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Old 10-18-2011, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,980,344 times
Reputation: 6724

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
I don't know about the high-powered private-sector world of law, but I do know a lot about the low-paying, unbenefited nonprofit world, and from that perspective and in my own experience, I have not seen the class warfare you've experienced...

999 will, imo, really provoke class warfare more openly and will affect many retirees in unfortunate ways.
I wasn't thinking back to when I was working - I was thinking what I might feel like today if I were still working. I can tell you that the most disaffected group of people I know are doctors who are in their late 40's or older. They get it from all sides - the government/insurance companies trying to cut their reimbursements - a lot of people who are always talking about greedy doctors - etc. Many are leaving the practice of medicine (they retire if they can - or wind up doing something other than the practice of clinical medicine).

FWW - I can't for the life of me understand the rhetoric that lumps together millionaires with a net worth of $1.5 million - not uncommon among middle class professionals - and billionaires. I think there's a book called "The Millionaire Next Door" - doubt we'll ever see one called "The Billionaire Next Door".

As for 999 and class warfare and seniors - I think most seniors would be happy with 999 (or most other tax code changes) if they could get 5% on a 1 year CD (most people don't mind paying more in taxes when they have more money). Note that I haven't seen enough specifics about the 999 proposal to have an opinion about it (although - like I've said - I think we're going to wind up with a VAT one way or the other). I kind of like what Ron Paul is saying about abolishing 5 federal government departments and saving $1 trillion. Don't think most of us would miss any of them (I'm with the poster who said 999 should be 9999). Robyn

P.S. The most important tax change during my whole lifetime (for me) was the abolition of federal estate taxes on death transfers between spouses. Made my husband's and my financial lives a whole lot easier.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,980,344 times
Reputation: 6724
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
WI has zero tax on food. But fast food, hot prepared deli food, etc. are taxed. All clothing is taxed. Vehicle/license fee tax is $75/year. Fwiw, my property taxes are $6,600 (2010) on home valued at $275,000, homeowners insurance $1,000, sewer/water $900.

Had the assessor here twice, last April and again this year. I'm hoping this year taxes drop to $6,000. Had I not had the reassessment, taxes would be $8,200 like my neighbors. No break for being retired, just being assertive, I guess. City leaves these high assessments alone unless people complain which a few have. Another friend of mine got his assessment down from $373,600 to $314,300. I told him last year to do this. $8200 a year is enough to choke a horse. Ridiculous. No kids in the schools, but we're still paying for it.
Florida is pretty much the same when it comes to food. But we have fairly low property taxes compared to yours (at least here in north Florida) - and some state laws that make things easier for people who live in their houses for a long time and the low income elderly (among others). One factor that makes some counties more expensive than others is having a public hospital that provides indigent care (and I mean really indigent - no insurance in any way shape or form or Medicare or even Medicaid). A lot of the people in these hospitals are illegals - but a fair number are younger people who don't have insurance and don't qualify for Medicaid. These hospitals (in the counties that have them) can wind up costing taxpayers up to 10% of their total property taxes. Robyn
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,980,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
...In general, FL retired are or have been married, some still have two homes (snowbirds). Big difference - married (widowed) retired/single retired. jmo Ex: I worked with a woman who retired to FL w/hubby about 3 years ago. Owned house up here free and clear, sold that, put money in bank, bought a small home in Fl w/mortgage. Here again, two SS, two pensions (hers laughable like mine), disabled son so I think there is govt money coming in for that, about $400k in the bank. They take cruises 3 x a year. Not rich but not hurting. She would be if she hadn't been married, because she only worked the last 20 years before retiring. Same goes for him. I don't think he was a big earner. The two together made it work.
Yes - 2 breadwinners are better than one. One of the best off demographic groups in the US is gay male couples. A fair number are professionals - and they tend not to have kids (some adopt - but not many best I can tell). And although I really don't care about gay marriage - I can understand why they want to get married - for the tax breaks . Robyn
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,980,344 times
Reputation: 6724
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I am still an employer and will probably be one for more than a few more years. I'm surprised you are as touchy about the "class warfare" thing as you are. I'd have to say its a non-factor to me in making any decisions at all.

Of course, I never cared for golf and I'm not much of a fisherman. I think what keeps me coming to work every morning is that I walk into "my world" every Monday morning. I'm in charge. The work I do is exciting and makes a difference in people's lives. I also believe I do it well and take pride in it.

Here's what makes me willing to hire new employees:

1. Additional business creating the need for new hires.
2. Easy access to credit, so I know I can meet any payroll that comes due.
3. The availability of competent employees. I train most of them myself. I am less interested in an experienced secretary/administrative assistant than I am in a bright young person, full of energy, who is quick to learn. I need people who have common sense, respect confidentiality, who are preferably Spanish speaking, and know when they need to get my attention and get a question answered. Fortunately, such people are in abundant supply here and the biggest issue I have is turning away so many qualified applicants. It also helps if they can refer business in addition to just working for me.
4. Employment laws are not an issue here. We are a confirmed "employment at will" jurisdiction. Whether I ought to have all the power or not in an employer/employee relationship, I do. I don't believe I abuse it either.
5. Low costs for rent, utilities, professional liability insurance, etc.

I'm sure all the tax and regulatory stuff makes a difference in some places to some people. I could stand for some "tax simplification". Its not the amount I complain about. However, I have to admit that computers have made things much easier.
Spoken like a true personal injury lawyer . Are there any other lawyers in your office? We had 5 lawyers - 2 administrative/secretarial people. The lawyers in our office used a lot of technology before technology was mainstream.

The only time we ever used credit was when we were closing out our fiscal year (had to zero things out - and perhaps wait a month until we filled the money gas tank again). Didn't make a habit of it. When my husband was a solo personal injury lawyer - if he had a dry spell (not common) - he'd simply borrow money out of our savings to pay for stuff (like his secretary or court reporters).

Note that the tax stuff is very important for you. You say you pay a lot of taxes - but bemoan the relatively small amount of money in your retirement plan. My partner and I kind of figured out early on that qualified retirement plans were great. And dumped as much money as possible into them. All of the people in the office agreed with us. And the people we hired - at least when it came to the "keepers" - were willing to accept less than the going rate in salary to get big pension/profit sharing contributions. Things worked out well for all of us.

I know that the rules regarding these plans have changed a fair amount since we terminated our plans - but I do suggest that you at least do some reading about and/or consult with a professional about the best way for you to sock away money in qualified plans. If - like you say - you have lots of qualified applicants - at least some will be interested in a tax-deferred form of compensation. There are anti-discrimination rules when it comes to employees now (like even if you put in the same % for your employees that you put in for yourself - the amount you put in for yourself has to bear a certain relation to the amount you put in for your employees) - so the numbers might not work out for you. But it's certainly worth a "look-see" on your part. Robyn
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