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s ’ y a d o T Vol.7 No.1


New Year, New Codes, New Taxes, Old Money 3 Bold Ways Retirees Can Cut Health Care Costs in 2018 Old Enough for Sex: Millennials vs Baby Boomers: What Constitutes Sexual Harassment & How to Deal With it

Boomer Healthy Eating: All About Food Safety Boomer Travel: 18 Destinations for 2018 3 Social Security Mistakes that Could Cost YOU a Fortune F– Being Old: Boomer Boyz Cuban Odyssey Today’s BoomeR

Featuring The Only B2B -Business 2 BoomeR Marketplace!

Up Coming CruisesBook Now! Rhone River Discovery 2018 Credit Union Development Forum June 28th-July 5th, 2018 Mysterious Eastern Danube Excursion Credit Union Leadership Development Forum July 21st-28th, 2018 Ireland Land Conference 2018 Credit Union Winds of Change Symposium September 14th-22nd, 2018 New England Canada Fall Foliage Educruise 2018 Credit Unions Insight Symposium 2018 October 16th-26th, 2018 Australia/New Zealand Odyssey Educruise Bridging Worlds: Global Credit Union Leadership Symposium 2018 November 5th-18th, 2018 For more information visit


2 Today’s BoomeR

This Issue January / February 2018 Volume 7, Number 1

Boomer Travel


18 Destinations for 2018

Social Security


’s y a d To Founders: John Vardallas & Alexandra Maragha

3 Social Security mistakes that could cost you a fortune

Editor-In-Chief: Alexandra Maragha

Lifestyle Trendz

Contributing Writers :


What Do We Call Aging Baby Boomers?

Guide to the New Tax Law 13 What Does It Mean For You? Old Enough For Sex


Millennials vs Baby Boomers: What Constitutes Sexual Harassment & How to Deal With it

3 Bold Ways Retirees Can 18 Cut Health Care Costs in 2018 New Blog: F-Being Old


Boomer Boyz Cuban Odyssey

Boomer Healthy Eating It’s All About Food Safety


Chef Eben Atwater: Healthy Eating Advertising: Team For Letters to the Editor, articles and feedback as well as advertising inquiries email

The American John Vardallas CEO/Founder Professional Speaker Business/Lifestyle Strategist Boomer Sage and Blogger (608) 577-8707 Alexandra Maragha Founder & Editor-In-Chief Today’s BoomeR Today’s BoomeR Vol.7 No.1 Today’s BoomeR is published six times (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/ June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec) a year by The American 769 North Star Drive (Suite 207) Madison, WI 53718 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

The American Boomer @American_Boomer Today’s BoomeR 3


’s Today

2018: Year of the Dog eat Dog World? According to the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the “Year of the Dog”, symbolizing loyalty, independence and at the same time obedience. Take that as it may, 2018 has become the scene for a multitude of crossroads where paths are crossing and becoming intertwining on every social, political, economic and main cultural context in this country. Each element has become a focal point of knowing or not knowing what may or may not happen next. Our cultural trends and application of those trends have grouped and cut and divided and melted society into a left over meal reheated that some may have out of hunger and most would just rather leave in the fridge until they have to take it out because the smell and look is unbearable.


We should not have to be a society that only looks and focuses when we have to when all we are good at is talking non stop and redirecting every conversation to avoid the elephant in the room and the literal and figurative tone that daddy just slapped mommy at the dinner table. 2018 should not be a year, but looked ahead on a quarterly basis to motivate and produce substantial change for everything to truly work. Hard work is something that this country has always been able to pride itself in, and yes, give dignity to those who take part knowing that no matter the circumstance an HONEST day’s pay would never go to waste. Now while this aforementioned statement may seem straight from a particular political playbook, it is coming from an un bias source. An observer to where the picture that is being viewed is currently skewed and polarized as an Andy Warhol of monotone and technicolor. This idea of loyalty is exceptional, however obedience is where the grey is hued. Where does allegiance stand? To ourselves, our families, traditions, beliefs, politics, favorite characters, country, or a mixture in between? Perhaps all of the above, but the real question that we should be asking ourselves is for whom or what are we obedient p. 4 to? IF no one, or nothing, or only ourselves, then we really are only a “dog eat dog world”. If we come to a true answer, and execute that answer as our motivation, then the year of the dog should not come to be only a dog show, or a display of failing new tricks with old dogs, but instead, a fresh look at what keeps this country going; The longing of a timeless stay waiting for what we hope for at the beginning and end of each day to be fulfilled. Each step should be taken with deliberation and aiming to better uphold something that we can move forward with. While I am not articulating one particular issue, it is a general idea of motivation and momentum that I hope for and give hope to. And remember, January 1st is always just another day.


Alexandra Maragha Editor-In-Chief 4 Today’s BoomeR

Try These 18 Destinations for 2018 Christopher Reynolds, LA Times


The downtown Albuquerque skyline at sunset. Bob Thomason

You know that saying about eating dessert first because life is short? It goes for travel too. These destinations, which include cities, rivers and one ancient trading route, demand your attention in the year ahead. Some have opened new attractions, some are planning big parties to celebrate major anniversaries and others have prospered by staying out of trouble. Here are your 18 for ’18, in alphabetical order.

1. Albuquerque This old town in New Mexico is starting to look livelier, partly because of the boutique Hotel Chaco, which opened last year. The hotel is the anchor for the emerging Sawmill District, complete with the Sawmill Market food hall, which the developer aims to open this year. The people behind downtown’s One Central Entertainment District (shopping, dining, bowling) also are planning to open their project this year. In 2017 the Albuquerque airport kicked off a 15-month renovation project, Delta Airlines added a nonstop flight between ABQ and LAX, and Alaska Airlines added nonstop service to San Diego and John Wayne Airport in Orange County. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which you’ve always meant to check out, is still going. The next one is Oct. 6-14. Today’s BoomeR 5

You can tour it by rail — Rough Guides calls the Linha do Douro “Portugal’s best train ride,” with more than 20 tunnels and 30 Some scientists believe sea-ice levels in the region reached a record bridges between Porto and Pocinho. low in 2017. In September, an iceberg four times the size of River trips are even bigger. At least six lines now offer trips on the Manhattan calved off of the continent’s Pine Island Glacier. Douro: Uniworld has a couple of options on the Douro, and Viking Who knows what comes next? It might be wise to see this end of has three ships plying the Douro’s waters, and a fourth under the Earth now. construction. National Geographic Expeditions and Lindblad Expeditions, working as a team, have two ships that will make as many as 14 trips each in January, February, November and December. Or you could take a Silversea luxury cruise to the same area. It has butlers.

