Every healthy retiree should have a home-based business ...

joyfulguyFebruary 24, 2003

it seems to me.

At least in Canada.

It allows you to claim part of the cost of telephone, computer, probably internet, some office supplies, auto operation, etc. against any income. Need to keep records - of expenditures, and of activities undertaken to promote the business, people consulted, etc.

Income tax people allow one to run losses for a few (usually about three) years if you can show them that the business is legitimate.

In Canada, part of cost of home maintenance, e.g. if use a room exclusively for business, a proportion of rent, tax, etc. also cost of heat, light, water, etc. agaist income from the business.

But Canadians need to be careful about claiming part of mortgage, as capital gain on owner-occupied home comes with no tax liability - but if you claimed deductions on part of home purchase, that made it partially a business establishment, so would likely cause trouble when you sell the home.

Surely you have some skills that you could offer to businesses, groups or individuals.

Have a great week, all.

joyful guy

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I meant to add:

sometimes government grants, loans etc. are available to help small business start-up. Or expansion.

Especially in areas where there's high unemployment.

But often they're geared to providing employment - and usually hiring your spouse doesn't count.

(Maybe grandkids?)

Filing, teaching computer skills, setting up and maintaining business website, etc. On an occasional basis, probably.

Businesses need the walk shovelled, grass mowed, etc.

ole joyful -(mostly former) retirement consultant, also

    Bookmark   February 24, 2003 at 11:34PM
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I have heard that the surest way in the U.S. to get audited, is to claim home office expenses.

That's not to say it shouldn't be done, where warranted. But record-keeping needs to be meticulous. Exceptions should also be reviewed.

My understanding is that if the primary business is done 'at' the house, such as, let's say a CPA who does tax returns (not meaning to be ironic). But that is done onsite.

Then there are other businesses, such as handyman services, where you do most of the work at other locations, and mostly paperwork, and invoicing is done in the home office.

I understand that the former is deductible but the latter situation is more difficult to get by the good ol' IRS.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2003 at 7:04AM
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My understanding is that a few years ago the U.S. IRS changed the requirement for home deductions to say that the area you use for your home-based business must be EXCLUSIVELY used for the business--no "corner of the living room" or "guest bedroom/office." If you EVER use that space for anything that's not business, you lose the deduction.

You'd be able to deduct the specific phone calls, perhaps--PERHAPS--but not the heat & light & mortgage & insurance of the physical space in the home.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2003 at 4:23PM
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Our accountant set up a small business account for my ebay auctions. I can deduct the office space, a whole $15. WOW! It is exclusively an office, no tv, no bed, etc. I am not sure about all I get to deduct, I listed my monthly cable charges and she didn't say no, I also list my newspaper ads which run in the Wanted section.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2003 at 12:54PM
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You definitely need to keep all business related receipts (so you can show proof of expenses if audited. and if the office is used exclusively and regularly for business it may be deuctible, but if you are an employee bringing home work from office or school and working for YOUR convenience,is not deductible idea being your employer provides a desk,comp., etc.for you at work)But lets say as an example, if your company is in another city and provides no place for which to work from, It is deductble if home office is exclusively and regularly used for business. If your office is separate structure and the principal place of business and you meet clients in normal course of business it is deductible. Other deductions include depreciation of home, rent paid, dwelling insurance, utilities, maintenance and repairs. You use form 8829 to compute and carry over to sch c. There is more to this if you are an employee deducting home based business, so will pass on that. you can go to the IRS site and get more details and info. I like having that right on my fingertips. I did notice this was posted in 2003, so certain things may not be the same as then...I'm fairly new to this forum and like it alot...Have a good day! ;)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Garden Momma,

Don't know where the mix-up happened - but the original post was a month or so ago.

My base is Canada, as I think that I noted, so rules may vary somewhat depending on which tax system with which one is related.

I still think that the home-based business idea is a good one - for seniors especially.

