Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for February 3, 2015:
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from Brown Hall on the Miles College campus. The Miles College Alumni Birmingham Chapter presents the Miles College Alumni Unity Fashion Show on Saturday at 11am at the Fairfield Civic Center. The fashion show features alumni models and student models in the show. The proceeds raised from this event will benefit Miles College students through scholarships and support for various projects facilitated on campus. Lunch will be served. Tickets are $20.00 per person. For more information call 205-901-4973.
JILL AT MCWANE CENTER - Beaker Bash: Unlock the Puzzle - Saturday, February 7th from 5-8pm Don't miss McWane Science Center's annual fundraising event Beaker Bash: Unlock the Puzzle. This unique evening event will test the brain power and problem solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers. This annual, family-friendly fundraising event directly supports statewide science education programs and makes field trips affordable for thousands of students. Mindbender Mansion - new exhibit that runs through May 3rd Mister E. and the Mindbender Society invite you to enter the wonderfully puzzling world of Mindbender Mansion, an eclectic place full of puzzles, brainteasers, and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brain power and problem solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers. Adults and children alike will enjoy exercising their minds as they try to master each of the 40 individual brain teasers and the five group activities in this fun and unconventional new exhibit. For more information, visit mcwane.org.
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us to talk about tips to cut your tax bill. Max out your IRA contribution. You have until April 15, 2015 to contribute to a traditional IRA and take a deduction on your 2014 tax return. You are allowed to contribute 100% of earned income up to $5,500 or, for those of you age 50 or older in 2014, you may contribute an additional $1,000 - $6,500 total - known as a ‘catch-up' contribution. Here are a few nuances you need to be aware of:
• If you are eligible for a 401k or similar qualified retirement plan through your job, you may contribute the maximum to your IRA until your modified adjusted income -MAGI- reaches $60,000 for single tax filers -$96,000 for joint tax filers.
• You are allowed a partial deduction with MAGI between $60,000 - $70,000 for single filers and $96,000 - $116,000 for joint filers.
•With MAGI above $70,000 for joint filers or $116,000 for joint filers, your IRA contribution is not deductible.
• If you don't have access to a qualified retirement plan at work but are married to someone who does, you are eligible to contribute the maximum to a deductible IRA until your modified adjusted income exceeds $181,000. A partial deduction is allowed for MAGI between $181,000 - $191,000.
• You cannot contribute to a traditional IRA beginning the year you reach age 70 ½.
Invest in a Roth IRA. You don't get a tax deduction but you do get tax deferred growth and future withdrawals during retirement are tax free! Unlike a traditional IRA, Roth IRA's do not have Required Minimum Distributions. The same maximum contribution limits apply for Roth IRAs as for traditional IRAs: 100% of earned income up to $5,500 plus an additional $1,000 for those ages fifty or older. Here are the details:
• You're eligible for a full contribution for MAGI up to $114,000 for single filers - $181,000 for joint filers
• A partial deduction is allowed if MAGI is between $114,000 - $129,000 for single filers - $181,000 - $191,000 for joint filers
• No contribution allowed if MAGI is above $129,000 for single filers $191,000 for joint filers
• April 15, 2015 is the deadline for contributions.
Don't forget the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit. This tax credit is designed to help low to middle income workers save for retirement. In addition to the tax deduction you receive for contributing to an IRA or company qualified retirement plan, you receive a tax credit worth between 10% and 50% of the contribution amount up to $2,000 for single filers - $4,000 for joint filers. This credit is reserved for single filers whose adjusted gross income is below $30,000 and joint filers with adjusted gross income below $60,000. For example, a couple whose adjusted gross income was $36,000 in 2014 and who contributed $6,000 to a 401k plan, would receive a $2,000 tax credit - 50% of a maximum $4,000 in addition to the tax deduction for the contribution.
For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.
