Monday, January 25, 2016

The times, they are a-changin’...


Crystal Palace view from Water Temple
Crystal Palace, view from Water Temple
If you remember Bob Dylan’s song coming out, your age is probably pretty close to mine. I turn 70 this year and, in some ways more significantly, 70 1/2. According to IRS rules, this means that instead of socking spare cash away in an IRA, I have to start taking money out. And I have to start taking Social Security.

For the first time in 25 years, I’m going to have a regular income. To tell the truth, I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with it. I suppose I’ll have to learn to budget, instead of saving as much as possible and hoping more will come in before I run out. It’s going to be interesting!

To complicate matters, I can go on stashing pre-tax money in my SIMPLE IRA and post-tax money in a Roth IRA as long as I’m writing and earning.

And I am still writing, with plenty going on in the coming year.

I’ve just started on the 23rd Daisy Dalrymple mystery (I had to go to my website and count the list). Working title is The Corpse at the Crystal Palace. Three older Daisy books will be added to the audio list shortly: Rattle His Bones on Feb. 16th, To Davy Jones Below on March 8th, and The Case of the Murdered Muckraker (the only book I’ve ever set in the US) on April 12th.

The paperback of Superfluous Women is due in September.

Buried in the Country, the fourth Cornish mystery, is due out in December.

And of course all the Daisy series, all the Cornish series, and all my Regencies are available as ebooks, presumably forever. So I guess I’ll be filing Schedule C for the rest of my life, "retired" or not.

Old writers never retire; they carry on to The End.

Carola Dunn is author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, Cornish Mysteries, and multitudinous Regencies.

17 comments :

  1. Congratulations on your new stuff coming out this year ... and on your new status with the IRS. Good to know that I can start withdrawing from IRA in the near future ... let's see, that will mean that my income will increase by exactly 0%.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha. Better keep writing, Christopher!

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  2. You've entertained so many people over a lifetime and that is the best kind of "immortality."

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  3. Retirement planning and budgeting can be tricky especially when you're still working. I do know the government will make sure they get a big share of your money.

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  4. I had no idea one HAD to draw social security at age 70.5. How curious. Good luck with a little extra security - It'll be interesting to learn if it makes you a little lazy in the writing department. Give us an update next year, will you?

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    1. You don't have to take it, I don't think, but however much you earn and pay in, the monthly amount will not increase thereafter. You do have to keep paying in, though. They get ya comin' and goin'.

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  5. How old were you when you published your first book, Carola? Just curious.

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    1. I wrote it in 1979, sold it in 1980, it came out in 1981. Damn, I'm too old to do the math...

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  6. thanks for the heads up on the three coming-soon-to-audio so I be sure to save an audible credit each month to get them :)

    had not thought about the things that happen at 70 and a half either ... by the time I get to that point (not really that far away though), things will probably be all different and i'll still be ina fog about "what do I do now?!?"

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    Replies
    1. The times they are a-changin'--and the IRS with them.

      I'd be interested to hear what you think of the new audio reader. Like the first (but not the second), she's a Brit, but Welsh, I gather.

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  7. You're still a kid :-) I wouldn't mind being 70 (or even 70 1/2) if it didn't hurt so much.

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  8. Tax rules can be so complicated! Anyway, it's nice that you held out so long without using social security!

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    1. Confession--I didn't, actually. I've been getting half my ex's amount for a couple of years (would you believe, when I applied for it, they backdated it to when he reached the full retirement age--which gave me a lump sum that played absolute havoc with my taxes--had to pay an accountant for the first time in my life to sort it out). But by the time I reach 70 1/2, my payment will be more than half his and I'm allowed to switch. Not sure whether I'd be allowed to switch back to his full amount if he died before I do. Complicated is the word!!!
      Which is why I didn't want to get into all that in the blog...

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  9. Good for you, Carola. I took mine at 63 and am very glad I did. I'll keep writing anyway because I really don't know what else I'd do. Congrats on your very prolific career.

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  10. I've been on social security for awhile. It has helped me be able to write part-time. About those changin' times -- it's not necessarily for the better. The world seems to get crazier by the day, but then that does create great grist for the writing mill.

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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