The Uncommon Path – May 5th Edition

The Uncommon Path

Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


In this issue…
  • Traveling to Europe this summer? Here’s what to expect. 
  • The sweet spots to exploit if you’re using Chase Ultimate Rewards. 
  • A valuable list of things to consider when you’re planning on a retirement of travel, including some excellent resources. 
  • Feeling uneasy about the stock market? Here’s what you should do.

…and more!


The Nasdaq is down over 20% year to date and investor sentiment is near all-time lows. What should you do? The simple answer is “stay the course.” However, there’s more nuance to our investment lives than that. Feeling nervous? I highly recommend reading through the article from Nerdwallet that I’ve included under the Investing section below. 

Safe Travels,

David


Travel

Here’s what to expect if you’re traveling to Europe this summer.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are extremely flexible and valuable, but it can be hard to decide the best way to use them. Here are two articles to help you get the best bang for your buck – how to redeem and 6 sweet spots.


Retirement

Excellent resources for traveling in retirement.


Investing

Concerned about a stock market crash? Here’s what to do.


Pittsburgh

The Incline’s monthly restaurant roundup is always a must-read. I’m excited for all of the new restaurants/businesses setting up shop in the Strip District.


Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

  • Taxes stink! 12 states where your retirement income is not taxed.
  • If you’ve been waiting to pick up a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, do it now. You’ll get an 80,000-point sign-up bonus. 
  • 28 views that will trigger your wanderlust.
  • If you’re going to move during retirement, here are 6 things to consider.

Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

 

 
 
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    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    The Uncommon Path – April 21st Edition

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • Taxes stink! 12 states where your retirement income is not taxed.
    • If you’ve been waiting to pick up a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, do it now. You’ll get an 80,000-point sign-up bonus. 
    • 28 views that will trigger your wanderlust.
    • If you’re going to move during retirement, here are 6 things to consider.

    …and more!


    Before traveling, I always read a few books. Novels, non-fiction, whatever will give me a feel for the place I’ll be visiting. I’m currently making my way through The Longest Day, which tells the story of the Normandy invasion. The author has combined a series of interviews to describe the day’s events from multiple points of view. Each perspective adds vibrant color that brings the day alive.

    Ok, this is starting to sound like a book review, so I’ll end it here.

    Part of the fun of traveling is the anticipation. Before your next trip, pick up a book, watch a movie, or check out YouTube to make planning almost as fun as the actual trip.

    Safe Travels,

    David


    Travel

    Few things in life can jump-start wanderlust as quickly as a beautiful picture of a distant land. Here are 28 photos of breathtaking views of places you have to visit.  

    One of, if not the best, travel credit cards is now offering an 80,000-point sign-up bonus. If you don’t already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, I recommend checking it out.

    Trying to keep up with international travel restrictions related to COVID is a headache. Luckily the Point’s Guy has done the hard work for you – a country-by-country guide.


    Retirement

    One of the best ways to make your retirement savings last longer is to avoid state taxes. Here are 12 states where retirees’ income is not taxed.

    Did you decide to move in retirement?  6 things to consider.


    Pittsburgh

    TastingTable named Pittsburgh’s most eclectic steakhouse as one of the 20 best in America. 


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • Who decides when the pandemic is over?
    • Searching for your ID at the airport – soon to be a thing of the past
    • This is what it’s like to live on a cruise ship full time
    • Is retirement financial suicide?

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.


    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    The Uncommon Path – April 7th Edition

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • Who decides when the pandemic is over?
    • Searching for your ID at the airport – soon to be a thing of the past
    • This is what it’s like to live on a cruise ship full time
    • Is retirement financial suicide?

    …and more!


    The pandemic is over. How can I say this so confidently? Historians of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic emphasize that “People, Not Science, Decide When a Pandemic Is Over.” And the people have spoken.

    How? Carnival Cruises announced that “the one-week period of March 28-April 3 was its busiest booking week in the company’s history.” Not the busiest week this year. Not the busiest week since the pandemic began. The busiest week ever.

    I didn’t write this to get into politics or the science behind COVID. I just wanted to let readers know that travel is coming back with a vengeance. If you feel safe traveling and booking a trip is on your to-do list, don’t wait. Prices are on the rise, and availability is dwindling. Good luck out there, and safe travels!

    David


    Travel

    What it’s like to live on a cruise ship full time.

    51 destinations to put at the top of your list – the most beautiful places in the world.

    Showing your physical ID at airport security might soon be a thing of the past.


    Retirement

    One of the best “places-to-retire” articles I’ve come across. International Travel’s 2022 top ten places to retire is out! The analyst in me greatly appreciates their numerical process of crowning a winner. 

    Retirement = financial suicide? You’d think that there would be a way to avoid this, like hiring a professional to help…hmm.


    Investing

    Should you change your investment strategy because of the war in Ukraine? Invest for the long-term and don’t think about the news.


    Pittsburgh

    I can’t even tell you how excited I am about this – an Asian food hall is coming to Pittsburgh’s strip district and will feature seven food stalls.


