Published by The Beacon Newspapers, Inc.
MARCH 2018 â€¢ FREE
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
This one is on us My column last month, about my experiI called the pharmacy and insisted they take ence with an outrageously and unnecessarily the prescription back and credit my insurance overpriced prescription, genercompany. Then I called the head ated a great deal of reader comof the medical practice and inment. formed him about my experiIn case you missed it, in brief: ence. He expressed amazement I was repeatedly encouraged by at the cost, and indicated he a doctor, despite my protests, to would tell his staff to think twice try out a “new” anti-inflammatory before prescribing it in the future. (which turned out to simply comI think I’ve received more bine two readily available overcomments and letters concernthe-counter drugs into a single ing that column than any other prescribed pill). I’ve written in the past 30 years. The doctor said he would call Readers responded with kudos, in the prescription to a phar- FROM THE with questions, shared their macy that would not charge me PUBLISHER own similar experiences or, in a a co-pay, and that I simply By Stuart P. Rosenthal few cases, threw out challenges needed to let them know if I like this one I found on my anwanted it. swering machine: I took some samples home to try it out, “What did you do after you talked with and was shocked a few days later to find a your doctor? Did you call Medicare? Send a month’s supply of Vimovo sitting in my mail- copy to every member of the your delegation box, mailed to me by the pharmacy without in Congress? Did you contact AARP? As a my saying a word. matter of fact, if I were you, I’d send a copy I was even more shocked when I noticed to ‘60 Minutes.’ (in very fine print) that the prescription had “Let’s do something about it! If all you do is been billed to my insurance company for call your doctor, it’s certainly not going to stop.” $2,236! The generic OTC pills I usually take Actually, I think facing up to our doctors cost less than $10 a month. on this kind of thing is the only way such be-
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Editorial Mission: Fifty Plus is dedicated to providing readers with accurate information, professional guidance, and useful resources. Our publication is intended to both reflect and enhance fifty-plus lifestyles, and to encourage reader dialogue and input. Fifty Plus is published monthly and distributed free of charge. The advertising deadline is the 20th of each month for the upcoming issue. The entire contents of Fifty Plus are ©2018, The Beacon Newspapers, Inc. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written consent of the publisher. The views and opinions expressed by writers and columnists do not necessarily represent those of Fifty Plus or its staff.
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havior is going to stop, or at least lessen. Let me explain why. My complaint is about a particular type of price gouging: where a pharmaceutical manufacturer combines cheap OTC drugs into a single pill, and charges a huge premium for the convenience. In my column, I was not objecting to new breakthrough drugs that, with one shot or a brief course of treatment, completely cure a potentially fatal condition (such as is the case with several new cures for hepatitis C, an otherwise chronic condition that can, left untreated, lead to liver failure and death). One can make the argument that if such a treatment obviates a lifetime of expensive medications and saves and improves lives, it could legitimately be priced at a significant premium. On the other hand, when these hepatitis C treatments came out a few years ago, I wrote a column giving reasons for NOT charging such a premium, based on the fact that the underlying discoveries that led to the breakthrough were paid for by taxpayer-funded research. This is a different problem calling for a different solution. I was also not speaking last month about
“personalized medicine,” where doctors individually design treatments to correct a particular person’s genetic condition or halt a rare, fatal cancer. We have just begun to have successes in this type of medicine, so I can understand why — at least at the moment — the huge costs that go into crafting these treatments should be passed along to the patient or their insurance company. We can hope that prices will come down as we learn more, and perhaps develop new efficiencies in these techniques. I also wasn’t speaking in my column about the situation where a drug company acquires an old patent and, having a monopoly, jacks the price up several hundred-fold. That is a heinous practice in my view, but at least it reflects the reality of monopoly pricing, and should give other companies an incentive to develop their own versions at a far lower cost. This is a problem that our economic system often can address, and that our regulators and legislatures have power to change if they choose. My specific complaint was about someSee FROM THE PUBLISHER, page 25
Letters to the editor Readers are encouraged to share their opinion on any matter addressed in Fifty Plus as well as on political and social issues of the day. Mail your Letter to the Editor to Fifty Plus, P.O. Box 2227, Silver Spring, MD 20915, or e-mail to email@example.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number for verification. Dear Editor: Fifty Plus reader William S. Hogat of Henrico was right on the mark in his positive letter in the February issue! Fifty Plus continues to amaze. Having just returned from my monthly business trip back to Northern Virginia, I read the latest Washington Beacon and am delighted to see how well you revitalized the Richmond newspaper! Donald E. White Ashland [Editor: We so appreciate these nice notes and your support. Thank you for this, and for encouraging your friends to read Fifty Plus!] Dear Editor: I’m an RN, now 83 years old. I wanted to let you know how much I liked your essay, “A Bitter Pill.” I had SO many experiences with that, and I can empathize with what you went through. June Echols Lynchburg Dear Editor: I picked up the February Fifty Plus at Kroger today, and read your article, “A bitter pill.”
I’m going tell you one thing. If I had somebody pull that damn bait-and-switch on me with a prescription, it would be hard to hold me back from busting him with a knuckle sandwich. You should get in touch with the state attorney general, the federal attorney general, the FDA, and the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to take those people to task and break it up. Most people in this country, including myself, are probably overmedicated. I think 98 percent of this crap ought to be forced off the market. I hope you take them to task, and I’d love to hear what you say about it after going to the FDA and attorney general. Those people need to be in jail. Jerry Stone via voicemail [Editor: Thank you for calling. Please read this month’s From the Publisher column, where our publisher shares his thoughts regarding your suggestions and those of other readers thinking along the same lines. We are glad you are a consumer who refuses to be taken advantage of.]
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Feature Story Powerlifter pushes herself to new heights
Refocusing her dreams
VCU professor, entrepreneur By the time she was working toward the Olympics, Odum had already earned her Ph.D. in higher education, taught as a professor at VCU, and started her own successful company, which developed technical manuals and instructional design. Even as she was starting to find success with powerlifting, her new business led Odum to take a break from rigorous training to meet the demands of the job, which required frequent travel. Those years were busy, but Odum derived enjoyment from making poorly-written policy understandable and compelling, and from turning an expert’s knowledge into something teachable. Now, 30 years after initially meeting Craven, Odum is partially retired. She is no longer actively growing her business, but has several clients who keep asking her to work on “just one more” project. As Odum describes it, she has always been blessed with good health. “I’m so medically boring,” she said, “I make doctors fall asleep.” Her good health enabled her to donate a kidney at age 62, beyond the age when most people can do so. Her good health also enabled her to survive a harrowing motorcycle accident in 2010. Without the core strength and flexibility she had developed through lifting, she believes she would likely have had intensive back surgery and been kept in a “turtle shell” brace for at least six months rather than three. After that accident, Odum made a promise to her partner (who is also named Linda) and to her sister Leslye never to ride a motorcycle again. “I do miss it though,” she admits. “And I might mention I was absolutely goofy on painkillers when I made that promise!” She seems to have made peace with her decision, though. “I rode for 50 years without an accident,” she said, “so perhaps it was time to hang up my leathers.” See WEIGHTLIFTER, page 5
Linda Odum’s training schedule is intense, requiring about 20 hours a week lifting weights, practicing Taekwondo, and doing cardio workouts. After 50 years as a motorcyclist, she reluctantly gave that up a few years ago after she suffered a serious accident. But her strength helped her recover in half the normal time.
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Instead, Odum focused on rehabilitating her shoulder, while continuing to work with Craven. Apparently, being around the gym inspired her, and “in about two years, once the shoulder was better, I told Mike I wanted to join the powerlifting team,” Odum recalled. Odum said she was drawn to powerlifting in part because of its similarities to Taekwondo. “Both teach discipline, respect and focus,” she said. “Both disciplines are like a three-legged stool — you have to have physical, mental and spiritual strength to stay in balance.” So she started working on squats, bench presses and deadlifts, and participated in several competitions, finding some success at the state level. Now 72, Odum is currently ranked number one in weight lifting for her age group in Virginia, and number four nationally. She also continues to train in Taekwondo (with Master Seung Gyoo Dong), and is now a
5th degree black belt. She hopes to continue advancing to the 9th and highest degree. Despite her success, she remains modest and focused on the future. “The farther I get, the more I have to learn,” she said about Taekwondo. Although Odum describes her experiences humbly and matter-of-factly, it quickly becomes clear that she possesses incredible energy, determination and drive in all aspects of her life.
By Catherine Brown The year was 1986, and 40-year-old Linda Odum had a goal: to earn a spot on the U.S. Taekwondo team — a demonstration sport debuting at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Because she was older than her competitors, she felt she needed to step up her game and become stronger. She knew increased strength could give her the edge to make the team. Having come of age when women were not encouraged to lift weights, Odum had never attempted that. “I grew up when women couldn’t even play full-court basketball!” she said. But she thought working out with weights might be the key to her success, so she starting researching trainers. She kept hearing about Mike Craven of Mike’s Olympic Gym in Mechanicsville. Craven had opened his gym in 1983, and was well known for having worked with highly competitive athletes. (He now says he has trained 11 world champions, 17 national champions, and a tremendous number of state champions.) “Anyone who wanted to be the best was training here,” Craven said of the time. So that’s where Odum went. While working with him, she did develop her strength and achieved her dream of qualifying for the Olympic team. But in a heartbreaking turn of events, she suffered a shoulder injury two weeks before training was to start in Colorado, and was unable to participate in the Olympics.
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
WHY DO MEN COMPLAIN SO? Men and women experience diseases, from flu to heart attacks, differently YOUR DIABETES TEAM Many specialists, from endocrinologists to dietitians, keep diabetics healthy HOW TO PROTECT YOUR KIDNEYS Kidney function gradually declines with age, leading to a variety of problems MAKE WISHES KNOWN Let loved ones know about your advance directive and other documents
How to find and use your best time of day By Mirel Ketchiff Most people’s mental energy is a roller coaster, said Chris Bailey, the author of The Productivity Project. “There are certain hours when you naturally have much more drive than at other times,” he said. The tricky thing is that the time of day when mental energy peaks is different for everyone. Fortunately, your highs tend to occur at about the same times every day, so you can learn to plan your schedule around them and maximize your productivity. Here’s how to take advantage of your personal power hour: 1. Pinpoint your peak productivity hour. Pay close attention to the times you feel inspired to dive into small and easily completed tasks, like going through your inbox or organizing your desk, suggested David Gard, Ph.D., the director of the Motivation and Emotion Research Laboratory at San Francisco State University. Taking on simple to-dos indicates you’re craving a sense of accomplishment, which is a sign that your motivation is starting to peak.
Track your productivity for a few days in a row and you should notice a pattern. 2. Next, choose just one challenge to conquer. Your instinct may be to get as many things done as possible when your motivation is high. But it’s actually more efficient to work on one task that requires sustained energy and focus. More ambitious tasks may be daunting at first, but they’re ultimately more motivating. Plus, over time your brain will start to associate your power hour with achievement, which will make you even more productive. 3. Prime your brain to concentrate. A ritual — like writing a to-do list or taking a walk — right before your power hour can help strengthen your brain’s natural increase in focus.
