August 2008 Newsletter

August 13: Property Insurance: Protecting your home and vehicles. Bring your questions!
Speaker: Insurance agent Jane Robinson-Larsen
Upcoming FPW programs:
September 10: Late Savers Retirement Guide
October: Reverse mortgages. Speaker: Cindy Stokes
Financial Planning for Women (FPW) is a monthly educational seminar that meets the second Wednesday (except December) at two times: 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 118 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill). The longer evening time slot allows for more discussion. Programs are free and registration is not required. For further information: (435) 797-1569; jean.lown@usu.edu; http://www.usu.edu/fpw/
Forward this message to a friend; bring a woman to FPW who has not attended before and receive your choice of a Nolo Press book as a reward. (See list of books at end of newsletter).
Reminder: PowerPoint presentations for the past few years are available on the FPW website.
Websites related to auto and home insurance:
Auto Insurance: Get Prepared Before Your Summer Road Trip
If you're planning a summer road trip, it's crucial to review your auto insurance before you hit the road. In case you're involved in an accident, it's also important to know what happens when you file a claim. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers tips for consumers planning summer travel. The tips can be found at:
www.naic.org/documents/consumer_alert_auto_insurance.htm
Earthquake hazard maps & info:
http://gldims.cr.usgs.gov/nshmp2008/viewer.htm
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/hazmaps/products_data/48_States/
http://www.earthquakecountry.info/
earthquake insurance
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourHome/GetTheFactsOnEarthquakeInsurance.aspx
http://www.unitedpolicyholders.org/buyingtips/tip_buy_eq.html
http://www.insurance.wa.gov/factsheets/factsheet_detail.asp?FctShtRcdNum=20
earthquake insurance in Utah (Utah Insurance Dept.): http://www.insurance.utah.gov/Earthquake.html
Opportunity to participate in research
If you are a woman between the ages of 25 and 55, and have made a positive change in your financial behavior within that past two years, you qualify to be paid for your research contribution!  We are holding focus groups in order to research women and their motivations for financial behavior change. Participants will be paid $20 for participating in a 1-hour focus group.  Contact Megan Rowley, graduate student, via email (m.rowley@usu.edu) or via phone (797.0494) for participation details. This research has been approved by USU’s Institutional Review Board. Please pass this info along to anyone who may qualify.
News & Resources to enhance life-long learning:
Economic Empowerment for Women- new website: http://www.breakfreee.org/
“A women's guide to financial empowerment. Our goal is to reach out to underprivileged women in need of financial help and advice.”
“Understanding your financial situation and taking control of your financial is no easy task. To make this process easier, think about it as a series of small steps – with each step you taking moving you nearer to your goal.
Weathering Tough Financial Times—The Long-term Costs of Quick Cash (FINRA investor alert): http://www.finra.org/InvestorInformation/InvestorAlerts/Printer- Friendly/P038825?PrinterFriendly=1 
FINRA e-mail newsletter- sign up
http://apps.finra.org/contact_us/1/subscribe.aspx?lists=ind
Social Security in Logan: Department of Workforce Services Building located at 180 N 100 W, Logan. 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Video service offers Social Security help
A new video service allows Cache Valley residents to go to the Department of Workforce Services each Tuesday and talk face- to-face with Social Security representatives in Ogden. The video service provides the public access to Social Security personnel, who can assist is filing claims, reporting changes or answering questions. The service is available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday at the Department of Workforce Services at 180 N. 100 West in Logan. Appointments are also available by calling the Ogden Social Security Administration at 801-625-5641. Individuals can also file online and access other services at www.socialsecurity.gov or by calling 800-772-1213.
Social Security Estimator
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/
“The Estimator is a very easy to use on-line calculator that helps you see an estimate of what your benefit will be at age 62, at full retirement age, and at age 70.  You can also make changes to your retirement age to see what your benefit would be if you retired at say age 64 or 69.  The calculator is tied to your actual earning records so you do not have to enter your earnings history and the response is personalized to you.  Security precautions were taken to ensure the privacy of your records.  
Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning ,a retirement planning tool, is now available online from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefit Security Administration
“Getting started today will help you put time on your side. To help, Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning offers a simplified, bottom-line approach to figuring out just how much you may need when you retire. The worksheets in this booklet will provide a guesstimate. Regard them as a starting point. Each chapter in this booklet asks you to chart a different part of your financial life - your savings and your expenses - and helps you project future costs and savings well into your retirement years. Of course, no one has a crystal ball, and life has a way of throwing changes our way. But getting time on your side now, before you retire, means you will not be awake at 3 a.m. worrying about, instead of planning for, the future.”
