Yearly Archives:2019

Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi Receives National Quality Award

Following is the Press Release from NAIFA regarding Christine’s Quality Award. Congratulations, Christine!

(Tuscola, Illinois) ― December, 2019 ― Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi, CRPC®, CLTC, LACP with The Musuneggi Financial Group, LLC has received the NAIFA Quality Award from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the industry’s leading professional association.
 
The NAIFA Quality Award recognizes advisors for their commitment to excellence in service to their clients and industry, their pursuit of education and training and their adherence to NAIFA’s Code of Ethics.
 
“NAIFA is committed to recognizing and rewarding professionalism and achievement,” says Jill M. Judd, LUTCF®, FSS president of NAIFA. “The NAIFA Quality Award recognizes individual agents for demonstrating the highest standards.”


About NAIFA: Founded in 1890 as The National Association of Life Underwriters (NALU), NAIFA is one of the nation’s oldest and largest associations representing the interests of insurance professionals from every Congressional district in the United States. NAIFA members assist consumers by focusing their practices on one or more of the following: life insurance and annuities, health insurance and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments. NAIFA’s mission is to advocate for a positive legislative and regulatory environment, enhance business and professional skills, and promote the ethical conduct of its members.  Visit NAIFA’s website at www.naifa.org.
 
 

Toys for Tots 2019

On December 10, 2019, The Musuneggi Financial Group’s Toys for Tots drive culminated with their annual Donation Party. The party celebrates the toys collected over the two-month campaign and ends with the “stuffing” of a bus from our partners from South Fayette School District. Thank you to everyone who contributed toys and to the South Fayette orchestra and students who helped pack and stuff the bus!

 

See You in 2020!

Year-End Financial Checklist

Your Year-End Financial Checklist

Six aspects of your financial life to review as the year draws to a close.

Provided by Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi

year-end financial checklistThe end of the year can help remind us of last-minute things we need to address and long-term goals we want to accomplish. To that end, here are six aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next. 

Keep in mind, this article is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Make certain to conduct a tax or legal professional before modifying your tax strategy. The ideas presented are not intended to provide specific advice.

Your investments. Set a goal to review your investments with your financial professional. You’ll want to come away from the meeting with an understanding of your portfolio position. Review your approach to investing and make sure it suits your objectives. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation. Remember, asset allocation and diversification are approaches to help manage investment risk. They do not guarantee against investment loss.

Your retirement strategy. You may want to consider contributing the maximum to your retirement accounts. It’s also a good idea to review any retirement accounts you may have through your work. This is also a great time to decide on making catch-up contributions. 

Your tax situation. It’s a good idea to consider checking in with your tax or legal professional before the year ends, especially if you have questions about a 2019 expense or deduction. Also, it may be a good idea to review any sales of property as well as both realized and unrealized losses and gains. Look back at last year’s loss carryforwards. If you’ve sold securities, gather up cost-basis information. As always, bringing all this information to your financial professional is a smart move.

Your charitable gifting goals. Plan charitable contributions or contributions to education accounts and make any desired cash gifts to family members. The annual federal gift tax exclusion allows you to give away up to $15,000 in 2019, meaning you can gift as much as $15,000 to as many individuals as you like this year, tax free. Such gifts do not count against the lifetime estate tax exemption amount, as long as they stay beneath the annual federal gift tax exclusion threshold. 1,2 Besides outright gifts, you can explore creating and funding trusts on behalf of your family. The end of the year is also a good time to review any trusts you have in place. Using a trust involves a complex set of tax rules and regulations. Before moving forward with a trust, consider working with a professional who is familiar with the rules and regulations.

Your life insurance coverage. The end of the year is an excellent time to double-check that your  policies and beneficiaries are up to date. Don’t forget to review premium costs and beneficiaries and think about whether your insurance needs have changed. Several factors could impact the cost and availability of life insurance, such as age, health, and the type of insurance purchased as well as the amount purchased. Life insurance policies have expenses, including mortality and other charges. If a policy is surrendered prematurely, you may pay surrender charges, which could have income tax implications. You should consider determining whether you are insurable before implementing a strategy involving life insurance. Finally, don’t forget that any guarantees associated with a policy are dependent on the ability of the issuing insurance company to continue making claim payments.

