Category Archives: Newsletter

The Protection Plan I Always Recommend

This past July 4th marked the 20th year in our home. TWENTY YEARS.

Holy cow, I don’t know where the time has gone. With my oldest having just graduated from high school, I seem to be saying this a lot lately. Cue the tissue box.  

When we first bought our home, we had my dad around for all the newbie homeowner’s advice we needed. One thing he always said was to buy the service contract for the furnace. His advice has proved prudent over the years!

I’m sure I’ll be giving the same advice to my kids someday when they become homeowners, but as a homeowner or not, there’s a much bigger investment that often goes unprotected and  has the potential to cost you a lot more than an unexpected furnace repair.

What is this investment? I’m glad you asked!


YOU and your EARNING POTENTIAL are your single most valuable asset, yet many fail to properly protect this asset.

Most carry some level of life insurance, especially if they have a spouse or children, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

The protection that is most overlooked and often skipped altogether is DISABILITY protection, which protects your income if you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

Let me ask you this. Is your monthly income instrumental in supporting your day to day living essentials? I’m talking things like food, gas, a mortgage or car payment?

If you answered yes, and I’m guessing you did, then you should have disability coverage.

And a misguided perception is that if your employer offers disability coverage, you are good to go. You’ll keep getting your paycheck should you go out on disability. You’ll receive something, but not necessarily an amount that can continue to cover all of your expenses.

I review employer benefits for my clients during open enrollment and often see disability benefits that provide less than adequate income replacement, especially if your employer pays the premium. This is where I would recommend a private policy to supplement your employer plan.

If you happen to be an employee in Massachusetts, there is a newish program that was rolled out in January 2021 called Paid Family Medical Leave, or PFML, not to be confused with the Federal program FMLA, which is unpaid leave.

PFML offers compensation for up to 26 weeks, of course with a special mathematical equation used to calculate how much you will actually receive.

Who pays for this program? Well, the state of Massachusetts of course! And you know what that is code for: YOU are paying for it, along with your employer.

As the saying goes, nothing in this life is free.

If you are not sure if you are covered by this state run benefit, take a look at your paystub. If you are paying into it, you will see a small deduction each pay period for “MA PFML”, or something along those lines.

MA resident or not, state coverage like this or basic coverage through your employer are often not enough to most effectively insure this risk. Look into what you have and take steps to insure your most valuable asset.


Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

-Marthe Troly-Curtin

I Did NOT Know That!

You know those moments when you learn something new that you can’t believe you did not know before now, and depending what it is, you may even feel like a bit of a dummy for not knowing?

We all have them.

I had one of these moments last week when my brother came over to change out a kitchen faucet. According to You Tube, this is a very simple task, but we may be about the worst homeowners ever when it comes to stuff like this. My brother, on the other hand, is great at this stuff and owns his own handyman business, CJD Property Specialists. We know it will end up costing us twice as much if we attempt is ourselves, so we gave him a call.

But that’s not even the “I feel like a dummy part”. That came when I asked my brother to fill the soap dispenser while he was down under the sink.

“What are you talking about Sue, you don’t fill that from under here, the pump dispenser comes off from up top.”

 Wait a minute…WHAT? It does?!

We have been emptying all supplies out from under the sink for 20 years to crawl under, unscrew the plastic bottle and fill it up. We never knew! Is it just us?!?! We felt like idiots.

But here’s the thing, if someone has never been taught or shown something…has never studied, practiced or had any interest in the subject matter at hand… why should they beat up on themselves for not knowing it?

You shouldn’t!

I often hear clients and others I speak with putting themselves down for being “horrible with financial stuff”. It really bothers me, in an empathetic way, because why would they or should they be good at it?

I’m good at it because I love it, study it, and practice it every day. If “financial stuff” is not something you love, study and keep up with every day, why would you be good at it? The tough part about this subject matter is that dealing with “financial stuff” is indeed a necessity in all of our day to day lives. And so is general plumbing, to some extent, but not as much.

We all have our strengths and passions in areas where we excel and then have those areas where we don’t, and that’s ok. That’s the beauty of being able to hire someone to handle what we don’t do well or don’t have the time or interest to do well.   

I’ll leave you with a few financial savings tips that just may be a “I did not know that!” for you:

  1. You can make contributions to an IRA for the previous calendar year up until the tax filing deadline each year (for 2021 contributions, you have until Monday, April 18th this year, due to the usual April 15th deadline falling on Good Friday and Passover). 
  2. If you max out your 401(k) contributions before year end, you may not be getting the full benefit of your employer match. Ask your HR department if they do what’s called a “year-end true up”, otherwise you may be leaving money on the table.
  3. If you start a new job with an employer that does not allow you to participate in their retirement savings plan right away, making you a “non-covered employee” by IRS standards, you may be eligible to make a deductible IRA contribution for that tax year, even if your income is above the threshold normally eligible to take the deduction.

My Favorite Quotes

Be that person who wakes up with purpose and intent. Be that person who shows up and never gives up. Be that person who believes anything is possible and is willing to work for it. 

– Unknown