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • Have you been thinking of retiring earlier?
    • Tired of boring vacations? 5 ideas that will get you out of your comfort zone
    • Prices are going up and credit card bonuses are going away – time to act fast!
    • The best cities for St. Patrick’s Day parades 

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.


    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    The Uncommon Path – The St. Patrick’s Day Edition

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • Have you been thinking of retiring earlier?
    • Tired of boring vacations? 5 ideas that will get you out of your comfort zone
    • Prices are going up and credit card bonuses are going away – time to act fast!
    • The best cities for St. Patrick’s Day parades 

    …and more!


    Want to underperform the stock market by 5.88% a year? Just follow your emotions.

    Emotions can run high when the world’s stock markets are being jerked about. The following headlines were written over the last three weeks and not in publications with differing agendas. Each headline appeared in the Wall Street Journal.   

    “Investors Dash to Haven Assets During Ukraine Crisis Market Turmoil”

    “Stocks Surge as Oil Prices Slide Below $100”

    “Stock Markets Close Lower as Inflation Rises, War in Ukraine Continues”

    “Stocks Climb As Fed Raises Interest Rates”

    Can any investor be blamed for feeling unsettled? For making rash decisions to ease the emotional pain of potential losses? Unfortunately, shedding this pain comes at a steep price.

    Market research firm, Dalbar, measured the average return for mutual fund investors compared to the S&P 500. For the 30 years ending December 31st, 2018, the average mutual fund stock investor underperformed by 5.88% per year. This underperformance was created by investors buying and selling at the wrong time.

    Conclusion: emotions are the enemy of long-term investing, something every retirement plan relies on. So even though it might feel great in the short term to sell your stocks for the safety of cash, you’ll very likely be doing your long-term plan a grave disservice.

    I know. Ignoring the headlines is easier said than done.

    However, if you’re tempted to make significant changes to your investment portfolio, consider the consequences of missing out on nearly 6% of return each year. You’ll be forced to work longer, spend less, and save more just to end up in the same place on your retirement journey.

    Hang in there, ignore the noise, and embrace your long-term plan.

    Safe Travels,

    David


    Travel

    I’m in love with these 5 alternative vacation ideas designed for stepping outside of your comfort zone

    If you haven’t booked your summer travel plans, you better hurry, Tripadvisor’s spring travel index shows Americans are spending big

    You should also hurry if you’re looking for big credit card sign-up bonuses as they’re disappearing fast

    If you’ve always wanted to visit the British Virgin Islands, here’s a list of 15 things you must do there – the Baths are on my travel bucket list


    Retirement

    Have you been thinking of retiring earlier?

    Not to discourage you, but here are 10 things that can make retiring earlier difficult


    Investing

    Trying to time the market is a bad idea, explained in another way


    Pittsburgh

    The best U.S. cities for St. Patrick Day parades (spoiler Pittsburgh’s #3)


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • Exactly what you need to do to get a refund on Southwest when the price of your ticket drops
    • Why you should avoid buy now, pay later offers – my Wall Street Journal quote
    • If you’re over 50 and feel behind on your retirement savings I wrote this article for you 
    • Non-stop flights out of Pittsburgh are coming back and here’s the list

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.


    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    How to Spend a Day (or Two) in Pittsburgh – 2022

    Pittsburgh PNC Park

    Sixteen years ago I did something that would change my life forever. I moved to Pittsburgh.

    I had friends and family all ask me hesitantly, “What’s Pittsburgh like? Is there anything to do there?” After sixteen years, here’s my response.  

    This is Pittsburgh…

    View of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington
    View of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington

    Were you expecting something different? Perhaps, a city covered in grime with clouds of smog blocking out the sun? A city where the darkness of noon resembles midnight? Those days are long gone, but for people who have never visited Pittsburgh, old reputations are hard to shake.

    Pittsburgh has physical beauty, created by a unique mix of hills, rivers, and bridges, unlike anywhere else in the country. So, what is there to do in the “City of Bridges”? If I was visiting for a couple of days, here’s exactly what I’d do. 

    If you can, visit in the summer. Pittsburgh is a phenomenal city year-round, but some of its finest attractions are best appreciated on a warm summer day.

    Are you driving into downtown from the southwest? This includes anyone riding in from the airport. The odds are excellent you’ll go through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Hopefully, your driver will give you a heads up, but if not, make sure you’re paying attention. As you exit the tunnel, you’ll be smacked with a visual feast I still admire after 16 years. For the first-time visitor – wham! Welcome to Pittsburgh!

    Day One

    Try to get to Pittsburgh around noon, which gives you two full days to explore the city. I recommend staying at the Omni William Penn Hotel, downtown and in the middle of the action. It recently celebrated 100 years, and while oozing with old-world charm, it’s gracefully kept up with the times. The lobby is a fantastic place to relax in between adventures with a coffee from the attached Starbucks.

