September 2006 Newsletter

September is College of Education & Human Services month for FPW! (See details below).
Oops. Sorry about the email I sent a couple days ago which was meant for the board that I sent to everyone by mistake. The Board will meet October 4 to decide on programs for 2007 so your input is needed before then. Send program suggestions to: lown@cc.usu.edu
September 13: Taking the Mystery out of Retirement Planning
Spouses & partners are encouraged to attend. Each attendee (or couple) will receive a 60 page workbook (also available at: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/NRTOC.html)
Retirement planning has changed from the days of lifetime pensions and health care benefits. The new watch word is "You're on your own!" The trend is moving away from corporate and government provided security to YOYO. Are you prepared? This program will walk you through the steps and provide you with the booklet and worksheets you need to plan a financially secure retirement.
"The key to a comfortable retirement is planning well in advance. Yet a recent survey indicates that with the 'baby boom' generation approaching retirement age, less than half of Americans have calculated how much they need to save for retirement. To help Americans prepare for retirement, the U.S. Department of Labor has developed this book: Taking the Mystery out of Retirement Planning. The information contained here is valuable to everyone, but is specifically designed to help those who are about a decade from retirement. To ensure a financially secure retirement, it is critical to make the right choices years ahead. Start on the path to retirement security today so you can have the retirement you have dreamed of." U.S. Department of Labor
September is College of Education & Human Services Month for FPW. Each month FPW will provide incentives for women affiliated with each of USU's seven colleges to attend FPW. Affiliation means you work for the college, graduated from, are a student in the college or are spouse/partner of an affiliate. Everyone affiliated with the College of the Month will receive a "Paycheck Power Booster Calculator"and be entered into a drawing for a personal finance book for attending FPW. Come and bring a friend or colleague. If you bring a first-time attendee you will receive your choice of a personal finance book.
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 FPW programs (mark your calendar):
October 11: Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? A guide to passing on personal possessions. Presenter: Dr. Barbara Rowe, USU Extension program leader.
Website: http://www.yellowpieplate.umn.edu/
November 8: Getting off the Consumer Escalator. DVD featuring Juliet Schor, author of The Overspent American , followed by discussion.
If you have suggestions for topics please email: lown@cc.usu.edu
FPW awarded Certified Financial Planner Board Grant
FPW received a generous grant for $25,000 from the CFP Board to promote FPW, pay 10% of Dr. Lown's time, hire a student assistant and a PR specialist, and purchase incentives for participants.
"Zions Bank Women's Financial Group is hosting its annual Smart Women, Smart Money Financial Conference in Salt Lake City on October 11, 2006 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
This free conference has become a favorite for women that want to learn how to achieve financial independence. Featuring Jean Chatzky, editor-at-large for Money Magazine, frequent guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show on financial matters, and best selling author; Richard Paul Evans, best selling author of 9 novels, including The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me about Life and Wealth; Lori Chillingworth, Senior Vice President and Manager Zions Bank Women's Financial Group; and breakout Sessions on several important financial topics to empower, support, and educate women."
http://www.zionsbank.com/swsm_conference.jsp?cid=3558
Take Action: Watch this on-line DVD to combat ID theft!
Don't Be an On-line Victim: How to Guard Against Internet Thieves and Electronic Scams
http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/guard/
"Identity theft continues to be one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, and has ranked as one of the top consumer concerns for the past several years. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has produced a multimedia presentation to help consumers protect themselves from identity theft. The presentation provides information on steps consumers should take to secure their computer and protect themselves from identity theft, as well as actions consumers should take if they become a victim of identity theft."
Payday loans are extremely expensive cash advances that must be repaid in full on the borrower's next payday to keep the personal check required to secure the loan from bouncing. Cash-strapped consumers run the risk of becoming trapped in repeat borrowing due to triple-digit interest rates, unaffordable repayment terms, and coercive collection tactics made possible by check-holding.
Learn how payday loans work. Figure out how much payday loans cost. http://www.paydayloaninfo.org/
Using a debit card? Use your PIN or sign? Some banks charge "point-of-sale" (POS) fees for entering a PIN. Wells Fargo charges a $1 POS every month during which you use your PIN. Having you sign instead of use your PIN is more profitable for the card issuer because they collect higher fees from the merchant. Merchants pay the card issuer a flat fee (10-50 cents) for each debit transaction using a PIN; signature based transactions are charged about 2.5% of the transaction value. Source: The Wall Street Journal Sunday 7-30-06. Read The Wall Street Journal Sunday in the Sunday Salt Lake Tribune Business Section or read it online: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/sundayjournal.html
Is the price of gas ruining your budget? Are you still driving a large SUV or truck because you think it is safer?  "A heavy, tall vehicle that drive stiffly, like many SUVs do, is more likely to cause fatalities in a collision. It's also more likely to roll over, which is why some SUVs have higher fatality rates than small cars." David Friedman, research director of the vehicle program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Quoted in Money , August 2006, p. 32.
