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Retirement is no reward for some people. After decades of hard, demanding work, what they’d really like is more hard, demanding work.

A new book called Retirement and Its Discontents: Why We Won’t Stop Working, Even If We Can delves into the mindset of people who don’t want to retire. In a Q&A with U of T News, author Michelle Pannor Silver cites the example of a CEO who was forced to retire after her board of directors learned she was diagnosed with cancer. “In describing the transition, she told me she wasn’t sure what was worse, the cancer diagnosis or retirement,” Ms. Pannor Silver said.

The answer for people who don’t want to stop working may be to keep working. Ms. Pannor Silver said an unprecedented gap has emerged between the average age of retirement and life expectancy. Working past 65 seems quite reasonable at a time when living to 90 is slowly becoming routine.

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Ms. Pannor Silver said both employers and people who want to work past 65 would benefit if there were more late-career opportunities in the workforce. This suggests a retirement planning tip for 50-somethings: Start building your network so you can consult or find other work in your senior years. Also, consider the phased retirement. Working part-time from 65 to 70 might satisfy your lust to work while also keeping your mind sharp. Of course, working longer also helps your retirement savings last longer.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Seven real-life money mistakes

Highlights from a thread on the website Reddit called “what was your biggest financial mistake?” A couple of eye-openers here, including “not saving up before having kids.”

“Stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care”

Environmentalist George Monbiot wrote this article several years ago, but it’s still relevant. It’s a Christmas-themed call to think twice about buying junk presents for loved ones that quickly end up in a landfill. Here’s a mom with a kind of gross story about her experience with fad gifts for kids. It involves a porn phone line.

A beginner’s guide to credit card hacks

Budget travel expert Barry Choi offers an overview of ways to maximize the credit card points and rewards.

A financial to-do list for parents-to-be

A handy list of money-related things to think about if you’re expecting a baby. Even as the father of two sons aged 21 and 24, I remember that there’s a financial adjustment period after having a child.

Today’s financial tool/app

This net worth calculator will show you the difference between the value of the assets you own and the amount you owe through your debts.

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Ask Rob

Q: I am moving from mutual funds to ETFs. I keep hearing about dividend funds for income. In the long run, which is better – dividend mutual funds or ETFs?

A: My sense from years of looking at the comparative performance of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the Canadian dividend category is that dividend mutual funds do well at generating solid long-term total returns based on dividends plus share price gains. Dividend ETFs are useful income generators – most pay dividends monthly, and the yields tend to be higher than dividend mutual funds because of lower fees. One thing to like about dividend mutual funds it that you can get no-cost dividend reinvestment. With dividend ETFs, you have to collect your cash dividends and reinvest them yourself. Note: Some online brokers will allow you to set up a dividend reinvestment plan on an ETF.

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.

Featured video

How to manage your home equity line of credit (with cool sound effects).

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