New Mexico Family Resource Management

La familia es lo primero, entonces, el dinero y otros recursos!

Check Your Bank & Credit Card Statements

Posted by Fahz on 2014/04/17

Banks and credit card companies share monthly statements for reasons. You are supposed to check these statements for any mistakes, especially fraudulent charges. Some transactions trigger red flags that your financial accounts will be frozen. Two summers ago, during a travel, my credit card call me asking if I had a financial transaction for an escort service.

Anyways, this time, I did my regular bank ad credit card transaction checking. This particular transaction looked weird:

 

04/02/14

04/02/14 PAYPAL 402-935-7733 CA PAYPAL 402-935-7733 CA
<REFERENCE ****************>

Billing Location 402-935-7733,CA
Category Legal Services
Service Description Manually Entered
Don’t remember this purchase? Review your options
$54.50

 

The charge did not appear in PayPal (many would miss this). Anyways: googling “PAYPAL 402-935-7733 CA”, I got a list of Google results indicating fraudulent charge, like this: “suspected fraudulent charge – 402-935-7733PayPal

Fraudulent Evidence?

Fraudulent Evidence

So, appropriately, I shared this info with my children, hoping that they will learn to check their financial statements:

…. Just wanna share w you :::: Every month, I check my online bank and CC statements (that’s when my heart dropped when I saw somebody’s ******** bills). Anihoo, I saw this weird charge claiming to be by Paypal. After checking the merchant number (obtained from the statement), the number was associated with a scam, i.e. people trying to steal money via banks. Just sharing ….. . In this case, the “legal services” flagged it off to me.. – F

…. and that they know that unnecessary or avoidable bills hurt!!!

 

The dispute process was easy with my bank. On the online statement, I had to maximize the transaction line to see the option to dispute this particular charge. My bank has been kind enough to respond to my dispute. I got this response within 10 days:

We’re making progress on your dispute

Dispute Number: 
Date Posted:  
Merchant Name: PAYPAL
Amount of Transaction: 54.50
Card Number: 
Status:   Temporary Credit


We are currently investigating your dispute. This review could take up to 60 days to complete.

In the meantime, we’ve temporarily credited your account (this can take 48 hours to show on your account) for the amount of the disputed transaction.

If the merchant agrees that you are owed a refund, the temporary credit becomes permanent, and we’ll close your dispute.

If the merchant disagrees with our request, we’ll contact you with more details on what happens next.
Sincerely,

[Bank] Dispute Resolution Center

 

Thank you, my bank!!!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Banks, Consumer Protection, Personal Finance | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Health Insurance Literacy – eXtention Ask an Expert

Posted by Fahz on 2014/04/14

Health Insurance Literacy – eXtention Ask an Expert

The nationwide Extension system responded to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by providing health insurance and healthcare education. The Health Insurance Literacy eXtension Community of Practice was created to inform consumers and respond to
Consumer inquiries

The Ask an Expert (AaE) feature of eXtension.org has allowed for years one-to-one expert answers from Extension/University faculty and volunteers from across the United States. The latest version of AaE expands that one-to-one relationship via the ability to make questions and answers publicly available, on an opt-in basis, searchable by the most popular search engines, and able to cultivate additional dialogue among the online community. This will skin and promote Ask an Expert as a premier resource for answering questions that lead people to become health insurance literate and to make smart choices for themselves and their families at this opportune moment of epic change in our American healthcare system.

We used data and outputs for Google Analytics to obtain data visitor behaviors (hits, returning visitors, electronic device used) and demographics (gender, age, geographical location) from June 2013 to January 2014.

Conclusion:

  • Considering the professionals and efforts put into this project, we thought that the number of hits is very low. This is especially true when our eXtension publications are research-based and handled by unbiased university academicians.
  • Google Analytics is a useful tool for evaluation and program improvements.

Recommendations:

  • Investing in AdWords,
  • Having online video publications,
  • Improving SEO (search engine optimization) : tag website contents including images, blogging with rich contents, and
  • Making mobile-friendly view publications.

Posted in Conference, Consumer Protection, Health | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Search USA.GOV for Educational Materials

Posted by Fahz on 2014/03/31

A county agent requested for some educational materials on Credit:

Do you know of any factsheets or PowerPoints in Spanish that focus specifically on credit? I’m going to ******** on Wednesday and they requested information about credit. Let me know, thanks!

FDIC.GOV has some good materials in Spanish on credit issues but the materials have to be shipped. The FDIC resources that I have would not meet the agent’s request the materials need to be shipped and would not make in three days. I could not find anything on FDIC site to be downloaded. FTC.GOV also has good resources in Spanish, but no training materials in Spanish were available.

The BEST TOOL that I found was http://www.usa.gov/gobiernousa/index.shtml, obtained by clicking “Espanol” on USA.GOV.

 

USAGOVEspanol

Click “Espanol”

On the www.usa.gov/gobiernousa site, search for the educational materials you are looking for. In my case, I searched for “Credit Card powerpoint”, which produced resourceful results:

Searching "Credit Card Powerpoint" in USA.GOV's Spanish Site

Searching “Credit Card Powerpoint” in USA.GOV’s Spanish Site

From my highly limited Spanish, the fifth content out of NY.GOV looks like what the agent wanted. Of course, more specific searches with Spanish words would be very helpful.

