Warning: The story you are about to read is true. No names have been changed to protect the innocent. Some passages may be disturbing to health conscious people, vegetarians, yoga enthusiasts, transcendental meditationists and other glutton haters.
The Holidays are OVER and now my belly is beginnin’ to resemble fat SANTA! Rewind holiday intake: Greens with fat back, Hoppin’ John with real bacon, beans and hambone, mac ‘n cheese with eggs and sweet milk, spinach soufflé with butter, butter, butter and heavy cream, mashed potatoes with real fat butter, fried turkey, cake, cake, cake, pie, pie, pie, wine, wine, wine, shrimp, cheese, oysters, an Italian Christmas feast, salty snacks, dips, cookies and candy canes. Ain’t no wonder!
Ain’t no wonder! It’s time for a clean slate! Healthy food. Movin’ the groovin’! Gettin’ skinny! Only three more months til Spring! Let’s start with a five miler run in Morgan County’s Arctic Cold! Yikes! But before we do that let’s cook up some hot chocolate, turn up the heat, grab a blanket, get comfy in that chair, relax and let’s get the Buzz on Biz! And honey buckle your seatbelts ‘cause there’s lots twists and turns!
By: Erik Thompson: Financial Advisor
If you already have a Roth IRA, you’re aware of its biggest benefit: Your earnings grow tax free, provided you meet certain conditions. If you don’t have a Roth IRA, you may want to consider one — and it may be easier for you to do just that in 2010.
Before we get to the reasons why 2010 may be your year to open or convert to a Roth IRA, let’s look at some differences between Roth and traditional IRAs. If you own a traditional IRA, your contributions may be tax-deductible, depending on your income level. But whether you can make deductible contributions or not, your earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis, which means your money can grow faster than it would if it were placed in an investment on which you paid taxes every year. On the other hand, Roth IRA contributions are never tax-deductible, but your earnings grow tax free, as long as you’ve held your account at least five years and you don’t start taking withdrawals until you’re at least age 59½.
Furthermore, unlike a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA does not require you to start taking distributions when you reach 70½. Consequently, you’ll have more flexibility and freedom when it comes to making withdrawals.
Yikes! I pert near missed my column this week ‘cause I thought my handsome husband told me I could have the entire week off but it was a MISCOMMUNICATION that can be blamed on ding dang Mercury in Retrograde! That trickster Mercury is messin’ with communications systems, computers, appointments, contracts . . . even appliances! Y’all read and heed! But don’t worry in a few weeks we’ll be rockin’ ‘n rollin’ right smoothly!
SALES! SALES! SALES! That’s the name of the game honey! Y’all get your Christmas money out and head out to all the shops in Morgan County and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I just took me a tour of Madison retailers and nearly everyone says they had a good or better-than-expected Christmas Shoppin’ Season!
Joe Houston of Creative Mark in downtown Madison says sales pretty much hit his target this year and that the best sellin’ item in his shop was handcrafted pottery made by an artist in Augusta! Y’all have got to get over there and check it out! They have a pottery dish for makin’ cornbread, a bakin’ dish for bakin’ chicken . . . it has this little place for the chicken to sit up in where you poor in your favorite bakin’ beverage like beer! Love it!
Meg LaFratz of one of Madison’s newest shops Silver Fox had a pretty good Christmas considerin’ they are brand new to the town! Big sellers there were big link necklaces, big cocktail rings (they’re back honey) and Scarves!
Oh and Steve Hesson of O’Hara’s stopped me on the street to return my fab leather gloves that I left over there the other night and he told me to tell all y’all to get ready for some big changes comin’ soon at O’Hara’s but he flat would not tell me the scoop! Keep watchin’ this column for more intel! I’ll get it the scoop y’all don’t worry!
By: Joey Lancaster; Financial Planner
There are enough books and other forms of guidance about retirement that one would expect to find all the advice necessary to secure a comfortable retirement. But not all of the advice and strategies necessarily will meet your needs.
What’s more, there may be “facts” about retirement and retirement planning that have been conventional wisdom for many years but could be worth challenging. Here are four of them:
“Fact” #1: You’ll need 60% to 80% of the income earned in your working years to live comfortably in retirement.
These figures pop up frequently and are based upon the assumption that certain job-related (and other) expenses will disappear once retirement begins. But is it logical that you can live happily ever after on less money than you earned in your working years? Do you truly want to live on less than what you are earning currently?
The answer to those questions is no if, for example, you expect to travel, pursue expensive hobbies or provide financial assistance to your children or grandchildren. And, unfortunately, illness or just advanced age may mean huge medical bills that might not be reimbursed completely by insurance. (Of course, if you no longer will have a mortgage, or need to pay college expenses any more, you could need less than that 60% to 80% of your income.)
Bottom line: Analyze your individual situation to determine how much that you’ll need to live on in retirement.
“Fact” #2: Retirement is a time for “leisure.”
There’s no longer a bright line dividing pre- and post-retirement. In a recent survey of 1,200 baby-boomers conducted by AARP, almost eight in ten reported that they expected to take a job after retiring.
Printed in the December 24, 2009 edition.
Georgia Blues. Now this is what I call a Holiday Party on the Eastside! Paul’s got his guitar! Jimmy’s on harmonica! Jamie’s on keyboard! Jerusha’s on spoons! Ann’s got the washboard beat! I reckon that leaves me with the whole drum thing! And, Momma? Well honey she don’t need no fancy dance instrument ‘cause Momma’s got the lap-clappin’, belly-bangin’, toe-tappin, booty-slappin’ Hambone! Plus a healthy dose of White Lightenin’! Ok y’all! Rock it: “Hambone! Hambone! Where you been? Round the world and I’m goin’ again! Just skinned an alley cat to make my wife a Sunday hat! Took the hide right off a goat to make my wife a Sunday coat! Hambone!” Lord have mercy! Now that’s what I call bringin’ the house down! If y’all don’t know the Hambone, you musta been born ‘n raised way, way up yonder! I’m talkin’ above the Mason-Dixon! But honestly! I ain’t never seen no alley-cat hat in these parts and that’s a good thing if there ever was one! Let’s get to the Biz Buzz!