly met with union leaders recently to discuss the “demographic challenge” of having people retire earlier. It’s an issue that’s expected to dominate the election and dinner conversation for months to come.

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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