Michael A. Berardi
Financial Services Professional, offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, A Licensed Insurance Agency and New York Life Company
Agent, New York Life Insurance Company
PGCGP Member since 2022
What responsibilities do you have in your current role?
I help individuals and business owners plan for their futures using insurance and investments to reach their financial goals.
How is your work connected to gift planning?
For many people, they want to leave a legacy, sometimes not just to their family but to institutions that they’re grateful for – like their alma mater, a hospital that has helped them, a special cause. I learned very early on in my career that if you want to be remembered, leave something behind.
What part of your job do you find most enjoyable?
It’s not really a job because I love what I do. In my 23 years at New York Life I’ve never felt like it was just a job. Most importantly, I help people. Sometimes, unfortunately, that’s paying a death claim. Sometimes it’s seeing my clients’ goals come to fruition; I’m starting to see clients take money out of a college savings plan they started with me 20 years ago to help their children pay for college.
What concerns are you hearing from clients at this point in time?
So much uncertainty in the world with the economy, the safety of our children, the political divide in this country; some big lines in the sand being drawn right now and it’s scary. I’m getting contacted by clients right now worried about inflation and economy. Certainly, regarding the economy, clients are concerned about investments so depending on where they are at in their lives, we’ll make adjustments.
How do you see planned gifts making a difference to charitable organizations?
It’s the bloodline of these organizations. Unfortunately, so many people want that instant gratification, both the institutions receiving the gifts and the people helping. If we don’t continue with the legacy planning, five or ten or fifteen years from now these organizations won’t be able to provide the services they’re providing now. People think that donors have to leave multi-million dollar bequests, but the reality is it’s the little gifts coming in consistently that keep these organizations going.
How do you benefit from your PGCGP membership?
I became involved after filling in for a scheduled speaker who couldn’t attend a PGCGP event last year and was asked to join the council. I felt I could really wrap my arms around the organization, like it was meant to be.
My business doesn’t afford a lot of instant gratification because it’s long-term strategies to put in place. I’m just now seeing some things that were put into place 20 years ago. For me to fill in that gap, to feel like I’m doing that good, I enjoy volunteering to get that instant gratification, which makes a difference on these sorts of committees. I bring what I know of my business to educate (PGCGP) members on ways to help maximize gifts from their donors and leverage their gifts a little bit better. I can be a great resource by also bringing the knowledge and resources of New York Life’s advance planning team1.
1As an Agent of New York Life, I have exclusive access to the Advanced Planning Group - a premier planning team at New York Life Insurance Company with experience in law, accounting, insurance and business planning. My access to these resources allows me to bring experience, value and insight to assist you with your business and estate planning needs. Neither New York Life nor we provide legal or tax advice.