Dina Isola

The Misery Index

My senior year of college wasn’t filled with the dread that some of my classmates seemed to carry.  All the “countdown” parties went on without me; I didn’t feel the need to squeeze the last bit of juice out of my carefree days as a student.  I was itching to get on with it; the…

Cheap Trust Can Be Very Expensive

I had the privilege of attending a parent/student meeting at South Side High School in Rockville Centre the other night.  For a change, I was neither an attending parent nor a presenter; I was a very interested observer for a number of reasons. As a mother to teenagers, I was happy to see a school…

A Checklist to Get You Started

I had the pleasure of speaking  with Dina Cataldo of Soul Roadmap podcast to discuss “How to Reach Your Money Goals.”  She has put together an informative and inspiring show aimed at giving people tools and strategies to live their best lives, and she covers a myriad of topics. It was a lively discussion and it inspired me…

When Fees Go Up in Seconds, It’s Time to Go

A new client wanted to switch out of an annuity she had bought in her retirement account with a previous adviser. Needless to say, my antenna goes up when I see annuities in a retirement account because it is both unnecessary and expensive to own these insurance products for their tax-deferral benefits, when this feature…

7 Questions She’s Afraid to Ask

“You are my 50th birthday present to myself,” a woman said to me, as we sat down to meet.  “I’m tired of not feeling like an adult, it’s like I have a dirty money secret.” I’ve heard variations of this same theme many times.  This is what women say to me when no one is listening….

My Mother’s Gift

My mother, Lucy Grasso, 1945   While I think of my mother numerous times throughout the day, this week, just days away from Mother’s Day, I got a little wink from her. A client of ours sent us a note of appreciation.  He and his wife have worked with us since 2015.  Not to sound too…

The Future is Now

It has been almost two years since Tony and I formally embarked on a mission to educate and free teachers from expensive and inappropriate investments in their 403(b) accounts.  Our main message has been buyer beware. A teacher, Chase Malia, has taken it a giant leap forward – proposing Resolution #41 to his union, NYSUT,…

Do Well by Doing Good

Scott Dauenhauer, Tony and I caught up with Joey Fishman, Ritholtz Wealth Management’s ESG expert on the Planning to Teach and Retire Rich Podcast to discuss ESG and sustainable investing. In a climate of less government regulation, some companies are taking a stance on environmental, social and governance issues to reflect their missions/values. Investors, too, have become increasingly…

Magna Cum Lousy

Imagine: you give a teenager access to car keys when they have never driven a car or taken Driver’s Education.  You simply tell them to drive carefully and you hope for the best. That would be setting them up for failure, and yet, we do this every day with personal finance. The stakes might not…

Same Old Song

  Our son considered his course options for next year. His dilemma was how to meet the visual arts requirement; art classes interest him like watching paint peel. We suggested a digital photography class. “I hear it’s a lot of work!” he said, “It’s not easy, you have to know about camera settings – you…