Life events. Here are some questions to ask yourself when evaluating any large life changes in the last year: Did you happen to get married or divorced in 2019?   Did you move or change jobs?   Did you buy a home or business? Was there a new addition to your family this year? Did you receive an inheritance or a gift? All these circumstances can have a financial impact on your life as well as the way you invest and plan for retirement and wind down your career or business.

Contact Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi at 412-341-2888 x314, by email or schedule an appointment. View Christine’s bio.

Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi, CRPC®, CLTC, LACP Financial Planner
The Musuneggi Financial Group, LLC Manor Oak Two, Suite 520,1910 Cochran Road Pittsburgh PA 15220

 


This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities & Investment Advisory Services Offered Through H. Beck, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. H. Beck, Inc., MarketingPro, Inc and The Musuneggi Financial Group, LLC are not affiliated. 

  

Citations:

1 – turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/estates/the-gift-tax-made-simple/L5tGWVC8N#:~:text=The%20annual%20federal%20gift%20tax,may%20be%20increased%20for%20inflation.) [11/22/18]

2 – irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/whats-new-estate-and-gift-tax[9/23/19]

Musuneggi Financial Group Earns Service Award

The Musuneggi Financial Group, a financial planning firm located in the south hills of Pittsburgh, was awarded for their “Superior Record of Community Service” by H. Beck, Inc. Christopher Musuneggi, the firm’s President accepted the award on behalf of the firm. An honorarium of $5,000 was given with the award which Musuneggi will present to the Salvation Army Pittsburgh Temple.
 
“We were pleased to receive recognition of our efforts with this award,” said Christopher Musuneggi, President. “Everyone at our firm, our clients and our community help us with our charitable efforts. 
 
In addition to work with the Salvation Army, The Musuneggi Financial Group supports and provides services to community organizations such as Toys for Tots, Dress for Success Pittsburgh, Single Steps Strategies, The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University, as well as Keystone Oaks Foundation for Educational Excellence. The firm’s annual Holiday Donation Party for Toys for Tots will be Tuesday, December 10th from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at their offices in Scott Township.
 
“Our focus has always been on our community and the individuals we serve,” said Mary Grace Musuneggi, Chairman and CEO and the firm’s founder. “We are thankful for the blessings in our lives and believe in working to bless others through our work and our service.”

Christopher Musuneggi receiving the H. Beck Outstanding Service Award from H. Beck Inc. President Michelle Barry for the firm’s work with multiple charities and civic organizations. The Honorarium presented with the award will be donated to the Salvation Army Pittsburgh Temple. 

Why We Support Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is November 30, 2019. The tenth anniversary of the day to celebrate small business created and promoted by American Express. Why does the Musuneggi Financial Group support small business Saturday? Because small business matters.

The Power of Small Business

Small businesses help drive the economy. Consider these statistics from the Small Business Administration:

  • 99% of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses.
  • 64% of new jobs created over the past three decades were in small businesses.
  • 40% of all retail jobs are in franchise or small businesses.
     

As reported by Grasshopper.com, some additional small business stats:

  • Small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes (Source: Seattle Good Business Network).
  • If you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy.
  • If you spend the same are a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Small Business Matters

The Musuneggi Financial Group is a small business. But we’re not promoting ourselves… we’re promoting our clients, our friends, our neighbors and our vendors. Because small businesses matter to the economy, and small businesses are one of the reasons that our business and our community thrives.

Shop on Small Business Saturday

On November 30, stop by your local hardware store, grab a treat at a local bakery or sweet shop, have lunch at a local diner and pick up some Christmas gifts at a local shop. We encourage you to talk to the shop owners about their small business adventure. And we might bump into you… because we’ll be out celebrating Small Business Saturday as well!
 

ElderCare Strategy

Long Term Care Planning

Your Extended Care Strategy

Are you prepared for the possibility – and expense – of eldercare?

Do you have an extra $33,000 to $100,000 to spare this year? How about next year, and the year after that? Your answer to these questions is probably “no.”

What could possibly cost so much? Eldercare.  

According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, a year of in-home care for a senior costs roughly $33,000. A year at an assisted living facility? About $45,000. A year in a nursing home? Approximately $100,000.1

Medicare has limitations.

Generally speaking, it will pay for no more than 35 hours per week of home health care and only up to 100 days of nursing home care, following a hospitalization. It may pay for up to six months of hospice care. If you or someone you love happens to develop Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, Medicare will not pay for any degree of room and board for them at an assisted living facility.2

Medicaid is another resource entirely.

