Our newest edition of Conversations with Christopher features estate and antiques appraiser Kurt Shaw of Kurt Shaw & Co., Since 2002, Kurt has served the Pittsburgh community as a nationally recognized appraiser of art, antiques, furniture, and other valuable items. Check out our interview with Kurt below:
Written by Mary Grace Musuneggi, CLU, ChFC, CFS, RFC
Who is the primary beneficiary on your life insurance, group benefits, 401k & IRA?
Now that may be real easy. Spouse, partner, child? But are you sure?
Next question. Can you name the contingent beneficiary on all of the above? Do you even have one? Do you have written copies of the beneficiary forms? If you have two contingent beneficiaries, like two children, what happens if you and one of them die? Are you sure?
A short story: Joe had life insurance. When he was married to his wife, Karen, he designated her as his beneficiary. Joe and Karen got divorced. Joe married Jennifer. Joe died while Karen was still his beneficiary. His life insurance went to Karen. Jennifer was not happy. So sad. Karen was very happy. Probably not Joe’s plan.
For reasons unknown, some people believe that your current spouse is your default on any insurances. Not so. So, I ask again. Who is your primary beneficiary? Who is the contingent? Do you have these in writing?
If not, why not?
Reach out to us if we can help you get the answers.
Written by Mary Grace Musuneggi, CLU, ChFC, CFS, RFC
When I was a little girl and I didn’t do what I was told, prior to some certain grounding or other punishment, my mother would remind me of my error and emphasize the importance of it by saying, “So, if I told you once, I told you a thousand times”.
Clearly this was to plant in my mind that not only was she serious, but the situation was serious. Over the years, at The Musuneggi Financial Group, we have stressed the importance of Estate Planning. And when it really comes home to roost is when we see clients and families suffer from the effects of not doing it.
I am pretty sure I have never said, “So, if I told you once, I told you a thousand times”, but I am sure I have given you my “will” lecture, my “we must have a Financial Power of Attorney for you” spiel, or my “let’s talk about Long Term Care and final expenses” presentation.
Our job is to be sure that when situations arise, we can be there to help. Without the right documents we cannot do that. Still today, married couples, parents, business owners somehow believe that they can handle affairs for their partners, spouses, or children without any special documents, just because they are their partners, spouses, or children. NOT! And certainly not in Pennsylvania.
And when client stress over the cost of doing a will or other documents, we remind them of the thousands and thousands of dollars we see families and small business owners spend when someone dies with nothing in place. When someone becomes disabled without a Power of Attorney in place. We see serious mistakes that are made that cost time and money far beyond the cost of planning:
- Minors as beneficiaries
- Joint accounts that were supposed to go into the estate to pay bills
- Accounts that go into an estate that could have passed easily to children
- Excessive/unnecessary taxes that were paid because of wrong titling of assets
- Multiple Executors where one would have been fine
- One Executor where more than one should have been in place
- One child receiving all assets with the instructions to share with other children incurring numerous expenses
- Beneficiaries that are outdated with ex-spouses or not mentioning new children and grandchildren
- Businesses without a succession plan
Let us help! Let’s review your Estate Planning, your beneficiaries and your plans for Elder Care. Reach out to Danielle or use our Calendly to set a time for us to review your planning. Be sure to send us your most recent Financial Power of Attorney to keep on file. Contact your attorney to be sure your documents are up to date or contact us so we can refer you to someone that can put these in place.
The most important thing we need to do for you is to be there when you have an emergency and need help. Be sure we can do that by having the right documents in place.
Because, If I told you once, I told you a thousand times.
Prestigious Membership is Exclusive to World’s Leading Financial Professionals
PITTSBURGH, PA. (Aug. 24th, 2021) — Christopher Musuneggi and Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi of Canonsburg, PA have achieved membership in the prestigious MDRT organization, a coveted career milestone that offers the opportunity to share innovative ideas and best practices with other leading financial professional members.
Membership in MDRT is a highly recognized mark of excellence and limited to only the most successful in the financial services profession. Christopher achieved the Top of the Table Qualification, the highest honor granted by MDRT, and Christine received the Court of the Table honor. This places both Christopher and Christine among the top professionals in the global life insurance and financial services industry.
Members are provided career-shaping resources to better communicate and serve clients, as well as opportunities to broaden professional development. The exchange of ideas at MDRT meetings helps members gain new and unique insights to better serve clients’ individual needs. Working with an MDRT member connects clients not only to a highly credible and leading financial advisor but also to cutting-edge strategies.
“For more than nine decades MDRT has delivered access to innovative ideas to motivate members and help them refine their skills,” said MDRT President Ross Vanderwolf, CFP. “MDRT is committed to helping our members achieve inspired growth and personal success.”
MDRT’s culture motivates the best in the business to share innovative ideas, concepts and techniques with each other. The exclusive tools and resources members obtain through membership help them to better guide their clients to beneficial solutions and provide their clients’ the greatest service.
For more information contact The Musuneggi Financial Group at (412) 341-2888.
