Sharing Gratitude & Alphabet Soup: RICP, IIY, POA, ETF
Focusing on the High Points of 2022
During the Christmas season and as we flip the calendar to January, it’s human nature to reflect on our last 12 months while also looking ahead with our best intentions for the weeks to come. Life’s always filled with ups and downs, and this year was no exception. My family and I suffered a few tremendous losses in 2022. We celebrated a lot of positive developments, too. Among them are the dozens of new people I’ve met and the clients I’ve supported here at MtM, and I look forward to many more in the New Year. I’d like to share my gratitude about a few of the highlights.
I am proud to have completed the Retirement Income Certified Professional Course through the American College of Financial Services this year, passing the three exams required to earn this designation. I extend a big “thank you” to our partner Ash Brokerage for sponsoring me in the RICP program. I’ve already been putting my new knowledge to work for my clients who are in or near retirement.
Our quarterly event series, “Invest in You: Connecting & Inspiring Lehigh Valley Women,” celebrated a fifth successful event on Dec. 1. We again participated in the Holiday Hope Chests program by contributing 81 gifts that were distributed to underprivileged children in our community. Here’s the recap. Stay tuned for news about our first Invest in You event of 2023. We would love to hear your suggestions!
POLL: Would you participate in an Invest in You event with Zumba or yoga?
Email [email protected] or call her at 610-746-7007 to share your feedback.
My son Andrew’s senior football season at Nazareth Area High School was a fun and prideful time for my family, and you all made it even more so. The support so many of you expressed made us smile. I’d like to extend a special thanks to my bosses, Gene and Diane Dickison, not only for being in the stands to cheer for Andrew and the Blue Eagles at so many games, but also for advertising in the home game programs. I wrote and Megan designed a catchy ad filled with football puns. Check it out here. Please pray for us as we navigate the exciting college recruitment/selection process.
A few MtM partners joined Gene and I on the “More than Money” radio show to share their expertise. In case you missed their insightful interviews, catch the recordings here:
- Mark Bacak, MtM Social Security and Medicare consultant, dropped some serious Social Security knowledge Sept. 24.
- Kegan Morris, a retirement income consultant with Ash Brokerage, enlightened us about the “tax torpedo” Nov. 12.
- Michael Pierotti, with Innovator, gave a detailed introduction to buffered ETFs Aug. 13.
Some Minus Signs Are Moot
All year, your investment account statements have shown a lot of minus signs and shrinking numbers. But some of the red ink might be irrelevant. Investments with defined outcome periods or guaranteed interest rates may show a drop in value, but that number may be of lesser or no importance for those investments with built-in buffers and/or guarantees as long as you hold the investments until maturity. This applies to holdings such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with downside buffers, brokerage certificates of deposit (CDs), individual bonds and structured notes.
During this market downturn and because interest rates are rising, MtM advisors have been incorporating alternative investments such as these in many client portfolios. So, it’s important for you to understand what’s in your portfolio and what those numbers mean. We use our quarterly meetings to educate you and answer your questions, but you’re always welcome to contact me with questions in between those appointments.
Parents Need a POA
If your child or grandchild is a college student or that milestone is around the corner (like it is for my son, who’s a high school senior), you should consider creating a durable power of attorney (POA) document. Once a child turns 18, parents/guardians need a POA to handle anything medical or financial on his or her behalf. In the event of a medical condition or accident that would require parents to be involved, having durable POA can prevent issues or complications with handling the child’s financial or medical needs. Securing these documents through a law firm is the most prudent way, to ensure they include all of the necessary protections, such as HIPAA release language. The estate planning attorney with which MtM partners charges a flat fee of $140, plus notary fees, to create health care POAs. If you’d like a referral, I’d be happy to pass along the contact information.
Prayerfully Balancing Peace With Planning
In August, my daughter and I enjoyed a 10-day trip visiting family and sight-seeing in Sicily, along with my parents and my sister’s gang. We loved spending time with our cousins, eating delicious Italian cuisine—especially gelato and freshly picked fruit—and admiring the breath-taking vistas. Juliana was fascinated with the more carefree Sicilian way of life. (That’s her in my favorite photo on the front page.) She found our relatives to be loving and generous.
Their attitude about money is different, too. While I advocate planning for your future because retirement will be more comfortable if you feel confident you won’t run out of money, it’s certainly appealing to live in the moment and not worry about things outside of your control.
I wrote about this Sicilian philosophy in a column I contributed to my church newsletter. You can read it here.
Allow Us to Serve Your Loved Ones
Do you know someone who’s nearing retirement and needs help with Social Security strategy or choosing a Medicare plan?
Do your adult children have a will and power of attorney documents?
Forward the newsletter to your children, friends or other family members and introduce them to our free consultations. I would be happy to schedule an appointment for them to meet with our specialists.
Do you know someone who needs to see a puppy photo? Here’s Murphy! He’s grown quite a bit since my last newsletter. He’s now 10 months old and about 85 pounds. His behavior is still a work in progress!
Connect With Me
“More than Money” radio: Have breakfast with Gene and Alyssa every Saturday morning from 8 – 10 on AM790 WAEB. Send us your questions ([email protected] or [email protected]).
“Invest in You” Connecting & Inspiring Lehigh Valley Women: Join our newest organization focused on bringing women together to support one another and our community. We meet every quarter for a great cause with great people – keep an eye out for info on our next event or send an email to [email protected] to be added to the email group.
Variable annuities are long-term investments suitable for retirement funding and are subject to market fluctuations and investment risk, including the possibility of loss of principal. Annuity guarantees, including guarantees associated with benefit riders are subject to the claims-paying ability of the insurance company. Surrender charges may apply if money is withdrawn before the end of the contract.
Investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information presented here should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice. This information is not intended to be a substitute for personalized financial planning, tax planning, or legal advice.
Securities offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA), Member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory and tax services offered through MtM Financial Group, LLC which is otherwise unaffiliated with SFA. 4505 Hanoverville Road, Bethlehem, PA 18020. SFA does not provide tax or legal advice. Supervising office 888-447-2444.