thToday I got my first paycheck since Nov. 29. At times this self-employment thing is for the birds.

My tax guy suggested I pay myself four times a year instead of monthly. It makes the paperwork easier, but part of me believes the quarterly system stinks.

That would be the part that’s been monitoring the checkbook balance – and suffering periodic panic attacks – since Thanksgiving.

Yet another part of me is glad that I’m not collecting 12 paychecks a year. The quarterly payouts help me keep my frugal edge.


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thLady Liberty is back. Or, rather, some dude wearing a Statue of Liberty costume is back, and standing outside a local tax-prep place. Instead of lifting a lamp beside the golden door, he’s waving a get-your-taxes-done-here sign at the passing traffic.

I’ve seen at least two dudes dressed this way lately, greenish robes bulging over winter wear and spiky crowns sitting uneasily atop messy mops. The facial hair is a bit jarring, since the real Lady Liberty is clean-shaven.

Being willing to don a silly costume and stand outdoors in the cold tells me something about these guys: They want to work.


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thAs you may have noticed, I haven’t been doing a lot of in-depth writing lately. In part that’s because I was ill for a while and then spent eight days visiting my daughter.

The real reason, though, is that I’m doing on a personal project that’s taking most of my attention. Not quite ready to talk about what I’m working on, except to say this: It’s neither a book nor a baby.


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20140909-MoneyTips-Fincon-The retiree-screen Res (FINAL)Where I grew up, people worked for as long as possible and felt diminished by retirement. Now it’s seen as a second chance.

Some people still say they plan to spend their golden years improving their golf swings or lying around in hammocks, but increasingly retirement is becoming an opportunity to start over: trying a different type of work, learning a new skill, maybe even running off to join the Peace Corps.

If you’d like to learn more, tune in to the Retiree Next Door Tweetcast next Tuesday, Nov. 18. Co-hosted by MoneyTips.com and certified financial planner Jeff Rose, the one-hour event will answer common questions and any additional queries sent in by listeners.


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thIf you’ve got a face made for radio or a body that doesn’t fit Madison Avenue’s image, you may feel that you’re not getting a fair shake. And you may be right.

For example, tall people earn more than shorter ones. Overweight men earn less (and overweight women earn a lot less) than non-obese coworkers.

And this one really frosts me: A Harvard University study indicates that women who wear makeup are seen as “more trustworthy and competent.” Hey, not all of us want to put on war paint each day.

Unfair, but true: How your looks affect your pay,” on Money Talks News, discusses the ways bosses can legally discriminate against you.

Sometimes those ways are pretty ridiculous. One employment law expert has heard from people who got canned because supervisors didn’t like their shoes. Seriously.


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