“It’s classical conditioning. After practicing the same behavior for several weeks, that activity can cue your mind to get ready for a productive work period,” Gard said. Exercise is an especially powerful cue. “My studies have shown that your ability to focus your attention is improved for up to two hours after a single 50-minute workout session,” said Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., a professor of neural science and psychology at New York University and the author of Healthy Brain, Happy Life. 4. Set yourself up for success. “Before you begin a project, break it down into exaggeratedly small steps,” Gard advised. If you’re working on a presentation, for instance, step one might be to open PowerPoint and get your document cued up and ready to
Each person’s mental energy tends to peak at the same time every day.
go. If you’ll be batch-cooking, assemble all your ingredients and preheat the oven. Getting all the necessary prep work out of the way beforehand lets you dive right in to the tough stuff. Then, eliminate any potential distractions — your phone, your in-box, noisy co-workers — and get to work. 5. Finish strong. To kick your motivation into high gear to complete your project, take a mini-break halfway through. “After 20 to 25 minutes, your productivity is shot. But you can cultivate and prolong your energy by taking frequent breaks. And no, checking your in-box doesn’t count,” Gard added. “It’s better to get out of your environment,” he said. “If you’re at your desk, get up and visit a co-worker for five minutes. Afterward, you’ll be primed to finish what you started.” Ketchiff is health editor at shape.com. SHAPE magazine is dedicated to helping you live a healthy and happy life. Online at www.shape.com. © 2018 Meredith Corporation. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
How to reduce spring allergy symptoms By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I have spring allergies. Ever y year I think they won’t be too bad. In reality, it’s awful and I have a hard time getting ahead of the symptoms. Suggestions? A: People with spring allergies are usually affected by pollen from birch, elm, maple, oak or poplar trees, depending on where you live. Don’t wait until you get the runny, stuffy nose and itchy eyes. Get started on treatment now, before the spring allergy season kicks in. When pollen floats through the air and reaches the nose, the body sometimes overreacts. Mast cells in the lining of the nose mistake the harmless tree particles for dangerous invaders. They summon help by releasing chemicals such as histamine and tryptase, which then recruit more immune system cells to the battle.
Instead of allowing the body to conduct an unnecessary fight against pollen, you can turn off your defense system with medications. But it’s best to do so before those allergens arrive. This is partly because some drugs take a few weeks to become fully effective. It’s also because the reaction to even a few allergens has a snowball effect. Once the reaction star ts, it’s hard to stop. More inflammatory cells are recruited to the nose and sinuses, symptoms become more severe, and it’s difficult to treat them. Thus, it’s better to block the reaction before it begins, in order to prevent symptoms or at least lessen their severity.
What to take The best medication to start in advance is a corticosteroid nasal spray, such as mometasone furoate (Nasonex) or fluticasone propionate (Flonase). Some of these sprays are now available over the counter. They more effectively counteract symptoms of allergies than other types of drugs. It takes a month of a corticosteroid spray for mast cells to feel the full impact and to turn off inflammatory chemicals. So, ideally, you want to start three to four weeks before you usually get your symptoms. And then use the spray every day while allergy season lasts. Another medication that can be taken in
Turn off your body’s allergic reactions before the season starts.
advance of anticipated symptoms is an antihistamine. Several non-sedating pills are available without prescription. Also, you could use a prescription antihistamine spray. And if you also have eye symptoms, you may need antihistamine eye drops as well. Don’t forget about drug-free ways to avoid allergens — such as keeping air conditioning and heating filters and vents clean, keeping windows closed, wearing a mask for outdoor yard work, and avoiding going outside when pollen levels are highest. Howard LeWine, M.D., is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. For additional consumer health information, visit www.health.harvard.edu. © 2018. President and fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Fitness & Health
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Weightlifter From page 3
Intense training regimen Whenever Odum talks about her powerlifting career, she credits Craven for her success. Over the years, Craven shifted his attention from primarily training elite athletes to coaching a broader population. An expert in exercise science, he helps clients sort through conflicting health information and follow scientifically proven ways to improve their health. When coaching Odum, Craven says his goal is not to make her muscles as big as possible. “Powerlifting is not just about how big a person’s muscles are,” Craven said. “If that were true, the best built bodybuilders would win.” Instead, Craven works with Odum on her mental state, to train her brain to excite more muscle fibers and recruit more muscle groups when lifting. Odum’s humility prevents her from acknowledging the remarkable amount of time and energy she puts into training. She lifts weights with Craven three days a week, for two and a half to three hours at a time. She does a cardio workout on her cross-country skiing machine at home several days a week for up to two hours. She also trains with Master Dong two days
a week, and practices Taekwondo at home. All in all, she devotes about 20 hours to training every week. And because she lives in Lancaster County, Odum spends eight hours just commuting to and from Craven’s gym and Master Dong’s studio each week. To be successful, Odum has figured out how to listen to her body. “Some days you get up and feel you can take on the world,” Odum said of her training. “Other days not so much.” Even so, she doesn’t always listen: “Sometimes I have to ask myself if I’m making excuses [to myself] or telling the truth.”
Why continue to compete? Participating in competitions motivates Odum to lift more than she can in the gym. “You pick up the enthusiasm and excitement of the meet itself, and sometimes that helps you powerlift more than you thought you could,” she said. While she gains strength from the roar of the crowd, Odum focuses intensely on the lift itself. “I think about what muscles I have to recruit to stand erect or push the bar off my chest,” she said. A drug-free lifter, Odum uses neither chemical enhancers nor garments or wraps that help her lift. “It’s just me and the weight,” she said. How does a 72-year-old powerlifter celebrate being ranked the best in her age group?
After a competition, “I was really craving a hamburger,” Odum said. So she and her family found the nearest hamburger joint in town. What does a top-ranked powerlifter not do? She doesn’t let fame get to her head, and she certainly doesn’t gloat about her impressive ranking. “It feels good to be number one, but the rankings are fluid,” she said. “Anyone who walks around strutting her stuff is asking for a shoulder injury.” On March 24, Odum will compete in North Carolina’s competition (powerlifters may compete in their own states and in neighboring ones). If she does well there, she hopes
to move on to national and maybe even international competitions. There is a chance someone at the next Virginia competition may take over the top state ranking for her age group (70 to 74), but Odum doesn’t worry too much about that. “The only thing you can control is your own attitude,” she said. When asked if she wants to be a role model for older adults, she answers in her characteristically self-deprecating way. “I don’t consider myself to be a role model. But if people look at me and say, ‘If this old broad can do it, I can too,’ that would be wonderful.”
M A R K YO U R CAL EN DA R
HISTORIC 5K RUN AND WALK
Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier is hosting its first 5k Breakthrough Trail Run/Walk on Saturday, March 31. The race will begin at the historic Hart Farm, 6915 Duncan Rd., Petersburg, Va. Race day registration is from 7 to 9 a.m., start time is 9 a.m. Registration costs $30 for runners and walkers. All registrations include a general park admission. Participants can register online at RunSignUp.com, call (804) 861-2408, or visit www.pamplinpark.org for registration forms, a course map or more information.
SENIOR OLYMPICS REGISTRATION
The Virginia Senior Olympics for 2018 is currently open for registration. The games run from Wednesday through Saturday, May 16 to 19 in Henrico. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/VIrginiaSeniorGames2018. For assistance registering online, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fitness & Health | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Do men suffer more, or just kvetch more? By Dr. Robert Shmerling Q: Do men really suffer more with the flu than women? A: I’d never heard of “man flu,” but according to a new study of the topic, the term is so ubiquitous that it has been included in the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries as “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.” As commonly used, the term “man flu”
could describe a man who develops a cold or flu and then embellishes the severity of their symptoms, quickly adopts a helpless “patient role,” and relies heavily on others to help them until they recover. Another possibility is that men actually experience more severe symptoms from respiratory viral illnesses than women do.
Men and women do differ There are other examples of differences in
M ARK YO UR CAL EN DAR
LINCOLN IN RICHMOND
The American Civil War Museum is holding a History Happy Hour called “Lincoln in Richmond” on Monday, April 9 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bottom’s Up Pizza, 1700 Dock St. Admission is free; drinks are available to purchase. Just one day after the Union Army occupied Richmond — and 10 days before he was shot — President Abraham Lincoln arrived to tour the city. Explore what he saw here, the decisions he made, and how his visit offers a unique look into his evolving vision of a post-war future, with Mike Gorman from Richmond National Battlefield Park. For more information, contact Sean Kane at (804) 649-1861, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
LEARN ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY
The Social Security Administration offers a booklet on Social Security to help people learn more about where their money goes. For more information or to view the booklet online, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10072.html.
how men and women experience disease. For example, with heart attacks or angina, men tend to have “classic” crushing chest pain, while women are more likely to have “atypical” symptoms such as nausea or shortness of breath. Here are the highlights from the new study on man flu: • Influenza vaccination tends to cause more local (skin) and systemic (body-wide) reactions and better antibody response in women. A better antibody response may lessen the severity of flu, so it’s possible that vaccinated men get more severe symptoms than women because they don’t respond to vaccination as well. • In test tube studies of nasal cells infected with influenza, exposure to the female hormone estradiol reduces the immune response when the cells came from women, but not in cells from men. Since flu symptoms are in large part due to the body’s immune reaction, a lessened immune response in women may translate to milder symptoms. • In at least one study, men were hospitalized with the flu more often than women. Another reported more deaths among men than women due to flu. Together, these findings suggest that there may be more to “man flu” than just men exaggerating their symptoms or unnecessarily be-
having helplessly. While the evidence is not definitive, they suggest that the flu may, in fact, be more severe in men.
The bottom line Diseases can look different in men and women. That’s true of coronary artery disease. It’s true of osteoporosis, lupus and depression. And it may be true of the flu. So I agree with the author of this new report, who states “...the concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is potentially unjust.” We need a better understanding of how the flu affects men and women and why it may affect them differently. Until then, we should all do what we can to prevent the flu and limit its spread. Getting the flu vaccination, good handwashing, and avoiding others while sick are good first steps. And they’re the same regardless of your gender. Robert H. Shmerling, M.D., is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. For additional consumer health information, visit www.health.harvard.edu. © 2018 President and Fellows of Harvard College. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Have diabetes? Use a team of specialists By Matt Petersen Diabetes is a complicated condition. It doesn’t just affect your blood glucose level and insulin sensitivity; it affects every part of your body — from your mind to your stomach to your toes. For that reason, people with type 2 diabetes don’t just “go to the doctor.” They go to a team of healthcare professionals, and for people who are newly diagnosed, this can feel a little overwhelming. At first, you may need to see only your diabetes care provider and a certified diabetes educator. They could be all you need for a long time, or even forever. But according to the American Diabetes Association’s new book, Managing Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies, it’s a good idea to learn about the other experts in diabetes care now. That way, you will be prepared should you ever need to visit one of them in the future. Diabetes care provider This is your go-to person who helps you manage your type 2 diabetes. Your diabetes care provider might be your primary care provider, a family practitioner, internist, or nurse practitioner. A diabetes care provider will give you a yearly physical exam and an A1C test every 3 to 6 months to make sure you are staying healthy.
