October 2005 Newsletter

Please forward this email to a friend and invite her to join you for the meeting.
October 12: Boost Your Savings! Presenter Ann House, USU Extension Family Finance Educator, will present the new Utah Saves program and the $500 Savings Challenge: Preparing Women for a Rainy Day. (Ann will present at 12:30 ; Jean will present at 7 p.m. )
FPW meets 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center , 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill).
Upcoming programs:
November 9: Answers to your Property Insurance Questions.
Basic principles that can be applied to all categories of insurance plus specific tips on property insurance. Info on Flood and Earthquake insurance
December: No program scheduled.
Good News! FPW has been awarded a Zions Bank Smart Woman Grant. The funds will be used to pay Tiffany Smith to serve as webmaster and assistant. Tiffany is a USU student majoring in Liberal Arts and Sciences with a Minor in Family Finance. She has been volunteering her services over the past 6 months and we are very pleased that she will now receive modest compensation. Thanks to Zions Bank and Welcome to Tiffany!
Another student who will be helping with FPW is Erin Pratt who is in the Family Finance emphasis and currently counseling at the Family Life Center .
Websites of the month:
Utah Saves
$500 Savings Challenge: Preparing Women for a Rainy Day
America Saves
Choose to Save®, a national public education and outreach program, is dedicated to raising awareness about the need to plan and save for long-term personal financial security. Developed by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and its America Savings Education Council (ASEC), Choose to Save® develops user-friendly, multimedia materials to help individuals plan and save for their financial future, including: Public service announcements using humor, powerful images, and compelling information to encourage viewers (and listeners) to take charge of their financial future.
A newly updated web site at http://www.choosetosave.org/ is devoted to financial education. It includes savings tools such as the Ballpark E$timate® retirement planning worksheet, over 100 online calculators, brochures, savings tips, links to related resources, and other information to help individuals and their families manage their finances. Visitors can also view and listen to the PSAs from the Web site. A variety of free savings tools and brochures focused on topics such as Saving for Your Family's Future, Just Starting Out, The Magic of Compounding, Maximizing Your Company Savings Plan, Why Open an IRA, It'?s Never Too Late to Save , and much more.
And one more:
Building Wealth: A Beginner's Guide to Securing Your Financial Future
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Book of the Month
Pay it down: From Debt to wealth on $10 a day by Jean Chatzky, Portfolio Books ISBN 1-59184-063-5. Read a summary and review at: http://www.afcpe.org/doc/Vol161BR1.pdf
Take Action!
Start saving today! Small amounts can add up to financial security. Come to FPW and learn how you can get involved with Utah Saves!
Pull out your insurance policies. If you are a homeowner, do you have earthquake insurance? What about flood insurance? Is your home at risk?
Are your financial records easy to pick up and take with you in case of a fire? In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina I decided the most portable way to rescue my financial records is have them on my "memory stick" or "flash drive." Of course, I need to be careful about what info I include in case my flash drive is stolen. Perhaps I should have a separate one to keep in my 72 hour kit. I try to keep updated info in my safe deposit box, too. But I wonder how many safe deposit boxes were flooded out as a result of the hurricane. I know that the safe deposit boxes in the World Trade Center were blown to bits.
New Publication on 529 College Saving Plans
The Securities and Exchange Commission has a new resource on529 plans,a tax-advantagedplan designed to encourage saving for future college costs.These"?qualified tuition plans"? are sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions and are authorized by Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. There are two types of 529 plans: pre-paid tuition plans and college savings plans. All fifty states and the District of Columbia sponsor at least one type of 529 plan.To find out more, go to: http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm
The USU Family Life Center , 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides free financial counseling and occasional workshops. This is the best source for basic money management and getting out of debt. They offer the PowerPay computer debt analysis for free.
Financial Planning for Women (FPW) is a monthly educational seminar that meets the second Wednesday of each month at two times: 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 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. Bring a friend! For further information: (435) 797-1569; lown@cc.usu.edu
Updated Ballpark E$timate ® Appears in Two Formats
WASHINGTON-Americans trying to estimate how much they need to save for a comfortable retirement now have an updated and easy-to- use tool-the Ballpark E$timate. ®
The updated Ballpark is available in two formats: An online version that is interactive and provides instant results, and a printed version that can be downloaded from the Internet and filled out at home.
Both versions are sponsored by ChoosetoSave.org and the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), programs of the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). They are available free on the Web at The Ballpark E$timate® has been repeatedly cited as a simple and useful tool for quickly estimating overall retirement savings needs.
Both the online and paper versions of the Ballpark come with instructions that take complicated issues-such as projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings-and turn them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand, said Dallas Salisbury, EBRI president. The updated online version allows individuals to customize several key factors in calculating how much they need to save for retirement: how long they think they will live, when they expect to retire, and other variables as well. Since each individual is different, it allows people to achieve a more accurate estimate based on their particular circumstances.
"As people continue to live longer, and as savings for retirement becomes more and more of a personal responsibility issue for all Americans, it is important that savings calculators take full advantage of what we know and the technology that is now available," Salisbury added. "While the amount people need to save may be shocking to them, it is better that they have a realistic Ballpark E$timate so they can get started."
Salisbury noted that most Americans currently are not saving enough to achieve their retirement goals. An individual who starts at age 20 and saves consistently for 42 years-in anticipation of retiring at age 62-would have to set aside more than most Americans save now, he said. "Waiting to start saving until age 40 moves the required savings percentage to the stars." (Charts detailing these points are available on EBRI's Web site.)
EBRI's 2005 Retirement Confidence Survey showed that doing a retirement saving needs calculation can change savings behavior. Most often, those who do a calculation say they start saving more and they take other steps, such as changing the investment allocation of their retirement savings, researching other savings methods, reducing debt and opening a new savings account.
Established in 1978, EBRI is an independent nonprofit organization committed to data dissemination, policy research, and education on economic security and employee benefits. The institute and its programs do not lobby and do not take positions on policy questions.