Folks are fixated on Barack Obama's hair. Is the stress of being in charge of the United States, especially in this horrid economy, turning the young president's hair gray?
Probably not. The link between gray hair and psychological stress is little more than folk wisdom, unsupported by numerous scientific studies, according to a story in today's New York Times.
The real reason Obama is seeing more salt peppering his locks is, says the article, the same reason the hubby and I are counting a few more gray hairs each day: We're all getting older.
Your family's gene pool also plays a big part, say scientists.
Then that gives me a 50-50 shot at one day going totally gray, at least based on my mother's side of the family. My maternal grandmother was prematurely gray in her thirties. My grandfather didn't have a gray hair on his head his entire life.
Age advantages: So far there's no way to stop aging. The process finally caught up to even Dick Clark.
But some good things do come with the years. There is, we hope, the accompanying wisdom. There also are some price discounts for older consumers.
And, of course, there are some tax laws that are tailored for the older sector of taxpayers.
I examined some of them in a guest post I wrote for the blog RetirementThink: 10 ways older taxpayers can save.
They include a larger standard deduction, a special tax credit, retirement account distribution requirements and options, and some a tax breaks for some health-care coverage.
You can get the details on these and the rest of the list at RetirementThink. But here's a bonus tip: If you're 50 or older, take advantage of catch-up contributions that allow you to stash a bit more in your IRA and company-sponsored retirement plans.
The lightly-graying hubby and I are still a few years away from being able to take advantage of most of these tax breaks. But you can be sure that if they're still on the books when we tiptoe into our golden years, we'll definitely make use of as many as we can!
Photo of aging bench warmers by jonrawlinson (Creative Commons)