Kids and Money II: The Adolescent Years
Most adolescents have trouble planning much further than next weekend. Getting them to plan for their financial futures can seem like an impossible task. Read on for tools and tips to help parents and adolescents get a handle on personal finance.
www.CFP.net/enewsletter/June2008.html#1
Charitable Contributions (Quoted from IRS)Did you make a cash contribution to your favorite charity? Have you recently spent a weekend cleaning stuff out of your garage or basement that you then donated to a local charity?
Charitable contributions can be tax deductible, but you must have the proper records to support your deduction.  Due to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 the rules on recordkeeping for charitable contributions became a little more strict beginning in January 2007.
To deduct a charitable cash donation, regardless of the amount, you must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Acceptable bank records would include canceled checks or bank or credit union statements containing the name of the charity, the date and the amount of the contribution.
Under the previous rules, records such as personal bank registers, diaries or notes made around the time of the donation could often be used as evidence of cash donations. Personal records like this are no longer sufficient.
Here are some additional tips to help you deduct your charitable contributions on your 2008 federal tax return.
  • Charitable contributions are deductible only if you itemize deductions using Form 1040.
  • Contributions must be made to a qualified organization.
  • Used clothing and household items such as furniture, linens and appliances must be in good used condition.
  • Vehicle donations are subject to special rules.
  • To deduct charitable contributions of items valued at $250 or more you must have a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization.
  • To deduct charitable contributions of items valued at $500 or more you must complete a Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, and attached the form to your return.”
Enroll today to become an Aggie Saver at http://www.americasaves.org/utahstate/
Check out the savings strategies and resources. Registered Aggie Savers can get a free consultation at the Family Life Center. Call 435-797-7224 for an appointment.
Idaho's Two Cent Tips newsletter.  You can access all issues and listen to podcasts at http://extension.ag.uidaho.edu/madison/itct.htm
Send an email to erickson@uidaho.edu  to subscribe or unsubscribe.
Find answers to your personal finance questions at E-extension website FAQs
http://www.extension.org/personal_finance
Read The Wall Street Journal Sunday in the Sunday Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News Business Section or read it online: http://www.wsj.com/sunday
Jonathan Clements’s Getting Going articles from The Wall Street Journal are available on-line: http://online.wsj.com/search/aggregate.html
Workshops and events:
Smart Money education series for teenagers 14-18 years and their parents.
Wed. August 20, 6:30- 8 p.m. @ USU Charter Credit Union, 198 N. Main, Logan. In downstairs conference room (enter at rear of building). Workshops are free. To register: 753-4080, ext 3400 or moneyteacher@usuccu.org
Thursday Night at the Bar is a pro-bono (free) legal clinic designed to assist the public in determining their legal rights. Volunteer attorneys are available to meet briefly to provide preliminary counsel and general legal information. A variety of legal issues are addressed; the most common problems deal with family law, employment law, landlord/tenant law and estate planning. The clinic is conducted from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at the Cache County Council chambers, 199 N. Main. Services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
August 9 Home Ownership Workshop 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 435-797-7224 to register.
The USU Family Life Center, 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides individual financial counseling. This is the best source for basic money management and getting out of debt. They offer the PowerPay computer debt analysis. Counseling sessions cost $5 for first session with sliding scale charges based on family income and family size for subsequent counseling sessions. http://www.usu.edu/fchd/housing/
Nolo Press Books from which to choose if you bring a new participant to FPW:
Your little legal companion: Helpful advice for life’s big events
Nolo’s essential guide to divorce
Divorce and money: How to make the best financial decisions during divorce
Get it together: Organize your records so your family won’t have to
Quick and legal will book
Nolo’s simple will book (with CD)
Estate Planning Basics
The Busy family’s guide to estate planning: 10 steps to peace of mind (with CD)
Long term care: How to plan and pay for it
Social security, medicare, and government pensions
Work less, live more: The way to semi-retirement
Work less, live more workbook: Get set for semi-retirement (with CD)
For more info on these books go to www.nolo.com
Thanks to the Certified Financial Planner Board Grant for financial support of FPW.