Social Security taxes changed for 1990. So what else is new? The wage base has been increased from $48,000 to $51,300. That's not all they changed. They increased the tax rate from 7.51 percent to 7.65 percent, so now the maximum tax paid by an employee is $3,924.45, up from $3,604.80. As you know, employers must match employee contributions. The self-employment rate went from 13.02 percent to 15.30 percent, so the amount paid is now $7,848.90, instead of $6,249.60. "Read my lips." Is there any good news in all of this? There might be if you are self-employed, because now you can deduct one half of the self-employment taxes paid. This will help a little.
The Society for the Right to Die distributes living will forms free for the asking. You can write to them at: 250 West 57th Street, New York, New York, 10107.
Need some advice on how to run your business? You can call the Small Business Administration at 1-800-368-5855. The SBA received over 270,000 calls on that line in 1989. They have information on all sorts of subjects. Give them a call before you run out to pay for the same piece of advice. The price is right.
Do you have teenagers that are driving age? My heart goes out to you. Are there any ways to save on those awful automobile insurance premiums? Believe it or not, there are still a few. Having the teenager listed as an occasional driver instead of the primary driver will save you some dollars. Good grades do pay off when it comes to insurance premiums. Ask your agent to get you the requirements for your company. Driver's education is required in some states and will save you money; if it isn't required have your child take it anyway. When all else fails, you can raise the deductibles on your collision portion of your policy. That is probably a good idea anyway. When is the last time you filed a claim anyway? Now look at the difference in the premiums for higher deductibles. Look at all the money you could have saved. Remember, teenage drivers are hazardous to your mental well-being and your pocketbook.
Have you given my tax-free money market idea a trial run yet? Some of you amaze me. Some of you have followed through with this and are reaping the benefits of lower taxes and "found" money, while the majority of you read this and then go right on complaining about paying taxes and having no money to do the things you want to do. Let's try this approach -- I dare you to try my method for 60 days and see if it saves you taxes and liberates some dollars for you. What have you got to lose? I know what it is, you won't have anything to complain about. Give it a try, I'm sure you will be able to find something else to occupy your thoughts. Don't forget to drop me a line and let me know how it is working for you, both good and bad. All I ask is that you be honest and gentle.
If you lost your wallet today, could you remember all those credit card companies to call? You say you have all of your card numbers memorized, and the 800 numbers too. Sure you do. What if your spouse lost his or her wallet. Same thing? Should I even waste my time asking about kids' wallets? I thought so. Isn't it time to follow some very simple Greenfield advice and make a listing of those cards? You say you like to live on the edge? Good luck. Need a copy of what I recommended on how to keep those cards straight? Drop me a line and I'll send that out to you ASAP. By the way, while you are at it make a listing of all those driver's license numbers too.
I know this isn't possible, because I'm sure each and every one of you memorize my articles each month and then store these articles in your safety deposit boxes right next to your mint copies of Mad Magazine and your Nixon-Agnew buttons, but in case you need some follow-up on an idea or you have a question, follow the advice at the bottom of this column and drop me a line. I love to get letters, and it's so nice when it's not one of those sweet love notes from the IRS titled "Final Warning."
Your comments and inquiries may be directed to:
Stanley Greenfield, R.H.U.
7240 Swansong Way
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Thank you.
Click here for previous articles by Stanley Greenfield, RHU.