For seniors who are eligible, Medicaid can pick up assisted living facility or nursing home expenses, and even in-home eldercare, in some instances. Qualifying for Medicaid is the hard part. Normally, you only qualify for it when you have spent down your assets to the point where you can no longer pay for eldercare out of pocket or with insurance.2

You need a strategy.

An extended care strategy may factor into a thoughtful retirement strategy. After all, your retirement may be lengthy, and you may need such care. The Social Security Administration projects that a quarter of today’s 65-year-olds will live past age 90, with a tenth making it to age 100.1

Insurance companies have modified extended care policies over the years. Some have chosen to bundle extended care features into other policies, which can make the product more accessible. An insurance professional familiar with industry trends may be able to provide you more information about policies and policy choices. 

Waiting for federal or state lawmakers to pass a new program to help with the costs of eldercare is not much of a strategy. It is up to you, the individual, to determine how to face this potential financial challenge.2

If you lead a healthy and active life, you may need such care only at the very end. Assuming you do require it at some point, you may consider living in an area where you can join a continuing-care-at-home program (there are currently more than 30 of these, essentially operating as remote care programs of assisted living communities) or a “village network” that offers you some in-home help (not skilled nursing care, however).1

Those rare and nice options aside, retirement saving also needs to be about saving for potential extended care expenses. If insurance addressing extended care is not easy to obtain, then a Health Savings Account (HSA) might be an option. These accounts have emerged as another solution to extended care needs. An HSA is not a form of insurance, but it does provide a tax-advantaged savings account to which you (and potentially, your employer) can make contributions. You can use these funds to pay for most medical expenses, including prescription drugs, dental care, and vision care. You can look into this choice right away, to take advantage of savings over time.3

Once you reach age 65, you are required to stop making contributions to an HSA. Remember, if you withdraw money from your HSA for a nonmedical reason, that money becomes taxable income, and you face an additional 20% penalty. After age 65, you can take money out without the 20% penalty, but it still becomes taxable income.3

An HSA works a bit like your workplace retirement account. Your employer can make contributions alongside you. However, the money that you contribute comes from your pretax income and can be invested for you over time, so it may grow as your contributions accumulate.3

There are also some HSA rules and limitations to consider. You are limited to a $3,500 contribution for 2019, if you are single; $7,000, if you have a spouse or family. Those limits jump by a $1,000 “catch-up” limit for each person in the household over age 55. Your employer can contribute, but the ceiling is cumulative between your contributions and theirs. For example, say you are lucky enough to have your employer put a hypothetical $1,000 into your account in 2019; you may only contribute as much as the rest of your limit, minus that $1,000. If you go over that limit, you will incur a 6% tax penalty, so it is smart to watch how much you contribute.3

Alternately, you could do without an HSA and simply earmark a portion of your retirement savings for possible extended care costs.

The Bottomline

One thing is for certain: any retiree or retirement saver needs to keep the possibility of extended care expenses in mind. Today is not too soon to explore the financial options to try and meet this challenge.    

Presented by

Christine E. Musuneggi, CRPC®, CLTC, LACP

Contact Christine at 412-341-2888 or email Christine. You may also schedule an appointment via Christine’s online calendar here.

 

 


This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through H. Beck, Inc. Member, FINRA & SIPC 6600 Rockledge Drive, 6th Floor Bethesda, MD  20817-1806.  (301) 468-0100 H. Beck, Inc. and The Musuneggi Financial Group, LLC. are not affiliated. 09102019-MY-9647

Citations.

1 – marketwatch.com/story/long-term-care-insurance-has-a-shaky-future-here-are-new-ways-to-tackle-the-high-cost-of-aging-2019-05-22 [8/4/19]

2 – health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/dementia-care-in-assisted-living-homes [8/21/19]

3 – investors.com/etfs-and-funds/personadd paal-finance/hsa-contribution-limits-hsa-rules/ [3/13/19]

Long Term Care Quiz

The 30-second Long Term Care Quiz

How much do you really know about long term care costs?

Answer True or False

About 40% of today’s 65-year-olds will need long term care at some point in the future.
TrueFalse

On average, a one-year stay in a nursing home costs about $30,000.
TrueFalse

Nursing home expenses for Alzheimer’s patients are covered by Medicare.
TrueFalse

N