Thanksgiving Family Money Letter


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s my annual newsletter filled with tips to talk about with your family over the Thanksgiving table, because money is probably the least stressful topic, right? There are four sections to the newsletter – feel free to skip around between General updates, Tax Tips, Tea T.I.M.E. (Investing news), and Financial Planning Tips. #1: Updates!Tea & Taxes continues to wind down as I make room for more people and more services in ProsperiTea Planning. What […]


Socially Responsible Investing – as seen from a fiduciarily responsible investment advisor

I’ve been taught that investing is something that is best done passively: buy a diversified portfolio that tries to maximize expected return (by asset class) while minimizing overall risk of the portfolio (by having non-correlated assets.) I’ve read books like “The Incredible Shrinking Alpha” and scholarly papers. Both explain that we aren’t going to come up with some bright idea that beats the market through our particular genius, other than by sheer chance. I’ve been […]


What is a HECM?

Anyone who plans to stay in their house into old age should consider getting a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. If you already know you are going to need to tap the equity of your house to make ends meet, read more about the new Reverse Mortgages (renamed HECMs) here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/reverse-… http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/basics-… Conversely, even if your house is paid off, anyone who is implicitly considering their home equity as a source of funds in case of […]


What is my Investment Policy Statement?

All ProsperiTea Planning and Tea T.I.M.E. clients get an Investment Policy Statement (“IPS”) . It establishes what asset allocation we agree is appropriate for the client’s risk tolerance and risk capacity. We create individualized target portfolios that considers what you have already and where you have it, as well as how to get the highest return for the lowest risk. Or, to put it another way, how to have the least risk for the highest […]


How long should you keep paperwork around?

“How long should I keep paperwork before shredding?” I get this question a lot, but it’s not a quick answer. Here’s an article I wrote to help clarify it. Regarding income tax returns: The IRS has 3 years from the time you file to audit a return or the due date, whichever is later, so absolutely keep all the backup materials to your tax return for at least three years. They get 7 years to […]


What is Long-Term Care Insurance?

What is long-term care insurance and does it make sense for you? Long-term care insurance (LTCI) typically picks up the tab for very expensive illnesses that leave you unable to take care of your own “activities of daily living”. You generally need to be unable to care for yourself for quite a while before they’ll step in – a typical elimination period is 90 days. It helps with caregiving for dementia patients, or people who […]


Get on our mailing list

We only do one mailing a year if you aren’t already a client, so this is a pretty low-traffic list to be on! The “Thanksgiving Family Money Letter” comes out on Thanksgiving, filled with tips to share with the family. First Name: Last Name: Email: Phone: City: State/Province: Notes about the inquiry Referral Spouse Updated 11.18.2017


Tips about Savings

Have some emergency money in the house, enough to pay for necessary groceries and medication if the banking system went down and you had to pay cash. You can also think of it as “refugee money.” If you needed to evacuate NOW, how much cash would you want for travel costs to far away family? Gas, hotels, meals on the road? Have that much in small bills and rolled coins.  (We like rolls of dollar […]


Some tips on data security, specifically touching on LastPass and ShareFile.

As you get your finances organized you’re going to wish you had a secure place to keep all your online passwords to websites. There are several on the market, but I personally use a Chrome Extension on my web-browser to an app called “LastPass”. It’s free if you just use it on desktops, and a small subscription cost if you want to use it across mobile devices. https://lastpass.com/ Once you have a strong master password […]


What to Look For in a Financial Professional

Financial services is a young profession and there’s a lot of squabbling going on with regard to what designations are best. There are 100x as many salesmen out there as financial professionals, though, and a bunch of the designations were designed to give them credibility. Quite a lot of the credentials people have can be obtained with a week-end cram course. For tax prep the professionals are CPAs or lawyers, but you have to confirm […]


Uses and Abuses, Tips and Tricks About Debt

Last April, I watched as my eldest son drove out of my driveway in his loaded-down Subaru with a brand-new Thule box on it, headed for Utah with all his possessions loaded in his modern-day Conestoga wagon. As many of you know, a month later he fell off a cliff and received a terrible spinal cord injury. (Happy update: it was a terrible adventure, but thanks to a whole host of blessings, he is nearly […]


Charity

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving this year is designated locally as “Giving Tuesday.” A company called Razoo has figured out how to gamify giving. I don’t want to stop anyone from playing if they’re so inclined. Far be it from me to tell you social media has no redeeming qualities. But there are a lot of different ways to think about charitable giving. First, it’s good for you. There’s a fairly new field of study called […]


My thoughts on 529 College Savings Plans

I’m not in love with 529 plans. I think they are really fabulous in a few settings, but most of the time they’d be my third or fourth choice for ways to save for college. First: when SHOULD you use a 529 plan? When you’re trying to create a trust fund on the cheap. If a grandparent or aunt or family friend wants to give money towards a child’s education but doesn’t want it to […]


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter – 2015

  Happy Thanksgiving! The biggest payoff comes from being good at things that are absolutely under our control. That’s the lesson I’ve learned studying economics, finance, and investment theory. That includes saving for goals, being a judicious consumer, and maintaining your relationships, your health, and your emotional wellness. One of my new gurus, Bert Whitehead, wrote a book called Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction. He says not to put too […]


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter – 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for your business this year!  You’ve been a big part in helping a Main Street business succeed. We’ve been working with the Franklin County Community Development Corp to add more services – and more jobs – to Tea & Taxes Company. We appreciate your continued support – and your feedback! Please enjoy this newsletter and the sections below, and pass them along if you wish. Think of the Financial Wellness Checklist as […]


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter – 2013

2013 Year-End Tax Planning and Financial Wellness 2013 Thanksgiving Family Money letter   November 27, 2013   Welcome to my annual Thanksgiving Family Money letter! I’m attaching the nicely formatted PDF of the letter to an email, but also including the actual text inline here, in case you don’t like to open attachments or spam filters got the email.  (It’s just more readable as a PDF, I think.) I’ve recently completed several continuing education courses, […]