2. Antarctica

3. Bologna, Italy It’s less crowded than Italy’s top-tier tourist cities, but renowned within the country for its cuisine and historic architecture. And it has a faulty tower that leans even more severely than Pisa’s — prime Instagram material. On the food scene, Bologna is home to the new FICO Eataly World, which opened in November. (FICO stands for Fabricca Italiana Contadina, or Italian farming factory. And yes, these are the same people who run the just-opened Eataly in Los Angeles.) This complex, about 15 minutes outside central Bologna, fills about 20 acres with fields, workshops, markets, kitchens, shops, classrooms and, of course, restaurants. Some worry it will compete with the city’s traditional markets and eateries, but the buzz is upbeat. Meanwhile, there’s the Gelato Museum, founded in 2012. Florence and Venice are within 100 miles.

A view of Porto from Vila Nova do Gaia on the Douro River. Alf / Getty Images

Yet another new ship, the Amadouro of AmaWaterways, will debut on the river in 2019.

5. Hamburg, Germany Hamburg has two seas and three rivers close at hand, which connect the city to many options, beginning with one of the world’s great fish markets (the Hamburg Fish Market, along the Elbe River). Hamburg has high culture too. The Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, which opened in January 2017, and dozens of museums attract highbrows, and the bars of the Reeperbahn uphold that thoroughfare’s grittier reputation for entertainment.

Shoppers walk in the streets of Bologna, Italy. Awakening / Getty Images

4. Douro River, Portugal The Douro twists and turns for more than 500 miles through Spain and Portugal. The Portuguese part flows through gorgeous wine country and quaint medieval towns and cities, culminating in lively, historic Porto, where the river meets the Atlantic.

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You can float in a small barge on the canals that cross the Speicherstadt, a vast complex of brick warehouses full of architectural flourishes that date to the 1880s. The Fontenay Hamburg, a curvaceous luxury hotel, is due to open Kilcooley Abbey, founded in 1182, in March 1. Kilkenny, Ireland. The Irish Image Col6. Ireland’s Ancient lection / De / Getty Images/Design Pics RF East The rest of the world is chasing after “Stars Wars” locations along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, but you might want to head to the other side of the island, home to green scenery, ancient stonework and the cities of Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wicklow, not to

mention Dublin. Just outside Cork, the town of Kinsale is becoming renowned for its restaurants. In Kilkenny a Medieval Mile Museum opened last year. On June 1 in Drogheda, they’re reprising an annual festival celebrating music and camper vans (Vantastival, they call it). In Dublin a long-awaited north-south light rail line opened in December, connecting two lines and reducing construction scaffolding in the city core. Farther south, local leaders in March unveiled a 28-mile-long greenway cycling and walking trail (mostly flat) on an old rail line between Waterford and the seaside town of Dungarvan. The route goes over a viaduct and passes a Norman castle, Viking settlements and staggering coastal scenery.

7. Montenegro coast

Horse-drawn carts, motor bikes and tourists share a downtown street in Granada, Nicaragua. Rosemary McClure

sand-skiing (a.k.a. sand-boarding) on the Cerro Negro volcano.

The 37-mile stretch of Pacific coast known as San Juan del Sur is Kotor, a port town in Montenegro full of medieval buildings and peppered with surf lodges and gets port calls from Princess Cruises. red-tile roofs, might have only 13,000 residents, but it’s beginning to 10. Ottawa attract cruise ships, which approach on the scenic, narrow Bay of Kotor. And action is increasing elsewhere on this bit of Balkan coast. Now that the din has died down from the 150th birthday parties in In Budva, about 20 miles south of Kotor, a Nobu restaurant opened 2017, Canada’s capital can get back to being the underestimated treasure it is. Beyond the spectacle of the city’s epic Parliament in 2016, neighboring the ultra-luxurious Aman Sveti Stefan hotel. Buildings, there’s the Rideau Canal, an early industry marvel that The similarly snazzy One&Only hotel chain is putting its first European property, Portonovi, on Boka Bay, about 25 miles west of was completed in 1832 to connect the city center to Lake Ontario. Kotor; opening is set for midyear. Chedi, another luxury hotel chain, also is working toward a mid-year opening on Lustica Bay.

8. New Orleans As part of New Orleans’ 300th birthday party (the French founded the city in 1718), the Prospect.4 contemporary art exhibition and festival runs through Feb. 25. McIlhenny, the hot-sauce outfit, is sponsoring a staging Jan. 25-28 of “Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera,” which was last heard in 1894. The Mardi Gras party season is supposed to feature shorter parades this year but plenty of them. More than 60 krewes are to march from Jan. 6 through Feb. 13. Though most performers at 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (April 27-29 and May 3-6) are yet to be announced, April 28 will feature local favorite Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue.

There’s also a big, venerable farmers market, known as ByWard Market, and an even bigger old hotel, the Château Laurier, built in 1912. And there are plenty of museums, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of History, which has the world's largest indoor collection of totem poles.

11. Pearl River Delta, China The Pearl River Delta includes the islands of Hong Kong and Macau (the gambling capital of Asia) and Zhuhai, on the southern coast of the mainland’s Guangdong province.

9. Nicaragua Nicaragua, just north of Costa Rica and south of Honduras, is gaining ground as a rugged destination for travelers seeking Pacific beaches, jungles, lakes and volcanoes. Masaya Volcano (nickname: “mouth of hell”), still full of boiling lava, is big. Also popular is nearby Apoyo Lagoon. The 26-room Pacaya Lodge & Spa, which looks down on the lagoon, opened in 2016. And there’s

The Guangzhou skyline on the Pearl River. SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto Today’s BoomeR 7

Perth, on the continent’s west coast, has long been known for idyllic beaches, nightlife and bustle along the Hay Street and Murray Street malls and fancy shopping on King Street. Despite its awkward name, COMO The Treasury, a 2015 redevelopment project, in October was named Australia’s best hotel in Conde Nast Traveler’s annual Readers Choice voting. Joining it: The Westin Perth and Park Regis Subiaco, opening early this year. The Intercontinental Perth City Centre opened in late 2017.

Candy-colored private casitas at the Rosewood Hotel were designed to mimic the traditional homes of San Miguel. Stacy Suaya

On a more intimate level, there’s a proliferation of bars such as the antique-filled Wolf Lane (at the end of a mural-covered alley that’s also called Wolf Lane).

13. San Antonio Moving among those three cosmopolitan areas will get much easier in the year ahead. After nearly a decade of work, officials plan this year to open three bridges and a tunnel connecting the three, which should accelerate travel among them. (The opening date remains a mystery for now.)

While the French were busy founding New Orleans, the Spanish were founding San Antonio.

