My Incredibly Unremarkable Life
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Once I had passed forty--and maybe fifty--I began to think that the thirties are really a person's first decade as a full adult. At twenty, many (most?) are not yet settled into an existence in which they support fully not only themselves, but often others. By thirty there's probably a mortgage, car payments, and frequently kids. And at the end of one's thirties come FORTY--an age which has gotten a really bum rap.

Today, the next to the last day of 2006, I finished up my state income tax and mailed it off. Naturally, I have made all sorts of resolutions about income taxes next year. And it will probably go in at the last minute, if not at the end of an extension.

Speaking of income, I got two nice surprises last week. The first was from Social Security telling me how much my check would be this year. The rate rises each year with the cost of living, but so does the Medicare insurance. So far, I've stayed ahead of the game and seen a little more net. This year I don't know what happened, but I'm netting out almost $40 a month more.

The second surprise was from the pension people. That one goes down each year as the medical insurance (with drug plan) goes up. But that's going to be a bigger check than last year too. The note said something about using different tax tables. I'm going to have to do some serious estimating and maybe come up with quarterly tax payments. I don't anticipate a paycheck, which is really handy for paying income tax "as you go."

The Louisiana income tax structure is so bizarre--there's a $6000 deduction for pension income. And they don't tax Social Security. They also don't tax interest on government bonds, but they do tax income from municipal bonds which are not of Louisiana. There is a lot of adding and subtracting and re-calculating.

When we used to have to file Mississippi state tax (my husband's place of work was in MS) it was almost a clone of the federal one. But not Louisiana. It's one of a kind, I think.

So, I can start a new year on Monday without having any tax baggage from this year. I refuse to make resolutions--if something needs changing, do it now rather than waiting for an arbitrary position of the earth in its orbit around the sun. (Or procrastinate.)

Quick--without going through the "thirty days hath" rhyme, which two consecutive months have the same number of days in the current calendar?

My cat is snoring. It's not purring--it's snoring. Snoring is much louder and has the breathing rhythm. And he's halfway onto his back and asleep.

Now to think about 31.

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