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Seniors today are reshaping the meaning of retirement.

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Retirement has long been considered the end of a person’s most productive, fulfilling life stage. To retire was to trade the buzz and energy of work with the ease and – for many – the eventual boredom of an aimless routine. Not any more. Seniors today are reshaping the meaning of retirement as a time of reinvention and renewal. It’s a chance to live your best life, whatever that means for you.

Welcome to Sixty Five, a new section geared toward Canadians who are ready to embrace their retirement years: to live confidently and securely the way they want. We’ll share stories about doing things a little (or a lot) differently than previous generations. Whether it’s starting a business, upgrading a living space or taking a trip around the world (when that’s possible again); for many, retirement is a new beginning.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and early-bird specials either: Retirement has its challenges when it comes to health and wealth. We’ll also look at some of the big issues facing seniors today and share stories of people who are working through them. They’re both a reflection of, and inspiration to, their peers and the next generations.

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We’ve launched with six stories that cover some of these different themes:

Entrepreneurship isn’t just for the young

Retirement isn’t a time to slow down for a growing number of seniors who have decided to start a business. As Matthew Halliday reports, these so-called ‘silver entrepreneurs’ are using their restless spirit and renewed energy in ‘retirement’ to start their own businesses based on a lifelong skill or interest. Still, senior entrepreneurship has its challenges with funding and other supports mostly geared to younger people.

Living the RV Life

If you’ve ever dreamed of selling your home and living on the open road, you’ll want to check out this story from Dene Moore on the growing number of ‘full-timers’ in Canada. They’re the people trading their ‘sticks-and-bricks’ homes for living year-round in a recreational vehicle, whether a motorhome or travel trailer. The RV life isn’t for everyone and experts have some tips to test drive the experience.

Should you be a landlord in retirement?

Many Canadians believe the best way to generate income in retirement is to purchase income properties and live off the rent. The income from rental properties is called passive, but it’s not quite that simple, according to retirees such as Peter and Thérèse Campbell in Orillia, Ont. “A landlord needs to be deep-pocketed, thick-skinned, hard-working and alert to the health of the rental income stream – and threats to that stream,” Ms. Campbell, 71, tells writer Mary Gooderham. Learn more about the pros and cons of being a landlord in your retirement years.

Are health and dental insurance necessary in retirement?

Many retirees are shocked by the cost of extended health and dental insurance, especially after leaving a job with an employer benefit plan. While millions of seniors have supplementary health insurance coverage for drugs/dental through individual or group benefit plans, millions more are without it and they need to consider buying their own coverage. As Kathy Kerr reports, the decision on whether to buy depends on your health, your finances, what your provincial plan covers and if you can carry over coverage from your job.

Why so many retirees have trouble sleeping

If you’re a senior having trouble getting enough shut-eye, you’re far from alone. Sleep issues can worsen as you get older and experts say not having a job to go to every day can be part of the reason. Some retirees may also be less social, less physically active and spend more time indoors away from natural light. A senior’s circadian rhythm – the natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle – also changes. As Gillian Livingston reports, there are strategies to get a good night’s rest as you get older.

The challenges of retiring with a dependent child

Parents of children with a disability have the double challenge of planning their own retirements and saving enough for their disabled adult children. In addition to their own RRSPs, they also need to set up special trusts, research government benefits and appoint reliable friends or acquaintances as trustees. And they need to map out a safety net for their children that may or may not include care. As Anna Sharratt reports, it’s a lot to handle in addition to the financial and health care challenges that can arise in the retirement years.

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What else we’re reading

Each week we’ll also bring you retirement-related stories that may be of interest from other sections of The Globe and Mail and outside publications. It’s our way of recognizing the good work being produced to help retirees with their new beginning. Here’s a start:

A new product for people who never had a pension at work

Three in four Canadian workers have a big decision to make when they retire: How will they convert the money they saved into a lifelong flow of income? The people who make up this majority are the country’s pension-disadvantaged. They may have workplace savings plans of one sort or another, but not a defined benefit pension that pays a predictable amount a month for life. If you’re in this group, you can now buy something that aims to provide the retirement income security your employer never offered. Rob Carrick writes about the Purpose Longevity Pension Fund.

Four factors to consider if you plan to move away from Canada

Many Canadians think about leaving the country in retirement. But as CPA Canada reports, there are tax consequences of changing countries, especially if you expect the move to be permanent. This article looks at four tax factors to consider.

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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