Certified diabetes educator A certified diabetes educator (CDE) is the other key player on your healthcare team. When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, your provider will likely refer you to a certified diabetes educator or a diabetes class taught by one. They are experts at answering your questions, and make managing your diabetes easier in your everyday life. A CDE can help you develop a plan to eat healthful foods, get physically active, and take your medications. Endocrinologist An endocrinologist is a physician trained to treat people with hormone imbalances, including diabetes. You may find this training and expertise helpful in managing your diabetes. Dietitian Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition, and are your best bet for getting the latest info on healthy eating. They can help you reach your health goals like losing weight, reducing sodium, or cutting back on sugar. You may see a dietitian when you’re first diagnosed with diabetes, and then for yearly visits afterward. Remember, when you have type 2 diabetes, what you eat is critical to your health. A dietitian is a great person to bounce ideas around
with when you’re having trouble reaching your blood glucose targets. You can also work with your dietitian to create a plan that you will be able to maintain, by incorporating foods that you enjoy and that are a part of your culture and traditions. Ophthalmologist or optometrist When you have diabetes, your eyes are particularly vulnerable to vision changes and damage because the blood vessels in your eyes can rupture and swell over time. This is why an eye specialist, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, should be part of your healthcare team. An ophthalmologist is a doctor of medicine who specializes in eye care and eye diseases; an optometrist is an eye doctor with a doctor of optometry degree (OD) who diagnoses vision changes and disease, and does sight testing and correction. When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to have a comprehensive, dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. After that, you should get an exam every one to two years, depending on your sight and diabetes care. Luckily, you can prevent or delay blindness caused by diabetic retinopathy with early detection and treatment. An eye specialist can diagnose damage in your eyes even though
you may not notice any vision problems on your own. Don’t wait until you notice vision changes to get checked out. Pharmacist If you have diabetes, you’re probably not just taking one medication, but perhaps a pill for blood glucose, a pill for high blood pressure, and maybe even another pill for cholesterol. The interaction of these medications can impact your body. This is why your pharmacist should be a key member of your healthcare team. They are experts on medications, including dosage, uses, and how the drugs interact. Your pharmacist can tell you how often and how much medicine to take, and its potential side effects. They can also tell you how new prescriptions will affect your current medication. Dentist and dental hygienist People with diabetes may be more susceptible to mouth and gum infections caused by elevated blood glucose. The best way to prevent these infections is to brush twice a day and floss. Also visit a dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes, and make sure you include it on your paSee DIABETES, page 8
Fitness & Health | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
Diabetes From page 7 perwork when you check in. And make sure your dentist and hygienist know about any problems you’re having — like dry mouth, bleeding or sensitive gums, or persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
Exercise physiologist Exercise physiologists are health professionals who help you develop a fitness program. They work directly with you to assess your current health, and come up with an exercise plan that fits your goals. If you have certain diabetes-related complications, like heart or lung problems, your
M ARK YO UR CAL EN DAR
DISPOSE OF MEDICATIONS SAFELY
Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic, and Chesterfield County is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of properly disposing of prescription medications. The theme, “Don’t be an Accidental Drug Dealer,” encourages citizens to pick up free medication disposal pouches throughout the county. For a complete list of distribution locations, contact Chris Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 768-7498.
OPIOID OVERDOSE PREVENTION
To prevent fatal opioid overdoses, Chesterfield County is launching a program to provide training and free medication, naloxone (also known as NARCAN), in the community. During the 1.5-hour trainings, participants will learn about how to administer naloxone and about resources available in the community. REVIVE! will have training dates on Tuesday, April 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Chester Library, 11800 Center St., Chester, and Tuesday, May 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Bon Air Library, 9103 Rattlesnake Rd., Chesterfield. The Chesterfield Health District will provide one box containing two doses of naloxone nasal spray to everyone who attends a REVIVE! training. A CPR face shield and a pair of gloves also will be provided. For more information or to register, contact Debbie Severt at (804) 717-6839 or visit www.chesterfield.gov/revive.
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diabetes care provider may refer you to an exercise physiologist for a stress or fitness test to evaluate your health, pinpoint concerns, and develop a personalized plan for exercise. Podiatrist People with diabetes often have poor circulation to their feet, and nerve damage, which makes it difficult to feel cuts and sores. This is why a podiatrist — a doctor with specialized training to care for and treat foot problems — is a key part of your healthcare team. They take care of corns, calluses and foot sores to prevent more serious infections. A podiatrist can show you how to trim your toenails correctly, take care of your feet daily, and can prescribe and fit you for specialized shoes to make walking and exercising more comfortable. An important word of advice: Don’t ever ignore or try to treat foot problems on your own. Call your diabetes care provider or your podiatrist if you have changes in feeling such as pain, tingling, numbness, or burning, a puncture wound from stepping on a nail or a thorn, an ulcer, a cut or sore that won’t heal, an infection in a cut or blister, or a red, tender toe. Mental health specialist Your mind and emotions are just as important as your physical health — in fact, the two are closely entwined. Living with a chronic condition such as diabetes can be exhausting and annoying. It can even lead to conditions such as diabetes burnout, depression and anxiety.
Mental health specialists are trained to help you cope with these sometimes overwhelming thoughts and emotions. There are a wide range of specialists available to meet your needs, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, marriage or family therapists, and social workers. Ask your diabetes care provider for a referral or recommendation for a mental health professional. Nephrologist People suffering from diabetes are more likely to have problems with their kidneys, because high blood glucose can damage blood vessels in these organs. Your diabetes care provider may recommend you see a kidney doctor, called a nephrologist, to help you keep your kidneys healthy. The best thing about building your healthcare team is that it’s a reminder that you’re not facing diabetes alone. These experts will guide you every step of the way, and give you the confidence and wisdom to make smart decisions that will keep you healthier longer. Matt Petersen has directed the American Diabetes Association’s Medical Information and Professional Engagement Department since 2001. Managing Type 2 Diabetes For Dummies (Wiley, February 2018, ISBN: 978-1-11936329-3, $19.99) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 1-800-2255945.
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Fitness & Health
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
How to keep your kidneys healthy as you age Q: I recently was told that kidney tabolism and clearance of medications from function declines with age, and was the body, increasing the risk for adverse drug reactions. When your kidney wondering what I could do function is reduced, some to keep my kidneys healthy? medications can build up in A: As we grow older, our kidyour body and cause harmful neys undergo a gradual decline, side effects. even for people who do not have Reducing the doses of your kidney disease. medicines based on your kidOne major function of the kidney function will help keep you neys is to remove waste products safe and prevent adverse efas well as excess fluid from the fects. Therefore, if you are older body through urine output. or have chronic kidney disease, The kidneys also help regulate it is important to ask your pharblood pressure and electrolytes. DR. RX macist if any of your medicaThey produce an active form of By Clarissa Cho tions need to be adjusted. vitamin D to help promote strong Kidney health is related to bones, and they are also able to overall good health which can be maintained control the production of red blood cells. It is important to keep your kidneys by the following: • Exercising regularly healthy. Kidney disease can lead to problems • Controlling your weight, blood pressure such as mental status changes, heart attacks, and blood sugar high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke, • Following a low salt diet (less than 2.3 and even anemia. Having high blood pressure and diabetes g/day) • Not smoking are two big causes of chronic kidney disease, • Drinking alcohol only in moderation so it is important to keep your blood pressure • Staying hydrated and blood sugar levels under control. • Monitoring cholesterol levels • Getting an annual physical Effect on medications • Knowing your family medical history Poor kidney function can also reduce me-
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For those with kidney disease If you have chronic kidney disease, you should also do the following: • Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen and naproxen). • Limit your protein intake. Speak with your renal dietitian to get specific guidelines regarding how much protein you should consume, as
this number will depend on your chronic kidney disease stage and other health conditions. • Get an annual flu shot. Your kidneys are working hard for you, so it is important to be knowledgeable about how you can help protect your kidneys. Clarissa Cho is a Pharm. D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University.
M A R K YO U R CAL EN DA R
FREE HISTORIC SITE ADMISSION
The Valentine museum offers free admission to 19 historic sites during a special admission-free weekend with a “passport” ticket on Saturday and Sunday, March 24 to 25. Each site will offer complimentary admission to visitors who show a Time Travelers Passport, available via download from the participating locations’ websites. This special offer equates to savings of more than $65 per person. Locations include Agecroft Hall & Gardens and the American Civil War Museum. For a complete list of locations and more information, visit https://thevalentine.org or call (804) 649-0711.
Maymont is holding its annual Dominion Energy Family Easter Festival on Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests will arrive on the Carriage House Lawn to find games and activities, food trucks, live entertainment and more. Tickets cost $2 each. Maymont is located at 1700 Hampton St. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/FamilyEasterFestival2018.
Fitness & Health | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
MARCH 2018 â€” FIFTYPLUS
Coconut milk and curry elevate chicken dish By Melissa Dâ€™Arabian Boneless skinless chicken breasts save the day for so many busy folks who want to get a lean, protein-filled, affordable dinner on the table in a hurry. I always have a package or two in my freezer. I buy them when they are on supersale (which they are every four to six weeks in my experience) and freeze them. Even if I forget to pop the frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw the night before I need it, I can always do a quick-thaw in a big bowl of cold water, and still get dinner on the table quickly. This ubiquitous cut of meat is chock-full of lean protein â€” a four ounce serving is only 125 calories, and has about 26 grams of protein, plus a smattering of minerals and B vitamins, and only a gram or two of fat. The downside to the boneless skinless
chicken breast is that the flavor is a little lackluster. But what some call bland, I call a blank slate! And with so little fat in the meat, you have a little wiggle room to indulge a bit with other ingredients. In my Weeknight Thai Curry Chicken recipe, for instance, I use full-fat coconut milk â€” a mere half cup for six servings of chicken is enough to create a luxurious mouth-feel without adding more than a few grams of fat per serving. In this quick weeknight-friendly recipe, I use fragrant Thai curry paste as a rub right on thin chicken cutlets, infusing them with a ton of flavor, and I serve the sauce as an accompaniment, rather than having the chicken swim in it. A quick sautĂŠ gives the chicken just the right amount of char (donâ€™t overcook), and the coconut sauce is made flavorful with
M ARK YO UR CALE NDAR
TURTLE RESCUING LECTURE
The University of Richmond is holding a free lecture with alum Rick Hudson, president and chairman of the board of the Turtle Survival Alliance, on Wednesday, April 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Boatwright Memorial Library. A happy hour reception will follow. The campus is located at 28 Westhampton Way. For more information, contact Heather Campbell at (804) 2876324 or visit www.richmond.edu.
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fresh basil, green onion and garlic. And itâ€™s quick to make â€” just a few pulses in a blender and a few minutes stovetop. Dinner in about 20 minutes will prove that weeknight cooking need never be boring.
