I Need New Garage Doors

Carriage House-Style Garage Door

I knew this day was coming and now I think it has arrived.

My house was built in 1961 and I’m pretty sure I am still using the original garage doors, which means they are over 45 years old. The wood is rotting and they look really sad.

I have been shopping around for a couple of months now but put off making a decision because there’s a disconnect between what I want and what I want to pay. For instance, the garage door pictured above was my first choice (here’s my other favorite). I called the local garage door company and some guy came out to visit me. The guy ticked me off when he said that only “rich people” bought the style of door I was looking at. That’s not very good salesmanship! Anyway, I did end up balking when he told me that the doors I wanted were $1,100 EACH! Ouch!

The reason I want a nicer-looking doors is that my garage is even with the front of my house and is a significant percentage of the view of the house. A nice set of garage doors would really help with the curb appeal and set the house apart from all the other houses in the neighborhood. However, I’m just not sure curb appeal is worth $2,200. The sales guy did show me some less expensive doors (around $700 each) but they just didn’t do it for me. It’s kind of like going to the dealership intent on buying a Mercedes but settling on a Ford.

Anyway, I have to do something soon. I just don’t know what to do.

JLP’s Weekly Roundup

There’s two roundups this week because I’m behind.

FMF has ten jobs for older workers.

Nickel highlights some of the comments he has received.

Flexo’s upset that his gas station is now charging higher prices if he pays with a credit card rather than cash. – That stinks but it doesn’t surprise me since credit cards cost the gas station more to process. That’s why banks have rewards programs!

Jim talks about his experience attending a real estate auction.

MBH about how frugality and earning power make up a good defense and a good offense.

Michael’s review of “Maxed Out”. – I have yet to find a pf blogger who actually liked the movie.

Jonathan is thinking of changing the way he calculates his net worth. – I say that’s fine but then you won’t have your net worth, which is your assets minus your liabilities. When you start leaving stuff out, you don’t have net worth. Instead, calculate your net worth and then analyze it using these handy dandy ratios I put together.

I would HATE to cold call Single Ma. LOL!

Okay, there’s a few posts to keep you busy on a Saturday afternoon. Have fun!

Friday’s GIVEAWAY (and Thursday’s Winners)

Today’s the last day of my four day giveaway that I have been running since Tuesday.

Here’s the winners of Thursday’s GIVEAWAY:

Commenter #’s:

3 – jadem

36 – John G.

Congratulations to the two winners.

Now here’s Friday’s GIVEAWAY:

If a move is in your future, the Moving.kit might be something that would interest you. This particular kit is a lot more specific than the other items I have given away this week. However, if you do win it even though you aren’t moving, it would make a perfect gift for someone who is moving. Anyway, for a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. I have only two rules:

1. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, and…

2. You can only enter ONE TIME!

I’ll announce the randomly-selected winners tomorrow morning.

Good luck and have fun!

What Happens if it Costs Too Much to Work?

Today’s WSJ contained the following letter to the editor:

Your June 14 editorial “100% Marginal Tax Rate” caught my eye, as that reality is, in effect, already here for us. Two years ago I came to the conclusion that it was actually costing me money to go to work. As a two-physician couple with two children, we required daily child care in order for both us to work, given our hectic schedules. That child care can only be purchased with pre-tax dollars. Given our dual income, every dollar I earned was taxed at an effective top marginal rate of 51.15% (35% federal, 1.45% Medicare, 6.2% Social Security, and 8.5% state). But it only got worse as we were swept into the Alternative Minimum Tax bracket as well. Living in such a high tax state as Maine, where property taxes and income taxes are some of the highest in the country, exposed us to the AMT tax as our federal tax deductions consist mostly of property tax, excise tax and state income tax payments.

The “Bush tax cut” is a myth, at least for us, as the AMT tax is costing us more money than the small decrease in the top marginal rate returned to us. The more I worked, the more state taxes I paid and the higher the AMT burden became. As an emergency physician, I found that after the state and federal governments took their share along with the AMT tax, I wasn’t making enough money to pay our child-care expenses with pre-tax dollars. Add to that the constant threat of being sued as an emergency physician, it only made economic sense for me to quit my job and take over child-care responsibilities full time. Now I no longer work as an emergency physician or employ a child-care provider (and pay her employment taxes), and our after-tax take-home pay has increased. Who says this isn’t a great country?

J. M., M.D.
Brunswick, Maine

This is what makes the AMT so ridiculous. Since under the AMT, you pay which ever tax bill is the highest, a tax cut could actually force you pay the AMT. Crazy isn’t it?

I wonder how many other families are coming to the same conclusion?

Thursday’s GIVEAWAY (and Wednesday’s Winners)

Here’s the winners of Wednesday’s GIVEAWAY:

Commenter #’s:

15 – king

28 – Mike


Congratulations to the two winners.

Now here’s Thursday’s GIVEAWAY:

Valuables.doc is a great way to store your room-by-room inventory. I would also make a video copy of you inventory as a backup. I have 2 of these to give away. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment below. I have only two rules:

1. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, and…

2. You can only enter ONE TIME!

I’ll announce the randomly-selected winners tomorrow morning.

Good luck and have fun!