Good wishes for avoiding being a tax evader.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 8:41PM
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Start a business? Uh. Ummm. Hey Mon. Like I'm retired? So I don't have to work and mess with all that?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2005 at 1:08AM
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Hi Joyful,

The original post on my end of computer has dated '03. I was only trying to put two cents in and meant no offense.

I think having a home based businee is a good idea. Being your own boss, making a little extra money doing something you like, sounds appealing to me.

It's kind of hard to imagine not working because you reach a certain age (even if maybe it wasn't much). But then that's just me...

You all have a great day... :0

    Bookmark   March 26, 2005 at 6:43AM
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Hi all,

My original proposition related to a home-based business, not just an office in the home when one's basic employment was elsewhere. In that case, I imagine that the income tax people are going to want to see a lot of justification - and probably turn down your proposal, in most cases.

Garden Momma,

My info re the original message relates to '03, as well - just wanted to clarify that it really related to '05.

I have more important things to worry about than getting my shirt tail tied into a knot over such an innocuous message as you gave.

Good wishes for a great spring, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 6:38PM
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Must be getting miscommunication. I really meant no offense and was only trying to explain why I had posted that. I hope you have a great day. It will be warm here and I'm going to get out and do some spring cleaning of garden beds. Suppose to be near 70. Spring....Ahhh, finally.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 9:21AM
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Garden Momma,

I need to do some spring cleaning, as well.

A couple of years ago, after 87 year old step-uncle's wife died, I spent a couple of months at his place, as he'd had three hip replacements and suffered major pain in back, hip and leg. When his wife was in house, when he went to barn to feed cattle, if he didn't return in a while, she'd check what might be wrong, but no wife in house, no check and we didn't want to think of him falling in a snowbank and unable to get up.

He died a year ago and executors wanted place looked after, so I've spent part of almost every day there for nearly a year. Expecting substantial cheque for that service, shortly.

I recently moved into his home, as the farm was sold after his death and new owner willing to rent out house.

Due to his very painful back, hip and leg, and his wife's not having been in good health, there's been little cleaning done there for some time.

I've got three rooms pretty well washed down - interested that when I wash veneer, floor, etc. water is really black. Usually when I do scrubbing, water is gray. I guess the black related to soot deposits from furnace or, in front room, from wood stove.

Snow plow recently substantially re-configured mail box at roadside, postmaster notified me I should repair it, couldn't find hammer, used landlord's. He helped me straighten door so it closes almost as well as before.

Just a temporary attachment to the post, as I want to wire brush off rust and repaint - but can't find electric drill (which has wire brush attached).

Picked my two government-issued pension cheques out of it this morning, cashed them, so I'm feeling rich, just now.

Well is too close to barnyard, water smells and won't pass safety test, so I must haul water for drinking, cooking - but I've done that a couple of times before in my life, so not a problem.

Rent under 3/4 of what I paid for 2 br townhouse in city.

Good wishes for a great spring.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 2:35PM
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Sounds like you have/had your hands full.
Are you country now?
Do you like living there better than city?
Actually sounds a little peaceful...Although I'm a little prejudice to country living. We've lived in a rural area once...Country wonderful...means breathing space to us, although kids may think otherwise.

Spent yesterday running from inside chores to outside cleaning. Somehow outside work is more enjoyable than inside...LOL.

We have another nice day today, not as warm as yesterday, but sun is shining. Tonight/tomorrow forecaster calling for some rain & snow. That's spring weather!!!

You all have a nice day today....


    Bookmark   April 1, 2005 at 7:36AM
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Hi all,

Step-uncle had a 150 acre farm, which I ran out to check on almost daily for about 11 mos., then the new owner said that he didn't need the house, so agreed to rent it to me - at about 60% of the rate that I was paying for my 2-bedroom tonhouse at the edge of the city.

I was wanting to make some pancakes - short of bread and too stingy to drive to town for some (I like a special kind), but ...

... couldn't find the syrup.

Uncle had some corn syrup left, but I didn't want to use that (fussy, I guess).

Looked through a coule of boxes near my bed, this morning - and turned up some juices, jams ... and the pancake syrup.