From Feb. 17 to May 13, the San Antonio Museum of Art will explore the city’s first 100 years through paintings, sculptures and artifacts. On April 6-8, the downtown Hemisfair park will fill with events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the venue’s debut as Late this year a high-speed rail route is scheduled to connect Hong home to the 1968 World’s Fair. Kong with Guangzhou and, by extension, the rest of China’s A Commemorative Week will start May 1 with a 6 p.m. pilgrimage mainland network of high-speed trains. from Espada Park to the city’s Main Plaza.

12. Perth, Australia

Meanwhile, the Bottling Department food hall opened in July in the Pearl, a redeveloped riverside brewery complex. Range restaurant opened in September, focusing on steaks from Texas Hill Country, and Burgerteca opened in December, offering diners new ways to marry Mexican food to burger culture.

14. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico San Miguel, home to legions of Spanish colonial buildings, U.S. expats and street after cobblestone street of appealing restaurants, shops and landmarks, didn’t suffer from the 2017 earthquake that rocked Mexico City. Although most of its architectural charms are historic, new attractions keep popping up. Early this year Grupo Posadas is scheduled to open a high-end 135 -room Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende, which will contend with other recently opened boutique lodgings L’Ôtel (2016) and Casa 1810 (2015). Neon signs illuminate Shinjuku, Tokyo. Laurie Noble / Getty Images 8 Today’s BoomeR

Meanwhile, great eating, easy living and colonial attractions such as nearby Sanctuary of Atotonilco keep San Miguel atop many

Many cultural tour operators have been leading trips there for years, and now more companies are joining. Overseas Adventure Travel, a longtime U.S. tour operator, last year started offering trips to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

17. Uruguay It’s one of the smallest countries in South America, tucked between Argentina and Brazil on the Atlantic coast. But the word is getting out about Uruguay and its capital, Montevideo; international tourist arrivals totaled about 3 million visitors in 2016. A small port in Montevideo, Uruguay. Rudimencial / Getty Images favorite-destination polls, including Travel+Leisure’s 2017 “best city in the world” reader survey.

15. Shinjuku, Tokyo This area is best known for its train station — the busiest in the world with about 3.6 million daily passengers — and its entertainment and red-light district, Kabukicho, not to mention a dizzying number of well-lighted retailers and government buildings. In September a new museum opened celebrating Yayoi Kusama, the 88-year-old artist whose polka-dot patterns and infinity rooms have charmed art lovers worldwide. Shinjuku is also home to the 144-acre Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, once a preserve of a local lord and now a public green space that blends Japanese, English and French styles.

16. Silk Road cities of Uzbekistan Tashkent is the capital, but it’s Samarkand and Bukhara that send imaginations soaring. Those cities and others along the ancient path are full of treasures from centuries past.

Montevideo offers highlights such as the Ciudad Vieja (colonial buildings), the Teatro Solis (Uruguay’s oldest theater, dating to 1856), the lively Mercado del Puerto and the eccentric Palacio Salvo, a part Gothic, part Art Deco skyscraper from the 1920s. As in Argentina, steak, tango and gaucho style are popular. But there are also many Italian and African influences, which show in the city’s vigorous annual Carnaval, which begins Jan. 25.

18. Zambia This small African nation shares the Zambezi River, Lake Kariba and Victoria Falls with Zimbabwe and is a prime spot for viewing wildlife. In early 2017 the luxurious King Lewanika Lodge opened with six villas in Liuwa Plain National Park in western Zambia. Also last year, African Bush Camps completed a major renovation of the Thorntree River Lodge, near Victoria Falls. CroisiEurope Cruises’ eight-suite river cruise ship African Dream debuted last year on the Zambezi and Chobe rivers; the company hopes to unveil an African Dream II to navigate the same two rivers in December.

Once they were crucial connections on the trading route between China and Europe. Later, they spent decades in the shadows of the Soviet empire. Uzbek leaders now are easing red tape in hopes of attracting more travelers, and there’s plenty to admire in the epic mosques and other Islamic architecture. A high-speed rail line between Tashkent and Samarkand was extended to Bukhara in late 2016, greatly easing trips within Uzbekistan.

The Mir-i Arab Madrassah, an Islamic college, was built in the 1530s in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Luis Dafos / Getty Images Today’s BoomeR 9

Social Security:

3 Social Security mistakes that could cost you a fortune

By Christy Beiber, The Motley Fool

More than one-third of Americans expect their Social Security

dollars per year, as shown by this

benefits to provide a major source of retirement income,

chart illustrating how an average

according to Gallup. Unfortunately, with average benefits of just $1,404 as of 2018, relying on Social Security won't leave

Social Security benefit of $1,404 would be affected.

you much cash. This is especially true if you don't know how Social Security works and you take actions that reduce your benefits. The decisions you make about when to retire and when to claim Social Security make a huge difference in your retirement income, so be sure to avoid these top three Social Security mistakes.

Claiming at the wrong time The age at which you claim Social Security benefits will determine how much you receive throughout the entirety of your retirement. The key thing to know is your Full Retirement Age (FRA), which is 67 if you were born after 1960. FRA matters While delaying may seem smart to increase your income, you'll have to consider years of foregone benefits. To calculate your because: break-even point -- the point at which higher benefits from If you claim before FRA, you'll receive a reduction in benefits equal to 5/9 of 1% for each of the first 36 months before FRA, claiming late make up for lost years of benefits -- add up all of and an additional 5/12 of 1% reduction for each prior month.

the payments missed by filing late and divide this by the extra

If you claim after FRA, benefits will continue to increase until

monthly money received due to delaying.

age 70. Benefits increase by 2/3 of 1% for each month that you When you've received benefits for that number of months, you'll have made up for missed payments, and every higher delay. The reduction or increase applies throughout your entire retirement. If you claim early and get a reduced benefit, it

benefit after that date is extra Social Security income an early claim would have caused you to miss.

doesn't increase at 67 when you hit FRA. However, if you decide within the first 12 months that you

Not working long enough

claimed at the wrong time, you can rescind your claim, pay back the benefits received, and be treated as if you'd never

Social Security benefits are based on wages while working. The Social Security Administration uses a formula to calculate

claimed at all. Unfortunately, if you began receiving benefits

benefits based on your highest 35 years of earnings, with

more than 12 months ago, you can't undo your application. You wages adjusted to reflect wage growth. If you haven't worked can potentially restore some lost benefits by working. When

for 35 years, Social Security will factor in zeros for each year

you work while receiving Social Security before FRA, benefits are reduced. The SSA will factor this reduction in and recalcu-

missed. This could make a big impact in how much your benefits are.

late your benefits amount when you reach FRA.