Weeknight Thai chicken curry Servings: 6 Start to finish: 20 minutes 6 chicken breast cutlets, about 4 ounces each 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste 1 teaspoon neutral oil Sauce: 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned) 1/2 cup chicken broth 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (about 10 large or 20 small leaves) 3 cloves garlic, chopped or passed through a garlic press 3 green onions, chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 cups of cooked brown rice, for serving Lightly pound or press the chicken breasts so that they are no thicker than 3/4 of an inch. Coat each cutlet with a teaspoon of the curry paste. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, brush the oil to coat the whole pan. Place the chicken cutlets in the pan,
smooth side of the cutlet down. Turn the heat slightly down to medium, and cover the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, uncover, and flip the chicken using a spatula. (If the chicken is stuck to the pan, let it cook for another minute or two and then flip.) Let the chicken cook on the second side, uncovered, for another 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 F. Remove from heat and set on cooked brown rice on plate or platter to serve. Meanwhile, place all the sauce ingredients in a blender and pulse just enough to mix, leaving some of the basil in flecks. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce over the chicken and rice. Chefâ€™s Note: I used full fat coconut milk for unctuous texture since the quantity is relatively low, but you may substitute the low-fat version. Nutrition information per serving: 310 calories; 79 calories from fat; 9 g. fat (4 g. saturated; 0 g. trans fats); 86 mg. cholesterol; 602 mg. sodium; 26 g. carbohydrate; 3 g. fiber; 1 g. sugar; 30 g. protein. Food Network star Melissa dâ€™Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, â€œSupermarket Healthy.â€?
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Fitness & Health
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Wishes don’t come true by themselves Family, doctors need to know what you want By Mary Kane, As a nurse, Kim Von Asten of Dousman, Wis., knows it’s important to document how you want to be cared for at the end of your life, or when you can no longer speak for yourself because of a major illness or accident. She has seen too many families agonizing at a hospital bedside, trying to decide whether a loved one would want to be taken off life support. But a few years ago, she realized she had multiple copies of her own advance directive “just laying around the house.” During routine visits, her doctor would ask if she had one. “I’d say, ‘Well, they’re at home somewhere, and I have no idea where I put them. Just give me another copy,’” said Von Asten, 52. “Then I’d fill out that copy and who knows where I’d end up putting it. I finally thought to myself, if something ever did happen to me, I couldn’t find them, and my family would never be able to find them, either.”
Share your wishes Like Von Asten, you may think you’ve done your duty by filling out an advance directive listing your preferences for end-of-life care —
such as whether you want aggressive treatment or just pain management — and naming a relative or family friend as a healthcare agent to express your wishes. But that may not be enough. You still need to make sure your paperwork will translate into reality. That means ensuring that your family fully understands your wishes, updating your directive regularly, and making the document easily accessible to those who need it. “People think that, ‘Well, because my family knows what I want, I’m covered,’” said Judith Schwarz, clinical director of End of Life Choices New York, an advocacy and counseling agency. “But that’s often not the case at all.” If you haven’t created an advance directive or named a healthcare proxy, or your loved ones can’t find your directive in an emergency, you run a higher risk that your wishes won’t be honored. “Once you get caught up in the treatment train, it’s hard to get off,” Schwarz said. In an emergency room, she said, “the default position is to treat first and ask questions later.”
Fill out the forms now If you don’t already have an advance directive, create one now — and share it widely. An advance directive, which usually refers to a living will and a healthcare power of attorney, should document your preferences for medical treatment in an accident or at the end of your life, plus name a healthcare agent to make decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated. You can download advance directive forms specific to your state from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at http://bit.ly/advance-directive-forms. When you’ve completed your advance directive, make multiple copies, said Schwarz. Give them to family members and all the providers on your medical team. Keep your copies where they can be easily located. Paramedics often are trained to check a refrigerator door for a do-not-resuscitate order — so if you have one, tape it there. “Your documents are like nuggets of gold to caregivers left wondering, ‘How do I do this well?,’” said Paul Malley, president of Aging with Dignity, a nonprofit that advocates for end-of-life planning. “You want to tell as many people as pos-
sible that you’ve made your decisions, and where your records are kept.” If you’re a caregiver for someone who is seriously ill or frail, ask a healthcare provider about a “physician order for life sustaining treatment,” or POLST, form, in addition to an advance directive. The POLST form is a medical order created with a healthcare provider so that medical personnel know someone’s wishes in an emergency situation. Your loved one can specify if he or she wants resuscitation or other life-sustaining treatment, hospitalization, comfort care or something in between. In Virginia, you can download the forms at https://www.virginiapost.org.
Discuss with family Make sure your loved ones are clear about your wishes and that they are willing to carry them out. Start by holding a family conversation that includes as many people as possible, including adult grandchildren, said Marian Grant, a palliative care nurse practitioner and senior See WISHES, page 12
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Wishes From page 11 regulatory adviser with the Coalition to
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Transform Advanced Care, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group. State your preferences: Do you want to be kept alive on a ventilator? Are you willing to
M ARK YO UR CALE NDAR
LANDSCAPING HELP Chesterfield County Master Gardeners can help you achieve your
landscaping goals. If you have just moved into a new home and have no idea what is in your yard, or if you have a garden or flower bed you would like to establish, this is the program for you. Learn Your Landscape includes a 1.5-hour on-site evaluation by a trained Master Gardener volunteer to obtain a basic landscape inventory and determine homeowners needs, from growing native plants to having a healthy, sustainable yard and garden. Also included is a follow-up consultation and a personalized reference binder with tips and suggestions. Sign up online through the Cooperative Extension website or at the Cooperative Extension Office now through Sunday, May 20. The cost is $30. For more information, contact Cooperative Extension at (804) 751-4401 or email@example.com
CHESTERFIELD BOARD MEETING Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors and School Board members will cohost community meetings focused on the proposed
FY2019 budget on Tuesday, March 20, 1:30 p.m., Bermuda District, Bensley Recreation Center, 2900 Drewrys Bluff Rd. and at 7 p.m. at Midlothian Middle School, 13501 Midlothian Turnpike. There will be several more meetings. For a complete list of locations and times, visit blueprint.chesterfield.gov.
live in a nursing home? Once you’ve shared your preferences, ask a trusted relative or friend to be your healthcare agent. Select someone who can handle the task, and discuss it with them in depth. “The appointment is only as good as the conversation,” Schwarz said. “What you want is someone who will assume the significant responsibility, and decide as you would want, rather than as the daughter who doesn’t want her mom to die.”
Store in a safe place Next, ensure your documents will be accessible when they’re needed. Despite technological advances, you can’t assume your paperwork will be recorded electronically with your medical records or shared with your doctors. Methods for storing directives vary by state and by hospital system. In many cases, you’ll need to physically present your paperwork. Keep a copy in your wallet or car, or download it onto your phone. You can store your directive electronically at the U.S. Living Will Registry (www.uslivingwillregistry.com) or DocuBank (www.docubank. com), and allow healthcare providers to access it. Or create and store an advance care plan using MyDirectives, a free online service. You can use it to notify your healthcare agent, and he or she can accept or decline the re-
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sponsibility. You can also share a link to your plan with caregivers and relatives. Von Asten decided to use MyDirectives because she could better organize her documents and keep them in one place. To be sure your wishes are honored, you or your health proxy also will need to be proactive — double-checking with surgeons, nurses and paramedics to be sure they have your directive or other documents in hand through every phase of your treatment. In one instance, a daughter discovered that her father’s advance directive failed to accompany him when he was moved to a different hospital floor, said Malley.
Update as needed Update your directive regularly, and give a copy to all those who had the prior version. And follow the advice of Charles Sabatino, an elder law expert with the American Bar Association, on when to update. He suggests using the “five Ds”: a new decade of life, death of a family member, divorce, new diagnosis or a medical decline. [While you’re planning ahead, also see, “Talk to your kids about their inheritance,” on page 38, about the importance of discussing with children the tax-related consequences of inheriting different types of assets.] © 2018, Kiplinger. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
SAFEGUARDING ASSETS In today’s volatile stock market, make sure you’re diversified, keep money in stocks, and consider spending your cash holdings before mutual funds
BUY LOW As stock prices rise, it’s difficult to find good ones with low share prices. Try these five stocks under $20 with promising futures
Businesses you can start with no money wheels turning? Consider these classic business ideas you can start with no immediate costs.
Consulting and teaching Your best assets are the knowledge and skills you already have. So whether you’re a math whiz, grammar guru or musical wunderkind, consider selling your well-honed expertise. While you may eventually want to spend a few dollars to get the word out about your services — beyond, say, your social media contacts — you already have the tools you need to get started, which will help keep overhead low.
Manual work Everyday home maintenance and repairs
have a habit of piling up, so if you’re naturally handy around the house, consider positioning yourself as a master of manual labor. Start by specializing in a niche area, like building your expertise in painting or landscaping to help build credibility among clients and not overextend yourself.
Freelancing More and more companies are looking to freelancers, or independent contractors, to lower their in-house costs, giving creative types — writers, photographers, designers — an opportunity to share their talents with multiple clients.
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By Jackie Zimmerman Starting a business is often a pricey ordeal. But low- or even no-cost ideas exist for aspiring entrepreneurs with unique and marketable talent. Take inventory of the skills you already possess, recommends Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of a career blog called, “The Work at Home Woman.” List your past jobs, education, training, passions, skills and talents to help identify vocational patterns and interests that can guide you toward your new business venture. “In this exercise, you want to go deep,” she said, “so include what you liked and didn’t like about past jobs, training and schooling.” Need more small business ideas to get the
Law & Money | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Protect your assets in this volatile market By Anne Kates Smith After a long stretch of calm and a relentless rally, the stock market recently took a breather. No one should be surprised — unless you’re surprised it took so long for this bull market to take some downtime. Stock market corrections, typically defined as a loss between 10 percent and 20 percent from the peak, occur about every two years, on average. The last one began in May 2015, so we were due, especially considering that the Standard & Poor’s 500 index trades at about 18 times estimated corporate earnings for the coming 12 months — above the five-year average of 16 times and the 10-year average of 14. Get used to a rockier market, said Jim Stack, president of InvesTech Research and Stack Financial Management “The road ahead will be more volatile with increasing risk,” he said. When a market is ready to correct, it will seize on a trigger — and this market has plenty
Entrepreneurs From page 13
Personal training Cashing in on the fitness craze is a great
to choose from. Worries include some warning signs of inflation, with wages ticking higher. Bond yields are rising, making stocks look even more expensive in comparison and raising fears that higher rates could eventually crimp economic growth. All eyes are on a new Federal Reserve chief as the central bank navigates a tighter monetary policy in 2018. And then there’s the partisan divide in Washington, with intermittent threats of a government shutdown, not to mention escalating nuclear tensions with North Korea. Whatever the cause, any market drop is particularly worrisome for retirees and nearretirees, who have less time to make up for losses. Here are seven tips to help you survive any turmoil.
reasonable period,” said financial planner Cicily Maton, of the Planning Center, in Chicago. Since 1945, it has taken an average of just four months to recover from market declines of 10 to 20 percent. Bear markets (resulting in losses of 20 percent or more) have taken an average of 25 months to break even. Fight the urge to cut and run, and avoid selling your depreciated stocks, if you can. If you are in your 70s, remember that you have until Dec. 31 to take required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts.
year-olds should keep at least 20 percent of their assets in stocks. If you’ve been regularly monitoring your portfolio, you’ve already been cutting back on stocks periodically over the past few years. Now is a particularly good time to revisit your investment mix to ensure that it is consistent with your tolerance for risk. During the bull market, “people were getting comfortable with those returns, and may have let their stock allocation drift higher,” said Maria Bruno, a senior investment strategist at Vanguard. “We’ve been reminding them to rebalance.”
