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December 22, 2013

Married couple with no children should file jointly

DEAR BRUCE: If you are married, should you file together or separately? We have no children and have been married for one year. Our combined income is $50,000. Our mortgage is $125,000, and we have no other debts. — G.P., via email

DEAR G.P.: This is a no-brainer. With your income and no children, I can see absolutely no reason for you guys to file separately. You would just be paying more taxes for no reason. I would file immediately for the next tax year as married and filing jointly.

DEAR BRUCE: A few years ago, when your broadcast was available in the Seattle area, I heard you mention your first radio job applications. You applied something like 2,000 or 3,000 times, or some huge number, and somebody finally relented and gave you a chance.

Could you help me set the record straight and let me know exactly how many times you applied, and the method of application — phone calls or letters — and why they relented? I find this remarkable and inspiring for anybody looking for a job today. — D.H., via email

DEAR D.H.: I remember very well what I had to do before I actually got anywhere. That was with WMCA, a radio station in New York, in the late 1970s.

I called WMCA somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 times. Two or three times a day, every single day. In addition, I sent them well over 500 letters over a four-year period. They told me I wore them down.

Some people said I would tick them off. But I thought, how can I be any worse off than I am now? They weren’t hiring me or answering my letters. All I can do is keep after them.

Fortunately, they gave me a shot at Sunday afternoons, which is the toilet in the radio business. I managed to hang in there, and they offered me a full-time job not that many months later. In any event, that’s the story.

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