Yearly Archives:2014

Can You Afford to Grow Old?

MGM smaller fileA Personal Note from Mary Grace Musuneggi


Did you ever think you would ask yourself that question? But we hear it all the time. It usually comes after, “Can I afford to retire?”

Should I? Could I? What happens if I didn’t plan? What doesn’t happen if I did? Where do I begin? When should I start?

These questions abound as our clients move into pre-retirement…the senior years. And whether or not they take the time to get the answers, the questions don’t simply disappear. If you don’t get the answers, someone else certainly will have to deal with the questions someday: Your spouse. Your children. Your caretaker.

Or the default option will be to let the government handle it all for you; as they take your assets as payment for doing the work that you should have done.

Over the last year we have begun a program we call The Family Legacy Initiative; encouraging our clients to address the issues of aging as well as “Having the Talk” with family members who will at some point need to be part of the process. Estate Planning, Final Expense/Pre-planning, Long Term Care planning, Medicare Planning, Gifting, Asset Protection, are just a few of the concerns that should be addressed.

None of this is the “fun” stuff. But once the questions are answered then the fun stuff of enjoying the senior years can begin. The planning will be done. The questions will be answered. The kids will know what to do and they will be on board. The kids will know what you expect of them and what the costs will be. The financial worries will be addressed. The plans will be made the way you want them to be. The questions won’t remain to haunt you and your family day after day. The unanswered questions will not pop up every time there is an illness or a family dilemma.

Sometimes we hear people say that their answer to all the questions is that they simply will rely on their spouse to care for them, or more often, that they will rely on their children. But some studies show that if you are currently over age 65, you have almost a 70% chance of requiring long term care services and financial and medical support. And although most children are glad to help when they can, many of them are not prepared to financially, physically or emotionally to take on the responsibility of aging parents.

So how to begin? Because there is so much mis-information about issues of aging; and because even the government changes the rules for seniors and for estate planning periodically, the first thing to do is educate yourself about the basics.

Join us at our upcoming workshops:

Tuesday, August 26 – The Cost of Aging

Michael Baker – Target Insurance Services of PA

Thursday, September 25 – The Greatest Gift – Pre-Planning

Patrick McGowan, Conroy Funeral Home

Tuesday, October 14 – What is Estate Planning And Why Should You Do It?

Tracy Zihmer, Feldstein, Grinberg, Lang & McKee

These can be a good start to Having the Family Talk. So parents, bring your children; children bring your parents.

Attendees will be eligible to receive a complimentary Long Term Care Analysis and an Estate Planning Review.


Mary Grace Musuneggi

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Founder and Executive Director

July 2014



MGM smaller fileA Personal Note from Mary Grace Musuneggi


I read this quote some time ago and it immediately made me laugh. But then after some more serious thought, I realized how true it really is. When I look back at times where I made mistakes, or found life confusing, or felt my world was turned upside down, in many ways those moments were the result of having a choice and not making the right one.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to have dinner with Jack Canfield, motivational speaker and author. He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. During a discussion of his books, he expressed his belief that wherever we are in life it is because of the choices we made. And wherever we go from here will be the result of the choices we make going forward. We can’t do anything about the choices we have already made, except learn from the bad ones and applaud the good ones.

Now you may be thinking that some choices were made for you. Someone else made the decision. But in those times you made the choice to accept the decisions that were made for you. Or you think that some things in your life happened that were totally out of your control. These are things that have normally happened by chance or accident. It’s just life. Car accident; illness; death of a spouse; loss of a job. But there is still a choice. Not in what
is happening; but how you respond to the happening.

There are stories in the news every day of people who have experienced horrific life changes and have risen above the problem to lead amazing lives. All because of the choice they made in response to their experience; all because of the choice they made to accept the challenge.

Thankfully most of us will never face these kind of ordeals; and our choices are more of the day to day, how to get through the day, kind of things. We can make the choice to live each day like Winnie the Pooh, or like his friend, Eyeore.

Winnie the Pooh was my son’s favorite character when he was a child, and Winnie the Pooh is one of my heroes. Pooh knows what will make him happy, and he pursues it with passion. When he goes in search of honey, he makes the choice not to be diverted by anything that gets in his way—not bees, not blustery days, not getting stuck in a tree. No matter what life brings, he is persistent, single-minded, and chooses to make the best of every day.
n the other hand, Pooh has a donkey friend named Eeyore, who makes the choice to spend his days worrying, complaining, doubting, and insisting that nothing good will ever happen.

At the end of the day, Pooh is reveling in a pot of honey, while Eeyore has had the kind of day he had made the choice to have.

If we make the choice to be an Eeyore, we can choose to worry about everything, complain that we will never have what we need, blame others for our plight in life, and pronounce at every turn that life has treated us unfairly. If we do decide to do that, then it really all does come down to the fact that there is a reason for everything. And the reason is, “sometimes we acted stupid and made bad choices.”


Mary Grace Musuneggi

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Founder and Executive Director


Dress For The Job That You Want

Because the world has become more casual, business casual, or just plain casual; dressing down has become more the code in the work world. The “uniform” of the office is now more likely to be slacks and t-shirts, than skirts, jackets and high heels.

But the old adage of “you are what your wear” may still have some value in today’s more causal world.

The idea of this was more of what you project to the world; as well as what you think about who you are and what you want from your professional life.

When I was young and things were not quite going my way; when I was upset by circumstances or dealing with a difficult life issue, my mother would remind me that all things were possible, if I just  “got up, got dressed up; and got going.” The action of moving and doing was a means of working
through a problem and heading for a new life experience. But the central part of this theme was that I “got dressed up”. Not just dressed. Even nudists get dressed every so often. A sweater when it is cold. But it was the “dressed up” part. Putting my best foot forward. Feeling good about who I was.
Just like the UPS driver and the McDonald’s employee, I have a “uniform” when I get up every day and go off to my work day life. I believe that what I wear sets the tone for what I expect from myself, what I expect from my business; what I expect from my day.

One of my mentors in my early career said that more people would become who they want to be if they just “dressed for the job they want, and not the job they have.” Work at and look like who you want to be. Or as Shakespeare said, “all the world is a stage and each must play a part.” What is the costume you should be wearing for the part you are playing?

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance tells us “most of us do not think we are carrying on a conversation with the outside world when we get dressed in the morning, but we are.”

She reminds us that Alison Laurie in her book, The Language of Clothes ,says, “ long before I am near enough to talk to you….you convey your sex, age, class to me through what you are wearing.”  “To choose clothes, either in a store or at home, is to define and describe ourselves.”

As we enter the season of Spring, this is the perfect time to re-evaluate our wardrobe, the “uniform” we wear when we go out into the world. What are you saying to the world? What do you really what the world to hear?