Every able-bodied (able-minded?) senior should have ...

joyfulguyJanuary 27, 2005

... a (probably home-based) business. Business owners can claim a lot of deductions as business expenses.

Sorry, I don't know the rules for U.S. situation, but think that many of them apply - check with people whom you know that can provide knowledgeable information.

Remember my Christmas gift (on "Household Finances", this year - "Savings" last year)? Look up owners of their own business among people that you know.

In Canada, if you can legitimately claim that you need to use your car in your business, you can deduct not only part of the operating cost, but part of the original cost, as well. Same for phone, computer, internet connection, websirte cost. Also a variety of the business-related aspects of your usual expenses.

Even part of cost when entertaining business-related people - (but don't try relatives often). Golf-club fees? Careful - they're getting stickier about such things.

Keep a log of the reasons that you did so-and-so, especially entertaining. Be sure that you can justify all of those expenses.

Part of the cost of heating, power, insurance etc. if you can show that you actually used part of your home to operate the business - that spare room that you use for occasional visits from family/friends?

Probably not wise for Canadian homeowners to claim part of mortgage interest, though, or you may jeopardize your claim for part of the tax-free capital gain when you sell your owner-occupied home (for a lot more than it cost you, years ago).

The income tax people have booklets that outline what you can claim and what you can't.

An asdvisory/consultancy business is good, I think - you don't have to oder, pay for, store, ship product.

And if you run into a dead-beat who doesn't pay you for product, you're out of the cost of purchase, shipping, storage, etc. of the stuff - but information was developed over the years incurs nil current cost, is stored in your head and often can be shipped free over the internet - so the deadbeat costs you nil out-of-pocket dollars.

Some thoughts that you may find interesting.

Tax evasion is criminal and can result in quite a lot of trouble - but tax avoidance should be practised by every taxpayer ... espeicially seniors who often operate on reduced income.

joyful guy

P.S. Sorry about the repititions - seems to be a problem in the library computer, and I can't seem to do anything about it.


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I have to be careful what I earn or it will put us in a higher income bracket and will lose most of the extra income. I have a business account our accountant set up for my ebay sales. The income from ebay ends up with no profit after the deductions, but it's still money I would not have if I donated the items to Goodwill. I have about 50 artist dolls left from my doll collection. Some I paid $450 each, they are only worth a third of that now.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2005 at 7:58PM
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Yikes, Jonesy - it isn't only stocks that lose their value!

I started a thread in "Household Finances" about why I don't like earning interest that actually helps reduce current income, deferring tax liability on much of current growth in value till later.

But some of those ideas are Canadian - U.S. rules are a lot different.

Good wishes to you and hubby,

joyful guy

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 4:21PM
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Joyful, the dolls were not a loss. I had 14 of them and 10 of them sold for double the price. I made a killing on dolls, but I was not obsessed with them and sold when I saw the value dropping.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 4:55PM
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Joyful I wanted to add, some of my doll friends bought my Barbies at top dollar and I warned them Barbies were on their way down in value. One of them said, no way, Barbies aren't going down. She got stuck with thousands of dollars worth of junk. The dolls I paid $450 for were artist dolls. My doll collecting was a real treasure hunt, absolutely thrilling. One buy I made was for 35 vintage Barbies, 95% of them had green ears from the cheap jewelry, so $300 was my top offer. Sometimes you can't get the green out making the dolls worthless. As I was packing up the dolls, she said, "Oh by the way do you want the clothes?" She pulled our 4 large cases from the closet. There was $300. worth of Barbie jewelry alone.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 6:46PM
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I have cartons of "Collector's Plates" my mother bought 30-40 years ago. I don't think they even "sell" anymore. I confess I bought one set of "Love of Poetry" plates that had a lovely picture and a quote from a famous poet on each one. They are fine if you are displaying them but are now packed awy in a box. And since our family is dwindling down and not many to "leave" things to, they don't want them anyway, I think the best thing is to try and sell.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 10:59AM
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After old step-Uncle's wife died 3 years ago, I spent some time with him. In his 80's but still keeping cattle, despite 3 hip replacements and major pain in back, hips and leg, with no one in the house to sound the alarm if he didn't return in an hour or so, we were rather worried that he might fall and freeze to death in a snow bank.

Despite the distortion in our viewpoints, ideas and emotions after the trauma of the death of a loved one, one can still feel empathy with him when he looked around the house and said, "You spend your whole life getting these things together ... but in the end, what good are they?"

It's people that count - not stuff.

How unfortunate that so many people these days seem to feel that a measure of our worth (the main one??) is how much stuff we have around us.

Encouraged, of course, by TV. Who depend upon their advertisers who, if they don't make a lot of sales, can't afford/aren't about to do the advertising.

Good wishes for being able to sort out who you are and where you're going - and being happy with your way. As long as it doesn't cause difficulties for others.

Actually, I think that life's more than that. Not just "Live and let live", but "Live and help live" seems to me a preferable option.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 3:01PM
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I still like the benefits of being self-employed all these years after working in a doctor's office. Although a senior I still work with seniors in their homes. Most people prefer staying home if possible & I like to think by providing this service I'm helping in a way that's important.
The benefits aside from the most important reward of friendships are the deductibles on taxes. Last year my husband of 3yrs started working again after retiring at 55. He's 68yrs & guess being married has increased both of our expenses as we wanted a home together & kept our previous ones by renting each. He started working as an independent courier & liked being able to deduct some items. Now, he's going to begin work as an independent contractor doing appraisals on properties, so he will have additional benefits. Guess he got the bug, eh? We're both fortunate to be healthy & we do have fun!!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2005 at 11:24PM
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Good for you guys, Sharlee.