Keep your portfolio on track Make sure you’re diversified
One of the important lessons from the devastating 2007-09 downturn is that, even in the worst of times, “recoveries happen within a
Even retirees should have an investment horizon long enough to weather this storm or whatever the market can dish out. For a retirement that can last decades, T. Rowe Price recommends that new retirees keep 40 to 60 percent of their assets in stocks. And because stocks stand up to inflation better than bonds and cash over time, even 90-
idea for the athletically blessed, and there are no required costs for starting out. You can start by working out with clients in public spaces like parks, and focusing on body-resistance exercises.
Take your business to the next level by investing in some gear, like resistance bands or weights, to keep your clients progressing — and coming back to you for more. While there are no state or federal laws
regulating who can and cannot declare themselves a personal trainer, a potential cost (and a worthwhile one, at that) is getting certified by an industry organization like the American Council on Exercise. You’ll also want to consider liability insurance to cover any client injuries that may happen while you’re training them.
When stock prices are being pummeled, bonds are often pushed higher by investors seeking a safe place to hide. That’s been a bit tricky recently, with bond prices falling as yields rise (yields and prices move in oppoSee VOLATILE MARKET, page 16
Entrepreneur beware Hanna recommends avoiding work in highly regulated industries, like healthcare, because the guidelines can be hard to navigate. Even outside of tricky industries, there are common pitfalls to avoid when pursuing your side job: • Don’t jeopardize your main job. You may need to maintain full-time employment to generate income while your business is getting off the ground. It’s crucial you don’t allocate your best self to your side business and “phone it in” on your regular job. It’s also good to double-check your contract — you don’t want to start a new business only to realize you signed a non-compete clause with your full-time employer. • Look into licensing and certificates. Keeping overhead costs low is important, but there are some corners you don’t want to cut. Even if you’re building a business off of your existing skills, like cutting hair or baking, for example, make sure you follow regulatory guidelines for your industry. If you plan to run your business from your home, check your home insurance policy for what incidents are covered and which ones aren’t, and buy riders accordingly for added protection. — NerdWallet via AP
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Law & Money
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Five cheap stocks to buy for $20 or less By Dan Burrows Stocks with low share prices can be a costeffective way for small investors to diversify their portfolios. But even after a bumpy few weeks, the market remains near all-time highs and is as expensive as ever, making quality cheap stocks more and more difficult to find. Before a rising market tide lifted almost all boats, it wasn’t too tough to find stocks for less than $10 that offered an acceptable balance of risk and reward. Now, with the Dow bouncing between 25,000 and 26,000, investors should probably raise that limit to $20, just to be safe. Any stock still languishing below $10 likely often comes with an extra heap of risk (as we’ll see in one case), and can risk losing the benefit of institutional buying from entities such as mutual funds. It’s easy to see the appeal of stocks for $20 or less, especially if you don’t have a lot of money left over to invest after you pay bills and pad your emergency fund. However, many low-priced stocks are priced that way for a reason, so you need to be particularly discerning when you try to pick stocks that go for $20 or less. Is it risky? Sure. Don’t plow your life’s savings into a stock simply because it seems cheap. But you should take a chance on a promising stock when you can snag it at a bargain price.
Let’s take a look at five such cheap stocks trading for $20 or less (prices as of February 21, 2018):
rently trade for 24 times expected earnings, look like a bargain.
Analysts’ opinion: 9 strong buy, 1 buy, 9 hold, 0 sell, 0 strong sell Regional banks are among stocks that should benefit from Republicans’ tax overhaul, as their almost entirely domestic operations have long resulted in high effective tax rates around 30 percent on average. That will drop to 21 percent. Good news for Huntington Bancshares (HBAN, $15.53), which already delivered revenue gains, lower provisions for loan losses, and continued growth in both loans and deposits when it posted quarterly results on Jan. 23. Results matched Wall Street’s estimates and helped goose a stock that’s been hot of late. Shares in Huntington are up 12 percent over the past month vs. a gain of 4 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. “The company has a solid franchise in the Midwest, and is focused on capitalizing on its growth opportunities,” note analysts at Zacks Equity Research, who caution that rising costs and unstable credit metrics pose challenges, but still rate shares at “Buy.” “We remain optimistic about the company’s several strategic actions, including acquisitions and consolidation of branches.”
Market value: $17.1 billion Dividend yield: 2.7 percent
See CHEAP STOCKS, page 16
Graphic Packaging Holding Company Callaway Golf Company Market value: $1.4 billion Dividend yield: 0.3 percent Analysts’ opinion: 8 strong buy, 0 buy, 3 hold, 0 sell, 1 strong sell The game of golf might not be growing like it once was, but it’s still a massively popular pastime and a big business. Indeed, there are 24 million golfers in the U.S., contributing to what amounts to a $70 billion global industry. Shares in Callaway Golf Company (ELY, $15.53) are a low-cost, pure-play bet on the game, and analysts are mostly bullish on its fortunes. Callaway, for the uninitiated, is a golf equipment, clothing and accessories maker with a reach of more than 70 countries. It’s one of the top sponsors in the sport, boasting PGA names such as Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect Callaway’s earnings to expand by 22 percent next year, and at an average annual rate of 31 percent for the next five years. That sort of growth makes ELY shares, which cur-
Market value: $4.9 billion Dividend yield: 1.9 percent Analysts’ opinion: 7 strong buy, 0 buy, 1 hold, 0 sell, 0 strong sell Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK, $15.02) is one of the largest makers of folding cartons and paper-based packaging for the food and food-services industries. And a transformative deal has it poised for outsized growth in the future. The company kicked off the year by completing its merger with International Paper’s (IP) North America Consumer Packaging business. GPK now owns 80 percent of the combined company. As a result, analysts expect the company’s revenue to soar 46 percent in 2018. Longerterm, Wall Street’s pros think GPK can deliver average earnings growth of 21 percent a year for the next half-decade. With shares going for just 17 times expected earnings, Graphic Packaging could be a steal at current levels.
Law & Money | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
Volatile market From page 14 site directions). Nonetheless, a diversified portfolio is your best defense against the ups and downs of any single assets class or industry sector. In general, investors should own a mix of domestic and foreign bonds and U.S. and overseas stocks. And within the stock allocation, you should have a variety of market sectors. No single sector should claim more than 5 to 10 percent of your holdings, said T. Rowe Price senior financial planner Judith Ward.
Stick with high-quality holdings This is no time to speculate. Look for companies with dependable earnings, impeccable balance sheets and healthy dividends — or funds that invest in such companies. T. Rowe Price Dividend Growth (PRDGX)
Cheap stocks From page 15
Nabors Industries Market value: $2.4 billion Dividend yield: 2.9 percent Analysts’ opinion: 10 strong buy, 0 buy, 8 hold, 0 sell, 0 strong sell For a higher-risk, higher-reward bet on recovery in the oil patch, look no farther than
is one of Kiplinger’s favorite no-load mutual funds. It delivers steady returns with belowaverage volatility by focusing on sturdy companies that dominate their businesses and pay out reliable and rising dividends. PowerShares S&P 500 Low Volatility Portfolio ETF (SPLV) is a good choice for exchange-traded fund investors.
Tap your cash bucket Instead of dumping stocks, use Social Security and any annuities, plus the portion of your portfolio that comprises cash and shortterm CDs, to meet your expenses. Some financial advisers recommend creating three “buckets” of investments: One with cash and short-term CDs; the second with short- and intermediate-term bonds; and the third with stock and bond funds. Relying on the first bucket will leave the stocks-and-bonds bucket of your portfolio intact. Nabors Industries (NBR, $6.49), the only sub$10 name on this list. Nabors is one of the largest land drillers in the country, and is thus highly sensitive to oil prices. Happily for investors, benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices have climbed from the low $40s in mid-2017 to around $65 per barrel currently. That includes a roughly 10 percent improvement so far this year.
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Rethink your withdrawal strategy Don’t rely blindly on a rule of thumb that bases its assumptions on historical returns rather than current conditions. For instance, the 4 percent rule — a withdrawal strategy based on back-testing 30-year periods starting in 1926 — said you can safely take 4 percent of your total portfolio in the first year of retirement and in subsequent years, adjusted for inflation. Now, with stocks down and 10-year Treasury bonds yielding 2.8 percent or more, you might be wise to scale back distributions to, say, 3 percent or less of total assets (plus an inflation adjustment), or to take 4 percent and skip the inflation adjustment. Such measures are especially important if you’re at the beginning of your retirement. An unrealistic first-year withdrawal during a bear market could cripple your portfolio’s potential for long-term growth. If you don’t have other income to offset lower withdrawals, consider deferring gifts,
SLM Corporation Market value: $4.9 billion Dividend yield: N/A Analysts’ opinion: 7 strong buy, 0 buy, 0 hold, 0 sell, 0 strong sell SLM Corporation (SLM, $11.06), the student-loan company best-known as Sallie Mae, is on the cusp of a growth spurt, analysts say. That should drive market-beating returns. Wall Street’s experts, on average, forecast
trips and other discretionary expenditures until the market stabilizes. Also keep in mind that your spending changes — and typically declines somewhat — in retirement. You may find that cutting back is more doable than you think, said Blanchett.
Postpone retirement Sound drastic? Maybe so, but “delaying retirement does an amazing amount for improving retirement success,” said Blanchett of Morningstar Investment Management. Not only do you have more time to save, including making catch-up contributions to your retirement accounts, but you’re also letting the money in your accounts grow, and you have fewer years during which you must rely on savings once you do retire. “Working longer really reduces the stress on your portfolio,” he said. © 2018 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC revenue growth of 19 percent this year and 15 percent in 2019. Earnings are projected to rise at an average annual rate of nearly 26 percent over the next half-decade. With SLM shares trading at less than 10 times expected earnings, it’s possible the market still is undervaluing the company’s growth prospects. © 2018 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon promenade is lined with seaside sculptures.
Why so many keep coming back to ‘PV’ That seems to be the case because PV, as those in the know call it, teems with repeat visitors. The area offers the usual variety of activities expected at oceanfront resorts. In addition, it throws in a few surprises — like a graffiti tour, hunting excursions, climbing a mountain on mule back, and rappelling down waterfalls. An unexpected treat for many first-time visitors is a gathering of art galleries in the Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone) neighborhood, and the proliferation of eclectic sculptures that line the Malecon — a walkway along the seashore. It teems with street entertainers, food vendors and others seeking to pry a few pesos out of a visitor’s wallet or purse.
PHOTO BY DIEGO GRANDI
By Victor Block The destination that my wife Fyllis and I were visiting isn’t for everyone. Some beaches consist of more pebbles than sand, and the ocean in places lacks the clarity and multi-hued colors of the Caribbean. Despite those drawbacks, in recent years Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has grown from a sleepy village into a magnet for people who favor it for a variety of reasons. When I asked fellow vacationers with whom we crossed paths what attractions the place holds for them, I received a variety of responses. For Mary and William North, the warm weather and friendly people persuade them to travel there each year from Nebraska. Portland, Ore., native Beth Taylor explained that she enjoys the culture scene and casual lifestyle. The mystique of the place was best summed up by Colorado residents Jim and Arlene Warner. They praised the city’s location between the rugged Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and the fact that “it’s a walking town.” Then they added, “PV just gets under your skin.”
