Christmas is almost here, and I’m already looking forward to turning the calendar page on 2017. But it wasn’t all bad. Science had a good year. Gene therapy made inroads in the fight against cancer. Folks allergic to peanuts may soon have a treatment. Even a man, paralyzed from the neck down, held and drank from a cup of coffee, thanks to implanted electrodes. (“Scientific breakthroughs of 2017,” The Week, December 22/29, 2017, pg. 26.)
True, Congress struggles to convince the public its tax plan benefits everyone, not merely the wealthy. But women have found their own truth. Their #MeToo campaign has changed the national conversation about sexual harassment.
Cartoonists and satirists haven’t done badly this year. Lots of snafus, thanks to political greed and corruption.
Despite the worst examples of bad governance, we’ve witnessed the best in the character of everyday people. The rash of national disasters, fires, floods and hurricanes, brought strangers together and heroes were born by the minute. Even Alabama drew a line in the sand for the good of the country. Rather a liberal than send an accused child predator in the Senate.
America will survive 2017. Looking ahead to 2018, here are some dos and don’ts science has uncovered. On the Do side: Get a dog. Eat chili peppers, go camping. Commune with nature while it lasts. Drink a few cups of coffee every day. Eat Breakfast. Find someone to love. (“Health,” The Week, December 22/29, 2017, pg. 26.)
Here’s what not to do: Don’t get a tattoo. The chemical composition in the colors negatively affects the immune system. Don’t eat red meat . It increases death from 8 major diseases. Don’t spend too much time on social media. It makes you lonely. (“Science,” The Week, December 22/29, 2017, pg. 27.)
Money ideas to run by your financial adviser: consider paying your 2017 state income tax before December 31. The new federal tax code reduces deductions for state taxes in 2018. On the other hand, wait until January 1, 2018 to cash in on any capital gains. That rate drops next year.
Advice for the future: If you’re lucky enough to have a savings plan through your employer, stuff it with all the cash you can. Take it from an 81-year-old broad, retirement comes faster than you think.