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<I posted a question some time ago on this board and had the same experience: a non-respectful reply to a question I meant seriously. I haven't been back to this board until now. PMarti has many supporters but I suggest less "humor" because of the real chance for misinterpretation. I am not a humorless person and I don't think the author of the question is either. We ask a simple question and hope for an answer that doesn't demean our asking it to the point that we leave.>

I have said many times before that it is better to ask a question than not to ask it. However, when one is looking to have their question answered seriously you need to provide enough specifics to place it in context. In the followup to the original post a lot of detail was provided that could have altered the tone and content of the responses.

My take on the original question was: "woe is me; my salary has doubled and I am paying more in taxes; what do I do?" "How can I pay less in taxes?" is a question that by itself reminds me of the "when will the stock split?" questions that often appeared on stock message boards a couple of years ago. Both are superficial questions that often generate superficial answers.

Your question can be a great question if you lay out your personal situation ie: married or divorced, age, kids or no kids, elderly parents, healthcare issues, stress levels, 401k match status, mortgage status, emergency fund status, timing of future bonuses, options, whether or not you live below your means, whether or not you desire to retire early, etc.). Any one of these variables can alter the responses that you could get. Obviously the more input you give, the more useful the responses can be. If one wants any board to provide them with well thought out and reasoned responses, they should make sure to invest an equal amount of time thinking their question through before placing fingers to the keyboard.

Phil and the other pros on this board answer countless questions with both honesty and humor on a daily basis. I find this to be true even if the question has been asked many times before. Sometimes a poster might get upset because the answer they get contradicts the "somebody told me..." advice they had been incorrectly given before coming here. Other posters may get upset because they have already taken an action that cannot be reversed by the time they came here to ask their question. The goal here is to enable people to take FOOLISH actions rather than foolish ones.


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