Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:
JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from the UAB Football Complex to talk with coaches and players hitting the field for the first time since 2014. We're now just hours away from seeing an actual UAB Blazer football team slip on a practice jersey and hit the practice field. The Blazers were supposed to start practice Monday morning, but the weather didn't permit them. Jeh Jeh will talk with Head Coach Bill Clark and how excited he is about football returning to UAB. Coach Bill Clark welcomes 60 new faces to the team. They'll go to full pads on Thursday and won't start playing actual games until 2017.
BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us. Last week we talked about a study that showed that you can actually increase your muscle while losing weight. One viewer messaged Mike with this really good question: if you gained a lot of muscle mass, could it put your BMI in the overweight or obese category? Beth says this is a really great question and the answer reveals some of the problems with using BMI -Body Mass Index- as an indicator of health and risk of developing disease. What is BMI? BMI – body mass index – is simply a formula using your height and weight to give you a number that then tells you what category you fall into underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. You can go to the NIH website to calculate your BMI. She showed us two graphics. The first was from www.stronglifts.com that demonstrates how two different people with two very different builds measured the same on the height/weight/BMI numbers. Both guys have the same height and weight – and thus the same obese BMI. But one guy is clearly much more fit. Because more of his weight is lean mass, he does not have the same health risks as the guy on the right and is probably pretty healthy. Many sites say BMI measures body fat – it doesn't. For most of us, as BMI goes up, so does not body fat. But not always. How much of your weight is fat vs. muscle is a stronger indicator of health and chances of getting a chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease? But it's much harder and more time consuming to measure. So doctors and researchers typically use BMI to categorize weight. The other graphic from the NIH website (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/) illustrates this big problem with BMI. So Beth asks if BMI is worthless. You can still use BMI – it's still a pretty good indicator of health but it's not the "end all, be all"!
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us to explain the downside of "Payable-on-Death" agreements... Last week Stewart fielded a question about the perils of contingent beneficiary designations. This week he received a phone call from a prominent estate planning attorney recommending he discuss the pros and cons of using 'Payable-on-Death' or POD agreements which are being used more and more by brokerage firms and banks. These agreements are a form of beneficiary designation that transfers the account directly to your chosen beneficiary avoiding probate and bypassing your will. In the right circumstances, this can be a good thing but it is also fraught with risks if not well thought out. A real life case: In a recent case, an attorney prepared a will for a client who wanted her substantial assets to be equally divided between her two nephews and two nieces. The bulk of her assets were held in two brokerage accounts. She named one nephew as both the executor of her estate and beneficiary of the brokerage accounts under a POD, apparently under the assumption that he was the one who would administer the POD assets for her estate. The nephew took the position that it was his aunt's intention that he receive one-hundred percent of the brokerage accounts and that he and his fellow beneficiaries would only split the assets passing under the will. The remaining beneficiaries threatened to file a lawsuit and ultimately settled for an amount substantially less than their intended share.
So when should you use a POD? The best uses are where the case facts are simple such as you know you want a certain account to go to a certain person. Let's look at an example. You are a widow living in an assisted living facility and your sole asset is a brokerage account. You know you want to leave your entire estate to your only child. A POD might be perfectly fine. Now let's complicate the facts a bit. Same facts except you have three children. If you use a POD and one child predeceases you, your assets will now be split between your two living children. As a result, your grandchildren from your deceased child will receive nothing. Under most wills, those grandchildren would have received their deceased parents' share of your estate. Caution: This is one example from one bank. "There is not uniformity across financial institutions regarding POD's so you have to be particularly careful about unintended consequences", says Birmingham, Alabama estate planning attorney, Bill Hinds.
Stewart's takeaway: Wills and estates may seem simple, but often are not. When working with clients, we like to identify 'buckets of wealth'. You can do this too. Start by making a list of all of your assets and liabilities; then divide the assets into their different 'buckets'. Your 401k, all of your IRA's, annuities and your life insurance are buckets that will transfer according to your beneficiary designation. Your personal investment accounts, bank accounts and CD's are buckets that will transfer either under your will or through a POD. Real estate typically will transfer under your will but can be set up to transfer under a joint ownership with rights of survivorship. Personal property - jewelry, cars, furniture, etc. - typically transfers under your will. Every asset should be traced to its ultimate destination - people, charities or trusts - according to how it is currently set up. Only then can you determine if the disposition of your estate is following your wishes. Then you'll need to review this every twelve to twenty-four months or when an obvious change occurs. This can be a complicated process, so I recommend you seek the help of a professional such as an attorney specializing in estate planning. Many advisors, including brokers, bankers and even some financial advisors and CPA's lack expertise in estate planning. For example, it's often a broker's assistant who is responsible for getting the POD signed without an understanding of the intent of the overall estate plan.
Stewart also told us to save the date - The free Alabama Money Expo will be held Saturday, March 5th at Carver High School. What's offered: expert one-on-one advice; personal finances seminars; free credit report and analysis; tax return assistance; college grant application assistance; document shredding; and much more! For registration and more information visit www.ALMoneyExpo.com.
GLENWOOD - A Night Under the Big Top is presented by TekLinks and hosted by the Glenwood Junior Board with live music by The Undergrounders, a silent disco with DJ Mark AD, food and drinks, casino fun and games, and a fantastic silent auction. It will be Friday night from 8:00 p.m. until midnight at The Club. Last year's event raised more than $215,000 with 700 people in attendance. The event includes a silent auction and you can check out the pages on the event's Facebook page. They include Alabama football tickets, McWane Science Center membership, a big green egg, and a Quail Hunting Trip for 4. All proceeds will go to funding programs and services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Glenwood is the oldest and largest nonprofit in the state organized to serve individuals with autism and behavioral health disorders. It serves individuals through their lifespan beginning at 18 months old. Glenwood has a 363-acre campus in Birmingham where it provides inpatient and outpatient services, residential services, and educational services. Glenwood also provides many other services in most counties in Alabama. Last year, Glenwood touched the lives of more than 8,500 individuals statewide. Tickets are $60 in advance or $110 for a couple. Tickets at the door are $75 each. For tickets and more information, visit www.glenwood.org.
WILDLIFE EXPERT - Stuart R. Goldsby is the Regional Hunter Education Coordinator for Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Today he discussed archery as we enter into the Alabama Archery in the Schools Tournament Season. He put Mike and Mickey to the test and gave them some pointers. Beginning Thursday and Friday of this week at Pell City High School in St. Clair County and Alma Bryant in Baldwin County kick off a 9 Regional Events of schools from all over the state participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program. It culminates into a State Championship on April 7th in Montgomery at Crampton Bowl Sports Complex. For more information visit www.outdooralabama.com/archery-schools-program#.