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Table Talk


College Bribery: A Weak Signal from the Future?

Anxiety is woven into the college application process for families across the economic spectrum. American parents spend almost half a billion dollars each year on independent education consultants, not counting the cost of test prep or flights and hotels for campus visits. The college application process triggers family aspirations—and fears. And given the lottery-like scale of the competition (Princeton admitted 1,9
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Kids, Families, and the Soundscape of Anger: What We Can Do

From Second Hand Smoke…Throughout the 60s my brother and I endured endless hours of misery in the smoke-filled backseat of the family car. No amount of complaining alleviated the fog of smoke we sat in. I suspect our complaints were experienced as the ungrateful whining of children who didn’t appreciate those Sunday afternoon rides meant to ‘entertain’ us. In fairness it wasn’t until the 80s the public started to res
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The Financial Perils – and Creative Possibilities – of Summer Boredom

Keeping children (3-15) entertained over long summer breaks is the bane of parents. As one reminded me recently, it’s not just the challenge of keeping boredom at bay; it’s doing it in a way that isn’t a non-stop spending spree.   “I can afford to do things for my kids,” a parent mentioned recently. “But I don’t want them to equate spending money with having fun. Whether it’s paying for parking and admission to
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One Family’s Response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Shooting

By Joline Godfrey Maybe it was just one disaster too many. It had been a harrowing six weeks: 12-year-old Isabelle Kim evacuated with her family as the Thomas Fire encircled her home in Ojai, Ca. in early December. Then, on Jan. 9 mudslides in Montecito, Ca. killed 21 people, closed Rte. 101 and Isabelle chose to take a ferry over rough ocean waters to get to her school. But Isabelle is strong and resilient and she w
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Elvis Presley’s Tears

As Lisa Marie Presley’s tale of financial loss hit the tabloids this week, I imagined Elvis looking down from the great beyond, tears in his eyes, crooning about all that work, all those songs, all the commercial nonsense he put up with over the years to give his family financial security (OK, so that wasn’t the only reason he did all those things). And after all that, his daughter blew it all. Celebrity riches
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About The Unexpected Table

Joline Reflects, Then Reinvents Joline Godfrey is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Unexpected Table, a real and virtual gathering place for exploring issues of thriving families in the midst of accelerating change. She is an   innovator in financial education and well being for families. After Independent Means was acquired in 2015, Godfrey was reflecting on her what her her future might include when fri
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What Does it Take for a 21st Century Family to Thrive?

I subscribe to Universe Today, a cool NASA blog which brings weak signals from the future across my radar every day. And not long ago, this headline caught my attention: I WONDER IF IT HAS ROOM SERVICE? HERE’S THE SPACE HOTEL THAT WON A RECENT NASA COMPETITION. It’s about a competition MIT ran challenging students to design “a luxury Earth-facing eight-room space hotel complete with bar, restaurant, and gym, th
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Fly Fishing and Financial Education; An Update.

Almost every family that crosses my path has heard my fishing and financial education story. It was such an epiphany (and wild coincidence) that I share it often. But I have an important update. As I use to tell it families tended to break into one of two camps: either you were a family who applied the fly fishing metaphor to money and kids; or you were other kind, the family that thought there was just one way for a
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