Compare a person who made the equivalent of $45,000

It's important to fully understand the implications of claiming

throughout an entire 35 year career to a person who made the

early or late because the difference could be thousands of 10 Today’s BoomeR

equivalent of $45,000 throughout their career, but worked just 25 years. For the first worker, Social Security benefits would be based on


a $45,000 per-year salary. For the second worker with 10 years of zero wages averaged in, benefits would be based on a $32,142 salary. This could reduce Social Security benefits substantially, although not by as much as the reduction in wages because of the progressive nature of the calculation.

Not coordinating with your spouse Social Security is much more complicated for married couples


than for singles because a person who's single must claim benefits on their own work record. Those who are married -- or individuals married for at least 10 years before divorcing -- may be eligible to claim benefits on a spouse's work record. If you can claim benefits on your spouse's record, you'll need to evaluate all of your options. There are actually 81 different claiming strategies, two of which include:  Having the higher-earning spouse claim benefits as soon as possible so a lower-earning spouse can also get benefits on their record. 

Having a lower-earning spouse claim benefits first so the couple has money to live on while the higher earner delays


and allows benefits to grow as much as possible. You can read about different Social Security claiming strategies to find out which option makes the most sense. It may also be worth talking with a financial advisor who specializes in Social Security to decide how best to claim benefits as a married



You can avoid Social Security mistakes For 50% of married couples and 71% of singles, Social Security provides at least 50% of retirement income, according to the Social Security Administration. Since Social Security is such a major source of money during retirement, it's worth taking the time to learn about how it works. By getting your top Social Security questions answered and


making sure you claim benefits at the correct time, you can get as much money as possible from Social Security to help you fund a secure retirement.

Today’s BoomeR 11

BoomeR Lifestyle Trendz: What Do We Call Aging Baby Boomers? By Howard Gleckman, Contributor, Forbes

Fair enough. But growing old is about two experiences. It is about a period of time when people are active and, as Carstensen notes, often relatively happier than when they were younger. For those with financial resources, it can be a time of travel, emotionally-satisfying volunteer work, and learning. Even for those with more limited resources, it can mean more time with family.

But then there is the part of aging that we all want to deny. It is also a time of loss. There will come a time when most of us will suffer from some physical or cognitive limitation. Two-thirds of us will require some level of supports and services after reaching age 65, and half of us will need a high-level of such care. We may live relatively healthy and active lives into our 80s, Then there are the euphemisms for old age itself: Three but many of us will face a period of a year or more decades ago, the British historian Peter Laslett created when we will be frail. This is both true and unpleasant. the phrase “Third Age.” Later, the marketer Ken Changing names Dychtwald spun it into the age wave. Actress Jane I get it, this is all a downer than nobody want to think Fonda (who is 80) has a Ted Talk called “life’s third about. That’s why Baby Boomers are so bothered by act.” Anything it seems, but getting old. words like “old” and “aging.” And why businesses and Is a perennial only a plant? non-profits that provide services to, umm, older adults, try to use new words to describe what they do. The In a Dec. 29 Washington Post op-ed, Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen tried a new description trade group that represents many non-profit senior for, I guess, people over 65. Her word: perennials. Like service providers rebranded itself as Leading Age. The the plants that, she says, blossom “again and again” if former American Association of Retired Persons became just plain AARP and markets primarily to 50given proper care and support. and 60-somethings rather than to those in their 70s or Carstensen, who is 80s. Continuing Care Retirement Communities are now founding director Life Plan Communities. of Stanford’s But words do matter, and I fear that hiding behind Center on bland descriptions like “perennials” is just another form Longevity, is not to be taken lightly. of denial. As long as we think of ourselves as immortal She is one of the (which perennial implies) we’ll have even less reason to nation’s experts in plan emotionally, financially, and physically, for the near-inevitability of age-related limitations. how aging changes the way people respond to their environment. Among other things, she has done years Happy, optimistic, or what Carstensen calls of research that shows that people are generally more “aspirational,” words like perennial serve an important positive about life as they age. purpose by reminding people that aging is not only about frailty. And they certainty are useful for She, in turn, credits a consumer marketing consultant marketers like Connors and Dychtwald , who help named Maureen Connors for coming up with businesses sell clothes, travel, and the like to aging “perennial” as a euphemism for an old person. Baby Boomers. But they also mask a reality of aging. Connors, she says, uses the word to refer to older Are you ready for a new debate over what to call old people? This happens every few years: We’ve tried senior citizens, seniors, the elderly, elders, retirees, and even gerontos. Lately, “older adults” seemed to be catching on. That’s the phrase I mostly use though it is not entirely satisfying either. Older than who?

consumers in her work with the fashion industry. Carstensen likes it because it helps people “shift away from fear of growing old and toward embracing living long.” 12 Today’s BoomeR

So will “perennial,” take root? Probably not, in part because in the end, it means nothing unless you are talking about a garden. As my wife put it, "I am not a plant.”

A Guide to the New Tax Law; What Does It Mean For You? With the new law, here is a collection of articles on how to decipher it all, and what may happen with YOUR money.

New U.S. Tax Law Could Impact Paychecks by February By Beth Pinsker, Reuters

for a worker paid biweekly.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The first paychecks of 2018 will be dis-

Your paycheck is not actually a clear indicator of whether your

patched soon, but it may be weeks or months before taxpayers

overall taxes have gone up or down because of the new tax law. and payroll processors know how the new U.S. tax laws will affect There may be other factors in your tax situation - such as owning your take-home pay. a property or having multiple children - that could affect how The Internal Revenue Service said it expected to issue guidance in

much you owe Uncle Sam at the end of the year.

January on how much in taxes employers should withhold based

Be prepared for tax uncertainty until you do your taxes for 2018 a

on the new tax rates. Employers and payroll services would then

year or so from now. You cannot even estimate your taxes until tax professionals and do-it-yourself services like TurboTax update

implement those changes starting in February.

their software. And that cannot happen until the IRS releases the You might not even notice when it happens because the effect on new withholding tables and issues more guidance on the specifics your paycheck could be relatively small, depending on your inof other tax changes. come and your tax situation. “When the taxes are reduced by 1 to 3 percent, that’s not going to be a huge noticeable difference. It’s not going to be hundreds of dollars,” said Pete Isberg, vice president of government relations at ADP, the largest payroll processor in the United States,

“We will be ready to help our customers. We just need more information,” said David Williams, executive director of the Intuit Tax and Financial Center. WAITING FOR W-4 FORMS

servicing the paychecks of one out of every six workers.