Founded in 1927, Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The Premier Association of Financial Professionals®, is a global, independent association of more than 66,000 of the world’s leading life insurance and financial services professionals from more than 500 companies in 72 nations and territories. MDRT members demonstrate exceptional professional knowledge, strict ethical conduct and outstanding client service. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business. For more information, please visit www.mdrt.org and follow them on Twitter @MDRtweet.
Learn about how legislative changes can help you finance your loved one’s education.
Provided by Christopher Musuneggi
As a parent or grandparent, you know firsthand the challenges of funding a child’s education. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Act was passed at the end of 2020 and has changed some of the qualifications for students to receive financial aid.
These changes will affect those applying for financial aid for the 2023-2024 school year. You’ll notice these changes on October 1, 2022, which is when the FAFSA opens for the 2023-2024 school year.
529 plans from grandparents are no longer counted as cash against financial aid. One of the most confusing parts of the FAFSA process was how to account for cash funding. While the FAFSA doesn’t require 529 accounts owned by grandparents to be disclosed, families are required to disclose cash support that the student receives. This cash support may then include money from a 529 account. If students received money from these accounts, the student was still expected to disclose these disbursements as cash, and very often, financial aid needs and options were reduced.1
Parent-owned 529 plans are automatically factored into the FAFSA when a dependent files, and are only evaluated for up to 5.64% available for college use (no more than any other non-qualified asset).
A 529 plan is a college savings plan that allows individuals to save for college on a tax-advantaged basis. State tax treatment of 529 plans is only one factor to consider prior to committing to a savings plan. Also, consider the fees and expenses associated with the particular plan. Whether a state tax deduction is available will depend on your state of residence. State tax laws and treatment may vary. State tax laws may be different from federal tax laws. Earnings on non-qualified distributions will be subject to income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax.
A simplified questionnaire. The FAFSA has been greatly reduced in size, from 108 demographic, educational, and identification questions to a maximum of 36 questions. Part of the restructuring was aimed at clearing up confusion as to who is and is not a dependent student, and what type of assets need to be included.2,3
Student Aid Indicator (SAI) calculation changes. Part of the questionnaire changes were due to changes made to the calculations for financial aid. The Student Aid Indicator (SAI) is the math behind the scenes that determines what types of funding and how much a student is eligible for. Keep in mind that these calculations are still complicated, but that overall, eligibility for financial aid has been broadened.
Christopher Musuneggi may be reached at (412) 341-2888.
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 offered through Grove Point Investments, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Grove Point Advisors, LLC. Grove Point Investments, LLC & Grove Point Advisors LLC are subsidiaries of Grove Point Financial, LLC. The Musuneggi Financial Group is not affiliated with Grove Point Financial, LLC or its subsidiaries. Click here to view Form CRS.
1. ColumbiaThreadneedleUS.com, May 7, 2021
2. Help.Senate.gov, 2021
3. NerdWallet.com, January 25, 2021
4. AACRAO.org, April 16, 2021
The May edition of Conversations with Christopher features career coach and consultant Karen Litzinger of Litzinger Career Consulting. Karen has spent her entire career life in the career counseling and coaching professions helping people of all ages and stages. Thank you for joining us, Karen!
This edition of Conversations with Christopher features local business owner and trusted resource partner, Paula Kauffman-Oberly, LPC, NCC, BCC, ACS. Paula is the founder of PKO Counseling Services, a team of counselors and coaches who help people develop balance between their life, work, and relationships. Thank you for joining us, Paula!
On March 23rd, The Musuneggi Financial Group hosted their yearly Meet the Money Managers event. Held virtually for 2021, the webinar invited industry professionals and current Musuneggi Financial Group clients to get to know the managers who handle their investments, their strategies for investing, and their perspectives on the future. Moderator Christopher Musuneggi was joined by Burl East of American Assets Capital Management and Josh Iofgren with MetLife Investment Management.
Christopher led a Q&A with Burl and Josh, with topics ranging from the effects of the recent Presidential election and change in administration on the economy, how to invest in real estate in a challenging commercial market, and, of course, the impact of COVID-19 on their portfolios over the past year. They provided insight on how they are navigating the unusual economic environment of the past year, and how to successfully invest in an uncertain market.
We hope that the event was informative and helpful to our clients, and that by making their money managers accessible for an evening, they can glean a greater understanding of and deeper trust in the day-to-day handling of their investments. If you missed the event and want to learn more about current market conditions, contact one of our associates today!
Special thanks to Dunham & Associates for their help in putting together this program, and for their continued support of The Musuneggi Financial Group.
The recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 has provided relief to millions of Americans by way of a third round of stimulus checks. But this same bill has quietly changed the way premiums under the American Care Act (ACA) are priced in the public healthcare marketplace. Early retirees may benefit from some price decreases.
Are your healthcare premiums going to change? Chris Mamula explores the details of the bill’s effects on healthcare premiums on MarketWatch.com.
This month’s edition of Conversation’s with Christopher features Nickolas Zapf, CPC, QPA from Dunbar Bender & Zapf. In this video series, Christopher talks to Nick about his role as President of Dunbar Bender & Zapf. Thank you for joining us Nick!