That my son or his riend had packed upside down in the top of two boxes. Top box stuck down, but not heavy leakage - but there was some syrup to clean up from the floor.

Such are the joys of moving.

Still haven't found my electric drills, with wire brush attached, to clear rust from mailbox, then repaint and attach more securely to the post.

About to clos4e library - so I'm about to leave.

Have a great day, all. Spring-like, here, today - am enjoying it..

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 4:58PM
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Joyful Guy... If you're so up on how to save money, and retirees should have businesses, how come you're dumpster diving and using the library for your internet connection?

I'm sure you have a lot of knowledge to impart, but if you're not walking the walk or talking the talk, let us know that you're just puffing.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 12:30AM
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Hi Gina in Fl,

Being born in 1929, I was too young to have a strong impression of the Dirty Thirties myself, but it was rather deeply imbedded into my family's psyche.

When I was a kid we had a cistern collecting water from the roof of our larger than average house (7 bedrooms) which we brought to the kitchen with a hand-operated pump for washing, etc. and pumped a well in the yard for drinking. We had a wood/coal-fired range in the kitchen that had a tank at the end which warmed water and took baths in a round washtub at the end of the stove - woe betide the guy who, when taking warm water for bath, didn't refill the reservoir to warm for the next of 3 lads!

My father owned one of the larger farms in our area and around 1940 (when he was just under 40) he complained to the banker that it seemed as though he had done a great deal of work in the past 10 years but had achieved little.

The banker replied that many local residents had achieved nothing during those years, but Dad had upgraded his tractor and his car, had drilled a well and installed piping to three barns (but we did not have a flush toilet).

Electricity was in our farm before I was born, but I remember us getting our first small radio around 1940.

In that same year of 1940, I was kept out of school at age 11 to drive our old steel-wheeled tractor to cultivate for seeding - as the farmhands had all gone off to war, which started for many of us in 1939.

At age 17, Dad having problems with bronchitis and incipient asthma, I moved to the Prairies where Dad enjoyed good health for 40 years but we rented for a few years and had no electricity and water in a cistern for washing but had to carry all the water that we used for cooking and drinking until Dad bought a farm - by which time I'd gone away to University (for 3 years Arts and 3 Theology - with another of Adult Education in N.Y. State later).

For ten years at the beginning of my career I helped a few of hundreds of thousands of refugees in South Korea get their lives back in some semblance of order following the Korean War - when modern war sweeps across most of your country, including your capital city, four times - you know what trouble is!!

Such an experience becomes rathe deeply impressed upon one's consciousness.

And conscience.

We in North America have been trained to be conspicuous consumers, to keep buying stuff to keep the economy going round and round, don'cha know.


While millions had too little to eat and their parents couldn't afford the fee for them to enter primary school or the monthly fees after.

Or afford medical care.

And in many areas (usually the Moms) had to walk a couple of miles with a pot on their head to collect water for the family's use - and quite often dirty water, at that.

For the price of a couple of modern bombers, we could have provided a major portion of the world's imnpoverished people with a decent water supply.

As I feel a measure of allegiance to the ways of living taught by Jesus, it seems to me that my heavenly Father/Parent loves those people as much as S/He does me.

And wants me to use some of my resources, whether of intellect, brawn, possessions, or whatever, to help others achieve the advantages that I have.

I'm 76 years old - haven't taken a pill in 30 years, I think.

Prior to a recent trip through the U.S., when I went to buy medical insurance (as anyone who travels into the U.S. naked of medical coverage has cheese for brains) when I answered negatively to about a dozen questions about pre-existing health problems, the lady in the travel office said that very few people over 70 can answer "No" to all of them. To which I replied that I'm mightily thankful for my good fortune in that regard.

My money is to be my servant (with some imnput from God for at least a portion of it), not the other way around - if you don't boss your money, it'll boss you.

I have no objection to making use of resources, such as a desk, furniture, etc. that others are about to/have discarded.

The world's resources are precious and should be used carefully.

When people in other parts of the world achieve even a portion of the systems of modern comfortable living that we in North America have enjoyed for some time, the resources of the earth will be taxed far more highly.

