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Most of what I read about retirement in my job divides neatly into two categories: 1) retirement is great and 2) retirement can be miserable if you don't watch out. To show you what I mean, look at two articles I came across earlier this week.

The first is about loneliness, described as a silent killer of retirees. It's twice as harmful to your health as obesity, the article says. The second is one woman's upbeat list of 10 things she likes about getting older. Among other things, she finds herself less anxious, judgy and self-critical.

Pay close attention to that list of 10 good things. It says here that people who have a positive attitude toward aging tend to live longer than those who view it negatively.

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One way to cut your clothing budget
Can an adult get away with wearing the same thing to work every day? Think of the time and money you'd save…

Why you should read your grocery store receipt
I'm bad at this – I don't even check restaurant bills all the time. But here's a strong case for taking a close look at what receipts tell you about your food costs.

"Think of fees like termites"
An amusing and dead-on critique of the financial advice biz by John Oliver, a TV rant artist whose show is called "Last Week Tonight." It's U.S.-focused, but definitely applicable to Canada.

They can afford a house, but they're renting
Does this sound familiar? The housing market in Pasadena, Calif., is frothy and some people are wary of buying in. Read here about why one family decided to rent there instead of buying.

Your yacht vacation
How to vacation like a billionaire on the cheap – tips for affordably booking a holiday on a yacht, staying in a luxury hotel and travelling on a private jet.

Travelling to the U.S. this summer?
Here's a list of the best free things to do in all 50 states.

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Today's featured financial tool
If you own mutual funds, try this fund fee calculator to see the dollar amount of the fees you're paying. Starting this summer, new investment industry rules will require this information to be displayed on client statements.

Ask Rob

The question: "Due to the current volatility in the market, I am sitting on lot of cash and waiting for a buying opportunity. [My broker] doesn't pay any interest on the cash in the account. Is there another source where I can earn something better than nothing?"

My reply: What you want is an investment savings account, which is a high-interest savings account that trades like a mutual fund. Returns on most are 0.75 per cent, but I see that Home Trust's product pays 1.05 per cent. The fund code is HOM100. This and other accounts are protected by Canada Deposit Insurance Corp.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.

Featured Video
How much money should a young couple be saving? Quite a lot, I'm told in this video with Leslie-Anne Scorgie, author of The Modern Couple's Money Guide.

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Retirement Readiness Calculator

One of the key variables in retirement planning is the replacement ratio, which refers to the percentage of your working income that you’ll need in retirement. Experts say retirement ratios can run from 50 per cent to 70 per cent or more, which is quite a wide range.

To calculate your personal replacement ratio, use this worksheet. Note your personal or household spending while in the workforce and then estimate your spending in retirement.

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Part One: Compare your month-to-month costs

Many of these costs will be the same after you retire, but going into retirement debt-free can a big difference maker. You can adjust your monthly retired costs or leave them the same as your expenses while working.

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Part Two: Pre-retirement costs you won't face in retirement

These are costs that you face in your working years, but not in retirement.

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Part Three: Your kids and parents

Will you have kids at home after retirement? Or will they be otherwise financially dependent on you? Also, might your parents need your financial help at some point?

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Part Four: Annual leisure and entertainment

You'll have much more free time in retirement – how will you fill it, and what will the cost be?

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About the Author
Personal Finance Columnist

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998.Rob's personal finance columns appear in The Globe on Tuesday and Thursday, and his Portfolio Strategy column for investors appears on Saturday. More

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