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NPR's Family Matters draws large crowd

NPR's "Family Matters" event drew a large crowd Thursday night to the WNED-TV studio. The session drew nearly 400 people who came to learn more about their personal finances.

Credit Eileen Koteras Elibol/WBFO
(l to r) Michelle Singletary, Louis Barajas and David Greene address financial questions during NPR's Family Matters in the WNED-TV studio.

Lead panelists were NPR Morning Edition host David Greene, Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary and author and finance expert Louis Barajas.

Afterward, some of those in attendance said they felt vindicated on the choices they have made over the years and others regretted their decisions. One attendee, 20-year-old Nashaliyn, says she was looking for advice about the rest of her life.

"Just to always have a plan and definitely don't leave anything to chance. Because if you leave anything to chance, then something might happen and you don't have anything to fall back on," she said.

Listen to Thursday night's NPR Presents: Family Matters from the WNED|WBFO Studios.

Valencia Sease says she believes in the advice she heard from Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary.

"What I really learned is, become conscious. If you're conscious of what you're doing, the you can reign in and you can control your finances," said Sease.

Some in the audience were looking for advice as they begin their careers, while others have retired and were looking for advice on how to handle retirement, travel and help children and and grandchildren. Others cited decisions to go to state schools like UB for lower tuition and talked of decisions to live below their means.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.