We've sucked a great number of the fish out of the ocean, so that some species can barely survive even if we don't fish them for some time. We're paving over much of our finest farmland.

We in North America will have to learn to live at a far lower standard of living than we've known for the past three or so generations.

If I can help folks find ways to cope with what will be the imposed patterns of future living- so much the better.

In a hundred years (if we survive that long) people will shake their heads in amazement, wondering what on earth possessed us.

N'est ce pas?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 2:55PM
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Joyfulguy, I read in one of your posts that you were a retired preacher/minister. I forget which but I just wonder if cheating on your income tax is a practice condoned by your church. I'm an athiest and my ethics are much higher than yours.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 7:53PM
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You'd be able to deduct the specific phone calls, perhaps--PERHAPS--but not the heat & light & mortgage & insurance of the physical space in the home.

Actually, the tax rules have you measure the entire home space and the office space. If the office space is 10% of the home, you can deduct 10% of the mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc. The form actually has spaces for each of these entries.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2005 at 11:49PM
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Where does Ole Joyful mention cheating on his income tax return?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Gina in FL,

Some people who have observed the habits of millionaires say that part of the way that many of them got that way was by being careful of pennies.

Though I'm no millionaire - I'm closer than if I didn't watch the pennies. And think that I should be adequately provided for, should my health fail later.

Using money wisely is a game, not an onerous chore.

My kids tell me to spoil myself, some, which I've been doing more of, of late - they don't seem too worried about me frittering away all of their potential inheritance.

I went to visit a friend the other evening, found he wasn't home - but there was a nice (formerly dining room) table with the garbage at the curb of his neighbour's house, which I put into the back of my (little) car. It'll be a help in the basment, or garage of the place into which I recently moved (more space - less cost).

Son says that I'm an expert packer - you learn that when packing for overseas shipment.

Actually - I may buy the dining room set from my children's mother's former home, which they are now liquidating, following her death last year. Largely for sentimental reasons, for I don't have a great use for it.

I bought my second? third? computer (used) about 5 years ago. Think that it was probably part of a corporate system where it was an outstation using a major central unit, for it has small storage capacity.

I used to use it on internet, but can't access now, as it has less that 20 megs of operating space available. I've been planning to look for another for a time, but haven't got it done. Computer-literate friend whom I asked if he could find and eliminate virus, etc. said he didn't want to bother - as I'm using Windows 95: too old.

PoohBear says that, considering the prices for computers with the features that I'd want, they aren't expensive, now, so it would be wise to go that route.

I could have bought my uncle's farm, for cash. But what would I have done with it?

And - I'd have had to take out a mortgage (interest not deductible) next year when it came time to pay tax on all of those capital gains (much more than offsetting capital losses).

By the way - I don't recall cheating on income tax. Would you like to be more specific, Don?

I've operated some home-based businesses, and have suffered losses, but could document all of the expenses - as legitimate. Only for a short time, or the income tax people say there's no hope of it becoming profitable.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 3:18PM
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In this jurisdiction, I can deduct reasonable proportion of heat, light and insurance. Plus part of telephone rate, plus long distance, with logs to justify each call.

But be careful about deducting part of mortgage - for when I sell owner-occupied home earning a capital gain, it's fully free of income tax.

But if I've claimed part of mortgage cost, etc. due to home-based business, I may jeopardize the full deductibility of the capital gain - even years later.


ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 3:31PM
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"Though I'm no millionaire - I'm closer than if I didn't watch the pennies. And think that I should be adequately provided for, should my health fail later.

Using money wisely is a game, not an onerous chore. "

Oops... Gee, you Canadians have it much better than I do... I do have a few bucks, and I've watched my pennies more than most. However, I don't think I should be "adequately provided for".

I have no health insurance right now, but did fork out $4K for a Comprehenshive Test. .. I did kinda OK.

BlueCross/BlueShield used to charge me $6K a year with a $5K deductible, so I think I'm way better off being self insured. I can go to non=hmo type docs and ask for a discount... they usually comply.

