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Family Economics News National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA September 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.

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

  • Online Investment Education

  • The Journal of Consumer Affairs

  • Special Issue on Financial Literacy


  • Revised Financial Security in Later Life Site

  • Small Steps to Health and Wealth

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

  • New on eXtension — Twitter: Follow the Money Article


  • Free Consumer Action Publications about Credit Cards

  • EBRI’s New Retirement Readiness Rating

  • New Feature to Social Security’s Online Calculator

  • Consumer Action Newsletter

  • State of Metropolitan America


  • Call for Papers:

    • Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal

    • 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

    • 2010 ACCI

    • Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal

  • Funding:


    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • The U.S. Department of Education

    • U.S. Department of Education/ Council for Economic Education

    • National Endowment for Financial Education

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation



Online Investment Education

The Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, Education, (AFCPE) published a paper in the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning regarding a needs assessment conducted for the adaptation of an existing online Cooperative Extension investment course for use by farm households. The theoretical model was Social Marketing Theory. Data about financial attitudes, practices, and learning preferences of farm households were collected through a telephone survey of 300 farm households and 2 focus groups. Quantitative and qualitative data confirmed that farmers prefer investing in land and farm-related assets instead of securities. Further, an increasing number of farm family members engaged in paid employment, which provided access to employee benefits. Many farmers did not plan to retire in later life but indicated a desire to scale back their work hours and/or reduce the size of their farm business. Women in the sample were more engaged with the Internet than men and less likely to dislike using computers.

The Journal of Consumer Affairs

The summer 2010 issue of the Journal of Consumer Affairs is devoted to financial literacy. The content spans conceptualization and measurement as well as factors influencing financial literacy and its impact. This issue focuses on four sections: What is Financial Literacy and how is it Measured?; Does Financial Education Work?; What Factors Influence Financial Literacy?; and How is Financial Literacy Important?   

Special issue on Financial Literacy

The June 2010 issue of the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal (FCSRJ) was a special edition on financial literacy. Youth and young people were an important focus of the issue. The lead article was “What Do Teens Want to Know About Money — A Comparison of 1998 and 2008,” by Karen Varcoe and her colleagues, and the last of the eight articles was “Financial Wellness of Young Adults Age 18 to 30,” by Leann Rutherford and Wanda Fox. Two articles featured research on college students; the topics were the financial behaviors (budgeting and saving) of college students in the United States and assessing the financial literacy of college students in Malaysia. The other four articles were concerned with low-income households and higher home energy costs, determinants of adequate emergency funds of employed households, vulnerability due to low knowledge of long-term care, and generational differences in financial literacy of Hmong immigrant families. 


Revised Financial Security in Later Life

The Financial Security in Later Life (FSLL) national initiative Web pages have been revised and updated. The original URL for information about the initiative will remain the same so that current links from other Web pages do not have to be changed. This information is included under the “In Focus” section of the Financial Security Web pages at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA); the more current URL will also take you to this page.
The new page contains a summary of the initiative with links to the following:

1. Final Impact Report – updated with final FSLL aggregated national impacts from 2002–2008

2. For more information for consumers – link to eXtension’s Financial Security for All

3. For more information for educators – link to NIFA’s Financial Security Extension Learning Tools

4. To search additional resources provided by the Cooperative Extension Service – link to search engine to resources provided by 1,100 Cooperative Extension sites at land-grant institutions

All FSLL resources which are still current may be located through one of these links. In addition, the link to eXtension Search will provide easy access to many more relevant resources for both consumers and educators.

Small Steps to Health and Wealth

The Small Steps to Health and Wealth Instructor Guides are available for download through the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The 25 instructor guides were created as an additional component to the original workbook and materials developed by Barbara O'Neill and Karen Ensle at Rutgers Cooperative Extension.  Linda Block, associate agent with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, developed the guides to be presented as standalone lessons, when only a limited amount of time is available, or in combination to coordinate related topics (e.g., automating a good habit to avoid becoming a statistic and to reach a recommended benchmark). Each guide includes the objectives of the lesson, estimated time, materials and activity to teach the topic, brief introduction and instructor script, instructions for activities, and additional resources. The individual worksheets have also been included with each guide.  In addition to the Small Steps to Health & Wealth(SSHW) resources, individuals can register their Health and Wealth goals at the University of Arizona Take Charge America Institute. 

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

The Extension Pre-Conference at the annual Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, and Eduction (AFCPE) conference is November 17, from 7 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, CO. A draft agenda is available for this exciting opportunity to join colleagues in discovering "Insights into the New Normal in Cooperative Extension."

2010 AFCPE members receive a discounted rate for the conference.  The early registration deadline is October 1. The Extension Pre-Conference early registration cost is $90 and $100 after that date until November 5. Onsite registration for the pre-conference is $110.  A continental breakfast and boxed lunch are included in the fee.

New on eXtension — Twitter: Follow the Money Article

The Financial Security for All (FSA) Community of Practice (COP) of eXtension recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Twitter account.  The COP has been using Twitter to disseminate research-based personal finance information to a growing number of followers. The user name for FSA’s COP Twitter account is “moneyeXtension.” The moneyeXtension Twitter account is maintained by a committee of about a dozen FSA COP members who all tweet from the moneyeXtension URL using a program called CoTweet. Michael Ravenscraft, from the University of Missouri, is the committee chairman. Several of those who tweet for moneyeXtension also maintain active personal twitter accounts, including Michael Gutter, from the University of Florida, and Barbara O’Neill, from Rutgers University.

