I suggest that you look into PaintShop Pro Ultimate (PSP) from Corel as an alternative to Photoshop Elements (PE). Each has it strengths and weaknesses, but most people find PSP a bit easier to work with for dealing with photos.
PSP comes in 2 versions: basic PSP and Ultimate. The PSP program of each is the same. The Ultimate versions include third-party programs such as Perfect Effects from On1 or FaceFilter from Reallusion, and "Creative Content" add-ons such as artistic effects.
PSP has reached the stage of development where you don't need the latest version--the differences from one version to the next are minor. For non-advanced users and general photo retouching, any version from around X5 through the current X9 will work pretty much the same and can do all the same things. If you check on-line you can find non-current versions for around $35-50.
All the Ultimate add-ons are specific to that particular version. In other words, X5 might include Perfect Effects but not FaceFilter and X6 might include FaceFilter but not Perfect Effects. Generally (but not always) the add-on installer will only work if that PSP version is already installed.
However, once the installer has run, the PSP version doesn't need to still be on the computer. So, for instance, you install X5 and add-ons A, B and C. Then you get X7 that comes with A, D and E. Most of the add-ons install as plug-ins, meaning they can run from within PSP. You can copy the plug-ins from one version's plug-ins folder to another and they will work in the target folder. So that means that to use add-ons from X3, X4, X5, etc., in X7 you don't need to keep every version installed. Many PSP users put all their plug-ins in a separate folder and just point to that folder in Preferences > File Locations.
Regarding third-party software that installs as standalone programs rather than plug-ins (e.g., FaceFilter), once their installer is run the PSP version can be uninstalled.
If you do get PSP, you'll want to install both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions (assuming you are running 64-bit Windows). Most older plug-ins, e.g., KPT Filters, are only available in 32-bit versions and many newer plug-ins are only available in 64-bit versions.
Also, most plug-ins designed for Photoshop will also run in PSP.
===== CAUTION =====
There is one caution about using both PS/PE and PSP on the same image (because each has its strengths). This does not apply to single-layer images such as GIF, JPG and PNG.
If you get into non-beginner processing, you'll want to learn to use layers. Layers let you work on parts without changing things in other layers. So, for instance, you take a color image and put a grayscale layer on top of it. The end result will look black and white--but the actual color image will be unchanged. (Actually, you would use a "hue/saturation" layer but that's a whole other discussion.)
The only image format that supports layers and which both PS/PE and PSP can process is Adobe's .psd format.
Here's the caution: The Adobe and Corel programs recognize each other's layers but often won't process them. So, using the above example, if you take a color image and add a grayscale layer in PSP, save the image as .psd and open it in PS or PE, the Adobe program will show there is a grayscale layer--but the overall image will still look color. The problem can occur in either direction--sometimes PSP won't process a PS/PE layer. If you're going to go back and forth, don't spend an hour editing in one program and then check it in the other program--you might find out none of those changes will have any effect.