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Family Economics News - February 2008

The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) works with land-grant university partners and others to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities through national program leadership and Federal assistance. Among the Agency’s goals is to support increased economic opportunities and quality of life in rural areas. Family economics aligns with this goal by focusing on how individuals and families obtain and use resources such as money, time, human capital, material resources, and community services; by exploring the relationship between individuals and families and the larger economy; and by studying the impact of public issues, policies, and programs on family economic well-being.

Research/Program Evaluation

  • Does Financial Education Make a Difference?
  • Cost of Caregiving Doubles Prior Estimates


  • President Announces Commission on Financial Literacy
  • New on eXtension: National Launch
  • America Saves Week: February 24–March 2, 2008
  • Social Marketing Basics


  • Indian Reservations by State and Tribe/Recognized Tribes/Map of Reservations   
  • Tax Credit Outreach Kit
  • Savings During Tax Time
  • Launch of New Federal Reserve Consumer Help Site 
  • Direct Marketing Association Free Online Service 


  • Call for Papers:
    • Journal of Consumer Affairs 
    • Journal of Consumer Affairs: Special 2009 Issue
    • Journal of Personal Finance 
    • Financial Counseling and Planning
    • The Journal of Youth Development
    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues 
    • The Journal of Consumer Education
    • Financial Services Review
    • 2009 Federal Reserve System Community Affairs Research Conference
    • Academy of Financial Services 
    • 2008 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education Conference
  • Funding:
    • Grants.gov
    • Regional Risk Management Education
    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation
    • National Endowment for Financial Education®
    • MMI Education Foundation
    • NRI Request for Applications
    • International Science and Education Competitive Grants Program
    • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • Foundation for Financial Literacy



“At the end of the day, does financial education make a difference?” This is the question Angela Lyons posed in a recent program evaluation session for Jump$tart partners. Lyons focused on six areas: setting the stage for program “success”; creating your “toolkit” for the evaluation process; putting it all together; an overview of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE) Financial Education and Program Evaluation toolkit; barriers and challenges to building a successful program; and reporting program impact. Visit the Jump$tart Web site, and click on “downloads” to view Lyons’ full PowerPoint presentation, as well as the “Program Evaluation Road Map” and reading list.

The out-of-pocket cost of caring for an aging parent or spouse averages $5,531 a year, according to the nation's first in-depth study of such expenses.  That sum is more than double previous estimates and more than the average American household spends each year on health care and entertainment combined.  In November 2007, the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) released its study "The Evercare Study of Family Caregivers - What They Spend, What They Sacrifice." The Evercare/NAC study found that as many as 17 million people, or 51 percent of the 34 million that a 2004 NAC/AARP survey found care for a loved one 50 years or older, are spending on average more than 10 percent of their annual income on caregiving expenses.  The Evercare/NAC Study also showed that the most common expenses were household goods, food, and meals.  One-third of the respondents said that they have dipped into their own savings to help with care. Visit the NAC Web site to learn more.


President George W. Bush on January 22 signed an executive order that established the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy within the U.S. Department of Treasury. According to the executive order, the council will “help keep America competitive and assist the American people in understanding and addressing financial matters...” The council, representing the private and non-private sectors, will complement work of the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC), which is composed of 20 federal agencies and established through federal law. CSREES, the federal partner in the Land-grant University and Cooperative Extension Systems, is an active part of FLEC. Click to view the video of the President’s announcement.

eXtension will launch on February 21, 2008, at USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, DC. During this rollout celebration, the Personal Finance Community of Practice (COP) will be recognized along with 15 other COPs. The acting Secretary of Agriculture and other USDA and CSREES officials have been invited to “cut the ribbon” and “open the door” to eXtension. There will be media events, and COP leaders will staff exhibits and brief attendees on eXtension. The leadership team for the personal finance section of eXtension will offer two briefings—reaching farm and ranch families, and the Frequently Asked Questions function. Debra Pankow, North Dakota State University, leads the team, which is co-chaired by Nancy Porter, Clemson University. Others are Judy Branch, University of Vermont; Megan O’Neil-Haight, University of Maryland; Sharon Seiling, Ohio State University; and Erik Anderson, University of Idaho. The COP is advised by Jane Schuchardt, CSREES, and Linda Kirk Fox, Washington State University, and is composed of nearly 200 extension professionals from across the nation.     