To use Twitter as an educational outreach method, set up a personal Twitter account and/or contact Ravenscraft to receive an email invitation to the CoTweet account. It is helpful to begin your personal tweeting experience with a “Twitter Mission Statement” that defines what you will or won’t do with Twitter.  For example, will your tweets be “strictly business,” or will you include some personal interests as well?  For example, here is O’Neill’s Twitter Mission Statement: “To provide useful research-based personal finance information from reputable sources, and occasional non-controversial personal asides, to an increasing number of followers.”  O’Neill will present a “Teaching with Twitter” workshop at the AFCPE conference in November to discuss educational strategies and impact evaluation.


Free Consumer Action Publications about Credit Cards

Consumer Action is offering two educational publications that can help families learn about the new federal credit card law. Consumer Action has partnered with American Express to bring you the opportunity to order bulk copies of:

  • “Credit Cards: What You Need to Know,” a brochure in five languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, plus a training manual in English.

  • “Families and Credit Cards,” a brochure in five languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese, plus a training manual in English.

Credit Cards: What You Need to Know,” updated to reflect the new federal credit card law, is designed to help readers understand the different types of cards available, sort through offers to choose the card that’s right for them, understand credit card terms and conditions, and avoid fees and penalty rates.

Families and Credit Cards” is designed for parents who are weighing the merits of giving their children credit cards.  Topics include youth and credit cards, adding cardholders to your account, secondary cardholder policies, payment options for kids while they are traveling, and helping young people understand the importance of good credit.

In addition, these publications come with the following training guides and PowerPoints that are available from the Consumer Action website:

Each agency is limited to 100 copies per language of each brochure and 10 copies of each manual. Individuals may also order singles. To order these publications, fax your order form to (415) 777-5267 or mail it to Consumer Action, 221 Main Street, Suite 480, San Francisco, CA 94105.

EBRI’s New Retirement Readiness Rating

With Americans living longer in retirement, the 2010 Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) Retirement Readiness Rating shows dramatically high percentages of Americans, even in the upper-income categories, are likely to run short of money after 10 or 20 years of retirement. The new analysis finds that 64 percent of Americans in the two lowest pre-retirement income levels will run short after 10 years in retirement. However, the study also finds that after 20 years of retirement, 29 percent of those in the next-to-highest income level will run short of money, as will 13 percent of those in the highest-income level. Not surprisingly, those with the highest income are at the lowest risk of running short of money, but many in the highest income category still face significant risks of not being able to pay basic expenses and uninsured medical expenses for the remainder of their lives.

New Feature to Social Security’s Online Calculator

Individuals enrolled in Medicare but not yet receiving Social Security benefits can use an online calculator to estimate their future Social Security benefits. A Medicare-only online estimator is set to be released next year. The benefit calculator is available on the Social Security Administration’s website.

Consumer Action Newsletter

The summer 2010 issue of Consumer Action News focuses on personal privacy rights in the digital age. The issue includes the results of our recent online privacy survey. It also includes articles about controlling personal information on the Internet, Facebook privacy settings, privacy legislation proposed by Congress, and a survey that looks at generational differences about privacy. The issue also contains information about Consumer Action's 39th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony.  Consumer Action empowers low to moderate income and limited-English-speaking consumers nationwide to prosper financially through education and advocacy.

State of Metropolitan America

The State of Metropolitan America is a signature effort of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program that portrays the demographic and social trends shaping the nation’s essential economic and societal units—its large metropolitan areas—and discusses what the trends imply for public policies to secure prosperity for these places and their populations. This report focuses on the major demographic forces transforming the nation and large metropolitan areas in the 2000s. In this sense, it previews what we will learn from the results of the 2010 Census, as well as supplements those results in important ways. It includes chapters that correspond to nine of the most important subjects tracked by the Census Bureau in its annual American Community Survey, along with the policy implications of the findings.



Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (Open submissions)

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)

2011 ACCI October 4, 2010

Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal: Special issue on the influence of technology on individual and family well-being. 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. 

The U.S. Department of Education has announced a new grant competition in their  investment in financial literacy for FY 2010. Deadline September 9, 2010. 

U.S. Department of Education/ Council for Economic Education Excellence in Economic Education Program. To promote economic and financial literacy among students in kindergarten through grade 12. Deadline September 10, 2010. 

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.



Journal of Financial Therapy, September 13-15

NEAFCS Annual Conference, September 20-24, Portland, ME  

10th Consumer Issues Conference: Unlocking the Digital Marketplace: Legal and Ethical Issues, September 30–October 1

NC 1030 Multistate Research Project, "Family Firms and Policy (NE167)" meeting October 3-5, Ohio State University.

Financial Planning Association, Denver, CO, October 9-10

North Central Coordinating Committee on Family Economics, October 21-22, Omaha, NE.

Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc., October 25-26   

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

Pre-AFCPE Conference, November 17                    

AFCPE, November 17-19


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

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, 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, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.