Roughly 90 per cent of commentary on retirement is about money – how much you’ll need, how to invest it and how much to withdraw every year. The more I look at retirement, though, the more it seems like the emotional side deserves equal attention.

One theme that keeps coming up is the difficult adjustment some men have to make in retirement. In a blog post I just came across, this condition is given a name that I’m sure many will relate to – irritable male syndrome. “Apparently, this is a real condition that some doctors blame on a drop in testosterone,” the post on the Sixty+Me blog says. “Symptoms of Irritable Male Syndrome (IMS) can include moodiness, irritability, depression, reduced energy, trouble sleeping, and bursts of anger.” Other factors that affect the happiness of men in retirement included the loss of identity from not working and no longer being viewed as sporty.

Managing the transition from work to retirement can cause anxiety for women, too. The author of this blog post, Paula Usrey, says she experienced negative behavioural changes and digestive issues associated with stress as she contemplated retiring.

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Ms. Usrey plans to retire in five months and start a new career as a retirement coach. She’ll undoubtedly be helping irritable men and women who thought that retirement planning was all about money and neglected their emotional needs. It turns out that maybe 50 per cent of retirement is about money. The rest is how you’ll build a life outside the workforce.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Why people are having fewer children

Four of the top five reasons cited in this New York Times story are related to the cost of having kids or economic instability. Daycare costs rank first by a fair margin. A Canadian pollster thinks the same issues exist in this country.

23 weird but popular items on Amazon

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For your amusement. Millennials, note the avocado keeper.

Make more, spend more

It’s called lifestyle inflation when you respond to a pay increase by ramping up your spending, and it can be a trap that leaves you worse off.

The money book Australians are buying like crazy

A personal finance book called The Barefoot Investor has been a monster seller in Australia. Author Scott Pape may just be the country’s Wealthy Barber. His take on money is a smart one – he emphasizes the idea of taking control of your money over becoming wealthy.

Today’s featured financial tool

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To understand the financial pressures young families are under, you have to be familiar with the cost of daycare. Here’s a report that shows how daycare costs for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers compare in cities across the country.

Ask Rob

Q: “Can you explain the difference between closed-end mutual funds, open-end mutual funds, and ETFs?”

A: Open-ended mutual funds are your basic mutual fund – you can buy in at any time in any amount (subject to a minimum). Closed-end funds are listed on a stock exchange and a fixed number of shares are traded. ETFs are similar to closed-end funds, but there are some key differences. Most ETFs track stock indexes, whereas closed-end funds are run by portfolio managers who pick securities. This makes ETFs cheaper to run. Also, ETFs allow big investors to redeem their ETF units for the underlying stocks or bonds held by the fund. This prevents the price of ETF shares from deviating in a big way from the market value of the securities they hold. It is common for closed-end funds to trade at a discount to their net asset value, or sometimes at a premium.

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.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance stories

  • Real estate on the brain: Why buying a home can be so painful
  • Selling or buying a home without an agent can save you money, but do your research
  • John Heinzl’s model dividend growth portfolio as of June 30, 2018 (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

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