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Hints From Heloise: Robust flu vaccine is available

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Dear Readers: With flu season (October through May) well underway, did you know that there’s a high-dose flu vaccine that’s now available? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) has some good information about this. People 65 and older may have weaker immune systems than younger people. That’s why, if you’re a senior, your doctor may recommend this more robust flu vaccine. It is generally considered safe, but the side effects of the injection may be a bit stronger than the regular flu shot: temporary pain, headache and muscle ache, among other things. Ask your doctor if the high-dose flu vaccine might benefit you or someone in your family. Hi, Heloise: I read in your column recently that one should not put plastic packing peanuts in recycling. I string them for garland for Christmas trees. They actually look better than popcorn — bigger, brighter and whiter! Thomas D., Kenner, La. Thomas D.: Nifty idea! Dear Heloise: We always pay the minimum payment on our credit cards, but we are a little behind. We are getting mail about preapproved loans. My husband wants to use them to pay off the credit cards, but I don’t trust them. What do you think? Mary M., via fax Mary M: One steadfast rule to live by: You won’t get far by paying off debt with more debt. Here are some great hints from the Consumer Credit Counseling Services (credit.org): 1. Start saving. Easier said than done, but having money in the bank is a nice cushion for the future. 2. Stop borrowing. Set aside your credit cards. 3. Honesty is the best policy. Call your creditors. They may be able to work with you to create a plan to get you caught up. Don’t be afraid to ask for a fee to be waived. 4. These loan offers you are receiving sound tempting; read the fine print and know what you are signing up for before you sign. 5. Create a monthly budget. Write down all income and expenses. When you see the money spent in writing, reality sets in. P.S. A temporary part-time job in the evenings can put extra cash against what you owe. Find something you enjoy doing. Dear Heloise: Many online businesses will notice your abandoned “shopping cart” contents and email you a coupon code as an incentive to complete the order. This applies to shoppers who have gone through the majority of the checkout process. These notices are sent within 24 hours; it may be worth the wait. Greg K., Oxnard, Calif. Dear Heloise: I was overrun with magazines and catalogues. I called a senior living center, which was happy to take the magazines off my hands! Jenny B. in Illinois Jenny B. in Illinois: Remove the preprinted address label, if applicable. Heloise’s column appears six days a week at washingtonpost.com/advice. Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or email it to [email protected] 2018, King Features Syndicate

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