Re: Mint is the way?
For a lot of folk they only have one or two Windows-only programs, and also a lot of them don't need internet access (and a few have it only for DRM reasons occasionally). In those cases you can often put them in a XP VM or a Win7 VM and it works just fine, with the bonus that you can disable external networking to enhance the security (e.g. if you accidentally open an infected Word document it can't phone home), and only give the VM access to a restricted area of your Linux host's file system.
Of course it is no excuse for not being careful, running some sort of AV on the host (to be honest, they all seem to suck and be ineffective), and having a proper off-line backup in case of cryptolocker style malware.