    I’ve been on dozens of food tours all around the world, so I can say without a doubt ‘Burgh Bits & Bites offers some of the best tours you’ll ever experience. Pittsburgh is a city with 90 neighborhoods, and you get to choose from half a dozen of the most walkable options. You’ll “…explore the vivid history and culinary delights of the Steel City…” with a small group of tourists and locals. Just don’t eat before your tour as you’ll not only leave stuffed, you’ll have a bag filled with snacks for later. However, their Strip District Market tour is similar to tomorrow’s suggested activities, so if you’re interested, try it next time you’re in town.

    After your tour, return to your hotel and fight the urge to slip into a food coma. There’s no time to nap. You’re going to a ballgame! Even if baseball’s not your thing, trust me. You’ll want to experience PNC Park.

    You should have some time between the food tour and the ballgame, so make your way down to Market Square. It’s an easy walk from anywhere downtown. The square was established in the 1700s, and has gone through many stages, including crime-ridden a few decades back. Now it’s a pedestrian-friendly location lined with restaurants and bars. The square is used for dozens of activities throughout the year, from outdoor yoga to a Christmas market.

    Now make your way to Point State Park. This is where Pittsburgh was born. You can still see the outlines of Fort Duquesne and Fort Pitt on the ground. These structures were built in the mid-1700s as the French and British vied to control the three rivers. For a brief history lesson on the forts and the Point, you can refer to Wikipedia.

    Pittsburgh - Fountain at the Point
    Fountain at the Point

    You can’t miss the 150-foot-tall fountain near the point. You’ll likely see more ornamental, awe-inspiring fountains in your lifetime, but its simplicity and brute force are precisely what you’d expect from a Pittsburgh landmark. There may be no other fountain in the country more adored by the city where it resides.

    Walk over to a bench close to the water and take a seat. It’s not often you get to see a river being born, so take it in. The Allegheny River to your right and the Monongahela River to your left come together to form the Ohio River. There’s something majestic about the powerful merging of the rivers and watching the water flow destined for someone’s Mardi Gras cocktail after the long journey south.

    On your visit to the Point, have you noticed a lot of fans walking around in Pittsburgh Pirate’s gear? That’s because there’s a game tonight! So, get a move on!

    From the Point there are many ways to get to PNC Park, but for an authentic game-day experience, cross the Roberto Clemente Bridge (unfortunately closed until the end of 2023 for restoration). The bridge, named after the Pirate’s most beloved player of all time, crosses the Allegheny River and is closed to cars before most games. If you look to your right while crossing, you’ll see the other two, “Three Sisters Bridges,” painted in iconic Pittsburgh Yellow.  It’s a festive atmosphere as fans stream over the bridge, accompanied by live music performed by street musicians.

    The Clemente Bridge dumps you on the doorstep of PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is one of the most beautiful ballparks in all of baseball, and the view is unparalleled.

    Pittsburgh PNC Park
    Pittsburgh’s PNC Park

    While you can often walk up and buy tickets, you should order ahead in case there’s a high-demand event such as Zambelli Fireworks Night. Pittsburghers love their fireworks! It’s a great show if you’re lucky enough to be in town for the spectacle.

    You’ll want to grab seats down the first base line. You’ll have a phenomenal view of the scoreboard and the Pittsburgh skyline. If you’re high enough, you’ll be able to see the Allegheny River floating by.

    If you’ve been dying to try a Primanti’s Sandwich, now’s your chance. No first-time trip to the Steel City is complete without one. An overflowing sandwich on Italian bread, topped with coleslaw and fries – what’s not to love?

    For the ultimate Pittsburgh moment, grab a sandwich, some french fries doused in Heinz Ketchup, and an Iron City beer. Enjoy your meal with one eye on the game and the other on the skyline. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a Gateway Clipper riverboat slowly gliding by the Clemente Bridge.

    Once the ballgame is over, I’d recommend one of two options. If you’ve had enough and are ready to return to the hotel, find the North Side T-Station. The “T” is Pittsburgh’s light-rail system, and it’s free if you’re traveling on the North Side or downtown – very handy for getting around the city. The Steel Plaza station is close to the Omni William Penn Hotel, so exit there. If you’re up for a nightcap, the hotel’s lobby is a relaxing place to lounge.

    However, if you’re a night owl, make your way back across the Clemente Bridge and hang a left on Penn Ave. You’re entering the Cultural District, which is filled with theaters, restaurants, and bars. Some standouts on this street are Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room, Nicky’s Thai Kitchen, and Bakersfield.

    Day Two

    If you like to get up early to run or walk, I highly recommend the North Side branch of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Cross the Rachel Carson Bridge and turn left on the other side of the Allegheny River to find the trail. You’ll be treated to fantastic views of the river, PNC Park, Heinz Field (home of the Steelers), and the city. If you are feeling ambitious, you can drop by Mr. Roger’s Memorial Statue. The 11-foot-tall statue has been called “lumpy” by some, but the real reason you’re here is for the scenery. You can’t argue he was left with a rather spectacular view of the city he embraced.

    If you are feeling hunger pains, don’t worry. You’ll be eating soon.

