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5 Key Questions for Family Caregivers

In a recent article by Kelli B. Grant at CNBC, an estimated 43.5 million American adults work as unpaid caregivers; most are age 50 and above.

It used to be that large families pulled together resources to care for parents and grandparents, but with today’s smaller families, the care is spread among fewer children. Yes, we face a situation today of fewer caregivers for a growing population of the elderly!

$5,500 is the average out of pocket expense for caregivers, but a TD Ameritrade survey puts the annual support figure closer to $13,000 to help mom and $8,500 for dad.

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Packing List for Emergency Evacuations

If you only had 15 minutes to prepare for an emergency, an evacuation box could spare you from panicking and possibly save lives.

A number of years ago, my wife and I had to take emergency cover from a tornado headed our way. We had little time to react so Ann rushed around grabbing everything she thought was important to preserve. I remember being in the tornado shelter and Ann holding our checkbook and our wedding pictures. 

Tyra, at PreparednessMama.com, assembled a list of items you should store in an easy to carry, covered container. Regardless of whether you ever need it for an emergency, you will have it organized for other purposes.

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Have you had the (money) talk with your kids?

Many families struggle with when to let their children in on their
conversations about money. Or how to approach their parents in the desire to help or rest in the knowledge they have prepared financially.

My advice? The earlier, the better.

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Making New Year’s Resolutions You can Keep

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 30.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

I’m closing out my year, thinking of goals for 2017. Do you think it’s a biblical idea to make resolutions? And if so, do you have any advice on how to make resolutions that I can actually keep?

Ready For Change.

Dear Ready,

Yes, I think resolutions can be supported by Scripture and are an excellent idea! For the past two years, my personal resolution has been to drink water only (plain or sparkling) in order to eliminate much of my sugar intake. Eliminating coffee, tea, juice and sodas has saved me money and helped me to be more disciplined in maintaining my health. By God’s grace, I have been able to keep my resolution, so I definitely have some advice for you!

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Thou Shalt Not Steal … Music included!

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 16.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

I’ve been trying to talk to my children about Christian values and ethics. In the Bible, Jesus always brings simple truth into complicated situations, and I am trying to teach my kids to do the same. My kids and I have had some very interesting conversations about “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” which really covers more than just robbing a bank. What are some ways that people steal that I can discuss with my family to better illustrate the point?

A Parent Looking for some Parables

Dear Parent,

Thanks for the question! Bringing the scripture to life in everyday situations is one of a parent’s most important roles in the life of a child, according to Deuteronomy 11.

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Why do families experience more problems during economic downturns?

The truth is… they don’t. They simply suffer more symptoms. With rare exception, the problems they experience began years earlier, perhaps even in childhood.

Many of the symptoms we see today such as business failures, bankruptcies, divorce, multi-job families, etc. stem from ignoring God’s Word. Parents who fail to instill basic values in their children, or model a life of mishandling money, actually teach false attitudes about money. For example:

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Do you know what craze made Nintendo stock soar recently?

Pokemon Go has captured the attention of gamers around the world. It is based on Augmented Reality (AR) computer-generated images and sounds that overlay the real world.

And, people are literally falling for this fantasy-driven craze!

According to an article at The New Yorker, Pokémon Go involves trying to “catch” Pikachu or Squirtle or other creatures with smartphones. What makes this game unique is that it uses a phone’s location services and camera so that people can supposedly catch Pokémon in real life.

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Are you a hovering overprotective parent wondering how much you need to do for your own children?

The current controversies over whether it is okay to be a helicopter parent or not involve misunderstanding the need to adapt and adjust strategies as children grow up. To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, for everything there is a season … a time to closely supervise, standing ready to rescue our children and a time to allow your kids to figure out a few things on their own.

Young children need some hovering for their safety, and to learn the basics of life. According to the Bible, the best way to teach your children the truth about the world is to talk with them as you spend time together. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses tells the young nation of Israel that parents are responsible for passing on the most important lessons: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength … Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

But as parents we also need to relax and trust God. Trying to raise perfect children is an impossible goal and protecting our children from any type of failure prevents them from learning important lessons.

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Is Graduating Debt-free from College Even Possible?

Chuck Bentley on 6/3/16 9:00 AM

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Originally posted at Christian Post June 3, 2016.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My husband and I are more concerned everyday about how we are going to help our children get through college without burying themselves in debt. It’s starting to be similar to the costs of buying a house! What can we do to help our kids graduate with as little debt as possible?

Frugal Folks

Dear Frugal,

I share your concern! Forbes reports that the projected costs of a 4-year degree from an elite college can run as high as $334,000 … and that’s assuming the kids make it out in 4 years! Strategies exist for cutting those costs if you really work at it. Not long ago, my wife and I proudly watched one of our sons graduate from the University of Georgia – debt free. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is possible.

As I wrote in this column last week, before you make an investment in a college education, take some steps to be sure that you are in a field of study that is suited to your unique and God-given design. Too many students increase the costs of their educations by switching their majors and adding years to their schooling. Borderzine.com reports, "About 80 percent of students in the United States end up changing their major at least once, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. On average, college students change their major at least three times over the course of their college career."

Time is money, when it comes to a degree. And time spent effectively in the high school years, can save thousands of dollars in college tuition fees.

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Can you afford to let your teenager get their driver’s license?

Ann and I have 4 boys. Three have passed the monumental age of 16 without getting their coveted driver's license.

Yes, my wife and I delayed this process due to concerns for their safety with teen crash rates soaring higher than any other age group. But there is also a financial consideration.

Did you know that the average premium will increase by 80% when you add a teenager to your existing policy?  That’s one of the reasons that our boys don’t get full privileges to drive until they are 18. Popular? No, but it has worked well in our family, teaching our boys lessons of patience, contentment and responsibility.

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