You may be tempted to get a jump on the IRS and change how A difference of $1,000, for instance, would be less than $40 a pop much tax is taken out of your paycheck by adjusting your W-4 Today’s BoomeR 13

form, but that may be premature, warned Isberg. The IRS said in its last note that it would be attempting to work with existing W-4 forms for now. The standard federal W-4, which all employees fill out, is based on the notion of “allowances,” which you could adjust based on

The New 2018 Federal Income Tax Brackets & Rates By Rob Berger, Forbes

your personal situation.

It appears the GOP has settled on a final tax bill. While it ain't

In the past, a single person with three children and a home in a

over till it's over, we're close enough that an article on the new 2018 federal income tax rates makes sense.

high-tax state like New York might have listed themselves as married and claim one allowance per person, plus a few extra because they were likely to itemize their deductions and owe less. A married person with a freelance spouse who owes quarterly taxes might have listed themselves as single to have enough taken out to cover both of them. The goal of people adjusting their withholding was to come as close as possible to paying the correct amount of tax - rather than owing money at the end of the year or ending up with a giant refund. But it will all be different math for 2018. “For first few weeks of January stay put, and see what the IRS comes out with,” said Isberg, who also cautioned that employees should keep an eye on tax changes at the state level.

Representing a major tax-overhaul, the bill makes significant changes to the federal income tax brackets and deductions. Let's look at both, starting with the 2018 income tax brackets.

2018 Income Tax Brackets The number of brackets remained the same at seven. Rates overall, however, have come down. For individuals, these lower rates are scheduled to expire in 2025 unless Congress extends them. The top rate will fall from 39.6% to 37%. The bottom rate remains at 10%, but it covers twice the amount of income compared to the previous brackets.

2018 Standard Deduction and Exemptions The new tax rules also make big changes to the standard deduction and exemptions. The standard deduction in 2018 as

Above all, do not panic, said Farsheed Ferdowsi, president and CEO of Inova Payroll, which handles paychecks for more than

the law currently exists is $13,000 for a couple filing jointly. That number will jump to $24,000. For single filers it jumps from

3,000 companies.

$6,500 to $12,000. The personal exemption, currently at $4,150

“When you have changes in taxes, it usually goes a lot smoother for 2018, would be repealed. That's the bad news. The good news the child tax credit gets a big boost. It currently sits at than most people know,” Ferdowsi said. “If the first (paycheck) is wrong, it catches up on the next one.”

$1,000 and starts to phase out at $110,000 in income for couples and $75,000 in income for everybody else. Under the new law, the credit doubles to $2,000, $1,400 of which is a refundable tax credit. Further, it doesn't start to phase out until $400,000 in income for couples and $200,000 for singles.

2018 Itemized Deductions Several key changes are coming for itemized deductions. State and local taxes can still be itemized, but they are now capped at $10,000. This concession attempts to address the uproar from states that levy big taxes on their citizens. Interest on mortgages for primary and secondary residences is still deductible. The limit, however, has come down from loans up to $1 million to loans up to $750,000. Medical expenses in 2017 and 2018 are deductible to the extent the exceed 7.5% of income (down from 10%). This end-of-year change to the 2018 tax brackets shouldn't affect 2017 returns.

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Op-Ed The GOP Tax Plan Creates One of the Largest New Loopholes in Decades By Lily Batchelder, David Kamin

The clearest winners are therefore owners of existing large passthrough businesses with many employees or lots of physical assets. The tax plan that President Trump signed into law last week creates The wealthy, in other words. President Trump, for one, stands to one of the largest new loopholes in decades: a 20% deduction for gain significantly. He reportedly owns more than 500 large, pass“pass-through income.” through real estate firms — just the type of business that would Pass-through income is business income that is immediately qualify most easily. “passed through” to the owner’s personal tax return, thereby Far more than most other types of income, pass-through business avoiding the corporate income tax. Proponents of the Republican income is concentrated among the country’s highest earners. The tax plan claim the cut benefits small businesses, but that’s a red top 1% currently earns less than 12% of labor income, but more herring. In reality, the new deduction disproportionately benefits than 50% of all pass-through business income. By slashing taxes for the wealthy, penalizes workers and, in part because it is so complex, pass-through businesses, the deduction will exacerbate our will ultimately reward those who can afford the best tax advice. widening income gaps. The new deduction could have profound effects on the American Because it is such a big loophole, you might reasonably wonder: Am workplace over time. It essentially requires employees — most I a chump if I don’t try to claim it? workers — to choose between benefits such as employer-based healthcare and the deduction. By creating a strong incentive for The short answer is “maybe,” but proceed with extreme caution. employees to give up these benefits and become independent The law is so poorly drafted, and its objectives so unclear, that you contractors, it could further erode job, health and retirement probably won’t know for a while whether or how you can qualify. security. What’s more, the law creates traps for the unsuspecting that could make you worse off in the long term. Let’s start with how it works. The new deduction allows people with pass-through income — profits from a partnership or sole Let’s say a hypothetical worker wants to claim this 20% deduction. proprietorship, for instance — to write off 20% of that income The first hurdle is that the new law says that you cannot claim the before calculating their taxes. deduction if you are an employee. This means the worker would Today’s BoomeR 15

probably need to give up all or most of her employee benefits — health insurance, retirement plan, vacation pay — in order to be considered an independent contractor, since benefits are one way the tax system determines who is an employee. She will also have to pay her employer’s share of the payroll tax. She could potentially convince her employer to pay her more in exchange for giving up her benefits, but many workers don’t have that kind of negotiating leverage. And even if she can, she may not fare better for it in the long run. Benefits such as health insurance typically cost much more when purchased independently rather than through an employer. She could forgo such benefits altogether, but that’s risky and inadvisable in the long term. Alternatively, she could band together with her fellow employees to purchase benefits, but that requires organization and resources. The new law also says you can’t claim the deduction for “reasonable compensation” for services. So our hypothetical worker may get the deduction only to the extent that she argues she is getting paid too much. She might be able to avoid this requirement by carefully choosing the type of pass-through entity she creates or by striking out as an independent contractor. But the law is unclear, and it could take the IRS and Treasury Department a while to clarify the issue. In the meantime, if she proceeds, she risks incurring penalties. Whatever route she chooses, this worker is going to need more tax advice. If she is in the middle class, the additional fees might exceed her relatively modest savings. If she is single and earns more than $157,500 in taxable income, or married and earns more than $315,000, she might need to jump through further hoops. In that case, it’s really going to matter what line of work she’s in. If she’s a real estate developer, she should be golden. But if she’s a doctor, not so much — because doctors and host of other professionals are specifically forbidden from claiming the deduction if they are above the income thresholds. It could take the IRS and Treasury Department many years to clarify exactly how the pass-through loophole works. By then, the new deduction will be on the verge of expiring, creating further uncertainty and risks for regular employees. But that’s exactly the point. The new deduction could provide a small tax cut for some middle-class employees — but only if they give up their benefits, spend scarce resources on tax advice, and pretend not to be employees in the first place. In the meantime, some of the richest Americans will get richer. Lily Batchelder is the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes professor of law at NYU School of Law. David Kamin is professor of law at NYU School of Law. 16 Today’s BoomeR

