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I am 81 years old and am now ready to throw in the towel as it seems no matter what I do, I always have lots of short term gains (to pay taxes on), and all my long term losses become "deferred"; losses which I can only take at the rate of $1500 per year.

Assuming you are talking about 'carry forward' losses when you say 'deferred' losses, you can use those to offset both short term and long term capital gains, in addition to offsetting $3,000 per year in ordinary income (unless MFS, which allows only $1500 instead of $3000). If you are not offsetting your short term capital gains by using up the carry forward losses, you're not doing your taxes correctly.

Here's a tax topic that will give you some additional references:

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