    Today I recommend a walk down Penn Avenue in the Strip District (the Strip). This neighborhood is home to some of the best restaurants and ethnic markets Pittsburgh has to offer. But don’t be foolish, and sit down to a big meal. The day is about grazing on an endless variety of tasty offerings. There’s no shame in sharing either. You’ll want to begin around 11 am to have enough time to do the Strip justice.

    Start at the S&D Polish Deli and work your way toward downtown. If you’re not a borscht fan, you will be before you leave the Polish Deli. I traveled all over Poland and Ukraine, sampling the delicious beet soup in its motherland, so I have a good reference point. S&D’s offering holds its own. If you try it and you don’t like it, at least you’ll know you tried some of the best.

    From 11 am until 3 pm, take in the Strip. Slowly make your way through the area, sampling food and checking out shops. If you’re in the market for some Steelers, Pirates, or Penguins gear, you won’t be disappointed at the number of stores.

    The area has some of Pittsburgh’s best people-watching as it’s always bustling on the weekend. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to grab a drink and watch the world pass by.

    Some of my favorite stops:

    S&D Polish Deli – Borscht, pierogis, haluszki and more. For dining in, there’s a window toward the back of the store. Immigrants from Poland came to Pittsburgh to work in the steel mills in the 1800s, so there is an affinity for Polish food in the city, and S&D does it right.  

    Lucy’s – This sandwich cart sits next to Bar Marco and serves the best banh mi sandwiches I’ve had outside of Vietnam. Get here early, because when Lucy runs out, she runs out.

    The BeerHive – If you want to hang out with some locals and you’re in the mood for a cold beverage, you can’t go wrong with the BeerHive. There are usually a dozen beers on tap, many local, and the staff is always friendly.

    Colangelo’s Bakery & Café – Everything is fantastic at Colangelo’s. If you’re in Pittsburgh, you have to try beans & greens. The Colangelo version is different than the standard version you’ll find at Italian restaurants across the city, but they’re still excellent. The café also serves the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted.

    Pennsylvania Macaroni Company – Affectionately called Penn Mac by locals, this is the place to go for Italian groceries and more. To your left, as you walk through the front door, is a deli which can be a mob scene, but don’t let that scare you away. If you like cheese, you’ll be in heaven, and don’t be shy about sampling. Also, if you’re in the mood for dessert, there is a large selection of Italian favorites.  

    Roland’s Seafood Grill and Iron Landing – a.k.a. simply Roland’s, has the best people-watching location in the Strip. There are approximately 30 tables on the sidewalk and the balcony above. I can’t vouch for the menu here as I’m usually taking a food break, but it’s always full of happy-looking eaters. There are dozens of beers on tap, and the restaurant has a full bar.

    Wine Library in the PA Market – If you prefer wine, or it’s a boiling hot day, and you’re looking for coolness, the Wine Library is an excellent place to relax. The brick walls, wood floors, and comfortable couches make you feel like you’ve entered a friend’s living room – a wealthy friend. Try a charcuterie board and pair it with a flight of wine. 

    Edgars Best Tacos – Edgar’s is the most challenging restaurant to find in Pittsburgh. It is continuously on the move, but a loyal fanbase follows wherever it goes. And for good reason, because Edgars has incredible street tacos and more. Make sure you save some room for this stop. I’m drooling as I write this.  

    Wholey’s Market – Wholey’s has been around for over a hundred years and is the place to go in Pittsburgh for seafood. The market is usually hopping, and it’s an interesting place to visit, even if you’re stuffed to the gills at this point. However, Andy’s Sushi at Wholey’s should not be missed if you’re still going strong. Just follow the long line of people and wait your turn. You’ll be happy you did.

    Also, if you’re looking for something to take home, dozens of quirky stores in the Strip sell local items you won’t find anywhere else. There are even some non-food places!

    At 3 pm, it’s time to get educated. You’ll have two hours to explore one of three museums, depending on your interests.

    Senator John Heinz History Center – 250 years of Pittsburgh history is under one roof. This museum is my favorite of the three, but I’m partial to history. As luck would have it, or good planning, it’s located in the Strip and should be an easy walk for you. If you want a better understanding of the city you’re visiting, you’ll find it here.

    Pittsburgh Warhol Museum
    Pittsburgh Warhol Museum

    The Andy Warhol Museum – Art lovers, and especially fans of Andy Warhol, should grab a ride to the North Side. You’ll find the largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to a single artist. Immerse yourself into the world of Warhol as you admire his paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and movies. You’ll not only come away with a better understanding of his work but of his life as well.

    Carnegie Science Center – The most visited museum in Pittsburgh is ideal if you have children, but even if you don’t, you’ll be able to keep busy. Highlights are the Buhl Planetarium and the Miniature Railroad & Village. I’m not sure what it is about miniature railroads, but I often find them fascinating. Apparently, I’m not the only one, as this diorama has been around for 50 years. The trains are surrounded by a miniature depiction of 1880 to 1930 Western Pennsylvania, which adds character to the display.

    Each one of these museums is going to kick you out at 5 pm, but that’s ok because it’s time for dinner! In case you haven’t noticed, I like food. You’ll want to gussy up a little for tonight, but business casual will do as Pittsburgh still embraces its blue-collar past and rarely demands you dress up for dinner.