Old Enough for Sex : Millennials vs Baby Boomers: What Constitutes Sexual Harassment and How to Deal With it By Cara McGoogan, The Telegraph

Q&A | Sexual harassment

A century ago, women fought for the vote. Fifty years later, What is sexual harassment? they seized power in personal and professional relationships: they won divorce, abortion and contraception rights, as well Sexual harassment is unwanted behavior of a sexual nature which: as the right to equal employment opportunities and pay. Today, the war is still raging - but the battleground has once again, shifted. For the millennial generation, the focus us widespread sexual harassment and institutional silence over the abuse of women. Around 52 percent of women say they have been harassed at work—and young women are determined to fight the trend.

Violates your dignity

Makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated

Creates a hostile or offensive environment

2017 has proved a turning point. Following the Harvey Weinstein revelations, the #MeToo campaign has brought down a host of sleazy men in politics, Hollywood and the media.

If you're being harassed at work Sexual harassment can include:

You don’t need to have previously objected to someone's behavior for it to be considered unwanted.

 To understand the public opinion sea change, we spoke to women from two generations: millennials and baby boomers.  We asked seven women to define sexual harassment, tell us how recent stories in the press have made them feel, and  what they think can be done to tackle the phenomenon.

Sexual comments or jokes Physical behavior, including unwelcome sexual advances, touching and various forms of sexual assault Displaying pictures, photos or drawings of a sexual nature

Having won a host of basic rights for women, baby boomers  Sending emails with a sexual content appear to be more skeptical about women’s ability to rid society of sexual harassment. It has been going on forever and is If you're being sexually harassed by someone you too ingrained in our culture, they say. work with, you should: “I know where I used to work and what used to be said, but  we were adults and we just said ‘alright then’ and walked away,” said one. “It’s been going on so long now I don’t think  you’re ever going to stop it, I can’t think of a solution.” But the millennials are more scathing even about low level harassment, such as wolf whistling. And they’re optimistic that #MeToo will cause change.

Tell your manager - put it in writing and keep a copy of the letter or email Talk to your HR team or trade union - they’ll be able to give you advice Collect evidence - keep a diary recording all of the times you’ve been harassed

Responding to those who say there’s a witch hunt happening, If your colleague doesn't stop harassing you, you could one millennial said: “Witches aren’t real, but sexual harassraise a formal grievance (complaint). All employers must ment is real and it’s happening every day. We should be try- have a grievance process - ask your manager or HR team. ing to call it out because it’s harmful.” You could make a claim at an employment tribunal if you The baby boomers do, in the end, admit that millennials have can’t solve your problem using the grievance procedure. more of a voice than they did. “They know they’re able to say Source: Citizens Advice something now,” said one. “We never used to.”

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3 Bold Ways Retirees Can Cut Health Care Costs in 2018 By Chris Kissell, MoneyTalksNews

Cutting such costs is crucial. The new year is the perfect time to look for ways to trim your health care tab, or to build up savings to help pay for future health care expenses.

known as Obamacare stated that taxpayers could deduct costs exceeding 10 percent of AGI. This reduced the amount of costs a taxpayer could deduct. The change initially applied only to taxpayers under the age of 65, but eventually was scheduled to impact taxpayers of all ages.

Following are three bold ways retirees can tame health care costs in 2018. These ideas might not work for everyone, but many taxpayers will find they offer the potential for big savings.

The recent GOP tax overhaul restored the 7.5 percent threshold for everyone — but just through 2018. After that, the limit is scheduled to rise back up to 10 percent.

Deduct more of your medical expenses

Which expenses qualify for a deduction? Find out at the IRS website.

Rising health care costs can derail the best-laid plans for retirement. A couple, both of them 65, who stop working in 2017 will need an average of $275,000 to cover medical costs throughout the rest of their lives, according to a Fidelity analysis.

It’s no secret that retirees are more likely to need medical care than younger Americans. In the past, the government allowed taxpayers of all ages to deduct the cost of qualified medical expenses on their tax returns once those costs exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. After the Affordable Care Act was passed, the rule became less generous. The health reform law also

Contribute more to an HSA As we have noted before, a health savings account is a great way to save for current and future medical expenses while also trimming your tax bill. Contributions offer a hat trick of tax benefits: 

The money is deductible from your income in the year of the contribution. 

Gains on your contributions grow in the account tax-free. 

Withdrawals are tax-free when they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Millions of Americans — including many retirees — with a high-deductible health insurance plan are eligible to take advantage of this perk. Unlike most retirement accounts, you do not need to earn income to contribute to an HSA. 18 Today’s BoomeR

In 2018, the amount you can contribute to an HSA rises modestly — by $50 for individuals, and $150 for families. That takes the new limits to $3,450 for individuals, and $6,900 for families. Plus, if you are 55 or older, you can add another $1,000 to those limits. Obviously, the strategy of funding an HSA in retirement works best if you have enough savings — or new income from part- significant hurdle for many people who hoped to stop working before age 65, when Americans become time work — to funnel into the HSA. eligible for Medicare. Just remember that once you turn 65 and qualify for But thanks to Obamacare rules, you can get financial Medicare, you no longer can contribute to an HSA. help to cover health insurance premium costs in the However, you can still tap your HSA to pay for years before you sign up for Medicare. By retiring qualified medical expenses. early — and slashing your income — you might qualify Slash your income to qualify for Obamacare help for tax credits and subsidies that can dramatically Obamacare can be a blessing for anyone who plans to reduce the sting of health insurance costs. retire early. In the past, health insurance costs were a The federal government’s website can help you estimate how much you can save at various income levels. Are you worried that you are too wealthy to qualify for these cost breaks? Don’t be so sure. According to news reports, some high-networth individuals have found ways to reduce their income and legally get a share of these tax breaks and subsidies. To learn more about how you can qualify, consult with a tax professional or financial adviser.

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F– Being Old: Boomer Boyz Cuban Odyssey: Classic Cars, Cigars & Hemingway Bars! By John A. Vardallas, Founder/CEO CUBA-- The name to us boomers brings up images of Communist Fidel, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, President Kennedy turning back Cold War Soviet Missiles and a fifty-year US embargo on the largest island in the Caribbean.

