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I’m starting to think that everyone’s financial plan for retirement should include a Volume Two that focuses on lifestyle as opposed to money.

What will your daily routine look like? What are your plans to get out of the house on a regular basis? How will you stay mentally and physically sharp? How will you balance time spent with your partner and alone time? What will you wear – presentable attire or the fraying, slobby clothes you used to reserve for rainy weekends at home?

These questions arise from a highly amusing article posted to retirement-oriented website called Next Avenue. The author sums up the retirement experience with her husband as “a lot less money, a lot more husband.”

The husband is a cliché of crankiness and inertia. No doubt, he has stories to tell about his spouse. But even after accounting for a story teller’s exaggeration, there’s a sense in this article of a couple who parachuted into retirement with no thought of how life would go.

Plan your finances for retirement, and your lifestyle. You may end up with a stronger financial plan if you tie it to specific goals and activities you want to do – or avoid – in your retirement years.

An investor’s take on a hot trend in advice fees: ‘The value added is negligible’

DIY investors: Make sure you avoid the mutual fund fee trap at online brokers

This growth-oriented RRSP portfolio is both simple and smart

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Why your retirement planning is doomed

A highly critical take on the way people plan and save for retirement. The author, who specializes in retirement issues for entrepreneurs, thinks people are mindlessly shoveling money into an investment industry that works for itself, not the client. A wake-up call to do some critical thinking about your own retirement strategy. Note: This article appears in Forbes, which means there are some U.S. retirement references.

She drove two hours twice a week to help her parents

An ethics and etiquette columnist tackles a tough one here: Should someone who has spent a lot of time and money looking after elderly parents get some financial compensation?

Better budgeting, the old-school way

Introducing a Japanese budgeting method called Kakeibo, where you divide your expenses into four categories and keep track using a pencil and paper.

Little victories in the war to save money

This is good, slice-of-real-life personal finance. A blogger asks some of her peers to talk about a “money win” and hears back about things like finding a discount on summer camp for kids and money saved on trimming a tree.

Today’s financial tool

Looking for information on a mutual fund? Fund Facts documents for pretty much all funds are available here. Fund Facts are super clear summaries of key points to consider when investing in a particular fund.

Ask Rob

Q: Is the federal Home Buyers’ Plan appropriate for seniors? Can you both draw down your RRSP and repay the HBP loan? Rather than sell more of our non-registered investments than necessary, we would prefer to use the program.

A: Here are the rules on eligibility to use the HBP – I see nothing that would prevent seniors from using it. I get a sense that there are a lot of moving parts to your decision to buy real estate. Have you considered a consultation with a financial planner to get a big picture analysis of how this move would affect your retirement?

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 and clarity.

What I’ve been writing about

  • Online password overload making your head explode? A cyberfraud expert has the answer
  • TFSAs have been a disappointment in getting Canadians to save more
  • DIY investors: Make sure you avoid the mutual fund fee trap at online brokers (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

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