    Make your way to the Monongahela Incline, which has been around since 1870. You’ll be treated to phenomenal views of the city as you make your way to the top of Mount Washington. Actually, this entire evening is about taking in the city of Pittsburgh from a magnificent vantage point.

    This area, overlooking the city, was a prime source of coal when the incline was built and was named Coal Hill. I’m guessing Mount Washington sounded better in travel brochures, so the name was changed.

    Exit the incline station and take a right. You have about a mile to walk until your next destination, but you’ll be enjoying panoramic views of the city the entire way. There are several viewing platforms you will pass for a closer look.

    Keep an eye out for the Duquesne Incline, which will be on your right. If you are interested in the workings of an incline, head inside and take a peek. You’ll get a view of the machinery that powers the car to the top of the hill. Also of note are pictures of the Pittsburgh flood of 1936. It is a stark reminder downtown sits between two powerful rivers. The flood caused billions of dollars in damage (in today’s dollars) and killed 45 people. The pictures of the event are striking.

    A handful of restaurants sit at the top of Mount Washington and offer impressive views of the city. My favorite by far is Altius. It’s hard for me to adequately describe their cuisine, so I won’t, but here’s their menu. If you are unable to get reservations, or you’d like to reduce your bill a touch by sampling apps, the restaurant has a fantastic bar with the same great view. Service is outstanding wherever you sit. I always start with the charcuterie and branch off from there.

    The desserts are certainly worthy at Altius, but you may need some time to walk off your dinner, and I have another location for you to visit. Exit Altius, take a right and walk to the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto. You’ll take an elevator to the restaurant and then walk down one floor to the bar. I almost hate to give this secret away as the bar is typically used only by guests waiting to eat dinner, so it is rarely packed. You should be able to find a table in front of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a nighttime Pittsburgh.

    Pittsburgh at Night
    Pittsburgh at night

    The bar is a wonderful place to grab a mixed drink or glass of wine. Also, if you’re a chocolate lover, I highly recommend the Chocolate Latte dessert. It’s not coffee but a flourless chocolate cake made to resemble a latte. This cake is in my top 5 desserts of all time.

    If you are lucky enough to be in Pittsburgh during a firework display, and trust me, there are many; the Monterey Bay Fish Grotto Bar offers a unique viewing experience. Have you ever seen fireworks from above? This is your opportunity to see the show from a spectacular vantage point, high above the city.

    Day 3

    It’s getaway day, and I’m sure you have important things to do back home. However, consider dropping by DeLuca’s Diner in the Strip if you need some nourishment for the road.

    “Home of the best breakfast in town,” DeLuca’s has been around since 1950. The line out front that extends down the sidewalk doesn’t lie. It’s a Pittsburgh institution and extremely popular on the weekends, but if you arrive early enough, you should be able to get in quickly.

    There’s no need for me to make suggestions on what to order at DeLuca’s. Scan the menu, and rest assured whatever you order will be incredible and probably enough to feed two. After your meal, push away from the table, roll out into the street, and head home knowing you crushed Pittsburgh.

    Finances

    I hear you – “Sounds great, but what’s it going to cost me?”

    I’m all about budgeting and finances, so I’ve done my best to estimate prices and the most likely expenses you’ll have. A weekend in Pittsburgh, as outlined, will cost you about $1,200 for two people. If you eliminate the most expensive dining options, you should be able to spend closer to $1,000.

    Lodging $338 $338
    Food & Beverage 518 343
    Food Tour 97 97
    Pirates Tickets 60 60
    Pittsburgh Swag 90 90
    Museum 40 40
    Uber/Lyft/Taxi 55 55
    Incline 5 5
    Parking 26 26
         
    Total $1,229 $1,054

    Your mileage may vary depending on the weekend, if you really like to eat (hand raised), and your transportation expenses before arriving in the city. 

    If you’ve never considered visiting Pittsburgh, it’s time to right the wrong. I’m not a native but after 16+ years I’ve grown to love the city and all it has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!


    Your questions about planning for retirement and travel answered. Where to go? What to do? How to plan it? How to afford it?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.

    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

     

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

    The Uncommon Path – March 3rd Edition

    Ukraine

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • The travel app you must have on your phone
    • How much does it cost to travel the world?
    • The most significant U.S. tax breaks ranked by revenue
    • The best Asian countries to retire in

    …and more!


    To My Clients
    The events in Ukraine have been a reminder of how blessed I am. How I am able to do what I love with people I genuinely care about. And to live in a country where I have the freedom to do so. 

    I tried to find an inspirational quote on travel and the goodness in people — but just couldn’t find the right one. I downloaded an engaging study on geopolitical events and how the market has reacted historically but it didn’t seem right. Instead, some thoughts below.
     
    Your Portfolios
    History shows that major political events tend to have a short-lived effect on markets, and your portfolios are constructed for the long term. I know it’s never easy to stay the course when headlines are grim and your investments are heading south, but it is almost always the best course of action. If you’re still concerned that recent events could hurt you financially, please refer to this market correction checklist. 
     