Ricardo retro rhythmic music with hard body pastel clad Afro -Cuban Dancers twerking to salsa beats. We were not disappointed. Havana is one of the most interesting cities in the world—a conundrum caught in a colonial 1950’s time warp with a contemporary vibe quest to catch up with the rest of the Modern - day world. Old Havana is a stoned street mosaic of historic structures, colonial buildings, cobbled plazas, castles, cathedrals, museums and classical homes that date back centuries from the height of Spanish international power.

My, how things have changed since the US restored diplomatic ties in 2015. I have always had a fascination for this island nation, only 90 miles from our shores. The old stereo typical American perception of Cuba being a “frozen in time by a cold war created communist country”, has really changed. With the loosening of travel restrictions the past year for Americans, it was time for yours truly and a couple of my Chicago school buddies, Tom and Larry, to embark on a guys getaway to this historic country for the purpose of penning a feature story for this issue of Todays BoomeR, and sharing our adventure. So, we booked passage on a six day Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas cruise ship from Tampa, which included a two day / one night stop in Havana. A travel Visa is needed to enter the country, and that was handled in a very user-friendly manner filling out the paper work onboard for $75, as people to people visitors. Our images of Cuba prior to arrival were more of cigar smoking men and classic cars, colonial architecture and Ricky

Founded in 1519 by Spanish conquistadores, much of the old architecture still exists which gives it a charm that escapes many other ex colonial countries in the Caribbean. Our first day, we took a ship-sponsored bus tour cruising along the El Malecon esplanade, lined with classic cars and old mafia casinos, to visit the Morro Castle, Christ of Havana Statue and the La Cabana Fortress which overlooks Havana Bay. The tour included stops at Revolution Square, the

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National Capitol Building and the Colon Cemetery. Our first night entertainment was a forty-minute drive from the ship to visit Cuba’s world famous Tropicana Cabaret Outdoor nightclub. It was an openair evening spectacular venue that is an authentic Cuban tradition since 1939 and an unforgettable experience not to be missed. The show is set in a tropical forest ambience of Cuba’s largest nightclub complete with elaborate glitzy costumes, entertaining and shimmy show girls. A live multi-piece orchestra make this Las Vegas style extravaganza a must-see activity when in Cuba. My images of Band leader Desi Arnez and Carmen

disembarked, a shiny red 1958 Chevy Impala Convertible (with continental kit) was waiting for us to be our tour vehicle for the next four hours. There is no better way to tour and get the real feel of Cuba than in a classic car. Our stops included a walking tour of Old Havana, the Plaza de Catherdral, Nacional Capitolio, Havana’s Congress building, the Paza Vieja and a visit past our American Embassy and the University of Havana. A most amazing site was the Plaza de la Revolution with steel façade images of Fidel Castro, Jose Marti and Che Gueverra. In addition, we visited the Ambos Mundos Hotel; a favorite place where Ernest Hemingway stayed for seven years, writing and drinking. Also, a Miranda--The Chiquita Banana after that night still loom. must on our visit was the One of my passions on this trip was to experience all of Upmann cigar the classic cars on the island dating from the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Thanks to the ingenuity of their owners, there are factory and more classic rides than modern cars that are still running humidor cigar in Cuba. Having contacted Belver Havana Cuba Classic Cars store, where we purchased to set up a tour prior to our cruise, we were impressed some of Cuba’s that a driver and tour guide were waiting for us the best Cohiba morning of our second day in Havana. When we Today’s BoomeR 21

stogies. (“Thanks” to Columbus for discovering Cuba in 1492 and introducing cigars to Europe.) Two other really cool sites we checked out during our classic car tour was a short trip to the quaint seaside village of Cojimar, where Ernest Hemingway penned “The Old Man and The Sea”. One could literally envision the old man in the boat in the picturesque bay trolling for his fish. Capping our classic car stops was hanging out in the most famous of all of Hemingway’s haunts—The Classic Floridita Bar. Here, we had the best signature daquiries that have not changed since Ernest was here. The Cubano Band played the best local music where locals and tourists could both, oscillate, to cool salsa music. We wrapped up our day shopping again at the San Jose Market for some Cuban classic art deco paintings and a happy hour stop at the famous Havana Club for some famous seven year-old rum mojitos and great “baba-lu” type band music. Overall, we found the Cuban people to be extremely warm and friendly while staying away from discussing the politics or future of their nation. The reality is that the government owns everything and the people just seem to cope and do what they can to work around their system. They seemed have a “live happy for today” mindset and not worry too much about their future. My take away from our visit is tomorrow’s Cuba will be formed more from evolution rather than revolution toward small business entrepreneurship with private ownership evolving. Needless to say, we felt our visit was too short and as we left Havana to the sounds of an unheard rumba, already planning our Cuba 2.0 return and the places to visit. Cuba is truly an exotic and compelling destination and my hope is it keeps its “frozen in time” charm for a while, before it catches up with modern-day tourism. Visiting Cuba should be on the Bucket List for any classic car, cigar and Hemingway- loving Boomer aficionados! 22 Today’s BoomeR

BOOMER HEALTHY EATING: It’s All About Food Safety

Recipes and Photos from Chef Eben Atwater I post this about once a year, and probably should more often than that. Several times a year, either a contracted private outfit, or the local health department, shows up unannounced in my cafe, and takes a very serious, in depth look at at what we do and how we do it – It’s all about food safety. That might sound scary, and it sure would be, if you didn’t run a clean restaurant. Me, I welcome it, because frankly, this is Job #1, and I don’t ever want to be anything but stellar in our efforts to assure that folks who eat with us are absolutely safe in doing so. That said, what about at the ol’ home front? While it’s a must in the business, it’s all too often lacking at home, so I thought we’d better revisit the ground rules and spell ‘em out in big letters. In this day and age when more and more foods are making folks sick and even killing some, you simply must take matters into your own hands. You can and should print this one out and stick it to your fridge with one of those goofy magnets.

The Golden Rules Understand and Respect the Food Temperature Danger Zone. Bacteria love temperatures between 40º F and 140º F, so naturally, we want to strictly limit food from hanging out in that range. The mantra is ‘Keep cold food cold and hot food hot,’ and yes, it is that simple. Couple temperature with time, and you’re ahead of the curve. Don’t let anything hang in the zone for longer than 60 minutes, and that’s a total running time. Think about this: Between shopping, prep, and finally cooking, how much time has elapsed with food in the temperature danger zone? You buy a steak first thing at the store, and you’re doing a good sized shopping, comparing, saving, all that proper stuff. By the time you get that steak home and in the fridge, how long has it been in the danger zone? For most of us, I’ll bet you’re real close to an hour, and you haven’t even started prepping and cooking yet. Before we fix that issue, let’s look a bit closer at the spectrum itself.

