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He’s 85 years old and now expects to live to 100. As a result, changes must be made in how generous he and his wife are to their adult children and grandkids.

Meet a loyal Globe reader from Northern Ontario who I’ll call William. He’s one of a bunch of people who check in now and then to share their thoughts on money and life. Recently, William included me in a family e-mail that caught my eye because it’s so matter-of-fact practical. If he’s going to be living longer than he previously thought, he’ll have to be more cautious about spending his savings.

I asked William if I could share the note and he’s cool with that. Here goes:

Dear Children/Grandchildren:

As I have opined, from time to time, it would not “surprise” me if I lived to be 90 years of age. I used this age (90) as a yardstick connected with the annual distributions of your “advanced inheritance” (ie Christmas distributions), so as to ensure that I would die broke.

However, the calculus has changed, based on the projections which appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal, in which the following headline appears: “Probability of someone alive today reaching 100 years of age.” The article goes on to say:

“A lot of people are thinking about life expectancy, but the extent to which people are asking questions about longevity is much lower,” said Abigail Hurwitz, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who studies pensions and behavioral finance. Or, as Olivia Mitchell, a University of Pennsylvania professor and co-author on a pair of recent papers, put it: “The chance you might live a very long time in retirement and run out of money is something we haven’t focused enough on at all.”

As a result of this newly minted information, and based on my current health, I am now convinced that I will live until I’m at least 100. That is the good news. The bad news is that I will be required to scale back your yearly “advanced inheritance” distributions, by 50 per cent.

Please do not take this personally.

Love, Dad/Grandpa

I like the idea of seniors using their affluence while they’re alive to help family members instead of doing it after death through a will. Just be mindful that longer lives require more money. It’s better to have some money left at the end than to run out.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list

The digital undertaker

A look at disruptors in the funeral industry who are using digital technology to reduce end-of-life costs. An obvious solution for single people who want to make their own arrangements.

The last time housing prices were this low

It was August, 2021, which isn’t that long ago. As much as prices have fallen lately, you’re still in pretty good shape if you’ve been in the market for a few years.

Taxes headed higher

As households struggle with higher mortgage rates, Vancouver’s mayor proposes a 10.7 per cent property tax increase to pay for services needed by city residents. Toronto’s proposed budget would have property taxes going up 5.5 per cent, the most since 1998. Property taxes are a cost of home ownership that doesn’t get talked about much. That may change.

Slightly lost, but mostly happy

A woman who lives in Red Deer, Alta., on what it’s like to step into retirement. A nice touch on this one. About feelings.

Ask Rob

Q: My partner and I have been shopping for our first property for almost two years now. We have a substantial amount of money to use as a cash down payment, but we haven’t been able to buy something. In the meantime, our down payment money is held in cash in case we need it and returning close to zero interest. Knowing that it may still take a while before we buy something (but it could also happen next week), what should we do with our cash?

A: Five options for this cash right here. Pros, cons and more.

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.

Today’s financial tool

A step-by-step guide for filing your first income tax return.

The Money-Free Zone

A shout-out from this long-suffering fan to Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas for all he’s doing to get the team over the hump in the playoffs.

From the Twitterverse

A thread on how the new Tax-Free First Home Savings Account works.

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