    Ukraine
    I had the privilege of visiting Ukraine in 2008. Even though the country had gained independence in 1991, it still had a Soviet Union feel. There was a single expensive, government-run hotel in Kyiv, people outside the service industry were hesitant to talk to strangers, and the United Colors of Benetton window display featured seven mannequins wearing shades of black and grey.
     
    However, the people were friendly (once they warmed up to you) and entrepreneurial. We rented privately-owned homes well before I knew what Airbnb was. As a child of the cold war, it was fascinating to visit a country emerging from it.
     
    When you travel, it’s the people who stick with you. It’s who you remember and why we travel in the first place. It saddens me to think of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the people in danger on both sides, who are powerless to stop a dictator run amok.
     
    The small positive emerging from the invasion is the outpouring of support from the international community. Hopefully, countries with similar hostile intentions will think twice before acting on them in the future.
     
    Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

    Safe Travels,

    David


    Travel

    How much does it cost to travel the world? Find out from someone who’s done it.

    If there’s one travel app I refuse to live without, it’s Hopper. It often has the lowest prices on flights and hotels. I’ve found customer service to be helpful. And the app will track your selected flights/hotels alerting you when prices change.

    Book your summer vacations now! They’re not going to get any cheaper.


    Retirement

    The most significant U.S. tax breaks ranked by revenue. I’m a sucker for a good infographic, and this one is great!

    The people, the sights, the smells, the food – Asia is hard to describe. It’s one of those places where walking out of the airport slaps you in the face with a sensory overload. If you’ve ever thought about retiring there, here’s a list of top countries and why they make sense. 


    Pittsburgh

    I updated my travel guide to Pittsburgh. Here’s the best way to spend two days in the city. 


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • Exactly what you need to do to get a refund on Southwest when the price of your ticket drops
    • Why you should avoid buy now, pay later offers – my Wall Street Journal quote
    • If you’re over 50 and feel behind on your retirement savings I wrote this article for you 
    • Non-stop flights out of Pittsburgh are coming back and here’s the list

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
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    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    Buy Now, Pay Later – Quoted in the Wall Street Journal

    The Wall Street Journal

    More travel companies are offering buy-now, pay-later deals for their flights, cruises and vacation packages. For consumers, the most important details to know are the interest rate and fine print before agreeing to the deal.

    Buy-now, pay-later for travel is a type of layaway plan. Consumers basically take out a loan to go on their trip and then make small payments over months or even years. This allows them to go on their trips and continue to make payments after they return.

    To finish this article and see my quote please visit the Wall Street Journal.

     

    The Uncommon Path – February 17th Edition

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • Exactly what you need to do to get a refund on Southwest when the price of your ticket drops
    • Why you should avoid buy now, pay later offers – my Wall Street Journal quote
    • If you’re over 50 and feel behind on your retirement savings I wrote this article for you 
    • Non-stop flights out of Pittsburgh are coming back and here’s the list

    …and more!


    I put together four paragraphs about the festive winter holidays that have already passed and how we are in the depths of winter. It was starting to depress me, so I scrapped it. My point – I’m looking forward to warmer weather, tropical vacations, and an umbrella drink. The picture above was taken in Cuba, a spot I visited with Lori just a few years ago. It’s a professional picture taken by a photographer that is much more skilled than myself. Thumb-free!

    Safe Travels,

    David


    Travel

    When the price of your flight drops, you can get a refund for the difference if you’re flying on Southwest. This article shows you how to do it.

    Buy now, pay later offers are turning up all over the travel space. I weigh in with a quote in the Wall Street Journal. Spoiler – don’t take on high-interest debt to go on vacation.

    Travel Insurance 101 – What it is, how it works, and who needs it? All condensed in a quick-to-read tweetstorm.


    Retirement

    Over half of Baby Boomers and Gen X feel that they are behind in saving for retirement. I wrote this article to help you catch up – “Is It Too Late to Save for Retirement in Your 50s?”


    Investing

    Should you pay off your debt or invest for the future? It depends…


    Pittsburgh

    Non-stop flights out of Pittsburgh are coming back. Here’s a list.


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • January was a bad month for the market. Should you sit tight or make changes?
    • How much does it cost to go to Disney World?
    • Putting your investments in the proper account can make a big tax difference
    • Pittsburgh welcomes the Moonshot Museum in 2022

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.


    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

     

     

    Is It Too Late to Save for Retirement in Your 50s?

    9 of the best ways to jumpstart your savings.

    American workers are struggling to prop up their retirement savings. A recent Bankrate survey reports that 60% of Generation X and 56% of Baby Boomers feel behind.

    If only time travel existed, we could visit our younger selves, break out an overhead projector, and dazzle with a presentation on compound returns and the importance of starting retirement savings early.

    Is it too late to save for retirement in your 50s? No, and here are 9 of the best ways to catch up if you’re behind.