The Last 401(k) Guide You'll Ever Need (Insert in August Money magazine). The only 5 rules that matter:
  1. Save early and often. (Invest rather than save... there is a difference).
  2. Spread your money around. (Diversify your investments.)
  3. Limit company stock. (Remember Enron?)
  4. Check in once a year. (Once you select your asset mix, relax; don't obsess over daily stock market swings.)
  5. Keep your hands off. (Don't touch the money when you change jobs!)
Can money buy happiness? Money, August 2006, pp. 127-131
"We're never satisfied. We always think that if we had a little bit more money, we'd be happier." Catherine Sanderson, psychology professor. "But when we get there, we're not." The more you make, the more you want. Want to learn more about money misery & bliss? Learn how to be happier with what you have. Read the article at your local library. 
FPW Advisory Board
Thanks to the following women who serve on the FPW Advisory Board: Lola Bolton, Valerie Byrnes, Susan Haddock, Rae Ann Hart, Dena Larsen, Chris Lord, Norma Mann, & Visnja Taylor
The role of the Advisory Board is to help determine program topics and to provide ideas on how to promote FPW. In the coming months the Advisory Board members will be introduced in alphabetical order.
Dena Larsen
I have always lived in Cache Valley. My husband and I have been married for eight years and we are expecting our first child at the endof May. I love to learn! My current hobbies are long walks with my husband, researching my Danish Ancestors, and learning about money. I work for Tyco Electronics as a Quality Control Electronic Technician. I have been with the company for 10 years. Although I enjoy my job, I don't want to retire from Tyco. I would like to have the option for my husband and I to retire early and travel. Even though we have both always worked full time, we made it a goal to only live on one income and invest the rest. We have done this our entire married life. We bought a home after only being married for two years. Because the home is a duplex, my brother lives in the basement and makes half of the house payment. We are always looking for new ways to save, invest and protect our money. We enjoy the benefits of a good emergency savings, revolving savings, and watching our investments grow! We love dollar cost averaging and compounding interest even more. Our company matches 80 cents for every dollar we put into our 401(k) up to 5% of our income. We both take full advantage of this FREE money! I loved all my personal finance classes at USU. I am currently educating my co-workers on the benefits of investing in a 401k and trying to convince them that gambling isn't the best way to save for retirement. So far I have convinced 2 people to sign up.
Quote of the month:
"If you want to grow rich you have to spend less than you earn. It's that simple." Jonathan Clements, author of Wall Street Journal "Getting Going" column each Wednesday and Sunday column. Read The Wall Street Journal Sunday in the Sunday Salt Lake Tribune Business Section or read it online: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/sundayjournal.html
Website of the month:  Taking the Mystery out of Retirement Planning
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/NRTOC.html)
How Do I compare?
Real median household income in the United States rose by 1.1 percent between 2004 and 2005, reaching $46,326, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Personal Finance Humor:
Son to father: Billy Fitch says his family is getting a big screen plasma TV! Why do they call it a plasma TV?
Father: Because they're so expensive you have to give blood to make payments!
Thanks to The Born Loser comic strip
Send $ jokes or humor to: lown@cc.usu.edu
Housing and Financial Counseling (USU Family Life Center) workshops:
September 9 (Saturday): In Spanish: Homeownership workshop 8:30-4:30 (registration required)
Call 797-7430 to register.
What to help your children learn to manage their money responsibly?
Smart Money education series for teenagers 14-18 years: Basic Money Management
Wed. Sept. 20, 6:30-8:30 pm
USU Charter Credit Union, 198 N. Main, downstairs conference room (enter at rear of building). Workshops are free. To register: 753-4080, ext 3400 or moneyteacher@usuccu.org
The Good Life
Workshop Schedule for 2006-2007
Wednesday, September 27, 2006   Cutting Household Expenses to Find More Money for Retirement
Speakers: Adrie Roberts, USU Extension Agent and Melanie Jewkes, USU Family Finance Graduate Student
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 Investing in Real Estate:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Speaker: Ken Sorenson
Wednesday, November 29, 2006   Setting Financial Goals
Speaker: Alena Johnson, USU Instructor
Wednesday, January 31, 2007   Record Retention
Speaker: Jack Peterson of Peterson Allred Jackson
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 Organizing Financial Paperwork
Speaker: Joe Marshall, Hearthside Software
Speaker: Adrie Roberts, USU Extension Agent
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Tax Strategies for Retirement
Speaker: Vance Grange, Utah State University Professor
For info: Adrie J. Roberts
Utah State University Extension Associate Professor
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Cache County Director
Cache County Administration Building - Suite 111
Logan, Utah 84321
(435) 752-6263
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
The USU Family Life Center, 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides financial counseling and monthly workshops. 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.
Thanks to Zions Bank Smart Women grant for funding for FPW 2005-2006.