Cooking, Prep, & Storage Temperature Ranges 

165°F+ – Most bacteria die within seconds

141°F to 164°F – Safe range for holding hot foods. Bacteria aren’t killed, but don’t multiply.

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40°F to 140°F – Food Temperature Danger Zone: Bac- Cool from 140°F to 70°F with two hours, and then teria thrive and multiply. Perishable foods spend NO Cool from 70°F to 41°F or below within four hours. That MORE than one hour here, period. initial two hour cool is the most critical time period, since that’s when the food is passing through the most 33°F to 39°F – Fridge range. Bacteria aren’t killed, but dangerous temperature range. Here’s the hard and fast they multiply relatively slowly. Food is safe here for a secondary rule you’ve got to strictly abide by: limited time.

If food has not reached 70°F within two hours, it must be reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F for 15 seconds and then properly cooled again, or thrown away.

Keep in mind the unassailable fact that food needs help cooling down quickly; it can’t do it on its own. Critical factors that affect how quickly foods will cool down include,

Size of the food item being cooled, (thickness, or distance to its center, plays the biggest part in how fast a food cools).

Density of the food, (the denser the food, the slower it cools).

What the storage container you use is made of. Glass and stainless steel transfer heat from foods faster than plastic. If you’re using plastic wrap, leave it loose at first, to allow cold air to freely circulate around the food; once it’s cooled, tighten up the wrapping to keep air away and avoid drying out and crosscontamination.

Size of the container. Shallow pans, (depth less than two inches), allow heat from food to dissipate faster than deeper ones.

32°F – Freezer zone. Bacteria aren’t killed but don’t multiply. Note that, gang; freezing does not kill bacteria, it just puts them into suspended animation.

If ever there was a reason to follow safe food handling practices at home, this is it, since this is the long-term food storage method the vast majority of us use. Here are the specific methods you need to adopt.

Prep potentially hazardous food like the professionals do, which is ice to ice. When you pull potentially hazardous foods out to prep, place them in a double pan or bowl, with a thin bed of ice beneath the one holding your food. Do the same with the plate, pot, or bowl you’re prepping into. This simple process will truly help keep you and yours much safer.

Cook smarter, not harder. Use a thermometer when you cook, so you’re cooking to temperature, not to time. If you’re not using a thermometer and you’re not a seasoned cooking pro, how do you know what temperature you’re cooking something to? Fact is, you probably don’t, and that’s not good for food safety or quality. The top end of the Food Temperature Danger Zone, 140º F is not the temp at which bacteria die, it’s just the point at which they more or less stop multiplying. You need 165º F to kill most things that can hurt you, like salmonella and e. coli, and that’s 165º F internal temperature. No thermometer equals not sure, and not sure equals not good, so fix that. You’ll want a thermometer that allows recalibration, and you’ll need to read the directions on how to do so. Here’s a link to the model I use at home and at work; it’s the fastest, most accurate, reasonably priced model for home use I’ve found.

And here is a concept you absolutely must embrace wholeheartedly – Food will not move through the temperature danger zone fast enough if it is still hot when placed in the fridge or freezer. In fact, sticking hot food straight into the fridge can actually raise the temperature of everything in there, putting a whole lot of your food into the temperature danger zone. Sound crazy? Ever put a big pot of soup or stew into the fridge, including the steel pot? I rest my case… Here’s how to properly handle things. Get cooked food out of the danger zone ASAP. * Reduce the size. Cut large hunks of food into smaller Within the food safety danger zone, the temperature pieces for storage. Take that soup out of the pot and range between 125° and 70°F allows for the most rapid growth of microorganisms. As such, you’ve got to get left- transfer it to smaller containers. overs that have been cooked out of that range as quickly * Use an ice-water bath, (50% each, ice and water), and as possible. The 2-stage cooling method is what we use in stir foods that are stirrable for fast, even cooling. NOTE: The only way to accurately know that time and professional kitchens. That means you want to, temperature requirements are being met is by actively 24 Today’s BoomeR

monitoring the process. That means that you need to use your thermometer for cooling as well, (Look closely at your favorite cooking show; I’ll bet you’ll see that the real chefs all have pocket thermometers). Get used to regularly check temperatures and monitoring the time.

Use your senses and resources.

When food spoils, is it dangerous? The answer is, not always but quite possibly, so err to the side of caution, (Making cheese is basically controlled spoilage, as is fermentation). Bacteria like the same things we do, from food to comfy conditions, so always keep that in mind. When food spoils, rots, etc, it looks, smells, tastes and Keep it all clean. feels off; respect your senses and let it go if it ain’t right. I Wash your hands with hot, soapy water, actively, for at can guarantee you won’t get sick if you don’t eat it. least 20 seconds. Do it before and after you work with Bacteria need pretty specific conditions to thrive, food that has greater potential for bacteria, like meat, involving the temperature, moisture and PH level of the poultry and fish, and do it again before you move on to prepping something else. Wash and sanitize your cutting things they live on, AKA, our food. Know the attributes of boards (Use a mild bleach solution on those; they’re semi the food you’re cooking and storing and act accordingly. Use the section of your fridge meant for butter, cheese, -porous, so you really need to pay attention to cleaning them), knives, and anything else that touched potentially eggs, veggies and fruit; modern fridges really can help control moisture levels as well as temp, so allow them to high risk foods before you prep something else with them. Does your sponge stink? If it’s not dirty and worn do their thing. out, toss it into your microwave for 30 seconds; it’ll come out smelling much better, because you’ve offed some Reheat properly. bacteria. If it is worn out and dirty, toss it and use a fresh When reheating hot food, get it back up above 165º F one; same goes for kitchen towels. internal temperature before you serve it. Sad as it may seem, you only get one shot at it – No second reheats – So Don’t defrost or marinate at room temperature. plan, portion and cook accordingly. Best practice is to defrost in the fridge. If you must defrost quickly, fill a bowl big enough to hold what you’re working with the coldest water you can get from your tap, immerse the food in the water and let it run as low as you can get it until it’s ready. NOTE: If you cannot get water colder than 70º F, do NOT use this method, period!

Follow these rules religiously. Take care when you buy; always look for quality and freshness, get to know your purveyors, buy locally whenever possible. Make it at home whenever possible.

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Todays Boomer Vol7 No1 Jan./Feb. 2018  
Todays Boomer Vol7 No1 Jan./Feb. 2018  

While this issue welcomes 2018-just another day and measure of time- changes and financial risks that have come in 2018 are fully examined f...