As far as "Back in 1929..." Yeah, my mom was working for ten cents a day washing dishes, and that story is soooo ingrained in the family that everyone can attest to it. However, in modern times,,, she was NEVER a dumpster diver. If you have money, SPEND IT!! The government is gonna take a chunk of it when you die. Give it away, spend it, hide it in the backyard in Mayonaisse jars!! Don't just hoard it and then let the kids deal with the taxes!!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 1:01AM
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Back when Dad died in '86, three quarters of my assets, after all of his estate was cleared, had come from him.

I'd liketo leave something like that to my offspring, if possible.

Their Mom died last year and they now have her home and motor home for sale.

It is my opinion that, as workers in this part of the world are in worldwide competition, future generations in our area are going to have a much reduced standard of living.

A few years ago we thought that call centres were safely ensconced here - now they're doing them from India at half the cost. My daughter says that she, as an employment coach, can travel to India to train people there with regard to Western lifestyle, so that they can speak to people here with some knowledge of it.

We thought that accounting was safely placed here, too - but now some companies are having much of theirs done in India. Results can be shifted between continents at the press of a button.

We are allowing our school system to deteriorate, and are not investing in research. Many lapsed patents are being taken up by progressive overseas countries.

We in our society have been learning how to live higher on the hog for several generations. Our kids, and their kids, are going to have to learn how to live lower on the hog - but still higher (we hope) that many in the difficult areas of the world. A much more difficult task.

For example: I went to a parade in the village where I grew up this morning, and part of it was classic cars, including Model A Fords, built about 1929. I've asked modern kids to ask owners of their vehicle to show them the heater, and they have ben astonished when the owners laugh at them, telling them that there were no heaters in those cars. They find it hard to believe that there were ever cars that had no heaters!

While I didn't do so in earlier years, I've been giving more than 10% of my income to charity recently - as I feel that many who've lived in distressing circunstances, often through no fault of their own, should have an opportunity to get ahead, to make a life for themselves.

And we need to learn how to cope with a variety of illnesses. I heard the other day that as many as a fifth of our kids suffer from asthma, much higher levels than in earlier generations. And many say that air pollution isn't really a problem.

With the many complex chemicals that we've been discovering in recent years, we'll find that many of them are unfriendly to humans, and we'll suffer from more diseases in future.

Jane Jacobs, renowned city planner, has recently written a book entitled, "Dark Age Ahead" (a least for what we've been calling the "First World"). I think she's right.

I want to insulate my offspring as much as possible.

And am rather pleased that I have no grandchildren.

Sorry to be such a spoil-sport, Gina - and others who read this.

(still) ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 12:41PM
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I'm just throwing out a couple of ideas here that might provide some interests and benefits that some retirees might not have thought of.

And which they might be glad to have done, should they choose to follow up on the ideas.

I'm not trying to twist anyone's arm, saying that they certainly should follow the advice that I've offered here.

That's completely their choice.

If you're looking for work and I know of a position that's available, if I don't tell you, that's my problem - I'm not being as helpful to you as I could be.

If I tell you about it and you choose not to follow up on it - that's your choice. And your business - I'm not going to get upset about that. It's up to you to live your own life.

Live and let live is a good enough credo - but live and help live is better, it seems to me. (Especially if my help to you doesn't cost me anything).

Enjoy your holiday - and the rest of this year, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 2:50PM
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I am 47 yrs old. i have just invested a small $300 in a home based business, I did this to help plan for retirement, and I will also be able to turn an unfinished sun porch into additional living space making my house worth more for resale if I make it my office. I am really excited about this. Net work marketing is really on fire right now and will help me save for retirement. I LOVE what I am doing and making great money! More importantly the tax deductions will cover the cost of this particular home improvement project!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Joyful: Hello from a fellow retired Canadian married to a Pastor operating a home based business! Bravo to you for your patience in these discussions, I think we sometimes forget how different Canada is from the U.S.
I would like to recommed 2 books to you, both should be available in the library. One is called "Life after the City" by Charles Long, and the other is "Tightwad Gazzette" by Amy Dycyzyn. The first book is more of a look at life. The second is chalk full of frugal ideas for making a good life out of less. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 3:20PM
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I enjoyed being a minister - but when the wife decided 35 years ago that she preferred to live on her own, it sure didn't help the career any.

