Spring has done sprung! Have y’all seen Momma? I’ve been lookin’ all over Tarnation . . . What the? There she goes! Momma! Where in the Sam Hill did you get that fancy dance Lance Armstrong bike and that crazy ridin’ outfit?
What do you mean you can’t stop? Lord help us! Momma’s got one of them bikes that clips your ding dang foot right smack into the pedal and it looks like she’s done forgot how to unclip the clip! CRASH! Well . . . at least those beautiful buttercups planted on the bypass softened her fall! It appears Momma’s gearin’ up for the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG) that takes place in Morgan County April 16 through April 18! Andy Williams of the Madison Morgan Chamber of Commerce wanted me to tell y’all that he needs some volunteers for rest stops! Y’all give Andy a call at 706-342-4454 if you can help out with this fantastic event!
Concert time! Another sign that spring has sprung is that the City of Madison is fixin’ to host the first of five Concert Series in Town Park this Friday, March 26 from 6 p.m .until 8 p.m.! The best part is that this is a FREE CONCERT! Ok so here’s the deal: Tealvox is playin’ Friday and guess what? Our very own local celebrity Michael Meadow is in the band! I can hear the teenagers just a screamin’ already! I don’t know ‘bout you but I’m gonna be there! Y’all grab a blanket, fix you up a fine picnic basket or let one of our great restaurants fix it for you and have a great evening out at Town Park! Main Street Director Ann Huff says you also can get a table that seats four to six people for only $25 per concert! Or get a table for the entire concert series for only $100! Sign me up!
By: Mark T. Bower: Financial Advisor
When you’re thinking of retirement, you should recognize that you have many important decisions to make. The best time to start thinking about these issues is long before a final decision is necessary.
Lump sum distributions
If you’ve participated in a 401(k) plan or a profit sharing plan, you may very likely be receiving a lump sum distribution of your benefits. Many pension plans also offer a lump sum option. Lump sum distributions are subject to income tax in the year received. In fact, withholding tax of 20% must be subtracted from the lump sum before it is distributed to you.
You do have some options for reducing or deferring the income tax on a lump sum.
Ten-year averaging – Retirees born on or before January 1, 1936, may choose a ten-year averaging formula based upon the old, 1986 tax rates. They also may choose to pay a flat 20% tax on the pre-1974 portions of their distributions.
Full tax deferral with an IRA rollover –You may roll up to the entire lump sum distribution over into an IRA and avoid current income taxes. Future withdrawals will be taxed as ordinary income; there are no special averaging provisions for IRA distributions. IRA rollovers are subject to the same rules as regular IRAs. Taxable withdrawals can be made without penalty anytime after reaching age 59½. A regular program of withdrawals must begin soon after reaching age 70½.
Caution – To avoid the 20% withholding tax on the lump sum, you’ll have to arrange for a direct rollover to your IRA. If you accept your lump sum after the 20% has been withheld, you’ll be subject to income tax on the withheld amount, unless you replace it with funds from other sources.
Distributions of company stock
Morgan County's Big House: Sheriff Robert Markley takes the Citizen on a tour of the county’s new detention faciltySubmitted by editor on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 17:20.
By Patrick Yost
Photos by Angelina Bellebuono
During a recent tour of the soon–to–be–opened Morgan County Detention Center in the old Denon building, construction manager Ray McFaddin gets a phone call. Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley pauses in the austere exercise yard to eavesdrop on the call.
It’s not hard to hear. The yard is a high–ceiling block of fortified concrete walls and burnished concrete flooring. On the outer wall is a sliding metal garage door that, when opened, allows sunlight and natural air to drift into the yard.
McFaddin finishes his phone call and looks to the sheriff.
“They want to come and take a tour of the facility,” he says. “It’s a group from Texas this time.”
Word of the work that has been done at the former compact disc manufacturing plant has spread across the country. This isn’t the first tour McFaddin and Markley have performed for other law enforcement agencies who want to take a hard look at the transformation from a manufacturing facility into a state–of–the–art detention center.
Chances are, it won’t be the last, either.
