Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for September 24, 2013:
JEH JEH LIVE - Get out your leather jackets, pull on your bobby socks and take a trip to a simpler time with the original high school musical, GREASE! Danny is the hunky 'bad boy' and Sandy is 'the girl next door.' They meet and fall in love. But will their different worlds keep them apart? Get ready to hand-jive the night away with the show that'll make you want to stand up and shout, "A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop A-wop-bam-boom!" "Grease" runs September 26th through October 13th. Shows are at 7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and at 2pm on Sunday. The RMTC Cabaret Theatre is located at 301 19th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203. For tickets are more information, call (205) 324-2424 or visit http://www.redmountaintheatre.org.
K - A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard
Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic finds that U.S. consumers are
likely wasting a lot of food because of confusing dates on food labels.
They estimated that more than 90 percent of Americans have thrown out
food needlessly because they misunderstand the dates on the food. But
the fault lies not with consumers but with the regulations themselves.
Here a few things most of us probably did not know about food label
· Except for infant formula, food manufacturers do not have to put "expiration" or "sell by" dates on foods and stores are allowed to sell those foods after the expiration or sell by dates.
· "Sell by" and "use by" dates are not really meant for consumers but are meant for the grocery store stocking personnel to guide them as to when the food will be past its peak quality. They are about food quality - not about food safety.
· There is no date on the food that tells you how long it is safe.
The report estimated that up to 160 billion pounds of food are wasted in the U.S. every year and that faulty food labeling may contribute to this waste. The also estimated that the average American household may be losing up to $275 and $455 each year because we throw food that is still good away. Here are some of the recommendations made by the group to help consumers:
· Put safe handling instructions on the labels. For instance, "freeze by" dates and instructions on the labels of perishables to educate consumers that freezing is a great way of preserving your food.
· Coming up with a usable system to better communicate to consumers when a food is unsafe to eat.
· Providing safe handling instructions on the label to decrease the risk of food poisoning.
You can visit this website to find out how long you can keep foods: foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html. Note that freezer times are for quality only - food will keep indefinitely at freezer temperatures!
MONEY TUESDAY - "Secret Strategy for Roth IRAs" - When you have to start taking annual amounts from your conventional IRA at age 70 ½, can you put that amount in your Roth IRA? No later than April 1st of the year following the year you turn age 70 ½, you must begin taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from the sum total of all of your traditional IRA accounts. The amount that must be withdrawn is based on IRS tables and the percentage withdrawn increases each year (roughly based on life expectancy). You are not allowed to 'convert' your RMD into a Roth IRA. Instead, you must report it as income on your tax return. If you have earned income, you are allowed to continue to contribute to a Roth IRA. For 2013 you may contribute 100% of your income up to $6,500 if you are over age 50 ($5,500 if you are under age 50). One advantage of a Roth IRA is that there are no required minimum distributions. One strategy to consider is converting a portion of your traditional IRA each year to a Roth IRA. Often retirees are in a much lower tax bracket after retiring. Consider converting as much as possible while staying in the 15% or lower tax bracket. For couples filing jointly, the top of the 15% tax bracket is a whopping $70,700 ($35,350 for single filers). For example, let's assume your adjusted gross income (AGI) is $50,000 in 2013. You could convert up to $20,000 of traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA and it would be taxed at the 15% level or $3,000. Those Roth funds now grow tax deferred as long as you live and your beneficiaries, while required to take required minimum distributions based on their own life expectancy, will do so tax free. If the beneficiaries happen to be grandchildren, your grandchildren will be able to 'stretch' out those withdrawals over decades creating an amazing financial benefit for them. For example, let's assume you leave your $50,000 Roth IRA to your twenty-year-old granddaughter and she took only the required minimum distributions based on her life expectancy. If she earned 9% on her investments, by age eighty-two (her life expectancy according to the IRS tables), she will receive lifetime distributions of over $2.4 million!
If you convert all or part of an IRA to a Roth IRA is there a waiting period before the entire converted amount plus earned interest can be treated as a Roth? I've heard it's something like five years. When you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, you have the five-year rule which would apply to the earnings. Withdrawals from a Roth IRA follow an "ordering rule" which states that any withdrawals are considered a withdrawal of contributions first; conversions second; and earnings last.
Contributions. Withdrawals of your contributions from a Roth are always income tax free.
Conversions. If you convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth, the amount of the conversion may also be withdrawn at any time income tax free.
Earnings. Earnings, whether in the form of interest, dividends or capital appreciation are subject to income taxes and a 10% federal penalty if withdrawn within the first five years of opening the account. There are exceptions to the 10% penalty if you are over the age of 59 ½ or distributions are made to a beneficiary due to death, qualified disability or qualified first time home buyer.
This is great news because it means that whether you contribute or convert funds to a Roth, you have free access to all of your money except the future earnings. And once you pass the five year mark, you have access to all of your money. However, you'll want to avoid this if at all possible since the big benefit of a Roth is tax free growth and future tax free withdrawals. For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
FANTASY SPORTS - Dr. Andrew Billings, a sports researcher whose academic home is The University of Alabama's College of Communication and Information Sciences, released a book earlier this month that he believes to be the "first true survey" of fantasy sport leagues in the United States. Billings, the Ronald Reagan Endowed Chair of Broadcasting in the telecommunication and film department at UA, co-wrote "The Fantasy Sport Industry: Games within Games" with the University of Cincinnati's Dr. Brody J. Ruihley. The book explores the ins and outs of fantasy sport as an industry game changer. The book includes data from surveys of more than 1,000 fantasy sport players, interviews with industry leaders and provides a history of fantasy sport. Billings said around 35 million Americans play fantasy sports each year, even more than the number of people who have active Twitter accounts. Billings said perhaps the most significant finding in the book relates to player motivation. The number of fantasy sport players in the U.S. has doubled in the past seven years, and Billings said the fantasy-league reach is surprising, with leagues for everything from what bills will pass in Congress to which movies will succeed in Hollywood.
ASK THE ANGLER - Reed Montgomery answered viewer questions about fishing. you can contact him with your questions at (205) 663-1504 or on his website www.fishingalabama.com. There you can find lake reports, fishing tips, upcoming events, and more.
GARDENING - Jimmy Rockett showed us how to prevent ladybugs from taking over your home. Jimmy says 38% product from High Yield is a very effective product. When sprayed properly, it leaves a residue that the lady bugs pick up as they crawl across it. It creates a barrier around your home. Once the lady bugs are inside, Jimmy says you should never spray them because they will leave a fowl smell when they die if you have several. They may not die in plain sight. They may die behind the walls, which is very hard to get to. It is best just to have a shop vacuum and suck them up. Jimmy says the product is great to use but just know, a lot if rain will wash the residue off. Jimmy says now is the time to begin spraying this product if you have had a lady bug infestation in the past. For more information, call Jimmy at (205) 981-1151, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his website at www.rockettsbugjuicegardens.com.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, we take you to Cullman for Weather Radio Wednesday! Are you ready for the Magic City Miracle this weekend? We explain just what it is and how you can get involved! A young man battling cancer puts his talents as a dancer to good use! He's even going to try to teach Mike a move or two! Our veterinarian joins us in the studio to take your questions! We check out what's going on these days at the Aldridge Gardens! Join us for all of this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!
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