    Contribute to Tax-Favored Accounts

    “…in this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” – Ben Franklin

    Taxes will be one of the most significant expenses in your lifetime. Avoiding taxes when you can will help grow your retirement savings tremendously. Take advantage of retirement plans offered at work, such as a 401k or 403b, and contribute to individual accounts like an IRA when possible.

    The rules on retirement account eligibility are confusing and specific to your situation, but the answers can be found online. Or by walking through a flowchart like those listed below.

    It is often advantageous to invest in a Roth account (401k or IRA) if you believe you’ll be in a higher tax bracket in the future. You pay taxes on contributions now and can pull money out in retirement tax-free. If, however, you believe that your tax rate will be lower in the future, a traditional 401k or IRA might be a better option.

    Take into consideration how much money you expect to make in future years and if you think the government will raise or lower tax rates. All else being equal, I’d err on the side of paying taxes now as it’s nice to get them out of the way, and it’s not hard to imagine higher tax rates down the road.

    Flowcharts:

    Make Catch-Up Contributions

    A wonderful thing happens when you turn 50, no not reading glasses, catch-up contributions! However, according to Vanguard, even though 97% of retirement plans they oversee offer catch-up contributions, only 15% of plan participants take advantage. This is a missed opportunity.

    In 2022, participants can make catch-up contributions of $6,500 in plans such as 401ks and $1,000 in IRAs. Adding extra money to these tax-favored plans as you’re nearing retirement is a fantastic way to move the saving’s needle.

    Don’t wait until your 50th birthday to start catch-up contributions. You’re eligible on January 1st of the year you will turn 50, so there’s no reason to wait.

    Contribute to an HSA

    A health savings account (HSA) may be available if you have a high-deductible health care plan. The account allows you to save money for a significant list of HSA-eligible expenses. The beauty of this account is its triple-tax-free status. You won’t pay taxes on contributions, investment growth, or when funds are spent.

    Did someone say investment growth? HSA accounts allow you to invest contributions. Unfortunately, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 7-9% of participants held something other than cash. Additionally, 60% of account holders withdrew funds during the nine-year study.

    I often see HSAs misused, but it’s easy to fix. Here’s how to use an HSA to extract the most value.

    In 2022 contribution limits for self-only HSA coverage are $3,650 and $7,300 for a family plan. You should be making these maximum contributions, if at all possible. Your first retirement savings should be to your company retirement plan up to the match. Your second contribution should be to your HSA, and max it out if you can.

    Invest the money you put into your HSA like any other retirement account. Only hold cash if you’re going to need the HSA funds soon. Optimally, you’ll want to leave your HSA alone until after you turn 65. Paying medical expenses out of pocket before age 65 will allow this tax-free account to grow more quickly.  

    When you reach 65, you can withdraw HSA funds for any reason, medical or not. If you spend HSA money on something other than a medical expense, it will be treated as an IRA withdrawal and taxed. If you stick to medical expenses, withdrawals will be tax-free.

    Catch-up contributions can be made once you turn 55. That’s an extra $1,000 in 2022.

    It’s hard to stress how powerful a triple-tax-free account is in your retirement savings arsenal. But you must use it optimally to extract the greatest benefit by investing contributions, letting it grow untouched until at least age 65, and maxing out contributions each year.

    Invest Your Raise

    The good news for 2022 is the average salary in the U.S. will increase 3.4%, according to a recent WTW survey. Inflation may come into play, reducing your spending power, but this is still a fantastic opportunity to put away more money. Try not to spend the extra money in each paycheck and contribute to one of the tax-favored accounts discussed earlier.

    Invest Your Bonus

    It’s tempting to sit around in late December and earmark your end-of-year bonus. A new swimming pool? A European vacation? Don’t do it. Or, if you must, try spending only a quarter or half of your newfound stash. Invest the remainder. The average bonus in 2021 was 11% for exempt employees in the U.S., per research by Zippia. Investing your bonus can be a significant boost to your nest egg, and investing most, if not all, of your bonus can be a painless way to jump-start your savings.  

    Get a Second Job

    Today’s robust economy presents many opportunities for a second job. There are few ways better to inject significant funds into your retirement savings than working more hours in the week.

    Not only can you increase your income, but you can follow pursuits that might have very little to do with your day job and more to do with beloved hobbies. A second job can also be a great way to transition to retirement. Not everyone wants to lay on a beach when they retire, and if you’d like to spend your time working in a different field, here’s a great way to test it out.

    Eliminate High-Interest Debt

    Not all debt is harmful, but when it has a double-digit interest rate, such as a credit card, pay it off as quickly as possible. Lower interest rate debt, within reason, is perfectly acceptable and can be paid off at a more leisurely pace. I would include mortgage debt, school, and car loans in the less-of-a-concern bucket, assuming they carry interest rates in the single digits.

    Invest the money saved on interest payments for retirement. Interest can be a negative or a positive, depending on which side of it you’re on. By paying off debt and investing, you’ll make interest work for you.   

    Reduce Costs

    Nothing is worse than paying for things you don’t use or need. If you review your credit card statements each year, you’ll likely discover services you’re no longer using.

