Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for January 20, 2015:
ECONOMY & THE PRESIDENT- Economist, John Norris joined us to talk about the President's tax propsoal. John said that any additional taxes on the rich is purely political and not economic.Economic activity is the primary driver of income taxes, not marginal tax rates. When your economy goes up so I do income taxes. When the economy goes down income taxes follow. Marginal tax brackets haven't made as much of a difference as you might imagine.The really rich have attorneys and CPAs which can help them reconstitute income.People will produce only to a certain level of income. If you tax me at 100% of everything earn over X I will produce up to X and not a penny more. If the goal is to redistribute wealth then perhaps we would be better served pulling the bottom up as opposed to bringing the top down." One thing is for sure, if he's merely doing this to set up the Democratic platform for 2016, it'll be nothing new. Democrats tout they are for the poor and middle class and the Republicans want less government. But both sides may need to tweak their messaging--we'll leave that analysis for the political pundits at another time.
MONEY TUESDAY- Stewart Welch joined us to talk about the required minimum distributions of Roth IRAs. He started the conversation last week and went into more detail today. If you establish a Roth IRA or convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, two big advantages are:
1. Future distributions at retirement will never be subject to income taxes - some early withdrawal penalties may apply
2. You are never required to take Required Minimum Distributions during your lifetime. This is also true of your spouse if he or she is your beneficiary.
So far so good. Unfortunately, when a non-spouse, presumably children, 'inherit' a Roth, they must begin taking RMDs no later than December 31st of the year following the year of death of the Roth owner. If you miss this deadline, then all of the Roth must be withdrawn by December 31st of the fifth year following the year the owner died. There is some good news in that the required distributions will be based on the child's life expectancy. For example, say you inherited your father's $100,000 Roth IRA at your age 55. Based on the IRS single life expectancy tables, you are expected to live 29.6 years. To calculate your RMD, divide $100,000 by 29.6 and you get your RMD of $3,378. You must recalculate the RMD each year. The best news is that all of the distributions will be tax free! It seems that the government doesn't want the money locked up forever. They want to get it circulating so it can eventually be taxed! For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
BETH K- UAB nutritionist Beth Kitchin joined us. She talked about a hunger Blocking device that got FDA approval for weight loss device. This is a device that has been around to treat other disorders – such as chronic depressions and gasteroparesis – a disorder where the stomach does not empty properly. It has to be surgically implanted and the electrodes are attached to the vagus nerve. It is controlled by a programmer device outside of the body. This is what it looks like It stimulates the vagus nerve that, among other things, tells your brain you are full. No one quite knows why it helps people lose weight but it does seem to reduce hunger. This not for everyone – it is for people with a BMI of 35 to 45 who also have an additional weight related disease such as diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure. An example of someone with a BMI of 40 is someone who is 5'8" and weighs 265 pounds. That's about 100 pounds overweight. The device has two big studies that support using it for weight loss. In the ReCharge trial, two groups of obese patients had the device implanted – but one group - the placebo group - had it turned off. Both groups were on a diet and exercise program and both lost weight. But the group whose device was turned on, lost 9% of their starting weight while the placebo group lost 6% of their total weight. However, there was another study called the EMPOWER study showed no differences between the two groups with their weight loss. They lost. In this study both groups received very intensive lifestyle counseling for weight loss. The participants met with their doctor 18 times over the course of the year. They also had 17 sessions of educational counseling sessions. This suggests that intensive diet and exercise along with intensive counseling and attention, may be just as effective in treating obesity. This is what it looks like – can you show this picture? It is off of the company's website – the company is EnteroMedics. About 4% of the participants had side effects that included abdominal pain, surgical complications, pain at the electrode site and heartburn. The cost for the device will probably be in the $10,000 to $30,000 range. It may be covered by insurance.
TRAVEL MOM- Mike talked with Becky Beall from The Travel Voice by Becky with ideas for Valentine's Day trips. Celebrate your love on Alabama's Gulf Coast! Three great hotel properties are offering spectacular Valentine packages to help you celebrate Cupid's holiday in Orange Beach.
• Savor the Sweet Stuff at Hampton Inn & Suites – Nothing says I love you like chocolates, bubbly, flowers and a free gift from Fusion Spa Salon!
• Life's a bed of roses at Holiday Inn Express – They'll take care of setting the scene with a bed covered in rose petals! Package includes champagne and $25 toward a romantic sunset meal at Cobalt Restaurant (two days advance purchase required and must be 21 for champagne).
• Whisk your loved one away to the Hilton Garden Inn and enjoy sparkling wine, free breakfast for two, late check-out and a free gift from Fusion Spa Salon.
Savannah, Georgia, is such a romantic town with cobblestone streets, Spanish Moss and southern hospitality. Take a riverboat cruise down the Savannah River, get some Rose Petal Ice Cream at historic Leopold's Ice Cream and be sure and choose a charming, cozy room at the Ballastone Inn. Now, that's a romantic Valentine weekend!
And, finally if you're budget is a little larger, then check this out! Norwegian Cruise Line has a sailing that departs Miami on February 13th for four nights featuring the Sail Across the Sun: Music, Food and Wine Festival hosted by the band Train. The ship is the Pearl and you'll visit Key West and Great Stirrup Cay. This is quite a lovely Valentine's Day trip!
For more information, visit www.TheTravelVoiceByBecky.com.
WILDLIFE EXPERT- Archery is important to our wildlife and the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries due to the sale of archery equipment generating Wildlife Restoration Funding- Pittman/Robertson 1937 for the establishment, enhancement, and perpetuation of our wildlife. 2015 is a Banner Year for Archery in Alabama. Never before has Alabama hosted so many important FITA Target and 3-D Target Archery Tournaments in one Year. Beginning in February through August organized and freelance archery tournaments will be hosted all over Alabama. For the first time Alabama will be host to 2 Major U.S. Tournaments with the ASA Classic in Phoenix City and in the year prior to and in the Olympic year 2016 Decatur will be host to the USA Outdoor Nationals. The tournaments begin the first weekend in February and run through August. Bowhunters of Alabama / BHA – Host 3-D tournaments February thru August. For details, visit www.bowhuntersofalabama.org. Div. of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries- Host NASP Regionals February 19-20 at Pell City High School and Ozark Community College. February 26-27 at Alma Bryant High School, Northside Middle School on March 4-6, Buckhorn Middle School on March 12-13, and March 19-20 at Prattville High School. For complete details, visit www.outdooralabama.com. The State NASP Tournament is April 9-10 in Montgomery and the National NASP Tournament is May7-9 in Louisville, KY. For more infromatiion, visit www.nasp.org. The Archery Shooters of America/ ASA Hoyt Pro/AM is March 20-22 in Phoenix City, the Delta/McKenzie on July 24-26 in Cullman, the ASA/ Team Realtree Classic on August 20-23 in Phoenix City. And the USA Archery tournament is in Decatur on July 1-5. For information on the Alabama Society of Traditional Bowmen, visit www.astb.net. For information on the National Field Archery Association visit www.nfaausa.com. And for information on the International Bowhunters Association visit www.ibo.net/,