I recommended the "Tightwad Gazette" books myself, on another thread (on "Money Saving Tips", maybe) not long ago - there are 3, at least one of them available in the Central Library here in London.

Haven't heard of the other one that you mentioned. But I grew up in the country, so country living is not new to me. Some of my congregations were in the country, as well.

Hope you enjoy your business - as well as the folks with whom you have dealings.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 3, 2006 at 4:25PM
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ole joyful-

I enjoy reading your posts about frugality and growing up on a farm in the earlier 1900's.

I don't think there is anything wrong with "lawn shopping" or using the library for your internet needs. Your response to those who would ridicule you for "dumpster diving" and "cheating on your taxes" leaves me with even more respect for you. I too, am financially "comfortable" yet see nothing wrong with being frugal for frugality's sake. I've had good mentors.

When my grandfather had a stroke, he had to go into a nursing home. My grandmother had two young children to support. This was in the early 30's. She could have gone on welfare, but instead worked two jobs to support them. She said welfare was for those who couldn't work at all. She didn't want to take $ away from those she thought might need it more. There is no shame in making a small footprint on the earth, as well as making the world a better place for others along the way.

Here are a couple of links I've enjoyed that you might like to visit.


Take care!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Hello dream garden,

Around here, having had a skiff of snow over the past few days, the concept of a garden is pretty well a "dream" at present - though I think that it's past time that I should put some seeds into the earth that I stored in pots in the basement.

Thank you for your message of appreciation.

Yes - "stretcher" is an interesting site.

Some years ago when my son and I had a display at a fall fair, mine being along the line of "Making Your Dollars Work Harder" and "How to Pay Less Income Tax", a man came up to me and asked me what right I had to call myself a financial planner.

I told him that all that I have to sell someone is looking at money a little differently than they, for if I look at it (almost) identically, they won't pay to talk to me ... and if I look at it from a hugely different perspective, they'll clap their both hands over both ears and think, "Oh, Lord - no way am I even going to consider trusting management of my precious money to *this* flake!!".

I said that it seemed to me that the time when I began to look at money somewhat differently than most city folks (my major potential market) was when I grew up on the farm.

He replied, rather vehemently, that that had nothing to do with it!

I told him that I thought that it did, for most city folk have regular income and if they miss a couple of paycheques, are crying the blues such that you think that the world was about to end, while for most farmers irregular income is an ongoing fact of life.

Further, most city folk don't think much about the difference between cash flow and capital - their main capital issue being their mortgage, on which they make regular payments without thinking.

They have no idea how one needs to consider, having enjoyed a little larger income than usual this year, whether to do an overhaul of the tractor motor, or trade it on a better one, and whether one can afford to get a better/bigger combine this year, or buy some more cattle, or hogs, put a new roof on the barn, make an extra payment on the mortgage, etc.

I also told him that I'd taken the courses that stockbrokers take - much more complex than the training of most mutual fund sales folk.

Plus six courses (passed 5) leading to title of Chartered Financial Planner - later revised, I'd have to start all over: at 70 or so (now 77), and receiving 3 pensions - I thought not.

By the way, having done a preliminary calculation of my tax for this year, I find that I may be paying something under 10% of income in tax - about half of the amount of my charitable contributions (without considering the political ones, that are partially deductible, up to a limit, as well).

Hope you enjoy your spring - and your garden. Mine, in the corner of a field of beans for processing (freezing, canning) got sprayed last year ... twice!

ole joyful

P.S. When you live among refugees for a time - it gives you a whole different outlook not only on money and its uses, but on various other dimensions of living, as well. Including being thankful for the accident of birth that had me born in this country rather than in many others - but they are God's people, too - and I owe them something

o j

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 2:06PM
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