It does seem wise for both emotional and financial reasons for seniors to stay in their own home while they are able to do so. Junior seniors can help senior seniors continue to do that for longer. Thanks for helping make it happen.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 9, 2005 at 4:45PM
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Hi, any ideas for home based businesses?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 10:26PM
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Hi lynne melb,

What training and skills do you have that people might pay you to make use of for them?

What experiences have you had that you may have thought might be useful for certain businesses, agencies or people, for it looked to you as though they could do something better, more efficiently, cheaply, etc.

What things do you like to do?

It seems to me that, if you plan to make your gods (the word originally written: I meant "goods") or services available over a wide area, to offer intellectual skill is preferable, for you can transfer that easily over the internet. If you don't get paid - you're out the cost of preparation, but maybe not that if it's a message that goes to others as well unless you tailor made/altered the message to that individual. No cost to purchase, ship, store, insure, package, re-ship, lose en route, or have deadbeat purchaser fail to pay for a product.

Some suggestions as a place from which to take off.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 3:53PM
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Seniors should absolutely be sure they are up on this new world of technology. At least be able to send emails and surf the web and do banking online and use a debit card. I get so tired of waiting in line while someone stands there for five minutes writing a paper check. Even my mother, who is 84 can do email. And not being able to make reservations online or search for health information is a real drawback. I have two friends who are only 62 and 58 who refuse to use a computer. It makes me irritated I can't email them when I only have to say one thing to say or forward an interesting web page. I think they are just lazy. I'm sure most of you reading this are savy since you are online to read this posting and more power to you.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 2:34AM
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There are always Luddites among us. But if they've never used computers, either in a work setting or school, they may be afraid of them. Pity!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 2:09PM
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My son, the smartest of us three "boys", who wanted no more schooling after H.S., just retired from farming.

His son is a teacher, into music, has made his own CD.

Brother won't have anything to do with a computer.

Actually - if I were going to write him the stuff we talk about in a 20 min. conversation on the phone - it'd take a week. And no instant feed-back.

Though I send and receive emails (as far as receiving - like thousands in a month!) I don't do banking online.

No one gets my credit card number online, either.

Nor do I buy and sell stocks online - (actually, I hardly ever sell 'em).

Actually - don't write a lot of cheques, either - giving them to strangers is a risky business, as well.

Most of my business is small - and local - so I do it in cash.

Haven't got held up, yet.

Actually, sometimes I've hitchhiked substantial distances, in which case I have usually distributed some cash in about half a dozen locations on my body - including under an unnecessary bandage on my arm.

Lived for several years in south Korea just after that devastating war when there were many desparate people around. Actually, last Saturday was the 55th anniversary of the start of that horrible war.

War is hell - as the U.S. will continue to learn for a few years in Iraq.

Have a great week - and summer, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 3:10PM
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suziek, It is not just the older shoppers waitiing, until every thing is rung up, to begin searching in their bags for that checkbook.

ful, "I think that life's more than that. Not just "Live and let live", but "Live and help live" seems to me a preferable option." Yes, I agree. To take it a step farther, I strongly believe what I always taught my DD's to remember: no matter how different another is, don't just tolerate them, enjoy them, learn from them and celebrate your differences together.

On Jun 28, 05, ful wrote, "War is hell." It is so frustrating. Frequently, we go to the polls with such great hope and then over the next 4 - 8 years, we meet great disappointment. Washington needs cleansed. How do we do that when we can't seem to do so in our own state, city or even our own families? Are we destined to......? Oh my, I best quit this line of thought or I will become morose.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Gramma Jan,

You'll get in trouble with the political thought police patrolling these forums, as well - or, maybe that's just over on KT. Politics and religion banned, over there.

o j

Have a great weekend.

o j

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 4:29PM
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What's KT? Don't see the problem, I didn't single out one party, I meant every now and then in both.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 11:33PM
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Seems to me that this concept is still relevant, and an important possible use of the time, talents and interests of many seniors.

And - who doesn't like to cut the tax load, when legally/morally possible?

Have a great weekend, everyone.

ole joyful

P.S. Gramma Jan (and sorry that I didn't reply sooner),

"KT" is Kitchen Table, another location on this site where folks talk about most anything and everything, send good thoughts for one another's sicknesses, problems, etc. and care for one another.

A fun place.

But we're not supposed to talk religion or politics there - too divisive.

I hope that you're enjoying your life and finding some interesting and challenging things to do.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 2:43PM
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In my post of June 28, '05, in the first line I refer to "My son, the smartest of us three 'boys' ... just retired from farming".

Wrong! Wrong!

Correct to, "My brother, the smartest of us three 'boys' ... just retired from farming".

Sorry for not catching that error long ago.

I'm going through some posts of different forums here, collecting some ideas for my money management and tax saving (occasional) newsletter.

More "occasional" than it used to be, now that I'm (more or less) retired. Free to anyone who can receive it by email.

Have a lovely spring weekend, everyone.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:40PM
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Gramma Jen what you want i the Hot Topics forum you can say anything you want over there
I purposely stay away because I disagree with most of them so strongly. Let them fight it out

Here is a link that might be useful: Hot Topics - GardenWeb

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 9:20PM
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