Love, sex and taxes — not necessarily in that order

So what’s the most popular pickup line in bars and clubs these days, adjusted for age, IQ and other factors of course? And what’s an age-appropriate ice-breaker that could lead to much, much more?

The correct answer, as with most questions, is it depends. Take age, for example. How old are we talking about here? Asking “What’s your major?” may be alright for the college crowd but it goes nowhere with more mature folks, or those who are already working.

Whether you are an Aquarius or were born under the sign of Libra is neither here nor there to most people at or over the legal drinking age. But there are some magical conversational topics as the crowd gets older, wiser and feels comfortable talking about things like shower rails, out-of-sight hearing aids and taxes. Maybe especially taxes.

Tell an attractive 60-year-old fed in the Washington, D.C. area that there is no state personal tax in Wyoming, Washington, Texas, Tennessee and five other states and they are likely yours for the evening. Maybe even life, if that works for you.


If you tell a federal civil servant in Wyoming that he or she could retire to any of more than a dozen states, most of them a lot warmer in the winter, and not be taxed on the federal annuity, Social Security benefits or most other retirement income and you’ve got a friend for life. They may be a neighbor, maybe more if they move close to you because you live in a state that is tax-friendly to their particular source of income.

Some people fixate on sales taxes. Delaware with its great beaches draws a lot of retired federal and military people because it has no sales tax. By contrast Virginia wants 5.65%, and Maryland and D.C. want 6%. Many Californians move to Nevada and Washington state to escape taxes which apply to all private, military and public annuities or benefits.

Monday’s column got a lot of traffic because it featured the annual review of state-by-state tax treatment that the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association provides for members each April. It is updated annually because state tax laws change either by legislative action or by court rulings, as recently happened in Oklahoma. The point is that state treatment of taxes, on federal annuities, military retired pay, Social Security and even state public pensions is a moving target. NARFE agreed to make its full report, normally reserved for members-only, to Federal News Network readers.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

In the 1600s a sect of Paulaner Catholic monks in Bavaria survived on only water and beer for the 40 days of Lent. They abstained from all solid food, but brewed an especially strong beer, likely a bock beer, loaded with carbohydrates and nutrients. An Ohio brewery employee recreated the fast this year and lost 40 pounds.

Sources: Catholic News Agency/USAToday