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Family Economics News National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA November 2010

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) 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.

NIFA Contact:  Susan Shockey, National Program Leader

Back issues of Family Economics News are available. To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Jim Terry, NIFA program analyst.

Research/Program Evaluation

  • FINRA Foundation Military Financial Capability Survey Released

  • Research Briefs on eXtension



  • eXtension Virtual Conference

  • MoneyWi$e

  • Helpful Personal Finance Articles

  • What is the "New Normal" For You as an Extension Educator?



  • FTC Creates “Teaser” Website to Help Consumers Spot Loan Scams

  • Will You Have Enough to Retire?

  • Making Good Films to Battle Bad Guys

  • Teaching Your Kids About Saving and Investing

  • AARP Releases Two Items of Interest



  • Call for Papers:

    • Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

    • Journal of Financial Therapy

    • Journal of Extension

    • W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets

    • Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal#1

    • Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal #2
  • Funding:


    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • National Endowment for Financial Education

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation



FINRA Foundation Military Financial Capability Survey Released

An article by J. Michael Collins and Collin O'Rourke of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation released a new survey that, for the first time, measures the overall financial capabilities of U.S. military personnel.  The Military Financial Capability Survey-one of three linked surveys that make up the National Financial Capability Study-reveals that military families are heavily in debt to credit card issuers, with more than one in four respondents (27 percent) reporting more than $10,000 in credit card debt. 

However, the survey also found that military families are outpacing their civilian counterparts when it comes to keeping up with monthly expenses, calculating retirement savings needs, shopping around to compare financial products, checking their credit scores and credit reports, and demonstrating higher levels of financial literacy.

Research Briefs on eXtension

The eXtension Financial Security for All Community of Practice (COP) has a cooperative agreement with the NCCC 052 Multistate Family Economics Research Team to publicize research in family and consumer economics that is relevant to users of the COP’s website on eXtension.  Sharon Seiling is the liaison who collects and posts the short summaries of research articles.  Brief summaries of more than 60 studies from 2008-2010 have been posted.  Implications for practitioners, teachers and/or consumers are also included.  Although most journals do not make their articles available to the public via the Web, the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning does allow us to provide direct links to its articles.  The articles are listed in alphabetical order by short title on the FSA main page and by key word topics on the right hand column of the Financial Security for All website.


eXtension Virtual Conference

The Cooperative Extension System's eXtension Initiative hosted its first virtual conference October 18-20.  The National eXtension Virtual Conference, themed “A Symposium on Working Differently,” featured three outstanding keynote speakers: Lee Rainie, of the Pew Internet and American Life Project, discussing the Internet's impact on how we work now and in the future; Harold Jarche, who helps organizations make sense of the Web for community building, collaboration, professional development, and communication; and Nancy White, who addressed connections via relationships to peers, through content, and the strategic value of this continuum for extension workers and their constituents.  The keynote addresses were surrounded by 20 critical conversations on working differently in the context of Cooperative Extension.  Recordings of all sessions are available.


Financial strain is an issue for many households, and the current economic recession can compound this matter.  The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is helping people access up-to-date information regarding financial decisions through its MONEYWI$E website. Designed with a cross-disciplinary approach, MONEYWI$E recognizes that almost every decision a person makes during the day will influence that household’s bottom line; making informed financial choices in your everyday living can help stretch your dollar.  This website provides information, decision aids, and financial calculators directed at all aspects of everyday living, from household budgeting tools to farm management.  The website is updated on a monthly basis to provide consumers with timely and accurate information.  

Helpful Personal Finance Articles

If you’re in a tough financial situation, can see one on the horizon, or want to remain on solid ground financially, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has personal finance articles to help. Check out Controlling Spending and Keeping your Family Strong During Economic Downturn on the UNCE website.

What is the "New Normal" For You as an Extension Educator?

The Extension Pre-Conference at the annual Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education (AFCPE) conference is November 17, from 7 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, CO. Join colleagues in discovering "Insights into the New Normal in Cooperative Extension.” 2010 AFCPE members receive a discounted rate for the conference. The Extension Pre-Conference early registration cost is $90 and $100 until November 5. After this, onsite registration for the pre-conference is $110. A continental breakfast and boxed lunch are included in the fee. Click here to view the agenda and presentations.



FTC Creates “Teaser” Website to Help Consumers Spot Loan Scams

The Federal Trade Commission has created a “teaser” website for a fictitious lending company that warns consumers about how easy it is to be fooled by scammers charging up-front fees for bogus loans.  The site also explains how to spot and avoid loan scams. The website is part of a consumer education campaign to help consumers manage their money and learn to recognize scams.  At this teaser site consumers enter the fictitious world of Esteemed Lending Services, where a loan for every situation is guaranteed.  The site claims qualified loan specialists will help you find a loan for any purpose, or consolidate your high-interest debt – regardless of your credit history. But, when consumers click to learn more or apply for a loan, they will discover that Esteemed Lending is not a real company.  The website provides information to warn consumers about scammers masquerading as lenders.  These scammers start by promising loans, only later revealing a fee that consumers have to pay first.  If they pay, it’s unlikely they will see the promised loan, and they run the risk that their personal information will end up in the hands of identity thieves.  The site also gives consumers tips to help spot an advance fee scam, and includes links to more information from the FTC. This website and other FTC “teaser sites” are available.

