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From The Nest


September Edition 2018

Children and Grandchildren Edition

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to talk about money early and often. We want to inspire and empower you to instill essential money skills, to help pave their road to financial freedom.

This edition focuses on covering a range of topics including Child Identity Theft, Monetary Gifts, Tax Law Changes concerning 529 Accounts and most importantly, helpful Money Lessons to share with younger generations.

Our process, The EPPIC Method: 5 Steps to Be More Healthy, Wealthy and Wise™ will give you the tools you need for you and your children to have an EPPIC™ financial future.


Author: Sharon Grinestaff, AIF®, CRPC®

There is no greater warrior than a parent/grandparent protecting their child. You would go to the ends of the earth to shelter them from harm.

One important area that is overlooked is protecting their child’s identity. Criminals have realized stealing children’s social security numbers and establishing credit in their name goes undetected for a longer period of time. This is why it has become the fastest growing type of identity theft.

September 1st was Child Identity Theft Awareness Day. 

We want to bring your attention to a simple action you can take to protectively protect your child. We have streamlined the process for you to lock the door to your child’s credit report by placing a security freeze at all FOUR credit bureaus.

Download our "Identity Theft Protection Packet for Minors” 

And don’t forget to take your identity off the grid. Take our financial boot camp "Protecting Your Identity In a Virtual World".



Author: Sharon Grinestaff, AIF®, CRPC®

Did you know, one of the keys to happiness is gratitude?

Grateful people report higher levels of happiness and optimism, lower levels of depression and stress, and are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

Teens report having more friends, higher grades and less behavioral problems in school.

By learning gratitude, children become sensitive to the feelings of others, developing compassion and selflessness.

For most of us, gratitude is a learned behavior mostly developed in childhood, taught by the example of the adults in our lives.

At a young age, I can remember my dad saying that we must always “help those less fortunate than ourselves”. The purpose of this saying was not only to make a difference in the life of another but to gain perspective and self-awareness, to be grateful for the life I was given.

Now, I am hoping to instill the same values in my children.

Teaching age appropriate charitable giving of money, things and time is key to your child’s future happiness.

Share this video with your kids and grandkids to spark the conversation to help them Be More Healthy, Wealthy and Wise™!

When applying the 1st “P” of The EPPIC Method™, Planning, we help you rethinking the source of annual donations, re-titling assets, and changing beneficiaries to be more tax-efficient.In our community, we provide educational seminars.

Another way we give back to our community is by providing educational seminars to non-profit organizations. Let us know if you are involved with an organization that can benefit from our expertise on Qualified Charitable Distributions. 

Paying less to Uncle Sam, allows individuals to give more to your favorite charities!


Did you know criminals are waiting for the 1 year “free credit monitoring” Equifax provided as a peace offering to expire before they set out on a rampage by only using 3 pieces of your information: your name, date of birth and Social Security number to open fraudulent accounts?

Would you leave your front door unlocked or leave it unlocked with an alarm system set? That is what you are doing if you have not placed a freeze at all FOUR credit bureaus.

Since 2015, Sharon has remained dedicated to helping you not become a victim.

Since this time last year…

๐Ÿ”ธAll the information you need to know about protecting your identity is now on our website.

๐Ÿ”ธYou must place a security freeze at all FOUR credit bureaus!

๐Ÿ”ธYou must place a freeze at Chexsystems to prevent the opening of bank accounts in your name.

๐Ÿ”ธYou now have access to our Financial Bootcamp consisting of a Podcast and Guided webinar where Sharon actively walks you through completing the steps you must take to “Protect Your Identity In a Virtual World"

๐Ÿ”ธYou must freeze the 4 credit reports for your children. We have created an “Identity Theft Protection Packet for Minors” to streamline this process.

๐Ÿ”ธThe best things in life are free! Smiling, laughing, sleeping and the elimination of paying pointless fees! As of September 21st, 2018, there will no longer be a fee to place a security freeze at any of the 4 credit bureaus, no matter what state you live in!

Freezing your credit is the #1 way to prevent becoming a victim of account opening fraud.

It is Economically Socially Responsible™ for you to place a freeze because the cost of fraud increases the price of everything you buy. 

Don't just hold your breath and cross your fingers that it won’t happen to you. Do something about it and follow our steps!


                         Author: Sharon Grinestaff, AIF®, CRPC®

What do you do when your child receives monetary gifts?

My mom just found this letter my grandmother saved.

It is funny to see my 8-year-old self, writing about accumulating savings, confirming to me that saving has always been a part of my life and that saving habits taught early on are likely to continue into adulthood.

The habit of saving monetary gifts still exists in my life today. Every birthday check to every dollar we received as a wedding gift were viewed as unexpected dollars. They were given as a present to keep, not spend. All were and will be deposited into savings, available for an emergency or to save for a larger purchase.

You can instill this savings habit to your children/grandchildren by following these first financial steps:
๐Ÿ’ฒOpen a custodial savings account (an account in your name for the benefit of the child). 
๐Ÿ’ฒDeposit all checks (and cash!) gifts the infant/child receives for holidays and special occasions. 
๐Ÿ’ฒOnce $1,000 is saved, open an investment account to purchase stocks. The investment account will also be used as a teaching tool as they grow.
๐Ÿ’ฒWhen the child is around 4 or 5 years old, begin making a big deal about adding the gifts to their savings account and show them how their balance grows with each deposit. They will begin to comprehend the ownership of a monetary asset. The hope is to create a feeling of satisfaction by saving rather than spending to buy another “thing”.
๐Ÿ’ฒAlways include the person who gave the gift in the savings process. They are always happy to know there is a message going along with the gift and that it is a gift that keeps on giving…a lesson from my Mom, as I’m sure she was the one who encouraged me to write this thank you letter to my grandmother and great-grandmother. Thanks Mom!
๐Ÿ’ฒOnce the child begins to earn money from chores and then a summer job, encourage the Spend, Save, Share Method.

