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Mike Smith plays pickleball at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, on June 17, 2021.

DARRYL DYCK

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

About a month into the first pandemic lockdown last year, Mike Smith and his pickleball-playing friends desperately wanted to get back out on a court. Once small groups were allowed to gather outside again they did just that, finding an empty tennis court in Vancouver. “We had to do something, but the right nets weren’t there, so we used my big cargo bike as a net,” says Mr. Smith, 64, a retired Vancouver firefighter. Eventually, someone in Mr. Smith’s crew built a homemade pickleball net – the standard is about two inches lower than what’s used for tennis – because they were sold out everywhere. It turns out a lot of Canadians kept out of gyms were also turning to pickleball as a new pandemic-era pastime. Dene Moore reports.

CPP not paying full benefits to recent retirees

A small piece of your monthly Canada Pension Plan benefit is missing if you retired recently and chose to start payments immediately rather than delay them, Rob Carrick writes. The amount involved is as much as $4.51 a month if you retired at the age of 65 at the beginning of this year, not enough to draw the attention of anyone besides Doug Runchey of DR Pensions Consulting. Mr. Runchey has found roughly 30 cases of people who are receiving less than they are entitled to. The missing amounts relate to the CPP enhancement project, which in 2019 began a process of gradually increasing premiums for workers and employers to fund a more substantial retirement benefit for retirees of the future.

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Can this couple travel the world on their line of credit?

Wisdom has it you should pay off your mortgage before you retire from work, and for most people that’s the prudent thing to do. Tom and Marie want to “spend” their house instead. “We want to allow ourselves to splurge for the first 10 years while good health allows it, then slow down a little for the following years,” Tom writes in an e-mail to The Globe’s Financial Facelift column. Just retired, Marie and Tom, both age 60, have defined benefit pensions, investment assets of $1.4-million and a mortgage-free home in Quebec valued at $1.8-million. They want to travel extensively for the next 10 years or more but they don’t particularly want to sell their house. Warren MacKenzie, head of financial planning at Optimize Wealth Management in Toronto, looks at their situation.

In case you missed it

Canadians are big on home ownership. About two-thirds of us own our homes, according to Statistics Canada, making us among the world leaders in that category. We even have a burgeoning home-equity loan industry to help the home-rich but cash-poor stay in their houses after retiring. But as Paul Brent reports, home ownership doesn’t always make sense for retirees. With many older Canadians approaching retirement with little savings – and some even carrying significant debt – selling the family home and renting may mean the difference between just getting by and living a life free from financial worry.

What else we’re reading

Why you might want to get a job in retirement

After a 30-year career at Proctor & Gamble Co., Francis Nelson Beebe was living his retirement dream – playing about 200 rounds of golf a year – before an epiphany.

“I was standing over a putt one day and I said, ‘I can’t do this for the rest of my life,’ " the former logistics executive recalls in this recent Barron’s article.

For Beebe, who graduated from the Cordon Bleu culinary program after retiring from P&G, that has meant a second act as the baker and owner of Mr. Nelson’s Cookies. Read the article for more on why working in retirement might be right for you.

Four steps to a happy retirement

Being financially secure is important for a fulfilling life in your post-work years. However, money isn’t the only thing crucial to your well-being, as this article states. Find out what other factors people have in common when it comes to a happy retirement. The results were published in a report, “The Four Pillars of the New Retirement: What a Difference a Year Makes” from Edward Jones and Age Wave.

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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