Will You have Enough to Retire?

In its October 2010 Issue, Consumer Reports ran an article titled “Will You Have Enough to Retire?” The article features the American Savings Education Council’s (ASEC) Ballpark E$timate and Choose to Save websites and ASEC partner Social Security Administration’s Benefit Estimator.  The article references data from the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS).  See the March 2010 Issue Brief for the published report on the 2010 RCS.  See pages 22–25 in the March 2010 Issue Brief for a discussion comparing individuals who have a retirement savings needs calculation with those who have not done the calculation.  Those who have show a higher level of confidence in their ability to reach their retirement goals and are more likely to modify their behavior.

Making Good Films to Battle Bad Guys

See these entertaining videos from the Postal Service about identity theft, check scams, and telemarketing fraud – using a TV cop show theme. They also have Spanish sub-titles. Topics covered include Fake Check Scams, Cross Border Fraud, Making Good Films to Battle Bad Guys, Internet Fraud, Foreign Lottery Scams, Work-at-Home Scams, Identity Theft, Telemarketing Fraud, and Picking Up the Pieces.

Teaching Your Kids About Saving and Investing

Parents can now benefit from a major new resource being made available from the nonprofit Alliance for Investor Education (AIE)  highlighting 10 of the best Web-based resources for parents to teach their kids about how to save and invest in today’s tough financial times, such as the new “Teaching Your Kids About Saving and Investing: A Guide for Parents.”  AIE is the organization of the 20 leading U.S. financial-related foundations, nonprofit organizations, associations, and governmental agencies. AIE has assembled a collection of these resources for parents.  The featured resources include online games, which are a fun way to teach kids financial lessons. AIE members are devoted to providing resources for parents to share with their kids to teach them the necessary lessons for them to become responsible investors as they grow.

The new “Teaching Your Kids About Saving and Investing: A Guide for Parents” section of the AIE website features the following 10 top resources for consumers:

1) Investing ABCs: Teaching Your Children About Stocks – the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy

2) Gen I Revolution - Council for Economic Education

3) A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Planning for College Expenses – CFA Institute

4) Choose to Save: Savingsman Episode 5: Saving Early - Employee Benefit Research Institute

5) Tips for Teaching Students about Saving and Investing - Securities and Exchange Commission

6) Teach Your Children - Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

7) The Basics of Saving and Investing - Investor Protection Trust

8) Cover the Basics Before Your Child Leaves the Nest - National Endowment for Financial Education

9) Great Minds Think: A Kid’s Guide to Money - Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve

10) Fraud Scene Investigator - North American Securities Administrators Association

Visit the AIE website for an overview of the rest of the best investor education resources on the Web.


AARP Releases Two Items of Interest

AARP has released its Consumer Styles 2010 data that shows Americans continue to express positive feelings about automatic features in retirement savings plans.  Visit the Retirement Made Simpler website for more information and the results.

AARP also announces its redesigned retirement calculator.  Using feedback from focus groups, it has enhanced usability but also maintains accuracy in its results.  New features include the ability to develop a retirement plan for a dual-income home, calculate and include Social Security benefits as a part of retirement income, easy-to-navigate tabs, easy-to-understand explanation of where an individual currently is in their retirement planning, and the ability to experiment with various retirement scenarios to create a plan that is right for each individual. Visit the AARP website to try out the new AARP Retirement Calculator.

If you would like to post an announcement about this redesigned tool, use this link in any social media profile.



Journal of Consumer Affairs (Open submissions)

Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (Open submissions) 

Journal of Family and Economic Issues (Open submissions) 

Journal of Financial Therapy (Open submissions)

Journal of Extension (Open submissions)

W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets (Open submissions)

Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, Influence of Technology on Individuals and Families. Deadline January 15, 2011.

Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, Cultural Diversity from a Global Perspective. Deadline January 15, 2011.

FUNDING: is your source to find and apply for federal government grants. There are more than 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation Project concepts can be submitted on an open basis. The foundation will respond within 4-6 weeks.  

National Endowment for Financial Education. The deadline for NEFE’s April 2011 grant cycle is December 7.

MMI Education Foundation. The foundation uses its resources to serve the public interest and strengthen the communities where we live and work. The foundation provides periodic announcements and grant guidelines.



Jump$tart National Educator Conference, November 5-7, Washington, DC

Pre-AFCPE Conference, November 17                    

AFCPE, November 17-19

Financial Literacy Research Consortium, November 18–19, Washington, DC 


ACCI Conference, April 13-15

National Urban Extension Conference, May 2-5, Des Moines, IA


Eastern Family Economics & Resource Management Biennial Conference, February 29–March 2

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