Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama for February 3, 2015:
• 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.
• 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.
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