Made famous by Hollywood Given the almost around-the-clock activity in the town today, it can be hard to imagine that Puerto Vallarta (pronounced pwer’-toe vuh-yar’tuh) was a tiny fishing village with only a handful of small hotels until the early 1960s. Then came fame, in the persons of Elizabeth Taylor
Puerto Vallarta is located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, bordering Banderas Bay. Its growth from a small fishing village to a bustling city and tourist destination followed the filming there of the 1963 movie Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton.
PHOTO BY VICTOR BLOCK
Puerto Vallarta, or PV for short, offers sandy beaches along curving coves framed by mountains and lush jungle foliage. Many tourists like to return there year after year.
and Richard Burton. In 1963, the well-known director John Huston selected a site just outside of PV to film The Night of the Iguana, a movie based on the play by Tennessee Williams. He was attracted by the location’s then-tranquil setting between forest-clad mountains and the Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags), one of the largest ocean inlets in the world. Richard Burton starred in the movie and Elizabeth Taylor, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, accompanied him to the area. Their tempestuous relationship attracted an influx of Hollywood paparazzi who reported on every detail of the liaison, and PV suddenly became world famous. Based on that publicity, the town blossomed into a popular vacation destination that offers different vibes from other resort developments in Mexico that were created specifically to cater to tourists. The feeling of a “real” town beneath the veneer of a resort community is welcomed by many visitors. That is true even though, in
places, “real” translates to somewhat threadbare. But that only adds to the city’s charm for those who love it.
Bountiful beaches While locations associated with the Burton-Taylor love affair are high on the mustsee list of many first-time visitors, they soon discover other attractions worth visiting. Not surprisingly, appealing beaches, which contrast with some rock-strewn stretches of shoreline, are a major draw, and there’s plenty of variety there to suit every preference. Mismaloya Beach is inviting enough for its setting, following a gently curving cove with a verdant backdrop of dense jungle foliage. Adding to its allure is the fact that it’s where much of The Night of the Iguana was filmed. Other beaches also have their own attractions. Playa Gemelas (Twins Beach) fronts some of the clearest water in the bay. Las AnSee PUERTO VALLARTA, page 18
Leisure & Travel | www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com
Puerto Vallarta From page 17 imas, Quimixto and Yelapa are isolated stretches of sand accessible only by boat. Playa Conchas Chinas offers shallow pools favored by families with young children or grandchildren, while the offshore reef is popular with snorkelers. There’s more than one theory about how Playa de los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) got its name. Some stories suggest that either Indians or pirates killed the crew of a ship passing by that was transporting gold and silver. Another, more likely, version is that the beach once served as a burial place for the Huichol natives. The Huichol people were living in the Sierra Madre mountain range when the Spanish arrived, and they continue to be a presence in the region. Among touches of native Huichol culture to explore are ancient petroglyphs etched into even more ancient stones, lovely beadwork made and offered for sale by Huichol women, and performances of a ceremonial Pole Dance along the Malecon. Indian lore also is one focus of a small museum in the heart of Puerto Vallarta. That archaeological showcase shares the Isla Cuale (Cuale Island) with a smattering of restaurants, souvenir shops and cultural sites. Among its exhibits are artifacts found dur-
MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
ing archaeological digs near the governmentplanned tourist resort of Ixtapa. Those excavations also uncovered the ruins of a pyramid, remains of a ceremonial ball court, and a collection of pottery, jewelry and other relics.
Experiencing village life Visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the present-day life of locals and the area’s inviting natural setting, may find it at several tiny villages not far from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta. The hamlet of Boca de Tomatlan is set amidst a tropical jungle environment teeming with birds and butterflies. Sayulita in ways resembles a hipster-surfer setting with rideable waves, an eclectic mix of restaurants, and a variety of stores. But my (and my wife’s) personal favorite was Las Palmas — a village of about 1,000 people perched in the Sierra Madre foothills that has hardly been touched by the 21st century, nor in ways even by the 20th. This is horse country, and we spotted a number of steeds walking slowly down the dusty, nearly deserted main (and almost only) street, ridden by Mexican cowboys fitted out in full regalia. Looking for a place to have lunch, we used very broken Spanish and hand signs to ask several people if there was a restaurant in town. Finally a man uttered the word “casa”
and pointed to the doorway of a humble house nearby. As we gingerly entered the open door, a woman inside greeted us with a smile and led us into a cramped kitchen where earthenware bowls on the stove were brimming with a variety of local fare. After we pointed to several choices, our hostess directed us to the back porch where we took seats on somewhat rickety chairs beside an equally rickety table. She served us a bountiful meal of refried beans, rice, string bean casserole, tortillas and potato tostados. The food was good, the beers we sipped were cold, and the total bill came to about $10. The meals that we ate at restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, while reasonably priced, cost more — and were less memorable — than that simple lunch. In fact, that experience continues to stand out for us, in contrast to the lively city of Puerto Vallarta, time spent basking in the sun, and taking part in some of the long list of things to do and see there. It’s that something-for-everyone variety that tempts people to make their first visit to PV and, for many, convinces them to return again and again.
If you go Guests at the Costa Sur Resort and Spa, perched on a hillside overlooking a beach, enjoy a mini-theme-park choice of both land
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and water activities and amenities. One inviting attraction is a protected lagoon where dozens of kinds of colorful fish make their home, providing a perfect opportunity for beginning snorkelers. Room rates begin at $85 a night. For more information, visit www.costasurpuertovallarta.com. A very different experience greets those who check into the Hotel Rosita. Built in 1948 and located along the Malecon, it’s the most traditional hotel in town. With rates that start at $55, it appeals to both international travelers and Mexican residents on vacation. For more information, see hotelrosita.com. Dining venues range from posh to plain, and good food at equally good bargain prices is plentiful. Case in point: At the Agave Restaurant in the Hotel Rosita, seafood quesadillas cost $6, and filet of fish in shrimp sauce was $9. Locals often outnumber visitors at Mariscos Cuetos (469 Brasilia), which more than makes up in dining what it lacks in décor. Among entrees value-priced at $9 are sea bass and bacon skewers, seafood burritos, and grilled red snapper with rice, veggies and salad. More information is available at www.mariscoscuetospv.com. American Airlines offers the least expensive tickets in early April from Byrd International Airport for $603 roundtrip. For information about PV, go to www.visitpuertovallarta.com.
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FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
DATE Mar 2-4 Mar 4-7 Mar 8-10 Mar 10 Mar 10 Mar 13-20 Mar 17 Mar 31 Apr 8-10 Apr 13-15 ** Apr 18-May 6 Apr 20-21 Apr 21-29 Apr 23-May 4 Apr 28 May 1-4 May 2-5 May 4-6 May 7-28 May 8-11 May 9-12 May 10-11 May 12 May 19-27 May 21-23 May 22-26 May 25-29 June 1-13 June 2-9 June 3-9 June 5-10 June 6-9 June 9-16 June 13-17 June 13-22 June 15-17 June 15-30 June 17-20 June 19-23 June 21-23 June 21-23 June 23-Jul 1 July 1-10 July 2-17 July 3-6 July 7-23 July 7-Aug 5 July 14-21 July 18-29 July 20-21 July 21-Aug 6 July 22-25 July 26-28 July 26-30 July 30-Aug 10 July 30-Aug 20 July 31-Aug 4
www.FiftyPlusRichmond.com | Leisure & Travel
2018 Tour Schedule
PER PERSON PRICE TOUR Winter Wildlife Cruise / VA Beach ........................................................375 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino & Hotel ..........................................370 Philadelphia Flower Show....................................................................475 “Million Dollar Quartet” / Altria Theater ................................................150 Highland Maple Festival ........................................................................60 Baseball Spring Training / Phoenix Fly ..............................................2495 Highland Maple Festival ....................................................................... 60 “Dirty Dancing” / Altria Theater ........................................................... 150 Sands Casino & Resort / Bethlehem, PA .......................................... 295 Washington DC / Cherry Blossom Festival ....................................... 450 Southwest & California Motorcoach ................................................ 2975 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA .................................................................... 350 Charleston / Savannah / Jekyll Island .............................................. 1375 Texas “The Lone Star State” ........................................................... 1995 “The Wiz” Ford’s Theater / Washington ............................................. 190 Cape May New Jersey ....................................................................... 795 All About Atlanta ................................................................................ 695 New York City / Springtime ............................................................... 995 San Francisco, CA & Pacific Northwest .......................................... 3195 Tulip Festival / Holland, Michigan ..................................................... 750 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter .................................................... 595 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 350 Tangier Island ..................................................................................... 100 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ........................................ 1475 Sands Casino / Bethlehem, PA .......................................................... 295 Baseball / Three Stadiums ............................................................... 1050 Nashville / “Music City USA” ............................................................. 725 America’s Northwest / Fly / Land .................................................... 3095 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ................................................. 1325 Florida’s NE Shore / Amelia Island .................................................... 995 Kentucky / Bluegrass State ............................................................. 1075 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter .................................................... 595 Michigan & The Grand Hotel ............................................................ 1795 Hall of Fame / Sports & Music ........................................................... 775 Nova Scotia & The Atlantic Provinces ............................................. 1725 Mystery Tour SSHHH! It’s A Secret ................................................... 395 Alaska & Canada Fly / Land / Northbound ....................................... 4750 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino & Hotel ........................................ 370 Baseball / Four Stadiums ................................................................ 1095 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 525 Chincoteague Island .......................................................................... 450 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ........................................ 1475 Hawaii / Honolulu /Waikiki ................................................................ 3495 Alaska & Canada Fly / Land / Southbound ..................................... 4750 Baseball / Fourth of July / Washington DC ....................................... 775 Canyonlands / Our Most Scenic Tour .............................................. 2895 Alaska & Canada’s Yukon by Motorcoach . ...................................... 5595 Summer New England / Martha’s Vineyard ..................................... 1525 Pacific Coast Fly / Land . ................................................................. 3750 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 350 Newfoundland / Labrador / Nova Scotia .......................................... 2775 Sands Casino & Resort / New York City ............................................ 475 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 525 Nashville / “Music City USA” ............................................................. 725 America’s Southwest Fly / Land ....................................................... 2995 San Francisco, CA / Pacific Northwest ........................................... 3195 Amish Acres Festival / Napanee, Indiana ........................................... 685
DATE Aug 3-6 Aug 11 Aug 12-18 Aug 13-24 Aug 13-17 Aug 14-18 Aug 16-18 Aug 18-25 Aug 20-23 Aug 24-26 Aug 25 Sept 1-7 Sept 2-4 Sept 5-8 Sept 5-8 Sept 6-7 Sept 7-9 Sept 8-16 Sept 14-15 Sept 15-16 Sept 15-22 Sept 16-22 Sept 20-23 Sept 21-24 Sept 24-30 Sept 28-30 Sept 29-Oct 10 Sept 30-Oct 3 Oct 2-17 Oct 4 Oct 4-10 Oct 5-23 Oct 6 *** Oct 7-28 Oct 13-17 * Oct 18-20 Oct 18-22 Oct 18-20 *** Oct 20-21 Oct 20-28 Oct 22-25 Nov 2-4 Nov 12-19 Nov 15-18 Nov 21-24 Nov 25-28 Nov 26-29 Nov 28-Dec 2 Nov 29-Dec 3 Nov 30-Dec 2 Dec 1-9 Dec 6-8 Dec 7-9 Dec 7-9 Dec 14-15 Dec 26-31
