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The Story of the Iced Tea Man

By Mary Grace Musuneggi


Recently, my significant other, Tom, spent time at a local Senior Care Facility.  Each time I visited him, I noticed a very elderly man in a wheelchair in the lobby, attached to oxygen.  He was always alone, with no companions. 

In the lobby was a refrigerated case with drinks and fruit. 

As I was signing in one day, the elderly man called out to the receptionist and asked if he could have an iced tea from the case.  She said it would cost a dollar, and did he have a dollar?  He said “no”, and she said he could not have one.  As he began to turn away, I said, “Sir, I have a dollar.  Let me buy you a drink.”  The receptionist said, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”  And I replied, “actually, I do”.  So I gave her the dollar and gave him the iced tea. 

He was very grateful, but he asked me why I would do that.  I told him it wasn’t like I was giving him a kidney, it was a bottle of iced tea, and like most things in life, what we give is what we get. So someone in the universe owes me a drink.  We laughed and off I went.

Now honestly, he may be a millionaire and just had his money all tied up in the stock market and had no cash on hand.  He may have lots of friends and family that all came to visit him after I left.  The receptionist may have been told to discourage residents not paying because it could be an issue with other residents.  But I really didn’t care, nor did I have the time to “interview” all involved.  But what I did realize is that no matter what, I don’t want to be that very elderly person sitting in a lobby of a long-term care facility, all alone, without a dollar to buy iced tea.

There have been many times in my life when I have enjoyed the kindness of strangers, but I don’t want that to be a lifestyle, or a requirement.  It made me assess my situation, as well as once again plan on reaching out and stressing for our clients that they make the necessary plans to be sure that when the time comes, all will be well — and they can buy iced tea.

At The Musuneggi Financial Group we “lecture” often on the need for you to do estate planning, to create Powers of Attorney, to have a family meeting to let your family know your wishes, to explore Long Term Care (LTC) planning, to review your beneficiaries and the titling of all of your accounts.  To understand your income needs.  To make good financial decisions on where your money goes, how you use it, who you give it to.

If we have not recently had these discussions, if your estate planning documents are more than 5 years old, or if there have been significant changes to your health, retirement needs, or long-term planning goals… let’s talk.  Let’s make this a goal to reach in the last quarter of 2022 and as we enter 2023.  Let’s plan for all good things.  And if you come into the office, we will be happy to buy you an iced tea.

The Musuneggi Financial Group
1910 Cochran Road
Manor Oak Two, Suite 520
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
(412) 341-2888, option 2