BETH K - Beth Kitchen joined us to talk about the latest research in
• Coffee & Melanoma Risk: Don't start drinking coffee just yet to lower your chances of melanoma. The headlines that said “Coffee Cuts Melanoma Risk” were just plain wrong. The study showed a very weak association for drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day with a slightly lower risk of getting melanoma compared to people who did not drink coffee. These kinds of studies do not show cause and effect and the associated risk reduction was really small. I would say stick with avoiding sun and using sunscreen instead of drinking more coffee. - From the Journal of the National Cancer Institute
• Taste Trumps Nutrition Info. Researchers tested a variety of yogurts – each with varying levels of sugar and fat - and found that study participants based their choices on taste instead of nutrition information. Unhealthy eaters were more likely to base their choices on taste alone. But overall, taste trumped nutrition for both healthy and unhealthy eaters. Past research tends to show the same thing. - From the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing
• Less is Best? Not So Fast. The confusing data on sodium just keeps coming. The most recent recommendations from the NHLBI is that several groups – including older people, people with high blood pressures, and African Americans – should lower their sodium intake to 1500 mg or fewer. But a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed no association between self-reported sodium intake and the risk of death in older people. The researchers followed the participants for ten years. The average age of the participants was 74. It was an observational study and the participants reported their food intake themselves – both weaknesses of the study. But it does call into question whether or not the severe restriction of sodium is necessary for everyone. Lowering sodium can help lower blood pressure but the austere, across-the-board recommendation to lower it below 1500 mg may not be the best advice. - From JAMA.
AWF WILD GAME COOK OFF - The Alabama Wildlife Federation hosts its 10th annual AWF Wild Game Cook-off at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. It is held in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Garage at NASCAR's Most Competitive track. You can sample delicious wild game dishes prepared by some of Alabama's finest cooks! The categories for the dishes include wild game, fowl and seafood. The dishes can are cooked in various ways – fried, grilled, smoke, sautéed and much more. The winning team of cooks advances to the State finals. In addition, there will be the much anticipated LIVE and silent auction that will be featured in the center isle of the garage and will be filled with autographed racing memorabilia, along with countless Alabama and Auburn items. Tickets for the Cookoff are $40 per person, of $50 a couple when purchased prior to the event. In addition, pace car rides around the mammoth 2.66-mile Talladega venue – NASCAR's biggest and baddest - will be available earlier in the day for $40 on the day of event or $25 in advance. To purchase tickets or to pre-order rides around the track, call 1-800-822-9453 or visit www.alabamawildlife.org. All money raised goes to the Alabama Wildlife Federation, established by sportsmen in 1935. It is the state's oldest and largest citizens' conservation organization. The mission of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, a 501©3 non-profit group supported by membership dues and donations, is to promote conservation and wise use of Alabama's wildlife and related natural resources as a basis for economic and social prosperity. FOX6's Mike Dubberly and Rick Karle will be celebrity judges.
GOOD DAY GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joins us to discuss how to make an asparagus bed. She says Asparagus is a perennial vegetable. It can be planted or transplanted when it is dormant or going into dormancy. Though adaptable to many soils, asparagus grows best in a well-drained, organic soil. Purchase male plants or grow from seed and weed out female plants. The male plants produce the most spears. Asparagus beds live for many years and should be divided about every 5 years. For more information, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden. It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at www.Facebook.com/JosieGladysGardens or www.JosieGladysGardens.blogspot.com.
NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She introduced us to a unique study of storytelling, a memoir about being a mother, the history of a little-known, close-to-home subject, and a novel about Nat King Cole's driver and class and race in the 1950s—there's something set in our South for all reading tastes. Today she introduced us to
- Tracing Southern Storytelling in Black and White by Sarah Gilbreath Ford
- The Year My Mother Came Back by Alice Eve Cohen
- A Home for Wayward Boys by Jerry C. Armor
- Driving the King by Ravi Howard
Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, it's heart health month! Do you know your numbers and what they mean? The cardiologist joins us with answers! Enjoy a day at Alabama's state parks with a special deal! Mickey takes us to the Birmingham Zoo for his latest adventure! And Jeh Jeh celebrates Black History Month with some special music. Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!