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Financial Elements' Insights

Latest news, updates and helpful advice

Check here regularly for Brenda's thoughts and insights on a variety of topics related to personal finance and investments.
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Teaching Children About Money

Do you give your children an allowance? Do they have chores to do to earn it or is it just so they can have their own money to budget and spend? Just as with any parenting issue, there are so many ideas surrounding this. I have two children; almost grown at this point and they have earned an allowance from a very young age. I have also been careful to model thoughtful financial behavior. When they were young, I was very cognizant of going to the ATM. Would they think that money just came out of that magic machine?

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Assisting parents with their finances

Are you struggling with how to help an aging parent? Sometimes the changes are subtle. A forgotten conversation, less attention to detail, struggling with an everyday task – who hasn’t walked into a room and forgotten why they came? It can be difficult to recognize and know when to truly worry and step in with our aging parents. With the holidays still fresh in your minds, you may have seen some warning signs that it’s time to assist a family member.

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Lessons for the Next Crisis

Capital markets have rewarded investors over the long term, and having an investment approach you can stick with—especially during tough times—may better prepare you for the next crisis and its aftermath.

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Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits

Did you participate in the healthcare marketplace but did not sign up for premium credits? Perhaps you were unsure of your income and preferred to receive a refund at tax time rather than an unpleasant bill.

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Finding Your “Comfort-level” Spending Zone

I often hear client stories that go something like this… I got my first job when I was 12. I had a paper route and rode my bike in the wee hours of the morning to deliver the papers to the neighborhood. My parents were very frugal and insisted that I start saving some of my small wages. And so from that day forward, I have been a saver. I’ve had my ups and downs…

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