America Saves is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups help individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, America Saves assists those who wish to pay down their debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement. This year America Saves Week is February 24–March 2, 2008. The primary focus of America Saves Week is to encourage Financial Action—commitments to save, invest, and build wealth. The CSREES Financial Security program is only one of many partners contributing to America Saves Week 2008, and offers many resources in its toolkit, including a press release for use in your community.

More than 100 Extension educators from 43 states learned about social marketing basics at the 2007 Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) Extension Pre-conference held November 13–14 in Tampa, FL. The workshop was called “Using Social Marketing to Build on Extension’s Strengths” and led by Dena Wise, University of Tennessee, and Jane Schuchardt, CSREES. Participants considered how upstream (societal level) and downstream (individual level) approaches work together to achieve consumer behavior change. Participants learned how to go far beyond the usual characteristics of age, sex, race, income, and geographic location for targeting audiences, along with quantifying the value added through partnerships. Concepts were applied to four key consumer and family economic issues—building assets, managing consumer credit, maximizing tax credits, and fighting fraud. Group discussion was facilitated by Steven Ayers, Kathy Sweedler, and Susan Taylor, University of Illinois; Cole Ehmke, University of Wyoming; Marsha Goetting, Montana State University; Liz Gorham, South Dakota State University; Suzann Knight and Kathe Fredette, University of New Hampshire; Joanne Bankston, Kentucky State University; and Bob Flashman, University of Kentucky. Visit the University of Tennessee Extension Web site to view social marketing handouts and the workshop slides.


Montana State University Extension has developed 14 fact sheets that explain many of the probate sections of the American Indian Probate Reform Act.  News articles and PowerPoint slides are also available. The Federal-Aid Policy guide provides a list of Indian reservations by state (it lists by tribe and state).  Click on the links for a list of all recognized tribes and a map of the reservations in the lower 48 states.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) now has the 2008 Tax Credit Outreach Campaign Kit available. This resource provides all you need for a successful campaign to promote federal tax credits, especially the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit. In addition to exploring six key elements of an effective outreach campaign, the kit contains full-color posters, flyers, fact sheets, a full stock of outreach strategies and examples of where they are being used successfully, and a guide to finding even more information on the CBPP Tax Credit Outreach Campaign website.

For help promoting savings during tax season, the Consumer Federation of America and America Saves, have developed form8888.org. The site includes marketing tools using the theme “Saving Money is Now as Easy as Pie.”  

Help for consumers who experience problems with banks or other financial institutions is now easily accessible. Federal Reserve Consumer Help is a new resource that consolidates and streamlines the Federal Reserve’s consumer complaint and inquiry program. Helpful customer service professionals are available to answer questions and assist with a wide range of issues relating to financial products and services and consumer protection laws.  Consumers may now dial a toll-free phone number, 888-851-1920, or visit a new Web portal to access consumer information and to lodge a complaint. Visit the Federal Reserve Web site to view the press release.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced plans to enhance DMAChoice with the latest evolution of DMA’s Mail Preference Service. DMA will also remove the $1 online verification fee to help consumers decide what catalogs end up in their mailbox. The $1 charge had been an integral part of the MPS validation process. For the first time, DMA will allow consumers to opt-out of mailing lists by individual brands, online and free of charge, by utilizing DMAChoice. In addition, consumers will also be able to select the catalogs they do wish to receive.





  • CSREES Contact: Jane Schuchardt, National Program Leader, CSREES-USDA

  • eXtension (pronounced ee-eXtension) Financial Security for All provides reliable, research-based, and up-to-date financial and consumer information, including learning lessons, fact sheets, and unbiased peer-reviewed answers to frequently asked questions. Consumers can access eXtension 24/7/365 on any Internet-ready device.
    Contact: Debra Pankow, family economics specialist, North Dakota State University, or go to eXtension.org and click on Personal Finance.

  • National Initiative "Financial Security in Later Life" Contact: Nancy M. Porter, Family Resource Management Specialist, Clemson University

  • Financial Literacy for Youth Contact: Erica Tobe, Program Leader for Youth Financial Literacy & Housing and Michigan State University Extension

Back issues of Family Economics News
are available.

To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Jim Terry, Program Analyst, CSREES-USDA.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on t05/05/2010, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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