Merlino & Gonzalez June 2018

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June 2018





A Tribute to My Dad With Father’s Day coming up in June, I felt it only right to use this month’s newsletter to pay tribute to my father, Al. He taught me about the value of hard work and the importance of family. To this day, at the fit and fighting age of 93,

My dad was also quite the pool player. We had a table in the house, and he took great pride in teaching us all how to play. On the weekends, we kids would play each other in pool for chores. In every game, there would be a different chore at stake. As you can probably guess, the competition between us was less than friendly. When a hot streak left you with a free afternoon, everyone wanted to win. As he’s grown older, Dad has taken to the role of grandfather and great grandfather seamlessly. Last year, we got to attend two weddings, where he definitely enjoyed his status as the elder statesman of the family. He danced, enjoyed a glass of wine or two, and sat in his chair with a cigar in his mouth and a mile-wide grin. Having the ability to create great memories with him for so long is something that I never take for granted. When I became a father myself, I couldn’t help but emulate the great qualities of my dad. I strive to be an example of hard work, commitment to family, and responsibility. To do that, I think it helps to mix in plenty of fun. When my boys were little, I remember eating breakfast with them every day, always trying to make them laugh so hard they spit out their milk. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a father like I have, so I want to close by expressing my sincerest gratitude to my dad. It’s no exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his influence. I can only hope that one day my sons will feel the same about me.

he continues to be an inspiration. I probably can’t adequately express just how how much he means to me, but I’m going to give it my best shot. As a father of five, my dad had to work a lot. My mom stayed at home and raised the kids, so Dad’s duty was to make sure we had enough to live comfortably. I think hard-working fathers fall under one of two categories. They either work at all hours to escape their home life or devote themselves to doing everything they can to support it. Luckily, my dad is definitely a member of the latter group. Even when his schedule was packed, and it often was, he always made time for us. For nearly forty years, he worked at the historic Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan. The club was home to the Heisman Trophy, and I still remember Dad taking us to see it up close. Whenever a famous athlete crossed his path, he was sure to ask for an autograph to bring home for us. He’s a die-hard boxing fan, so he made particularly certain that no fighter walked those halls without signing something for us. He brought home souvenirs from legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, and even Muhammad Ali. In my eyes, though, it was Dad who deserved the title of “The Greatest.”



3 Fathers Who Risked It All for Their Kids 3 AWESOME DADS

2 without a liver transplant. Luckily, his father was a perfect match, and he eagerly donated part of his liver in March of 2015 to save his son’s life.

GREG ALEXANDER BATTLED A BEAR FOR HIS SON’S LIFE. While camping in the backcountry of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Greg Alexander was startled awake at dawn by the screams of his 16-year-old son, Gabriel. He rushed out of his hammock to see a black bear dragging his son away by the head. Without hesitation, he kicked the beast in the side, and when that didn’t work, he leapt onto its back and started punching it in the face. When the bear finally released Gabriel, Greg threw rocks until it fled. His son was hurt, but made a full recovery in the hospital over the coming weeks. ARTUR MAGOMEDOV SAVED HIS DAUGHTERS FROM ISIS. Artur Magomedov was devastated to discover that his wife had taken his 3- and 10-year-old daughters from their home in Dagestan under the cover of night, flown to Turkey, and crossed into Syria to join ISIS. But he resolved to get his kids back. After a long, hazardous journey, he arrived in Tabqa to embrace his two daughters. To leave the caliphate — under penalty of death — they hitched a ride to the border one night and crawled along a railway line until they were within 70 meters of the border. Then they ran under fire from Turkish border guards until they could scramble into tall grasses. After some help from the Russian consulate in Istanbul, they made it back home, together again and safe.

T his Father’s Day, thousands of dads will receive a  “No. 1 Dad” mug to sip coffee out of at the office. But the following dads took that “No. 1” to a new level. BRIAN MUNN GAVE HIS SON A LIVER TRANSPLANT. When doctors discovered that baby Caleb Munn had a rare disease called biliary atresia, they told his parents that he was unlikely to survive past age

WANT TO WORK PAST 65? Why There’s Nothing Wrong With Semi-Retirement

There’s no one way to approach retirement. For some folks, the idea of working beyond age 65 sounds like a nightmare. But for an increasing number of Americans, working into their later years is something to look forward to. Many people look at an empty calendar with anxiety rather than excitement. Instead of quitting work altogether, they opt for a part-time job or freelance work. This growing trend even has a name. It’s called semi-retirement. The nice thing about working into your later years is that you can approach employment on your own terms. If you want to continue working full-time because you love your job, nobody is stopping you. Maybe you want to work 10 hours per week. Perhaps you want to pursue a passion and make a little extra money with it. Let’s say you’ve always enjoyed making jewelry or furniture but haven’t had time to pursue it. Services like Etsy make it easier than ever before to sell your wares to a wide audience. Elongating your working years has an obvious financial benefit. A study from the Stanford Center on Longevity found that those who delay retirement until age 70 can see up to a 34 percent

