Latest News from The Musuneggi Financial Group

FAFSA Simplification Act

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., May 7, 2021
2., 2021
3., January 25, 2021
4., April 16, 2021

Interview with Paula Kauffman-Oberly from PKO Counseling Services

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! 

Contact Paula Kauffman-Oberly of PKO Counseling Services:
Phone: 412-354-0636

Meet The Money Managers 2021 Recap

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. 

Good News for Retirees! Exploring Recent Changes to the ACA Marketplace

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

Interview with Nick Zapf, CPC, QPA from Dunbar Bender & Zapf

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! 

So, How’s Business: Talking The Business of Your Business

So, how’s business? Everyone in business gets this question, but do you really have a good answer? In this session you’ll hear from the professional advisors (Tracy Zihmer of Zihmer Law Firm, Jennifer Hisdorf of WesBanco, Bernice Schweiss of Bernice A. Schweiss, LLC, and Christine Pikutis-Musuneggi of The Musuneggi Financial Group) who work day to day with business owners to get their ducks in a row, and keep them on track for when the unforeseen events and opportunities are presented. 

If you are considering a Paycheck Protection Loan application — listen to this session first! 





Topics Covered: 

Legal, Banking, Paycheck Protection Program, Financial Planning, & Insurance






Interview with Steve Eckert from Genius Marketing

January 2021
This month’s edition of Conversations with Christopher features an interview with Steve Eckert from Genius Marketing. In this video series, Christopher talks to Steve about his role as a Marketing Consultant. Thank you for joining us Steve Eckert! 


Best of the Best 2020

The Official Community Choice Awards, Allegheny South

Recently, we were nominated for the Trib Live 2020 Best of the Best for Allegheny South under the category Home, Home Services, & Finance. We appreciate those who nominated us, as well as voted for us as “Financial Planner for The Official Community Choice Awards”.
We are proud to have been awarded as one of the top three in the Financial Planner category along with two other independent Financial Planning firms.


Organizing Your Financial Records

Provided by Mary Grace Musuneggi, CLU, ChFC, CFS, RFC

Somewhere between the paper squirrel, who saves everything “just in case,” and the purger, who tosses everything in the trash, is the organized person for whom keeping records is no big deal. Becoming that organized person is not simple, but taking the steps necessary to get your financial records under control is a task with many rewards – first and foremost, a good night’s sleep. 

Click the image to download the Organizing Your Financial Records article.