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BUSINESS AC Green is ‘winning’

Green, creator of President Barack Obama’s campaign jingle “Yes we can,” offered to do the song even after Obama informed him that he wouldn’t be able to compensate him. “I said I’ll put it together for you anyway,” Green told the Defender. He was no stranger to creating tunes for businesses and political campaigns as he had been writing them for years; however, before having his own radio show, he’d never been in front of the microphone. Now, having a show on local stations Soul 106.3 and V103, the author of the book Back2Zero is encouraging those experiencing hardships to continue to press forward. “The Back2Zero book is all about reinventing yourself,” said Green. “Kind of like Forest Gump; keep plugging away. Don't give into your fears.” After living through financial strife, a period that he defines as one of his many Back2Zero moments, he said that his decision to revive who he was led to what he has accomplished today.

“I was literally getting ready to lose everything,” Green said. “The money had stopped.”

Green also started a book club for those who purchased the book. Many of the members own businesses and at no charge, he allows them to come on his radio show because he is also investing in them. Having placed a monetary gift in every book, Green said his goal is to show people how to invest in themselves as well as others.


Chicago radio personality AC Green said after almost losing every- thing, his decision to reinvent himself changed his life.

“I’m ultimately trying to show a community of people how to not give up, how to move forward and then how to invest in themselves and invest in other people,” he said. “Zero’s not a bad thing; the first number in the numeric system is the starting point.”

Why you should open an IRA CD


With the deadline to file 2011 taxes extended to April 17, people have two extra days to take advan- tage by opening an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. An IRA CD (Certificate of Deposit) offers guaranteed income at higher interest rates than savings accounts or money market funds, while being immune from the ups and downs of the stock market. A traditional IRA allows you to contribute up to $5,000 ($6,000 for those age 50 and over) in tax-

deferred income--money you can shovel into the account before Uncle Sam takes his cut of your yearly income.

As CDs expire, accumulated funds roll over into new CDs. Contributions and interest grow and compound year-to-year, decade-to-decade, whether you contribute the maximum $5,000 or a partial amount or nothing. Withdrawals (distributions) can begin at age 591/2 without penalty. For traditional IRAs, a 10% penalty is attached to funds with- drawn before age 591/2, although the penalty is waived if the money is used for a “first-time” home pur- chase, educational expenses or


since most people’s tax bracket is much lower in retirement. Minimum distributions must begin before age 701/2 or face penalties. A Roth IRA is similar to a tradi- tional IRA, with two main differ- ences.

Annual contributions are Daryl Newell

qualifying hardship. Taxes on distributions are based on one’s income tax rate at the time of distribution, a crucial benefit

made in after-tax instead of pre-tax money. In other words, you pay taxes when you make your contri- bution. Also, there is no penalty for early withdrawal of contributions that have been in the account for five years. And since taxes were paid before contributions, there is no tax on contributions or interest upon withdrawal. With companies cutting back on retirement benefits, an IRA is one

of the best personal safety nets available. There is no age minimum for starting an IRA, so anyone from an entrepreneurial teenager to an older worker can open one. IRAs are a smart move for all working- age people, especially for young professionals, and they offer a par- ticularly powerful way to achieve financial security.

Let others chase the stock market like rabbits. For IRA CDs, the race always goes to the tortoise. Daryl Newell is Director of Consumer Banking at Urban Partnership Bank with nine con- venient locations in Chicago’s urban neighborhoods. Call 773 420.5050 or visit

Photo Special to Defender

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