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Last weekend my lawn guy (who also comes and does snow removal and cleans our gutters, etc.) stopped by so I could pay him for the fall clean up and gutter cleaning. We were chatting out on my front steps for a while and when we were finished I gave him what I thought I owed him. I told him how much was there and he said he thought that was too much and handed me back $100. Today we had a man come to do some service on our oil burner. I paid him for the job with a credit card but also gave him a cash tip of $40. He called a few minutes after he left and asked me if I realized that I had given him that much money and I said yes I knew it was $40 not 20, he said wow well thanks again very much and I told him to enjoy his Christmas.


I am grateful to be able to pay things forward to folks who help me out.
 

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We have regular handyman/friend. He lives with his wife, their children and their grandchildren, so there is not a lot of money to go around. His wife, Bindi, has bipolar disorder and I feel for her as I have the same condition. He has been unable to get her to the psychiatrist and pay for her medications for the last month. Bipolar is deadly when not treated. I slipped him $100 (without my husband knowing) so he could get her some help soonest. And of course, gave them a lovely Christmas card.
 

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Claire that is an important part of all this. We are unlikely to know what is happening in the lives of some of our service providers, delivery folks and other people who we don't see too often. Your relationship with your handy man is like mine with my yard care man. We talk often enough to know each other fairly well. Last year he went to El Salvador to check on his dad and ended up missing Christmas here with his wife and children. I want them to have a nice one this year. The kids are still young enough for it to be a big deal for them. Your handyman is lucky to know you.
 

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That was so sweet of you both. I also like to help others when I can. I usually put out an envelope for my lawn guy, my trash pick up and mailman. Bipolar condition yes needs lots of help. I've mentioned before one of my daughters has bipolar and without medication and see her psychiatrist and therapist i don't know where she would be. Fortunately she was eligible for a medicaid program, working medicaid and this allowed her to get treatment. One of her meds is $1000. a month and she only pays a few dollars. She is doing so well though and able to work more and more that she s likely to lose it in the next year as you are only allowed a certain salary and with overtime she may make more. I think its really nice to help those folks when you can. We do need a health system that helps people more with mental illness and pre existing conditions that allows them to be productive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mufar I think many more people would prefer the dignity of decent work with a living wage and quality affordable health care over being stuck in a rut of poverty, poor health and all the burdens that come with those situations. Sadly I don't think that is what is coming in 2019. I am very concerned about my 2018 income taxes. I live in New York and along with everyone in New Jersey, California and other high tax states the $10K cap on property and mortgage interest deductions is going to be very hard on me. I will be losing over $7K in deductions and don't know if I will be able to be generous enough to do as I normally do in charitable deductions and holiday gifts to service providers. I have to manage towards my own retirement.


Mufar I hope that your daughter and others in her situation make it through next year with the support and care they need.
 

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Lillycd ... Thanks yes I am well aware of the tax situation up north as I was born & raised there. We use to get a nice deduction back then. My step son is also going to be hit very hard tax wise, living in Bergen County, NJ. These states are going to need to make some internal changes. Having moved South and having lived in other states without high taxes I can understand, some of the places I lived didn't have the great school systems up North. For many years I had to send my girls to private school as the education and building were not what I was use too. Unfortunately I didn't get to deduct any of that back then. LOL I hope those states with high taxes and more services find a way to help their residents.
 

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I live in MD and am a Realtor, everything is taxed, but not to the extent of NY and NJ. Since this is mainly a tourist area and second homes, may of my clients are from NY and NJ. First thing I say is, our taxes are not near as high as yours, and they cannot believe the difference and are happy, may say that is the reason they are leaving NY and NJ due to taxes
 

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Yep I see it. NY/NJ /Ca are going to need some politicians to get them back in line with their taxes. Those big deductions will be missed I am sure.
 

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I don't mind paying the taxes as long as I see a return on that "investment" in the form of good school and other good services (which we generally have). Even though there are no children in K-12 in my family I do work in public higher education and thus derive a benefit from the strength on New York's education system. I would rather see full deductability restored than to see services suffer.


But I would rather talk about working with nice people than to complain about taxes at this point so anyone who really wants to talk taxes can start another thread to my way of thinking at this point. Enough on taxes...
 

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I have never tipped our mail person. I tip our key self-employed service people, like the groomer, my hairdresser and the yard man. Does everyone tip their mail person?
 

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I have never tipped our mail person. I tip our key self-employed service people, like the groomer, my hairdresser and the yard man. Does everyone tip their mail person?

My mailman is super nice, so I tip him. The trash guys don't make a whole lot and have a nasty job t times, They always pick up anything that falls off the truck, at least in front of my house, so I tip them. I forgot the groomer but I did tip her. Actually I gave her $100. I felt she work hard with my sometimes unruly pup.
 

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I ended up tipping my post woman. I don’t always have the same one. This USPS employee is always cheerful and wears a Santa hat these days. Lately, she’s had to ring the gate bell, because the boxes are too large for our mailbox and drive in. She could easily leave a note for me to pick it up at the post office. It was only $10, and I told her to have a coffee on me. She was so delighted and admitted she could use some coffee. I don’t think they get many tips judging from her reaction. Worth it:)
 

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I tip the groomer,and paper delivery person. Used to buy the maillady a small gift,when we had the same one,but don't know the current one(s). Tip the hairdresser,since I don't go too often.

Martha
 
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