    Is your home bigger than it needs to be? Once children have moved out, you might find yourself in a house with more space than you need. How about other big-ticket items such as cars? Do they still meet your needs, or could you get away with one less car? Is the auto you own designed to carry around the whole family? Maybe a smaller, less-expensive car now suits your needs?

    I specialize in working with people who love to travel, and this is an area ripe for saving money. Consider shorter trips, stay closer to home, and travel during the slow season.

    You can trim these large expenditures, and the money saved can be used for retirement. Don’t go overboard by cutting too deeply, but aggressively eliminate unnecessary costs in your life.                

    Move

    Moving to save money for retirement may seem drastic, but it can contribute to your savings dramatically. I already mentioned moving into a smaller, less expensive home if you don’t need the space. Savings from downsizing may include a lower overall cost of the home, lower taxes, and lower utility bills.

    There are also many ways to reduce expenses by moving to a different location. Lower tax rates stand out as a compelling way to save more money. Among the taxes that you might be able to lower are state/local income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. It may not take a move across the country to reduce your tax bill, sometimes a move across town or into a new county can have a big effect.  

    It’s Not Too Late to Start Saving

    If you feel you’re behind in saving for retirement, it’s not too late to take action! By using some of the 9 suggestions outlined above, you can aggressively make up lost ground. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish!  


    Your questions about planning for retirement and travel answered. Where to go? What to do? How to plan it? How to afford it?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.

    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

     

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.

    The Uncommon Path – February 3rd Edition

    Burj Khalifa

    The Uncommon Path

    Plan Wisely | Retire Well | Travel on Your Terms


    In this issue…
    • January was a bad month for the market. Should you sit tight or make changes?
    • How much does it cost to go to Disney World?
    • Putting your investments in the proper account can make a big tax difference
    • Pittsburgh welcomes the Moonshot Museum in 2022

    …and more!


    (Pictured above: Luxury travel operator Unforgettable Travel determined the number one post-pandemic, bucket-list destination is Burj Khalifa in Dubai. See the article below for the complete list.)


    I do not like heights. I consider myself pretty rational, but the fear of heights is my one true phobia. As an example, I refused to walk across the glass floor at the top of the CN Tower in Toronto regardless of how many elephants I was told it could support. 

    So how can I explain why I’m also intrigued by the view from very high places? My fear of heights didn’t keep me from walking along the Cliffs of Moher or running off the side of a mountain to hang-glide in Brazil. I also tend to visit the highest building in most of the cities I visit.

    So why would I jump at the chance to visit the Burj Khalifa Observation Deck on the 148th floor of the tallest building in the world? I guess when the view is worthwhile, I can overcome irrational fear. Or I’m so ready to travel internationally that I’d walk across a long glass floor to get there. 

    Safe Travels,

    David


    Travel

    You’re not alone in your desire to travel. Here’s a list of the top-10 “bucket list” destinations travelers want to visit post-pandemic. The article also lists the top-10 for each continent.

    Something excites me about being on a boat where the view is 360 degrees of water. Maybe it’s the adventure (in an admittedly controlled setting) or contemplating the voyage my Italian ancestors made from Europe over a hundred years ago. Here are the pros and cons of a transatlantic cruise.

    How much does it cost to go to Disney 2022? It’s not cheap, but the kids (and some adults) just might find it’s worth every penny.


    Retirement

    What should you do when the market drops 10% in a month? As a financial advisor, it’s easy to tell clients to sit tight during market corrections and plan for the long-term, but sometimes it’s more complicated than that. Here’s a great checklist that walks you through the important questions to be asked. Maybe changes to your portfolio or plan should be made?

    There’s nothing worse than retiring overseas to a place where you feel unwelcome and just don’t fit in. Worry no more! Here’s an article that features 5 places to retire where it’s easy to fit in.


    Investing

    A good reminder that asset location is important to avoid a tax bomb. However, taxes are only part of the equation. It’s important to mention how advantageous it is to have high-growth investments in a tax-efficient account if you have a long time horizon.


    Pittsburgh

    16 restaurant & brewery openings coming in 2022.

    If you’re a space junky like me, you’ll be excited to hear a new museum is opening in Pittsburgh in 2022. The Moonshot Museum will exhibit actual spacecraft, flight simulators, and a ton of moon-centric displays.


    Did you miss the last issue of The Uncommon Path? If so, you have a second chance to catch up on:

    • 14 credit cards that have 100k sign-up bonuses
    • Exactly how much are those points/miles worth? Every major program’s value
    • Solving the 70-year-old case of who turned in Anne Frank’s family
    • A 2022 Market Outlook by Goldman Sachs

    Prefer to receive my newsletter in your inbox?

    You’ll not only be signed up for my newsletter which is published twice a month, but you’ll also get a PDF that shows you exactly what a comprehensive retirement plan for people who love to travel is all about. Thanks for reading!

     

     
     
  • *Privacy policy: your email address is safe, and you will never receive SPAM.


    Financial Advisor David Tuzzolino

    David Tuzzolino, CFA, CFP®, is the Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial, a firm that specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services for clients that are nearing retirement and love to travel.