Data: Vanguard Group If you can't wait for Congress to pass a Medicare prescription plan, a reverse mortgage may be just what the doctor ordered to help you pay for medication.WHAT IS IT?
A special loan that converts home equity into cash. You receive a monthly check to use for drugs--or anything else--while you live in your home and don't make any mortgage payments.WHO QUALIFIES?
Homeowners 62 or older.WANT MORE INFO?
See Using Reverse Mortgages for Health Care, from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assn. (reverse-mortgage.org) Here's yet another activity for our overscheduled kids: etiquette classes. Held at posh venues such as Manhattan's Plaza Hotel and the Four Seasons in Newport Beach, Calif., the courses teach kids which is the salad fork and how to pass the salt and pepper properly. Besides perfecting table manners, these sometimes wait-listed courses advise youngsters on how to shake hands, be courteous on the phone, and write thank-you notes.
Who's behind the Miss Manners mania? Parents who want to return to social formality but are too rushed to incorporate good breeding into their lives. "Few families sit down to dinner together anymore, and that's where children used to learn these skills," says Karen Broussard-Marlow, who runs the Manners Do Matter etiquette school in Houston.
Charm schools range from the Plaza's quickie $50 two-hour dining sessions for kids 6 to 16 (no Game Boys or licking knives) to 10-session $275 courses at country clubs that teach white-gloved girls to pour punch and boys in suits how to cut in on a fox-trot. Shrinking stock prices and falling interest rates have left many pension and retiree-benefit plans hurting. Here are the companies most affected: Everyone knows that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. But did you know that Mary Katherine Goddard published the first copies? Her story is one of 40 told in Enterprising Women: 250 Years of American Business, organized by the Radcliffe Institute. Appearing now at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, Mass., it will travel to New York, Atlanta, Washington, Los Angeles, and Detroit (enterprisingwomenexhibit.org).