The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Water Main Break Edition

Late last night, a water main broke about eighty feet from our house, sending a geyser of water way up in the air and soaking our yard quite well. Various equipment moved in and ran most of the night, leaving me with little sleep and a deep sense of exhaustion now.

How The Rich Stay Rich: A Lesson In Lateral Thinking This is a retelling of a very classic story about thinking different. (@ wise bread)

What Percentage of My Income Should I Contribute to a 401(k) Plan? My answer is usually “as much as possible,” but that’s not feasible for some people (like this person, apparently). (@ my money blog)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Does Ultra-Frugality Mean That You Don’t Need A 401(k) or Roth IRA? If you spend less than 50% of your take-home and are doing positive things with the rest of it, do you even need a retirement account? It’s a good question, really.

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  1. Amanda B. says:

    How much would a $700 deduction get you back in taxes anyway?

  2. s says:

    Depends on your tax bracket and whether you have other deductions that get you past the standard deduction.

    Assuming you have enough deductions (from mortgage interest or something), an extra $700 deduction would get you back somewhere around $175 (plus or minus depending on your tax bracket – that is with 25%).

    The first $5350 you deduct doesn’t save you anything.

  3. Sean says:

    Learn to sleep with earplugs. And if there’s a lot of bright lights, a sleep mask. And if the ground is shaking a lot, try a sleeping pill. You can always get to sleep if you put your mind to it, unless maybe if someone is erratically splashing ice water on your face.

  4. Amanda B. says:

    Thanks! So I guess the next question would be, how can you ethically get past that first 5k?

  5. Matt says:

    “how can you ethically get past that first 5k?”

    By claiming all of the deductions you are legally entitled to, and not a penny more. You either have the deductible expenses or you don’t. Anything else is cheating.

  6. lorax says:

    I second the earplug approach. Besides, you get your lawn watered for free!

    Hmm… it’s official. You can’t live in the boonies and have a water main. Maybe it’s more correct to say you live in a backwater small town.

  7. Jean says:

    Regarding the retiring early/401k thing — there is a section of the tax code that will let people who are retiring early get to those funds with no penalty.

    It’s the 72T rule.

    It’s not meant as a way to get to your money because you want to do it without paying the taxes — it’s restrictive, and you have to take the distrubutions for 5 years or until you are 59 1/2 (don’t quote me, I’m tired)…

    But it’s something we are considering as we want to retire at 50 or so.

    Google 72T — lots of info.

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