Yearly Archives:2013

I Need Help!!!

Most of the stress that we experience in our lives comes from the unexpected, the unplanned for, and what we normally refer to as “emergencies.” How often do we find ourselves in situations where as these things occur, we don’t know what steps to take next? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had at our disposal a resource of people who could make the wrongs alright? If the moment we need them, we could call on the person who can fix the broken or undo the damage that unexpected events can cause?

What if when we found ourselves floundering to solve a family problem, a financial issue, a legal concern, we knew just whom to call? What if when the washer stopped washing or the sink started dripping or the furnace would no longer heat the house, we had a database of people we could trust to rush to help us?

A few years ago I walked into my dining room to find that the chandelier was pulling away from the ceiling. I was afraid it would come crashing to the floor. Wanting to have it handled quickly and not knowing an electrician, I pulled out the yellow pages and started to thumb through. The first and biggest ad that I came to promised 24 hour and same day service available. Without hesitation, I called as I was sure that this was the answer to my immediate need. And as promised they sent someone right away. But as soon as the repairman came in the door, he asked me for a charge card to bill me for his initial service fee; and said it would be deducted from the total cost of the repair. He had not even looked at the light fixture at that point; and he made it clear that he did not take checks. As intelligent as I am, I was not at that moment suspicious of this technique, because I was too anxious to get the chandelier fixed. When he finally went into the dining room he quoted me a price that was totally out of line. In fact it was more than the chandelier was worth. When I complained, he
simply headed to the door and said I would be charged the initial service fee for his travel time and estimate. As I finally came to my senses, I told him if he did I would report him to the Attorney General’s office, as now this whole thing looked like a scam. He countered by saying that if I paid him his fee in cash he would tear up the credit card receipt; and fix the light. Wow, had I been conned. But I went along with the deal because now I was “between a rock and a hard place.”

After he fixed the light and he left, I called the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney Generals office, as I could only think of all the “little old ladies” who were being ripped off by this guy. Not surprisingly I found that both organizations were aware of this company and they had had numerous complaints. Why hadn’t I contacted them first?

Hindsight, they say, is 20-20. We learn so much after the fact. So I promised myself that something like this would never happen to me again. I decided to create my own “yellow pages” directory. I began by using the phonebook as a guide and I made a list of all classifications. But instead of just picking someone from the book to be my personal electrician, plumber, painter, handyman, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief; I spent the next 6 months asking friends, family, and business associates who they use. After I got a referral I checked with the BBB. Then I called each person and talked to them personally. I told them I was adding them to my personal yellow pages, and told them who referred me. I told them they were on my list as I heard they gave great service.
To say the least they were glad to hear that. Now I knew them and they knew me.

Over the years I have added a few names in each category, just because things do change. And any  time I hear someone rave about the service they get, I ask for the service provider’s name.

So now when an emergency arises my stress level is significantly reduced when I know the right person to call upon. And know they will be glad to take my call.

Everything’s Green

Having been raised by an Irish mother, it is impossible for me to think of March without thinking of St. Patrick’s Day. “Gram” as everyone called her, would phone all the grandchildren the morning of March 17th and insist that they not leave the house if they were not wearing Green.

While the “Green” on St. Patrick’s Day conjures up visions of leprechauns, the “Luck of the Irish”, Green beer, and even McDonald’s “Shamrock Shakes”; it also reminds me of the passing of winter and the coming of spring. Green of the new grass. Green sprouts of tulips pushing through the ground. Greenness of a new season. Green thumbs planting Green seeds. Green grass in the bottom of Easter baskets. And there is the Green of something new and not quite ripe. And the environment improving “going Green.”

Green reminds me of crayons and of Dr. Suess’ “Green Eggs and Ham”, and of “Eating your Greens” and being healthy.

The newness of a fresh start. And of growth and prosperity.

During the month of March, Single Steps Strategies invites you to explore the many “Greens” as you venture on your journey of life. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Don a new Green dress. Fill a basket with Green straw, flowers and goodies, and leave it on the door step of an elderly neighbor. Spend time coloring or reading with a young child. It will give you a new perspective on life.

Plan your Spring flower garden. Plan your life anew by starting on an abundant life journey that begins with just a single step.

Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night
By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What many of you may not know is that in my “first life,” I was a Language Arts Teacher. When I entered college in the early ’70’s, I wanted to be an attorney. But it was the ’70’s. That was too  “establishment.” So I got entrenched in academia and spent my days reading and writing poetry. At
one point I was hung up on Rod McKuen…can you believe? But wasn’t every teenage girl in those days?

The real highlight of my college career was my passion for English poetry. Not just the sonnets of Shakespeare, but the poems of the Romantics-Byron, Shelley and, Keats. And my poetry world would not have been complete without the poems of the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.

The first time I read “Don’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” it affirmed the beliefs that I had been raised on by an Irish mother. Life is so important, so special, that we need to fight for it. Thomas watched his father grow weak and frail with old age. He tries to convince his father to fight against imminent death. Some studies suggest that Thomas’ father was going blind as he aged and so Dylan told him that he should “rage against the dying of the light.” This is not just for his father’s sake, but to give closure and hope to the family that he would leave behind.

I hear this poem in my mind every time I learn of a friend’s illness, the death of a family member, or the passing of a client. I relive it every time we have a client or family friend who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The poem ran through my mind every time I visited my mother in the hospital as she
fought against the effects of emphysema; and again when I talked with my brother as he was struggling with lung cancer in his last years.

On a happier note, it comes to mind when I watch friends, clients and associates as they make the most of their senior years with traveling, dancing, teaching and learning. As they go out into the world and enjoy encore careers, yoga classes, segwaying, entertaining, writing, and so much more.
And again, when they share with me the adventures they are having with family and friends; or the joys of a late life relationship with a new partner or mate. And sometimes there are stories of their parents or grandparents as they are reaching the “retirement years;” the “later years;” “the senior

As the “baby boomers” are aging and they and their families are dealing with realities of that, we at The Musuneggi Financial Group and at Single Steps Strategies see the need to focus on the issues that begin with retirement and thereafter. We believe that our clients and members are looking for, and
need, information and education to make these years the best they can be.

Join us on this journey. Over the next year, we will be concentrating on Retirement to Estate Planning. We will be providing articles and newsletters. We will present meetings, workshops, panels and events. We will introduce you and your family to our Resources who work in such areas as Retirement Planning, Long Term Care, Estate Planning, Encore Careers, Medical & Medicare, Social Security Planning, Lifestyle Choices, Senior Travel, Later Life Housing Options, Home Care, Caretaker Assistance, Income Planning, Debt Solutions, Healthy Living, Education, Winding Down a Small Business, and Asset Protection.

Welcome to the year 2013; and let us all make it the best year yet; as we enjoy every moment and we “Don’t Go Gentle Into that Good Night.