The birth of a concept
There was never a doubt something had to be done. Housing prisoners in a refurbished work camp, one that the state had abandoned in 1978, was a recipe for disaster, Markley says. After the camp was abandoned, former Morgan County Sheriff Kenny Pritchett worked to revitalize the facility with an eye towards saving the county money and stop the flow of Morgan inmates into other county facilities. The original jail had been built in 1953 and, Markley says, Pritchett did a good job bringing that building up to a point that prisoners could be confined.
“It’s a strong building but constitutionally it was not capable of housing inmates,” he says.
Beware a wrinkled, wizen’d and bearded Elf. Can y’all believe all these rainbows? I mean the Devil must be spankin’ his wife all over hell and back today! Whoops! That’s my cell. Hang on y’all while I take this call from Momma. Momma! You know there ain’t no ding dang Leprechaun in Madison, Georgia! I’ll be right over! Holy clovers y’all! Momma’s done lost her mind for real! I gotta get to The House! Hey! You drive ‘cause I hear your Toyota Prius is a fast ride! Let’s go! Whissssssh!
Darn tootin’ that was fast! Plus safe! I mean, are you sure those California folks can tell the difference between a break pedal and a gas pedal? Whoa! Momma! It’s me!
Open up this door immediately! Bangin’ Banjos! It’s a real live, bona fied Leprechaun! Where you from boy?
You mean you came all the way over here from 1 Jarvis Street, Dublin, Ireland? Honey, I ain’t no fool! Now stop cryin’ in your green beer and tell the Biz Buzz what’s got your eye facets a leakin’. Hells Bells y’all! This poor Leprechaun says a Wall Street Robber Baron’s done stole his proverbial Pot ‘O Gold! Why I outta . . . Well don’t worry little Leprechaun! Pass me one of them green beers and all y’all scoot over! It looks like we gotta make room for one more on the same O’ boat!
Mark T. Bowers: Financial Planner
It’s Tax Refund Season again. This year, if you’re going to get a check from your Uncle Sam, why not put it to work to help you meet your financial goals?
Last year, the average tax refund was more than $2,700, according to the IRS. The size of your refund, or whether you will get one at all, depends on your individual circumstances. But if you are going to get a refund, plan ahead for what you’ll do with it. Here are a few possibilities:
Pay down some debts. In these difficult economic times, you may be carrying a higher debt load than usual. If so, you may want to use some of your refund to pay down some of these debts. The lower your debt payments, the better your cash flow and the more money you’ll have to invest for the future.
Build an emergency fund. If you don’t already have an emergency fund containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, you could use your tax refund to start one. Without such a fund, you may find yourself constantly dipping into your long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a new furnace or an expensive car repair. Keep your emergency fund in a liquid account — one that you don’t draw on for your day-to-day expenses.
Help fund your IRA. In 2010, you can put in up to $5,000 to your IRA. Consequently, if you received a $2,700 refund, you’d have more than half of what you need to fully fund your IRA for the year. (If you’re 50 or older, however, you can contribute up to $6,000 per year.) You might not think that your $2,700 would make much of a difference in the long run. But by investing your refund and giving it many years of growth potential, you could end up with a sizable amount.
Vain is as vain does. The Hollywood spotlight’s on former movie star and current baby basher Lindsay Lohan! But, this time she’s not out gallivanting’ with her girlfriend, drivin’ while snockered or fightin’ with her Momma in a nightclub! No! This time she’s callin’ attention to herself by suing E-trade ‘cause she says her likeness was used in one of those fantastic baby E-trade commercials that featured a milkoholic baby girl named Lindsay who looked nothing like her at all. That’s because the baby was cute, articulate and lucid! I mean really! The baby didn’t even have red hair! Now I don’t know ‘bout you, but poor Lindsay needs to GET A LIFE and maybe try to focus her energy on getting an actin’ job! Now hold on y’all! I gotta get my coffee and toast! What the? My toast has the image of Lindsay Lohan right smack there in the middle. Wow! Oh, that’s right! No need to save it for eBay ‘cause NOBODY CARES! Now where’s that fantastic gourmet Peach Blackberry Emily G’s Jam of Love I got over at Godfrey Cox! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout! Yum!