Latest News from The Musuneggi Financial Group

Real ID is Coming to Pennsylvania

According to the Pennsylvania website:

Beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. This guide will help you decide if you need a REAL ID, and provide information on what documents you will need and steps you can take to get an optional REAL ID.

Visit the Pennsylvania website, download the REAL ID checklist, or watch the video:

 

A Child is Not a Plan

Over the last few months you may have noticed that our articles have addressed:

  • adult children caring for elderly parents and the issues related to that; then,
  • parents having to support adult children and the issues that parents face because of that.

Having written a book called “A Man Is Not A Plan,” it is an easy transition to say, “A parent is not a plan, a child is not a plan; and neither is your boss, your government, your girlfriend, your spouse, your bartender.  No one should be your plan.  The plan is YOU.

As we celebrate the month of Independence Day, we need to reaffirm our independence.  Life can often intervene with problems. Things happen.  Some by choice and some by chance; and we need to be independent enough to handle whatever comes along.  Now this does not mean we can’t ask for help.  But being independent means preparing in advance; and asking for help before the need arises.

The greatest sense of Independence comes from knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know…

Ask for help to learn how you can be financially independent. Ask for help to do your budgeting and plan your finances.  Ask for help to develop your Estate Plan.  Ask for help to address family issues.  Find Resources to affirm your life plans.  

The greatest sense of Independence comes from knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know; while knowing who the people are that know what you don’t.

In the lazy days of summer it is a good time to assert your independence by mapping out the plans for your life.  That way you don’t need to have a man, a woman, a cousin, as sibling, a parent, a child, a government, or yes…even your bartender be your plan.
The best person to be your plan is YOU. 

Happy Independence to YOU!
 

Mary Grace Musuneggi

Christine Pukutis-Musuneggi Named Five Star Advisor for Fifth Straight Year

Congratulations to The Musuneggi Financial Group’s Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi!

The announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi, CRPC®, CLTC, LACP has won the 2019 Five Star Wealth Manager award! By earning this honor, Christine has demonstrated a commitment to clients. Please offer Christine your congratulations.

Five Star Professional has recognized in the pages of Pittsburgh Magazine an outstanding group of Pittsburgh-area wealth managers. Five Star Wealth Managers are named using an in-depth research methodology that includes ten objective criteria.

Congratulations once again to Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi, a 2019 Five Star Wealth Manager!

Sincerely,

 

 

 

See her award recognition by clicking on this bio graphic: 

Be sure to congratulate Christine on Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook!

Congratulations, Christine!

 

What is Your College Savings IQ?

Pop Quiz!5 Facts to Boost Your College Savings IQ Fidelity Investments

Fill the form below and we’ll send you a free eBook from Fidelity which will help you learn five key concepts to increase your College Savings IQ! Contact us for more information or to consider your options for college savings. 

Raising Parents?

by Mary Grace Musuneggi

Have you ever noticed that in a family of 5 brothers and 1 sister, that when the time comes to be the Caretaker for Mom and Dad, the most likely choice will be the sister? It really doesn’t matter if she is a single parent with 3 children of her own, has a full-time job, and that she baby-sits her youngest brother’s children on the weekends, when he has to work. And if the sister is by chance single, with no children, then she is the ultimate choice, after all she doesn’t really have anything going on in her life anyway.

How Caretakers are Determined

Now in all fairness to our male counterparts, and because sometimes tradition dictates, the Caregiver can be the eldest sibling, just by nature of the birth order; or the youngest as he or she was the last to leave home and so has a closer relationship with the parents.
 
Living out of state, or already taking care of your elderly in-laws, usually takes you out of the running. But being the only child means you are it. No matter how, no matter what, no matter where.

Willingness to Care

And yet I am grateful that personally I know of no children who wouldn’t willingly want to care for their parents if the time and need arose. A way of saying “thank you” for all the parents had done for the children. A way of giving back. The hope that when their time comes, that someone will be there to take care of them.
 
But willing is not always able. And when the time comes, it is one awesome task. There are financial, ethical and sometimes even legal and moral dilemmas that arise. Decisions to be made. Tack on to this, if you are part of the sandwich generation, that you are trying to care for the parents, put the kids through college, plan for your retirement, and somehow pursue what dreams you may have for your own life.
 
During the months of May and June, we are reminded of our multiple roles as women. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Graduation Day, we see ourselves as Mothers, and Daughters, and Granddaughters, and Aunts, and Sisters, and Wives, and Significant Others. How amazing we are to be so much to so many! 

May is Disability Awareness Month

Think you don’t need disability coverage? Think again. We draft a will and estate plan and purchase life insurance. Few of us consider disability insurance – the coverage that can help us maintain our income and quality of life while we are alive. 

A fate worse than death? In financial terms, maybe. Statistics form the Social Security Administration show that a quarter of Americans in the 20s may become disabled before they reach age 67. Consider this – when you die, your income stops. So do your expenses. If you are severely disabled and cannot work, your income stops, but your expenses do not. In fact, due to the cost of medical treatment, your expenses may even increase.*

Percent of Long term disability claims by age
Click to enlarge graphic

Will the government take care of you? Many disabled people discover that they don’t qualify for state assistance. Others find that the amount or length of coverage available is not sufficient to support them. It’s an all-too-common story. 

It’s time to start thinking about disability insurance. We’d all like to believe that we’ll never be disabled. The reality is that it could happen to you. If it does, will your family be taken care of? Will you be prepared? May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, so why not find out about the options that are right for you. Please contact us today at The Musuneggi Financial Group.


