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Options available for pet care expenses

Some people are having difficulty affording veterinary care for their pets. There are many great vet clinics that work with pet owners in any way they can.

One of the most important things you can do is to maintain a good relationship with your veterinarian from the start. He or she will be much more likely to allow a payment plan for a trusted client. Using a veterinarian in a less expensive area, such as a smaller town, is also something to consider. If necessary, call around for a second opinion or a better rate. You can also apply for Care Credit; this is specifically designed for health care costs and can be used for pets and humans, too. There happen to be many animal welfare organizations that help with costs through grants. However, these groups often rely on donations, and when those donations are down their ability to help is adversely effected.

Ultimately, pet ownership is not for everyone. It requires a commitment to provide for that animal throughout its entire lifetime. This includes being prepared for unexpected expenses, perhaps by having an emergency fund in place.

The decision to open your heart and home to a pet can be one of the best you’ll make, but it is not a decision to be taken lightly.


Submission best bet when facing a gun

When a situation arises, and you feel a need for a gun, chances are a gun is already pointed in your direction. Attempting a sudden movement at this time could prove fatal to you and those near you. Submission may improve your longevity.


Civil servants seeking equal retirement plan

This is in response to the letter by James T. Thompson, “Retiree’s complaint ill-founded” (Jan. 25).

Every civil service annuitant contributed 7 percent of their annual earnings to retirement. This was taxed at 3.4 percent plus county income tax prior to making the contribution. The 7 percent contribution has been in effect for more than seven decades.

As a federal annuitant, I forfeited two-thirds of my Social Security benefit. When I filed my 2011 Indiana tax return, 85 percent of my Social Security benefit was taxed at the rate mentioned above. Why? Any Social Security benefits received by a civil service annuitant in excess of $2,000 per year eliminate the meager $2,000 Indiana income tax exemption.

I have neighbors who are receiving Social Security benefits who do not pay any Indiana income tax until their income exceeds $32,000. Indiana made this exemption effective in 1984. Civil service annuitants have been penalized (taxed) on their annuity since 1977.

Civil service annuitants are being treated differently.

We want to be granted an exemption equal to the average amount of Social Security benefits received by a retired worker in Indiana. We believe all seniors should be treated fairly under the tax code.

ALLEN LAUER SR. Fort Wayne Second executive vice president Indiana Federation of NARFE Chapters