Being a parent is expensive, do not add your savings to a child’s custodial account!

One common mistake we see is parents saving for their kids before securing their own financial future. Typically, adding money to a child’s custodial account is not the most efficient use of your dollars.This is the child’s account and they should be the one adding to it with gifts and earned income.

Give your child an EPPIC™ financial start. Don’t delay, start today! Create this essential savings habit to help your kids and grandkids grow up to Be More Healthy, Wealthy and Wise™!


Author: Sharon Grinestaff, AIF®, CRPC®                            

What is your biggest fear right now?

What is currently keeping you up at night?

Your fears reveal what you care about most. They tend to change as you enter different stages of life. Most of your fears are about what the future holds.

With my daughter’s recent 6th birthday, and our Kid Focused September, I was reminded of the fears I had when entering parenthood.

There were personal fears. How will I create a family/work life balance? Will it change my relationship with my husband, with my friends? And of course, every woman’s fear, will my body ever be the same again?

There were money fears. Can we afford the additional expenses such as formula, diapers and childcare? Will I continue to work full time, part time or stay at home. How much Life Insurance and what type do we need? Will our emergency fund suffer, and will I still be able to build my retirement nest egg?

What helped me was applying what I call The EPPIC Method™. First, I Evaluated each area from many different angles. Then I determined a Plan. No, not everything can be planned. You must also find ways to Protect your plan. I Invested time, energy and money. And the most important piece, you must have someone that cares about you who is there to Coach you when things aren’t going according to plan.

Having a process, and someone by your side, allows you to slow down so you can focus on finding a solution. Most importantly, it gives you confidence about your future, reducing your stress and anxiety.

To help conquer your fears, we have a gift for you! You can learn how to apply this method by enrolling in The EPPIC Challenge™ 5 steps to Be More Healthy, Wealthy and Wise™.

And since childcare is one of the biggest fears facing many new parents here are a few tips:

๐Ÿ”ธSet up a Nanny Share, find a local family in your area with similar childcare needs.
๐Ÿ”ธAsk your provider for a sibling discount
๐Ÿ”ธAsk family for help with childcare and split the time with an in home or daycare center
๐Ÿ”ธPrepay for childcare, some centers will provide a discount when you pay upfront
๐Ÿ”ธSet up a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. With a dependent care FSA, you can allocate up to $5,000.00 per year in pre-tax dollars. You need to know that FSA’s operate on a use it or lose it basis.


Author: Sharon Grinestaff, AIF®, CRPC®   

What age should you start talking to your child/grandchild about money? Immediately!

By age 3 most children have a basic concept of money and by age 7 many of their money habits are already set!

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to talk about money early and often. We want to inspire and empower you to instill essential money skills, to help pave their road to financial freedom.

Each Financial Friday Viv-e-o is for you to share with the children in your life. Show them this video to spark the discussion! Ask them what they think and how they can apply this new knowledge to their own money. Most importantly, have them repeat the saying they learned!

A great way to instill the essential habit of saving money is by teaching them the Save, Spend, Share Method.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

๐ŸฆSave. When paying a child for chores, you want to create a “pay yourself first” habit and immediately put 50% of their earnings in their bank account. This teaches them to create an emergency fund and set aside money to buy large ticket items in the future.

๐Ÿ’ธSpend. They are free to spend 40% of their money, but you should also teach them how to spend wisely. Make them think of things they need rather than allowing them to impulse buy. Also, encourage them to set this money aside in a hidden place in their room where they can pool their “spend money” to buy something of better quality.

๐ŸŽShare. Money is also meant to be shared. 10% is an appropriate amount to allocate to charity or to buy a friend or relative a present. Again, they can “pool” this money to make a larger donation or to save to buy that special gift for someone.

Sayings become our inner voice and we believe and abide by them! These sayings aren’t just good for kids they are great for your inner dialogue too!

Help your child/grandchild create EPPIC™ wealth skills by continuing to share Vivi’s videos and sayings with them!


Client Centered

Studies show children who know they have a college savings account, no matter the amount of money saved, are almost 7 times more likely to attend college!

Why? It gives the child a belief they have a future.

529 Savings accounts can be confusing and the new tax law seems to have muddied the waters even more.

As of 1/1/2018 you can withdrawal up to $10,000/year from a child’s 529 account to pay for tuition of private, public or religious elementary, middle and high school. While this seems like a benefit, it can be detrimental to your college savings.

Typically, using funds from a 529 to pay for elementary, middle or high school is not the best solution for most families. Depositing and withdrawing funds from a 529 for private K-12 tuition should be used as a safety valve or for more advanced financial planning.

Why? Your investment time frame is shorter. 

  • You are taking risk with money that will be invested for a shorter period of time and cannot withstand fluctuations in value. 
  • You are cutting your nose off to spite your face. The benefit of the 529 is tax-free growth for a longer timeframe. By withdrawing these funds early, you are missing out on the benefit of tax-free growth.

Create an EPPIC™ future for your child, learn how to apply The EPPIC Method™ to help make the most efficient education funding decisions for your child/grandchild.

Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.