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Tax-deferred investments and early withdrawal

moneymatter 600Withdrawing funds from a tax-deferred retirement account before age 59½ generally triggers a 10 percent federal income tax penalty; all distributions are subject to ordinary income tax. However, there are certain situations in which you are allowed to make early withdrawals from a retirement account and avoid the tax penalty.

IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans have different exceptions, although the regulations are similar.

IRA exceptions

The death of the IRA owner: Upon your death, your designated beneficiaries may begin taking distributions from your account. Beneficiaries are subject to annual required minimum distributions.

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Common Core sets high bar for Memphis kids

commoncore 600There's nothing like a good-looking suit.

Putting one on before work or before church on Sunday is second nature. You don't even have to think about it.

But think about when you were little, and had to learn how to lace your strings, tie your tie and tuck in your shirt. You might not have learned it all at once, but you eventually learned how to put it together.

Just like you had to learn to get dressed up when you needed to look sharp, there's a lot that our kids need to learn in school. To make sure they're learning what they need to know to get a job, Tennessee is rolling out a new set of higher standards in our schools, called Common Core.

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President Obama gets personal in launching new program ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

obama bam_600At an event that felt like a black church service at times, President Obama on Thursday spoke in deeply personal terms about growing up without a father and urged the entire country to get behind his newly-launched "My Brother's Keeper" program to help young black and Latino men.

"I didn't have a dad in the house and I was angry about it, even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time," the president said of his childhood, with 20 black and Latino boys standing behind him in the White House's East Room.

He added,"I made bad choices. I got high without always thinking about the harm that it could do. I didn't always take school as seriously as I should have. I made excuses. Sometimes I sold myself short."


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‘Children doing everything right’ at 2014 Black History Knowledge Bowl

knowledgebowl 600One after another, they poured into the Booker T. Washington High School auditorium last Saturday (Feb. 22nd) led by their team coaches, all Memphis Police Department officers – chiefs, colonels, majors, sergeants and the like.

Sworn to protect and serve, these mighty MPD men and women added an addendum named Teach to that oath. Fully dressed in their uniforms, with weapons, handcuffs and badges in place, they jokingly and warmly readied their teams for intellectual combat.

Tucked in the various corners of the auditorium, the 2014 Black History Knowledge Bowl teams gathered in circles discussing the historical task at hand.


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Mom seeks help after nine year old sneaks out.

YG 600The Dilemma: A parent wrote to say that she was recently arrested because she spanked her 9-year-old daughter, who sneaked out the house and returned home at 1 a.m. Worried about her daughter's absence, the mother had called police to place a missing person report and was told she had to wait 24 hours. According to the mother, she did not whip her daughter unmercifully.

Nevertheless, the daughter called the police after the spanking. Now the mother wants to know how she can forgive her daughter's betrayal and how they can continue to live under the same roof since the daughter refuses to obey the rules of the house and considers measures such as timeouts to be "BS."

"I believe in spanking if you are hard-headed or disobedient," the mother wrote. "Is there anything wrong with spanking your child as long as you don't beat them?"

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