*money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/family-finance/articles/do-i-need-disability-insurance

 

An Evening for Women Who Wine

Women Who Wine“When women speak from their hearts, magic happens and the world changes.” – Patricia Boswell

Join us for an event that just may make magic happen!

When: Thursday, April 25, 2019, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: 3rd Street Gallery
220 3rd Street, Carnegie PA  15106

Cost: Complimentary for you and a guest

Register: Call 412-341-2888 ext.305 or email us.

 

About our Featured Speaker

Patricia Boswell is a National Board Certified Counselor with 38 years of experience specializing in women’s emotional wellness and empowerment. She invites you to join her Facebook group of like hearted women – My Second Marriage Was to Myself…Say I Do to You. This evening we will discuss the 5 major obstacles to self-commitment experienced by most women. We will also explore daily techniques to support you choosing “YOU!” Treating yourself as well as you treat others is essential. The more you love yourself, the more love you have to offer others. 

About The Event Location

3rd Street Gallery is a fine art space dedicated to providing quality and original art through the promotion of local, national, and international artists. 3rd Street Gallery provides a forum for artists, collectors, and the public to experience painting, works on paper, jewelry, and pottery.

Space is Limited, so Register today! Don’t miss this special Women Who Wine.

Set Goals as You Save & Invest

Turn your intent into a commitment.

Goals give you focus.To find and establish your investing and saving goals, first ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Do you want to build an emergency fund? Build college savings for your child? Have a large retirement fund by age 60? Once you have a defined motivation, a monetary goal can arise.

It can be easier to dedicate yourself to a goal rather than a hope or a wish. That level of dedication is important, as saving and investing usually comes with a degree of personal sacrifice. When you dedicate yourself to a saving/investing goal, some positive financial “side effects” may occur.

A goal encourages you to save consistently.If you are saving and investing to reach a specific dollar figure, you likely also have a date for reaching it in mind. Pair a date with a saving or investing goal, and you have a time horizon, a self-imposed deadline, and you can start to see how you need to save or invest to try and achieve your goal, and what kind of savings or investments to put to work on your behalf.

You see the goal within a larger financial context. This big-picture perspective may help you from making frivolous purchases you might later regret or taking on a big debt that might impede your progress toward reaching your target.

You see clear steps toward your goal.Saving $1 million over a lifetime might seem daunting to the average person who has never looked at how it might be done incrementally. Once the math is in place, it might not seem so inconceivable. The intimidation of trying to reach that large number gives way to confidence – the feeling that you could realize that objective by contributing a set amount per month over a period of years.

Those discrete steps can make the goal seem less abstract.As you save and invest, you may make good progress toward the goal and attain milestones along the way. These milestones are affirmations, reinforcing that you are on a positive path and that you are paying yourself first.

Additionally, the earlier you define a goal, the more time you have to try and attain it.Time is certainly your friend here. Say you want to invest and build up a retirement fund of $500,000 in 30 years. If you save $500 a month for three decades through a retirement account returning 7% annually, you will have $591,839 when that 30-year period ends. If you give yourself just 20 years to try and save $500,000 with the same time frame and rate of return, you may need to make monthly contributions of about $975. (To be precise, the math says that over two decades, monthly contributions of about $975 will leave you with $501,419.)1

When you save and invest with goals in mind, you make a commitment.From that commitment, a plan or strategy emerges. In contrast, others will save a little here, invest a little there, and hope for the best – but as the saying goes, hope is not a strategy.

Contact us to discuss your goals. 

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.

Citations.

1 – bankrate.com/calculators/savings/compound-savings-calculator-tool.aspx [4/26/18]

It’s All About the Risk

“Two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable. We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” ~ Warren Buffet

With the current volatility of the stock market, it is hard to not consider the “risk” you are taking in your investment portfolio.  Let alone, you have to wonder if you should be investing more.  Sir John Templeton, considered by Money Magazine to be “arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century” has been noted for saying that “the best time to invest is when you have the money.”  No concern for the timing, but more concern for the time you have to hold the investment.

We all like to see our accounts go up.  But investing means that sometimes the accounts go down.  If they are not going up and down, then this is saving, not investing.  True investors “bear” the down of the market better than most, but it is doubtful that they do it with a smile.

At times like these the focus for many of us is on “market” risk…the fluctuation of the stock market (or even bond market, or commodities market.)  But risk comes in many varieties and an understanding of these can help us focus on what risks we are truly trying to avoid.  Living with market risk can possibly help us avoid other risks that can be more damaging to our income and lifestyle.

Interest Rate Risk comes when a portfolio is too weighted in bonds.  Bonds (which are often considered more conservative, can actually lose value when interest rates rise – the environment we are currently in.)

Liquidity Risk means it is difficult to sell an investment at a fair price.

Credit Risk is a consideration when a company or government is not able to pay to it its investors.

Longevity risk is a concern if there is a chance that you will outlive your investments or income.

Allocation risk means that your portfolio is too heavily weighted in “safe” and low interest rate investments that have no potential to grow.

Timing risk happens when an investment is needed before it was planned for issues like job loss, death, or divorce.

Health Care risk which has become a major concern as investors take their investments prematurely to cover medical of long-term care needs.  The risk is accelerated for a couple when assets are used for one and nothing is left for the other.

Legacy risk exposes the investor’s heirs when the assets are not realized because the estate planning or beneficiary arrangements are inadequate.  Assets go to the wrong sources, including that they go to probate or taxes.

And there are other risks . . .

The important thing is to be well diversified, well-funded, well planned.  Focus not only on market risk that can often be addressed with good allocation and timing, but on the risks that go beyond the volatility of the stock market.  The risks that jeopardize your life-style and your income.


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