There are many crimes that turn my stomach. Being a father, perhaps most of all it's crimes against children. But a close second is crimes against the elderly. Both involve the vulnerable being preyed upon and usually occur in private, with the effects often showing up only after the fact.
Should I pay off my mortgage before retiring? This is a common question for folks planning to retire, and for others who would prefer to not have any debt. While I've written about this previously, the recent tax law created some new wrinkles to consider.
I'm a firm believer that there's no one right answer to questions like this. What's right should always be based on one's own situation. But the new higher standard deduction will crowd out the ability for many to see their mortgage as a tool to save on taxes. For these folks, starting this year, owing money on their house could seem to have no benefit.
Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I recently learned the meaning of the "third rail of politics" metaphor so often used to describe verboten government programs like Social Security.
According to Wikipedia, the third rail is a high-voltage rail used to power trains in some electric railway systems and, being electrified, would likely kill anyone who touched it. This seems an appropriate metaphor since no major politician wants to tackle the funding problems associated with Social Security, even though there are some relatively simple fixes. Ultimately, the third rail goes untouched for fear of the outcome.