The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 31 - May 5, 2010


Feel like family at Thai Kitchen

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Julia Ruadrew will greet and serve you at Thai Kitchen.

I feel very privileged to be able to travel the world visiting exotic countries. After visiting Thailand, I was left with a lasting impression of the warmth and friendliness of the Thai people, so I was not at all surprised when I arrived at the Thai Kitchen on Cortez Road and was welcomed with a smile and a hug.

Lakkhana Rowred also known as Da came to the United States from Betong, Thailand in 1990 to find a better life for herself and her young daughter. Not unusual among hard working immigrants in this country, Rowred worked long hours in a variety of industries, and although trained as a nurse in Thailand, she eventually found her way into the restaurant business in Florida.

After seven years as co-owner of another Thai restaurant in Bradenton, she sold her interest and considered retiring and moving back to Thailand. But after living in the United Sates for so many years it was difficult to make the transition, especially since her daughter and two grandchildren were still in Florida. She ultimately returned to Bradenton and started looking for another restaurant to call home.

In September of 2007, Lakkhana Rowred purchased her second restaurant from owners who had operated a Thai restaurant at the same location for about 13 years. For Rowred the restaurant is home since everyone who works there is a family member. Rowred and her sister Supa Ruadrew are the chefs, their sister Julia Ruadrew is the hostess, server, menu interpreter and advisor who will walk you through the menu to make sure you order the type of food you like. The fourth sister Tasnee Pienpipak is a silent partner who still lives in Thailand.

Rowred worked closely with the previous owners on their Thai specialties and has made very few changes. Thai Kitchen’s menu is traditional Thai cuisine with an extensive assortment of appetizers including sate, spring roll and shrimp tempura. Some of the soups are wonton and coconut, there are several dinners to choose from with vegetables, shrimp or squid as well as, rice, noodle and curry dishes. Rowred says that Thai curry is somewhere between Indian and Chinese and if you’ve never eaten beanthread you’re in for an uncommon treat. They also offer dinner specialties including roasted duck, spicy shrimp and fish and chicken cashew nut, as well as a large Tofu Dinner and a take-out menu. Thai Kitchen’s menu includes beer and wine as well as soft drinks and teas. Every day there is a different complimentary appetizer of the day available with a coupon.

Thai Kitchen is one of those places that isn’t on everyone’s radar and will surprise you when you walk through the door, but you won’t be surprised by the traditional Thai dishes that Da Rowred and her family brings to Cortez Road.

So just walk right into the kitchen and say hello to Da. You’re always welcomed at Yhai Kitchen with a smile and a hug, and that’s no surprise.

Thai Kitchen

7604 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, FL 34210

5 to 9 p.m.
All major credit cards accepted

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Bond-based portfolios

Investment Corner

For certain individuals, converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA may provide advantages from an income tax and estate planning perspective. Previously, eligibility to convert to a Roth IRA was prohibited for those with household income over $100,000 (as measured by modified adjusted gross income).

Rule changes have created a friendlier environment for those wishing to convert their IRA to the Roth format. Specifically, starting in 2010 and beyond, anyone with a traditional IRA can convert all or a portion to a Roth IRA, regardless of their level of household income.

The conversion process is a taxable event with the dollar amount converted being considered ordinary income, added to your other sources of income when determining your federal tax liability (and potentially state tax liability depending on your state of residence). Previously, the tax owed from a Roth conversion was due all at one time, typically by April 15 of the year following the year of the conversion when you file your federal return.

The rule change contains a provision allowing for the amount converted to a Roth IRA to be recognized as income either all at once, or spread equally over the tax years of 2011 and 2012. This can be an important advantage for those who may not be prepared to pay the conversion tax all in one year as we will cover now in the decision process.

The most important question is why convert and pay the tax? Qualified distributions from Roth IRA’s, generally taken in retirement are not considered taxable income, unlike distributions from traditional IRAs which are added to income for calculation of federal tax liability. Obviously, the conversion process requires you to pay the tax on the converted amount in the next few years, so there has to be some longer term benefit to make it worth paying the tax in the near future. There are several potential benefits from converting, and I suggest consulting your tax or financial advisor to see how these benefits may work in your favor.

1. Potential for lower taxable income in retirement.

2. Roth IRAs can be left to heirs in their entirety, with withdrawals being tax-free.

3. Potential for additional accumulation during your lifetime with no required minimum distributions.

Of course, these potential benefits need to be weighed against the up-front tax cost of converting. Conversion calculators designed to illustrate the benefits or disadvantage of converting are available at many brokerage firm and mutual fund company Web sites.

While each individual situation should be reviewed to determine if a full or partial conversion is in your best interest, there are a few guidelines which can generally be helpful in deciding whether to investigate a conversion more fully.

First – Can you pay the conversion tax from a source other than IRA funds? There are almost no cases where paying the tax from within your IRA make the conversion worthwhile and generally have a negative impact.

Second – Do you anticipate at least 10 years before utilizing the funds within the converted Roth IRA to support your lifestyle, or do you intend not to touch the Roth IRA at all and leave it to heirs? The tax cost requires time to overcome and the breakpoint is generally about 10 years even when the tax is paid from outside the IRA.

If the answer to these primary questions is yes, then it is worth investigating a conversion further. Of course, obtaining qualified advice is a good idea in these matters.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

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