TOUR PER PERSON PRICE “The Crooked Road” / Virginia Music Trail ......................................... 625 Tangier Island ..................................................................................... 100 Elvia / Tupelo / Memphis .................................................................. 950 The Great Lakes .............................................................................. 2395 Baseball Three Stadiums ................................................................... 975 Wisconsin / Racine / Milwaukee ....................................................... 825 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 525 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ................................................. 1325 Dover Downs / Foxwoods .................................................................. 495 Smokey Mountain Railroad / Cherokee ............................................. 550 D-Day Memorial / Smith Mountain Lake ............................................ 110 New England / Vermont / New Hampshire ...................................... 1350 Sands Casino & Resort / Bethlehem, PA .......................................... 295 Creation Museum / Ark Encounter .................................................... 595 Mystery Tour – “We are still not telling!” ............................................. 675 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 350 Ohio Amish Country ........................................................................... 525 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ........................................ 1475 Tygart Flyer / Gandy Dancer Theater ............................................... 350 ** Baseball / Atlanta Braves ............................................................... 275 Niagara Falls / Montreal & Quebec ................................................. 1325 Agawa Canyon Railroad ................................................................. 1225 Loretta Lynn’s Homeplace / Pikeville, KY .......................................... 550 Long Island New York ........................................................................ 675 New England In The Fall .................................................................. 1195 Neptune Festival / VA Beach ............................................................ 525 Nova Scotia & New England / Fall ................................................... 1950 Atlantic City, NJ / Resorts Casino ...................................................... 370 Hawaiian Islands / Four Island Tour ................................................. 5575 Cass Railroad / National Observatory ............................................... 100 New England / Fall .......................................................................... 1195 Southwest & California / Motorcoach .............................................. 2975 Graves Mountain Harvest Festival ...................................................... 80 Australia / New Zealand.................................................................... 9995 Niagara Falls / Toronto ...................................................................... 825 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 525 Nashville / “Music City USA” ............................................................. 725 Biltmore Estates / Lake Lure, NC ...................................................... 550 New River Amtrak Fall Excursion ....................................................... 450 Branson / America’s Music Show Capital ........................................ 1475 Dover Downs / Foxwoods .................................................................. 495 Sunshine Tours Family Reunion ........................................................ 550 Olde English Christmas / Omaha, NE .............................................. 1195 Biltmore / Smoky Mountain Christmas ............................................... 775 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade .................................................... 1325 Sands Casino & Resort / New York City ............................................ 475 Christmas Mystery ............................................................................ 650 Charleston / Savannah Christmastime ............................................... 975 Nashville / Country Christmas / Opryland ........................................ 1275 New York / Radio City Christmas Show .......................................... 1175 Branson, MO / Ozark Christmas ...................................................... 1450 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 525 Myrtle Beach / Christmas ................................................................... 450 New York / Radio City Christmas Show .......................................... 1175 “Jesus” / Lancaster, PA ...................................................................... 350 Florida / Christmas at Disneyworld ................................................. 1295
Prices shown are for Double (2 to a Room) Occupancy. Quad (4 to a Room) and Triple (3 to a Room) Occupancy is Available at a Slightly Lower Per Person Price. Single (1 to a Room) is also available at a Slightly Higher Per Person Price. All Tours Include Roundtrip Transportation by Modern, Air-Conditioned, DVD and Restroom Equipped Deluxe Motorcoach, Hotel Accommodations and Admission to the Listed Attractions. Baggage Handling is provided at each night’s lodging as indicated in the catalog. Cancellation Insurance is NOT REQUIRED on any Sunshine tour, as we will REFUND ALL PAYMENTS (FLY TRIPS 45-DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE) FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER if you find it necessary to cancel your reservation AT ANY TIME before the tour leaves.
4430 Cleburne Boulevard * P. O. Box 2149, Dublin, VA 24084 VA DMV Permit No. 180
PICK-UP POINTS FOR TOURS LISTED:
Staunton, Charlottesville, Richmond
NOTE: * Richmond ONLY | ** Staunton ONLY | *** Richmond & Charlottesville ONLY
FOR A FREE CATALOG OF TOURS, PLEASE CALL TOLL FREE:
1-800-552-0022 • www.GoSunshineTours.com
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MARCH 2018 — FIFTYPLUS
Understanding new State Dept. advisories The U.S. State Department recently re- to an entire country. Risks are most comvised the way it classifies risks you face when monly defined as local crime, potential terrorist attack or natural disasters. visiting other countries. Each But in the detailed report for country gets a risk rating of one each nation, the Department indito four, replacing the old “warncates that in a nominal level-two ing” system. country, certain areas may be at In practice, it looks like the levels three or four. Or conversely, new system will provide more a few key cities in level three and useful risk assessments, but the four countries may be at level two. utility of recommended precauThe Department website posts tions you should take in response a world map that color-codes counto risks is underwhelming. tries by their overall risk assessThe new system measures TRAVEL TIPS ment levels at travelmaps.state. risk levels you face when visitgov/TSGMap/. ing other countries at four levels: By Ed Perkins 1. Exercise normal preAmong the key takeaways: cautions, indicating, essentially, no more • A surprising number of popular destinarisk than travel generally. tion countries in Europe are at level two, in2. Exercise increased caution, indicat- cluding Belgium, Bosnia/Herzegovina, ing “something bad might happen.” Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and 3. Reconsider travel, indicating “you’re the UK. The rest of Europe is level one. probably better off going somewhere else.” • In the Americas, Mexico is level two 4. Do not travel, indicating “keep out” overall, due to endemic crime, but several enbecause it’s risky, and U.S. consular assis- tire states are level four, as are a few former tance may be unable to reach you if you get tourist centers, most notably Acapulco. into trouble. All of Central America is level two or higher, except Costa Rica, which is level one. Local risks identified Even the Bahamas are level two. The Department assigns a rating to every In South America, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, country in the world, and basic ratings apply French Guiana, Suriname and Uruguay are level
one; other countries are level two or higher. • If you’re interested in visiting North Africa, stick to Morocco, the area’s only level one country. In South Africa, Zambia shows the lowest risk. • In central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are all level one. In Asia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are level one, along with Australia and New Zealand. • The level four “do not visit” countries are the usual suspects: the war-torn areas of central Africa, certain Middle Eastern countries (such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan), and North Korea. The State Department’s risk analyses seem to me to be on the mark, and I would think at least twice before heading for a level three or level four country. The problem I have is with the Department’s recommendations for coping with levels two and three: “Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded places,” and “Follow the instructions of local authorities.” Both suggestions seem to be woefully lacking in practical guidance.
May affect insurance coverage It’s too early to know how the new system will impact travel insurance. Some current trip-can-
cellation policies link cancellation benefits to issuance of a State Department “warning” (under the old system) subsequent to the time you make your first payment. What isn’t clear yet is whether that will translate directly to assignment of level four (or even level three) risk to a destination subsequent to initial payment. It is clear, however, that insurance is not likely to cover cancellation and other contingencies resulting from events that occur in countries already at levels three, four or possibly even two at the time you make initial payments. Almost all insurance coverage is limited to “unforeseen” events, and a crime problem or local violence in a country labeled as level three or four at the time you make payments would almost certainly not be “unforeseen.” As I’ve frequently noted, the only way to keep your own control over when to cancel is to buy “cancel for any reason” coverage. Before you head out for the country, get a fix on risks in your destinations at travel.state.gov/ content/travel/en/international-travel.html. But don’t expect any useful suggestions about how to cope with the risks. Send e-mail to Ed Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out Ed’s new rail travel website at www.rail-guru.com. © 2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
Is clover taking over your yard? Find out what do about it on page 22.
Two exhibits for World War I centennial By Martha Steger A statue of a Doughboy surrounded by bright red poppies with a backdrop of the graves in Flanders Fields stands at the end of one of two WWI centennial exhibits at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. It’s a fitting symbol of the “war to end all wars,” as my father (born in 1917 and named “Wilson” in honor of President Woodrow Wilson) remembered it. The larger of the two exhibits, “WW1 America,” is a traveling exhibition produced by the Minnesota Historical Society in cooperation with a number of U.S. museums. Its visit to Richmond is its only East Coast stop. The second exhibit, called “The Commonwealth and the Great War,” focuses on the stories of individual Virginians who served during World War I, plus those on the home front who produced supplies, tended “Victory Gardens,” and rationed their food here to support the war effort. Though primarily about the effect of the war on American lives, the exhibits — partic-
ularly those parts about transatlantic shipping and communications — demonstrate how the world itself became a smaller place with the advent of “the Great War,” as my grandparents often referred to it.
The way it was The exhibitions’ stories begin with 1914, three years before the United States entered the war, and concludes in 1919, the year following the war’s end. Themes such as immigration and migration, racial conflict, women’s rights, labor struggles, challenges to civil liberties, and the meaning of citizenship are explored. Among the hundreds of original artifacts on display in the two exhibitions are actual military uniforms, the draft-registration cards of Fred Astaire and George Gershwin, and a reproduction Model T Ford converted into a Red Cross ambulance. An “IQ station” provides a stop where visitors can take the first-ever written intelligence test given to recruits to select PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND CULTURE
This statue of an American Doughboy at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture is one of more than 300 such WWI memorials erected throughout the U.S. in the 1920s and ‘30s. It welcomes visitors to two exhibits at the museum commemorating the centennial of “the war to end all wars.” The red poppies surrounding the statue recall those that grew on battlefields in France and became a symbol of remembrance.
candidates for officer training. Some exhibits focus more on life in America at the time of the war. For example, a recreated movie house shows popular films of the period. There are also interactive exhibits. The most engaging one for my husband and me related to the Alien and Sedition Acts, passed by Congress to root out and punish spies and treason, but often used against anti-war resistors. Visitors can view the evidence and determine what punishment should apply, if any. We also enjoyed the coverage of lighter subjects in both exhibitions, including 1915 jazz, and fashions, with apparel in the Virginia
exhibition including a Red Cross uniform worn by Richmond’s Carrie Triplett Taliaferro Scott, and the Naval uniform worn by Crewe’s Walter Alfred Clayton, Jr. Also of interest are the roles of Virginia’s universities in the war, and the origins of many of the Commonwealth’s largest military installations.
Learning interactively Surrounded by multiple forms of presentday technology, we enjoyed exhibits related to war-era technology, such as the telephones used for the first transcontinental phone call. See WWI EXHIBIT, page 22
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Moss and clover taking over your lawn? By Lela Martin It’s almost spring, and you’re imagining an emerald green lawn. After a rain shower, you follow the rainbow to find moss and clover in your yard. Is this the luck o’ the Irish? Mosses naturally occur when the soil is compacted, acidic, and/or poorly drained. They also thrive in medium to dense shade or if there is repeated mower scalp of lawn turf. Under such conditions, these simple plants are very hardy and can increase rapidly. If you want to reduce or eliminate moss, you must alter the growing conditions to make them hospitable for turfgrass. Core aeration helps with compaction. Performing a soil test will let you know if you need to change the pH; mosses prefer a pH around 5.5, while turfgrass grows best in soil with a pH of 6.2. Installing drainage or regrading the yard will reduce soggy spots. You can add more light to the area by removing tree limbs or full trees. Using a push mower, rather than a ride-on with a wide deck, or regrading the yard can reduce shearing the turfgrass to the ground, something that makes it more hospitable for moss to move in. Other methods for moss control include removing it by hand or adding desiccants, such as lime, and other compounds marketed
for moss suppression. Licensed professional applicators can use Carfentrazone-ethyl on home lawns. A more environmentally friendly option includes creating a spray of one ounce of lemon-scented dish detergent per quart of water. Changing the conditions is the only way, though, to keep moss from returning.
many Irish jigs). It is much more difficult to establish moss where none currently exists. However, there are methods for transplantation. The Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-536 “Lawn Moss: Friend or Foe?” offers suggestions and instructions. It’s available online at http://bit.ly/moss-tips.
