Here is what you saw on Good Day Alabama for November 26, 2013:
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us with some pointers on year-end tax strategies.
· Use appreciated stock (long-term capital gains) for charitable gifts. For example, you bought one-hundred shares of Apple stock at $100 per share and it is now trading at $500 per share. Instead of writing a $1,000 to your favorite charity, give the charity two shares of Apple. The charity receives $1,000 worth of stock which it sells and pays no income tax and you avoid the capital gains tax on a future sale of those shares.
· Redirect a portion of your Alabama income taxes…for free! The Alabama Accountability Act, which was passed earlier this year, allows you to redirect the lesser of $7,500 or up to one-half of your State of Alabama income taxes to scholarships for low income children who are stuck in failing schools. These scholarships allow them to transfer to either non-failing public schools or to private schools. You receive a dollar-for-dollar State-of-Alabama income tax credit so this costs you nothing! For a step-by-step guide, visit www.AlabamaKids.net.
· Review your Medicare plan. Don't forget to review your Medicare plans to ensure you have the most appropriate plan based on your situation. The open enrollment period ends December 7th. Kimberly Reynolds, a partner here at The Welch Group and expert on Medicare plan selection, suggests that you visit www.Medicare.gov, to review plan options available to you. "You can save a lot of money by matching a Prescription Part D plan to the actual medications you use," Kimberly said.
· Retirement plan contributions. If you have not maxed out your contributions to your company 401-k you can use the remaining paydays to increase your investment and income tax deduction at the same time. You'll need to contact your human resources department for their assistance in adjusting your payroll deduction.
BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Beth Kitchin joined us with a research roundup and a word about Thanksgiving! So here are a few interesting research tidbits for this Thanksgiving week! Kids Today! If you're a kid, your parents would probably have beaten you in a race when they were your age! At least that's what new research out of Australia shows. The researchers presented their work at the American Heart Association Conference last week. They found that the children of today take, on average, 90 seconds longer to run a mile than children 30 years ago. Keep in mind, this study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal so we don't know if the research methods will pass the muster of the peer review. While the research does not really the answer "why", hypotheses abound, including: obesity, lack of phys ed classes, and computer gaming! Maybe we need to make them all walk to school in three feet of snow like we did. Have a Nutty Day. A large study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that eating nuts every day is related to a lower risk of death and cancer. Now, keep in mind, this was one of those large observational studies. We cannot say that nuts lower your risk of death or cancer - but that there may be some sort of relationship there. It was not a huge lowering of risk - don't expect eating nuts every day to add years to your life. But other research supports that eating nuts can help lower blood pressure and they are of course part of the Mediterranean diet so I think adding in nuts is generally a good idea! This study showed the same effects for tree nuts - almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans - as well as peanut - which are technically a legume! Just remember, nuts are high in (healthy) fat and calories so don't overdo it or you may gain weight! Aim for about an ounce and a half a day (a small handful). Sleep it Off. More and more studies support the importance of sleep in our health. The latest study showed that young college women who got the right amount of sleep tended to have a lower body fat than those who did not get the right amount of sleep. The lowest body fat level was linked to sleeping 8 to 8 ½ hours. Sleeping less than 6 ½ hours or more than 8 ½ was linked to higher body fat. Waking at the same time every day was also linked to lower body weight. The study did show that sleep caused the lower body fat - it could be related to habits of people who sleep better. Beth's Thoughts on Thanksgiving? Don't worry about making your recipes healthier or dieting - it's just one day! But don't let one day of overeating lead to a whole month of dietary debauchery!
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from the Harris Fair ParK Arena where volunteers prepared for a big event today - I Cared Enough '13. Each individual needing assistance will receive a free hot meal, free clothes, medical, eye and dental screenings and each family will receive groceries for a Thanksgiving dinner. The event not only meets physical needs but also offers an ongoing worship presentation of the Gospel. For more information, visit http://www.libertychurch.cc/ice.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CAR SHOPPING - If you haven't been car shopping in the past few years, you may be in for sticker shock - but in a good way. Today's automobiles are equipped with features that used to be offered only in luxury vehicles. Features that have become prevalent or even standard in less-expensive brands include:
· Backup cameras
· USB port and/or Bluetooth wireless connection with your phone or iPod through the car stereo
· Active-safety features including blind-spot monitors or collision-avoidance systems
Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder revealed the latest features that consumers are most excited about and what you should expect to come standard when purchasing a new car. In this segment, Joe discussed:
Ø The top five features you should look for when shopping for a new car
Ø The most talked-about debuts of this year's show
Ø Buying then and now: what has changed in the past few years, and what buyers should expect
For more information, visit Cars.com.
ASK THE ANGLER - Reed Montgomery answers viewer questions about fishing. you can contact him with your questions at (205) 663-1504 or on his website fishingalabama.com - there you can find lake reports, fishing tips, upcoming events, and more.
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, Birmingham's Bargain Mom shows us how to find the best deals on Black Friday Shopping! The lives our children lead now is very different than the way we grew up... with the simple advancements in technology! We talk with Randi Zuckerberg about her new books for kids and her thoughts on how the world has changed! Don't let the holidays ruin your diet and exercise plan! We show you how to stick with it during a stressful season! And the vet joins us to take your questions about your pets! Join us for all of this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!