Susan Berman Hammer brings you a quick recap of some of the week’s top stories in the women’s news. Here’s what’s buzzing this week: Seven Actresses Over 40 Alluring in Red Gowns at Golden Globes Nielsen Ratings for the 72nd annual 2015 Golden Globes declined seven percent from last year, but the 19.3 million viewers who did in fact watch the awards this year were dazzled by 11 actresses dressed in stunning red gowns. Seven of the 11 were over 40 “grown-ups” who looked elegant, yet alluring in the evening’s hottest hue.
Actresses Over 40 in Alluring Red: Heidi Klum (41), Helen Mirren (69), Viola Davis (49), Julianna Margulies (48), Catherine Zeta-Jones (45), Allison Janney (55), Jane Fonda (77).
Actresses Under 40 Also in Red: Lena Dunham- 28, Allison Williams-26, Taylor Schilling -30, Kate Mara-31
Another sophisticated grown-up -- the 36-year old Amal Clooney -- did not wear red, but dazzled viewers, nonetheless. The chic human rights lawyer, recently married to George, wore an elegant black Dior gown, elbow-length white gloves and a “Je Suis Charlie” button on her clutch. Amal reminded many of glamorous old Hollywood.
End Electronic Screen Time Before Bed, Bad for Children and Adults Do you, your spouse or your children use an eReader, iPad, laptop, smartphone or TV before bed? A new study from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts concludes that anyone who uses one of these light-emitting electronic devices will find it harder to fall asleep and will be sleepier the next day. In addition, these devices adversely affect overall health, melatonin levels and the circadian clock, according to the study. For those who must use computers or other light-emitting devices in the evening, software or other technology that filters out the blue light may help.
Another recent study involving children reports similar conclusions. The study by the University of California Berkley concludes that children’s sleep is detrimentally affected by small electronic devices as well as TVs in their bedrooms. They recommend that parents establish “screen-free zones” in their homes -- including children’s bedrooms -- set electronic device curfews and eliminate all electronics from bedrooms of children less than two years of age.
Tax Season Begins Promptly on January 20, But Refunds May Be Delayed Ugh, the dreaded tax season begins promptly this year - in six days - according to the IRS! And if you expect a refund, organize and finalize your information as soon as possible and file electronically because the IRS predicts that refunds may be delayed this year. "Filing electronically is the most accurate way to file a tax return and the fastest way to get a refund," they said. About 84% of last year's returns were electronically filed.
Thankfully, taxpayers won’t have to acquaint themselves with too many drastic tax changes this year. The biggest change concerns the Affordable Care Act and the requirement that everyone has health insurance. If you got insurance through an employer, from the private marketplace, or through a federal or state exchange without a subsidy, you check a box on line 61 of Form 1040.
Also, a series of popular tax breaks will continue, including one for seniors 70 ½ and older. If the seniors' required IRA distributions go directly to a charity, their distributions are tax-free. However, some affluent taxpayers may have to pay a surcharge on investment income. And finally, about one-quarter of those eligible for the earned income tax credit are not claiming it, but should do so this year.