What’s New

Why SSG? What’s a Custodian, anyway?

What’s a custodian? That’s the Fort Knox for your money. They safeguard it, they do reports (including tax reporting), and they’re who you write the checks out to. They provide some sort of software for you to access your account, too. For many years I worked with clients who had […]

coin-graph

security-1536691_960_720

What’s new in the cutting edge world of Identity Theft

Over the week-end I’ve been reading up on how to handle the credit agency breach. Identity theft overall is becoming more and more of a problem, so I don’t mean to diminish this breach as an issue, but I think this is a bit over-hyped. My experience with fraudulently filed […]


Financial Literacy for Young Adults

A client asked me if I had any financial literacy suggestions for teenagers. It kicked off a reading festival! Here are my notes. Years ago I read Suze Orman’s Young Fabulous and Broke and I was underwhelmed. She seems to think that everyone is as clueless as she was and needs to […]

cfpnetcover

Man buried in paperwork and bills. All you see of him are his hands waving a surrender flag. White background with clipping path.

How long do you need to keep that document?

“How long should I keep paperwork around for?” 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 […]


March 12, 2017 (updated Sept. 26, 2017)

I’m on the road a lot when it’s not tax season for two reasons: continuing education and family vacations.  In 2017 I’m scheduled to go to:

  • AICPA Engage Conference in Las Vegas June 10-14
  • Alliance of Comprehensive Planners Annual Conference in San Antonio November 8-11
  • Western New England University Tax Institute – Wednesday November 11
  • At least 40 hours of tax updates on various days to be scheduled in the Fall, dates TBD

We also have family vacations:

  • Each April I take two week’s of vacation (one week-day for each week I worked without a day off in tax season) the moment tax season ends and am back by May 1st.
  • In late June I’ll go camping in Michigan with my dad – no cell service whatsoever there! This is a re-occurring trip: this year it’s scheduled for June 14-June 20th, so, yes, I’m flying straight from Las Vegas to a rural campsite. Packing will be challenging for this trip.
  • At some point each summer I’ll spend a week at Peaks Island – that time I’ll have my laptop and answer emails each day.  This year I’m tentatively scheduled to be there July 7-15.
  • Sammy will be heading off to college this year. I’ll probably take some time during the week around August 23st-August 30th to get him set up and delivered to college. I’ll be around all September, though, contemplating what the words “empty nest” means, and finishing extensions due October 15th.
  • Because I usually host Thanksgiving, I don’t work the Wednesday or Friday then, but I do work the week between Christmas and New Year for urgent last minute planning purposes.
  • There’s a trip planned from December 4th  to 12th to London. Helping my clients reach their goals has inspired me with some of the YOLO spirit, too!

I also generally post what I’m up to on Facebook, too.


Seeking Seasonal Tax Assistant

Are you interested in working for Tea & Taxes during a tax season? Every year we hire at least one, and sometimes two seasonal tax assistants. Duties include: Secretarial work: Answering phones, taking messages Fielding emails Scanning and filing Data entry into tax software Office supply upkeep Scheduling Client reception […]


The Human Finance Project

A funny thing happened at the NAPFA conference in Phoenix this year. TD Ameritrade is doing a series of short films to promote the Registered Investment Advisor model (as opposed to the sales rep model) for investment advising. They asked if I’d come be interviewed. As is the norm with […]


Subscribe to the Thanksgiving Family Money Letter

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! Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name Last Name


cfpnetcover

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 […]


Some tips on data security

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 […]

security-1536691_960_720

napfa-circle

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 […]


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 […]

1-1204463487cjky

financial-concept-1462524678kfe

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 […]


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 […]

coin-graph

haunted-graveyard-1

In case of death…

Ever wonder what happens to you, as a client, when your financial advisor dies? Even though I am barely 50 as I write this, I actually have given this a lot of thought. Here are the things I’ve done to make sure my clients are taken care of in case […]


Upcoming conferences I’ll be at in 2016

Do you have any financial planning or investment advising questions bugging you? I’ve got two different conferences coming up and want to make sure I use that time wisely by paying attention to what my clients want me to learn. Related to this, heads up that I’m going to be […]


Scheduling Notes for 2016

August 3, 2016   I’m on the road a lot when it’s not tax season for two reasons: continuing education and family vacations.  In 2016 I’m scheduled to go to: National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Conference in Phoenix May 17th to 20th (completed) Alliance of Comprehensive Planners training […]


Did you know that I am more than just a CPA doing a tax prep service?

April 25, 2016 As a Certified Financial Planner™professional, and as someone registered in Massachusetts as an Investment Advisor, I work as a fiduciary comprehensive financial planner for a group of clients who have me on an annual flat-fee retainer as their “financial concierge”. This service includes: retirement planning, estate planning, […]

Print

Legal disclosures

Important Consumer Information All written content on this site is for informational purposes, only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP®, either acting as Firm Principal for Tea & Taxes Company or doing business as ProsperiTea Planning. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representation […]


cfpnetcover

Bond ladders for a prudent pantry

I’ve talked in the past about the benefits of off-loading risk to an insurance company to create a pension in retirement.  When certain cash flow becomes a higher priority than investment growth, I’ve considered single premium immediate annuities (SPIAs) to do the job. Another idea is a bond ladder.  It’s […]


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 […]

tax_practice

Print

The retainer-based financial planning model

A fee-only fiduciary certified financial planner is someone who is a financial professional. “Fiduciary” means “putting your interests ahead of my own. Not equal to, but ahead. I have to act as a trustworthy agent for you. It’s the professional standard that you should insist on, but most people never even realize […]


Alliance of Comprehensive Planners

It’s been hard to find my path as a fiduciary, fee-only financial professional.  There are so many sales agents out there that people automatically think I’m just another one.  How can they tell, when financial credentials are so thick on the ground?  I’ve heard some really ridiculous ones.  But a […]

ACPMemberBadge

River the Tea & Taxes dog

Needed to finish your return?

We do a really good job of leaving ourselves notes in our practice.  If you don’t remember what it is we were waiting for to finish your return during tax season you can call the office at (413) 829-4832 and ask the seasonal tax assistant to go read to you what’s on […]


What to bring to your first appointment with Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP®

You’ve just signed up for a consultation with a financial professional.  What do you need to bring? It depends a bit on what you’re hoping to get out of the meeting.  Let’s break it into three cases and you can skip to the section you think fits your situation: Financial planning […]

Print

Insurance for workers

When I was in my early twenties a grad student at my University drowned. He left behind a widow and a small child and no life insurance. They had been living in University housing and his new widow was left homeless. When we had children I made sure my husband […]

falldown

Winter Stream by Robert Grant

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 – […]


“Save Your Retirement”: a book review

The hook for this book by Frank Armstrong III and Paul Brown is in the subtitle.  Notice it’s not “Save FOR your retirement”.  It’s “Save Your Retirement: What do Do if You haven’t Save Enough or If Your Investments Were Devastated” is a book of distilled wisdom compiled by a […]

00-Monhegan_Dawn

Logo

Thanksgiving Family Money Letter – 2013

2013 Year-End Tax Planning and Financial Wellness 2013 Thanksgiving Family Money letter   PublicFriendsFriends except AcquaintancesOnly MeCustomClose FriendsFamilySee all lists…Greenfield, Massachusetts AreaClientsLJKids’ FriendsTea & TaxesLimited ProfileNorth Country Union High SchoolTea & Taxes CompanyJust MeFamilySchooldaysPEOMHC ClubHamMount Holyoke CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAcquaintancesGo Back November 27, 2013     Welcome to my annual […]