Clover, over and over If you like moss On the other hand, you can also adjust your mindset about moss. You may find moss to be magical. Moss acts as erosion control, and provides an attractive aesthetic to a woodland setting. Moss does well with shade-loving shrubs and deciduous trees. If you want to promote the moss already growing in your yard, do not change the conditions, and remove the grass by hand or by using a product with glyphosate. Keep the area free of debris such as leaves, twigs and acorns. Local resident Norie Burnet, known nationally for her moss garden, suggests that a leaf blower removes leaves and spreads moss spores at the same time. There are some caveats with growing moss. It does not do as well under conifers, and cannot withstand heavy foot traffic (or too
You probably didn’t intentionally plant clover, but maybe impish leprechauns did. For most homeowners, clover is considered a weed. (A weed is defined as a plant out of place.) Aesthetically, many people prefer uniformity in a lawn, rather than one with a parade of white clover flowers. Unless there’s a patch of four-leaf clovers in your yard (the frequency of four-leaf clovers has been estimated at one in 10 thousand clovers), you may want to reduce the clover. Because white clover spreads with stolons (i.e., runners) above the soil in addition to seeds, it is usually managed, not eradicated. You can dig up small patches or use herbicides. Spring is a good time to treat perennial broadleaf weeds such as clover as they are actively growing. To control clover, apply a three-way herbicide that includes 2,4-D, dicamba and mecoprop (MCPP), or use Tri-
WWI Exhibit From page 21
(Only one-third of American households had telephones at the time the war began.) A much older technology, that of the printing press, was still very important, as shown through newspapers and magazines on newsstands as well as government-propaganda posters plastered on private fences and public property. One can see that, despite the oft-abused Alien and Sedition Acts, World War I brought out the good in the people of the United States: Immigrant and magician Harry Houdini, for example, sold war bonds and taught American soldiers how to escape from the Germans if captured. (His handcuffs are on display.) Husband Tom, a railroad aficionado, was disappointed not to see anything on the importance of rail transportation in WW1 America, so we asked about that. Brian Horrigan, curator of the traveling exhibition, explained, “We couldn’t get everything in. We covered subjects from the influenza epidemic, to the rise of big data, through surveillance, but we simply ran out of room.” Jamie O. Bosket, president and CEO of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, hopes visitors’ key takeaway is “First and foremost…a deeper appreciation of the service and sacrifice of the 100,000 Virginians who served,
Moss grows in a shady spot near this lawn decoration
clopyr in tall fescue lawns. Non-selective herbicides such as glyphosate can be used for spot treatments; however, they can kill nearby desirable grasses and plants. Fostering a thick stand of turfgrass is one of the best methods of lawn weed control. As an alternative to viewing clover as a See GARDENING, page 23
the 3,700 who gave their life, and all those on the home front who contributed so profoundly to the effort. History is about learning from the experiences of the past,” he said. “Certainly that is the case with the transformative events of one hundred years ago — a conflict that shaped the world, our nations, and our Commonwealth.”
Visiting the exhibits “WW1 America” is open through July 29, and “The Commonwealth and the Great War” continues through Nov. 18. While there are no lectures or upcoming events related to the exhibits in the next couple of months, look for ones later in the year, including on Memorial Day and on Nov. 11 — the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day. Entry to both exhibitions is free to museum members, military and their immediate families, veterans, and children under 5; $10 for adults ($8 for those 65 and older); and $5 for youth 6 to 17. The Virginia Museum of History and Culture (formerly the Virginia Historical Society) is located at 428 North Blvd. in Richmond. It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking is available in the lot at the south entrance of the museum, at the corner of Kensington Avenue and Shepard Street. For more information, call (804) 358-4901 or see www.virginiahistory.org.
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Gardening From page 22 weed however, you may want to incorporate clover into your lawn. Traditionally, white clover was considered an integral component of a lawn because it allows nitrogen to be available for use by other plants. You may still find some residential seed mixes that include both grass and clover. Farmers often plant white clover for pastures or as a cover crop rather than leave a field fallow. In your home lawn, you may want to establish a flowering bee lawn (also known as a bee garden or bee meadow) as an alternative to fescue including white clover. Clover attracts pollinators, particularly bees. (You’ve probably enjoyed white clover honey.)
If your neighborhood covenants allow, overseed established lawns of cool- or warm-season turfgrasses with white clover and other flowering plants that provide nectar and pollen. You will attract an abundance of pollinators. Moss and clover may be your magically delightful lucky charms. Lela Martin is a Master Gardener with the Chesterfield County office of the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The top PBS drama of all time and the most popular series on MASTERPIECE is returning!
Moss can start to take over shady spots in the yard. Is it worth trying to remove?
What is a shamrock? The name shamrock comes from the Irish word seamrog, which means “little clover.” Traditional shamrocks may be one of these species of the pea family: lesser trefoil or hop clover (Trifolium dubium), white clover (Trifolium repens), black
medick (Medicago lupulina), or red clover (Trifolium pratense). Although there is no one true shamrock, retailers often sell potted plants of the wood sorrel family (Oxalis) labelled as “Irish Shamrocks” this time of year.
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From the publisher From page 2 thing else: the practice of combining two or more OTC medications into one pill and charging hundreds of times more than their ingredients warrant. Even if we customers aren’t personally paying for these drug at the counter, we all end up paying their exorbitant prices through higher insurance premiums overall, and through the drain on Medicare. And I want to be clear: I am not saying there is no value for any patient in the new meds. There are no doubt individuals for whom Vimovo is a godsend. Patients with severe arthritis, for example, may need high doses of anti-inflammatories all day, every day to function. And they will likely need a second medication to protect them from the internal bleeding such a dosage can cause. Not only do many patients, especially older ones, face huge logistical problems trying to juggle multiple doses a day of multiple medications, some of which may interfere with other meds or with one’s diet. There is also the fact that having to buy large amounts of such pills for the rest of one’s life can be a burden. If a drug manufacturer can make a once- or twice-a-day pill that patients (or their caregivers) can easily remember to take, and the company is willing to absorb patients’ co-pays for such drugs, that can have real value for some. It just happens to have had no real value for me. I wanted a generic pain pill for a few weeks until my shoulder got better. My doctor knew that, and should have known better than to push me to try Vimovo instead. For this particular problem, it seems to
me, Congress, Medicare and “60 Minutes” are not the solution. The drug companies are exploiting legal patents and our established economic system. Bringing moral pressure to bear through bad publicity is of limited effectiveness. And Congress and Medicare are unlikely to start capping prices of particular drugs as used by particular patients, which is the problem we have here. So in this situation, I think it’s up to us as consumers to educate ourselves, and to say no to our doctors, when warranted. When a doctor prescribes us a drug, we need to ask: Why do I need it? What does it actually cost? Are there less expensive alternatives? Less expensive not only to me, but to my insurance company and to the healthcare system as a whole. Because, as I said before, we all end up footing the bill. And if our doctors can’t answer those questions, we need to push them to find out. They should be held responsible for knowing the economic consequences of their prescribing habits. And so, I think the person who challenged me about last month’s column actually hit the nail on the head without realizing it. In these situations, it’s consumers who have the greatest power to change things. As she so rightly said, “Let’s do something about it!” Please share your thoughts with us about this and other issues of importance by emailing, calling or responding via our website, www.TheBeaconNewspapers.com. Thank you.
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FROM PAGE 26 ANSWERS TO CROSSWORD
RVA LIT CRAWL
Brandylane authors Anne Poarch and Ed Haile will host a reading of their respective books of poetry, Flight and Virginia Leaf, on Saturday, April 21 from 5 to 6 p.m. at The Tottering Teacup, 3222 West Cary St., as a part of Richmond’s annual RVA Lit Crawl. This event is free and open to the public. The RVA LitCrawl is two-day reading series that began in 2017 with over 70 published writers from the region reading at cafes, galleries, shops, hotels and hostels. For more information, contact Christina Kann at (804) 644-3090 or email@example.com.
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Across 1. Item on a balance sheet’s left side 6. Like Hydrogen on a Periodic Chart 11. Worker at the Rayburn House Office Building in DC 14. They’re homophone 15. Quote-___ (inspirational handbag) 16. Blvd. buddy 17. Prize fight, with a small prize 19. Employer of Jason Bourne and Jack Ryan 20. MI towns Ann, Glen, and Spring 21. And more (in fewer letters) 22. Slippery swimmers 23. Twenty Questions response 24. Pulp Fiction dancer Thurman 26. ‘net payment option 28. Expert roofers 32. Slamdance in a pit 35. Conquistador’s quest 36. Causing goosebumps 37. Skin cream ingredient 38. Toodle-oos 41. Direction from Madrid to Barcelona 42. Purple shade, paler than 47 Down 44. Participate in the Drama Department 45. Future owners of the Earth 46. Promote metallic fashion 50. “Stop being a ___ in my side” 51. OMELETS’ inside 52. “What ___ will be again” (Ecclesiastes) 55. Shallowest Great Lake 57. PC monitor 59. African nation which joined OPEC in 2007 61. Central Park attraction 62. Muzzles 64. Left soon after eating 65. Elton John’s instrument 66. What the cost of living generally does 67. About 25% of network TV time 68. Snake with good math skills 69. Vestibule
Down 1. Cornered 2. Follow the guidance of Barney the Dinosaur 3. Ethnic group primarily east of the Adriatic Sea 4. Therefore 5. Attempt to cancel a contract 6. Overhead revolver 7. Let ___ (Last Beatles studio album) 8. Supported the home team 9. Ceiling enhancer 10. Vietnamese New Year 11. Triple Crown competitor 12. Like a Bond villain 13. Ingredients in Campbell’s Vegetable Soup 18. “It doesn’t matter; the point ___” 22. Respects greatly 25. Certain ambience 27. Good card in hi-lo poker 28. Put away a weapon 29. Cereal with slogan “Are you getting 100%?” 30. Religious ceremony 31. Hide and ___ 32. Thickened milk shake 33. Miscellany 34. “Don’t bring me problems; bring me ___” 39. Return from a fresh start at the gym 40. German POW site, a contraction of “Stammlager” 43. Top corp. money counter 47. Purple shade, brighter than 42 Across 48. Bit of progress 49. Assistant professor’s goal 52. Doctors make the ___ patients 53. Member of the birch family 54. Fresh-mouthed 55. Old Testament book written in both Hebrew and Aramaic 56. Kerouac bailiwick 58. Adjust a guitar’s strings 60. Get more time or ground 62. Relaxation location 63. Abbrev. in an international MLBbox-score
Answers on page 25.
FIFTYPLUS — MARCH 2018
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