increase in retirement income. The study does recommend that you gradually reduce working hours after age 65 so that you can devote some time to family and leisure activities. The benefits of working a few more years aren’t just monetary. The National Institute on Aging found that people who work past 65 increase their lifespan. Their research found two main reasons

for this increase: economic stability and social activity. For many people, work is mentally stimulating and rewarding. Retirement, after all, is about doing what you’ve always wanted. Who’s to say that can’t include work? No matter what retirement looks like for you, it’s important to include estate planning. The team and Merlino & Gonzalez can help you make the most of the best years of your life.


Estate Planning Protects Your Loved Ones


You already know that thorough estate planning can preserve your wishes, protect your assets, and provide for your heirs. Obviously, you want to leave a legacy that your children and grandchildren can be proud of, but what about your pets? Animals can be nearly as integral a part of the family as people. If you’re a pet lover, you want to be clear that your four-legged friends will be protected in the event that something happens to you. You may think that including your pets in your will is enough to ensure their safety and security. Sadly, that’s not the case. Pets are considered assets in the eyes of the law, so they can end up just being treated like a piece of property. Having your prized possessions sit in probate for a year is a headache, but the same fate can be much worse for your critters. They could end up in a shelter, living a life you never intended for them. Luckily, the laws in all 50 states now allow pet lovers to include decisions regarding their furry family members as part of their estate plan.

There are three important considerations when it comes to estate planning for your pets. The most crucial is designating a caregiver in your documents. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. You want to be certain that your designee is willing and able to care for your pets for the remainder of their life. It might be okay to surprise somebody with a set of china, but you don’t want to do the same with your beloved German shepherd. You should also set aside funds to provide for your pet. Calculate how long your pets will live, and leave enough money so that they are taken care of. It’s also a good idea to include a little compensation for your designated caregiver. It’s not required, but it’s a nice way to express your gratitude. Along with funds, you should create a care plan, including a feeding schedule, contact information for your vet, and any other relevant instructions.

As animal lovers ourselves, the team at Merlino & Gonzalez will help ensure that your pets live their best lives.


take a break

This Father’s Day, spice up your wings with this zesty recipe that’s sure to please the whole family.


• 4 pounds chicken wings • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened • 1 1/4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste • 1/4 cup honey • 1/4 cup soy sauce • 1 lime, halved

• Extra-virgin olive oil • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • Chopped cilantro for garnish 3. Blend butter, red curry paste, honey, and soy sauce in a large mixing bowl. 4. Toss wings in butter mixture. Squeeze lime juice on top, transfer to serving plate, and garnish with cilantro.


1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Rinse wings under cold water and pat dry. Season liberally

with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast on a baking sheet for 25 minutes or until skin becomes crisp and brown.



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314




A Father Worth Admiring 3 Fathers Who Risked It All for Their Kids The Benefits of Working Past 65 Estate Planning for Pets Father’s Day Chili Lime Chicken Wings Cut Down on Flight Costs With This Simple Rule

THE BEST TIME TO BOOK A FLIGHT Save Big on Airfare With This Simple Rule

down an average of 71 times, about $33 each shift. When you purchase your flight is nearly as important as where you’re going. But how do you choose a booking window that will maximize your savings? According to the study, in which they evaluated 921 million airfares, the best time to book is 21–105 days in advance of your flight, on average. If you want to get even more specific, try to book 55–75 days out, and book on a Sunday. Many travelers swear by Tuesday and Wednesday bookings, but as Condé Nast Traveler reports, Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corporation say that Sunday is the way to go, based on data from billions of flights. Tuesday and Wednesday are usually the cheapest days to actually fly, though. The study also pinpoints the absolute best windows for specific seasons: 54 days for winter trips, 75 days for spring, 76 days for summer, and 45 days for fall. Of course, these are averages, but if you stick to these rules and check fares regularly on sites like Kayak. com,,, and on the handy app Hopper, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting close to the best price possible.

In case you haven’t noticed, traveling is expensive . It can feel like you’re signing away your soul when you sit down to plan a vacation. But when it comes to flights, there’s good news: They’re getting cheaper! According to a 2017 report published by online travel company ODIGEO, long-distance trips across Europe fell 7 percent last year. Luckily, the same trend is reflected in North American airlines as they engage in a price war to woo a growing base of ultrafrugal travelers. Still, a $600 summer flight to Honolulu isn’t exactly pocket change. What’s worse, flight prices are slippery;’s 2017 Annual Airfare Study determined that the fares for any given trip go up or 4

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