A Note From Brenda
Thank you for your interest in Financial Elements. I’m proud of what I do every day to help improve the financial lives of my clients and am honored by the trust and confidence that they have placed in me. Please look around and get to know my firm and my services, and if you have a minute, read this page. I have a passion for what I do and hope that comes through to you. The way I do financial planning is personal and attentive. I want to get to know you so I can understand and help you achieve your goals. The better I get to know you, the better I can suggest appropriate strategies that can help you manage your day to day financial lives, plan for the future, invest appropriately without fear and panic, and protect what you have built. You’ll probably get to know me a bit during the process as well and we will have some shared experiences and learn from one another. You can read a bit about me in my biography, but since I’ll be asking you to share with me, let me share a bit more about myself and how it relates to how I can help you.
Struggling to save and budget? I’ve been there. I’ve juggled work and motherhood. I’ve built a successful business and lived on one income in the early years. I’ve been through my spouse losing his job. I’ve worked to set aside money in 529’s for my children’s college education. I’ve had huge grocery bills with two growing boys, rapidly increasing property taxes, and twelve-year-old cars. I’ve also helped many people work on their budgets and I know it’s not a one size fits all proposition. Some people love data and tracking, others would rather have a root canal than track every dime they spend. I can work with both kinds of people and we can be successful. No matter what your income, I believe everyone should have some sort of a plan for how they spend their money. It doesn't have to be painful, but it should be thoughtful and be reflective of your priorities.
Travel – Do you love to travel? Do you want to make that a priority in retirement and perhaps before? Me too. I often swap travel stories with my clients. Many years ago, I made travel a priority in my budget. Want to know more? Check out the blog I wrote on the subject here. Watch my Facebook page for some pictures of recent trips.
Overwhelmed by workplace benefit and savings plans? Traditional vs Roth, high deductible health insurance, stock options, pensions... I’ve worked in corporate America previously, am married to someone who has worked for several companies, large and small, and advised hundreds of clients on their benefits. I am fortunate to have the 10,000-foot view of your package and can advise you appropriately.
Investing - I invest in the same funds that I recommend. I see them go up and down in my own accounts just like you do and understand the emotional component to investing. I hope to eliminate or reduce that emotion for you so we can make rational decisions for the long term. We will work on the overall picture and the specifics of implementing various investments.
Starting to think about retiring? Let's talk about what that means to you. We'll talk about your goals and expectations and help determine how to withdraw from your accounts. Can I retire and how do I actually do so are the most common questions. We work through various scenarios and I help you figure out how to systematically withdraw just like you invested for all those years.
Blended families? Aging parents? I get it. It's tough and sometimes you just need someone to walk with you to navigate the tricky financial issues that arise when situations get complicated. Need to help mom and dad, but they aren't ready? I can be a great neutral party and can help gather the information, inventory, consolidate, and plan for the future.
Sometimes we need accountability in our lives, whether we are trying to lose weight, advance our careers, or have a successful financial life – the many years that I have spent in this role, my own life experiences, and the collective wisdom of my many clients allows me to see the big picture clearly and guide you on your own journey. If this sounds like an experience from which you would benefit, give me a call or send a note. I’d be happy to talk to you.
Thanks for reading.