Update: Received 4/17/2014

Hi **********,

 I saw you mentioned this in the latest EFCS newsletter. I just wanted to let you know that the one you recommended (“5th PowerPoint on www.hesc.ny.gov”) was exactly what the participants were looking for. It was called Entendiendo y Usando el Crédito.  Thanks so much for your help!

Home Economist

 

Posted in Internet, NM | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

2014 National eXtension Conference

Posted by Fahz on 2014/03/27

2014 National eXtension Conference

Question: “What are the three to five take-aways you will go home with from this conference? I am mulling that question over in my mind as I summarize my notes this evening. “

My Answer:

It’s about connecting.

The traditional medium of F2F programming is very much alive. Extension personnel are still using human connection to build social networks for further learning opportunities (http://lanyrd.com/scwhrr). Technology opens up the possibility to work more effectively and reach out to ever-changing clients. TV, newspaper, and radio used to be sufficient to reach the public. Now, the mere idea to using these medium are laughable and cost ineffective. By the way …

Do it right.

Just having your materials online is not enough. That was Web 1.0. Web 2.0 is about participating, sharing, resharing, interacting, mixing, commenting, rating, etc. On the back stage part of it, you have to ensure that if people do a web search on tags related to your items, you want your items to be on the main page of web searches. Here is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in. Dr. Stephen Green of Texas A&M (http://lanyrd.com/scwkmd) had huge successes when combining great online teaching curriculum ala MOOC with in-depth SEO intervention.

Seek > Sense > Share:

Every day is a learning experience. Even for specialists, their areas of specialty need updating, e.g. professional development. Besides technology, examples of changes are regulations (e.g. CARD Act), teaching methods (e.g. flipped classroom), students (different cohorts), (e.g. webinars), and evaluation methods (E.g. learning from your social media data http://lanyrd.com/scwhqy). So, embrace the information diversity, try to understand them, and tailor the message to your audience in a meaningful manner.  In words of Harold Jarche (@HJarche),  seek > sense > share!

 

Posted in Extension, National, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Removing Educational Catalogs from Being Mailed to You

Posted by Fahz on 2014/01/23

Two weeks ago, I gave a presentation in our In-Service on Junk Your Junkmail [(HTML Version) (PDF Version) (epub) (mobi)], which was supplemented by my Reduce-Reuse-Recycle publication [G-314 (HTML Version) (PDF version)]. A question was presented:

Would the forementioned http://www.catalogchoice.org route remove me from the companies’ mailing list?

Short answer: Yes, but you have to select specific catalogs. These are the ones probably not opted out via Direct Marketing Association (DMAChoice) Web site. Note that DMA members are responsible for about 80 percent of advertising mails.

Educators and teachers get educational catalogs that promote their curriculum, fabric, dolls, play money, cooking utensils, educational CDs, and board games – all for educational purposes. If fact, I just two of them (pictured below) in the last four weeks. So, let’s give them a try. I started off with Nasco – Fort Atkinson.

BothCatalogs

Catalog Choice (www.catalogchoice.org/) requests some information such as:

  • name: If you go by various names, you may need to enter new names. Put the name that appear on the catalog’s mailing label.
  • address: Same here – you may need to add other addresses such as those of your home and workplace. Since you may have different addresses for your workplace (room vs. P.O. Box), enter the address on the mailing label.
  • account or costumer number: This one should be unique to you.
  • and key or source code: I have no idea about this at this moment. =0
  • CatalogRem2Info

For this Nasco example, I did not know the specific account or costumer number and key or source code. So, I compared my label with the label from the same catalog sent to the department.

IMAG0670

My Label

vs.

IMAG0671

The Department’s Label

It wasn’t that helpful. I just punched in logical numbers with the exact name and address on the label, thinking that this should work.  Afterwards, when I tried the other catalog, it had clear customer number and keycode on the mailing label, like seen below.

CustNumBete

Clear Customer Number and Keycode on the Mailing Label

The next day, I received e-mail notifications on both request. The one with the clear customer number and keycode was approved. The first one (where I guessed the customer number and keycode)? I got approved too! – see the e-mail excerpt below.

Confirmation

This Got Approved Too!!!

Like many tasks, things may look confusing that you may need some time to figure things out. You should be able to figure things out very quickly after a few attempts. For saving natural resources, this is totally worth it.

* A suggestion: When you want to opt out, provide an option to get the e-catalog versions.

Posted in Consumer Protection, Green, Internet, Resource - Nonfinancial | Leave a Comment »

Online Resources for Financial Education

Posted by Fahz on 2014/01/21

An excellent compilation of online resources for financial education by:
Dr. Barbara O’Neill, CFP®, CFCS, CPFFE, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, E-Mail: oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu Twitter: http://twitter.com/moneytalk1

This list includes three types of resources (Web sites, calculators, and videos) for ten personal finance topics: 1. Banking, 2. College Financial Planning, 3. Credit and Debt, 4. General Financial Planning, 5. Identity Theft, 6. Income Taxes, 7. Insurance, 8. Investing, 9. Retirement Planning, and 10. Saving. A brief description of each resource is provided. Most resources cited are from government agencies, non-profit organizations, or educational institutions. This document concludes with a list of free financial education curricula for youth and adult financial educators.

Online Resources for Financial Education-01-14.pdf

Online Resources for Financial Education
Compiled by:
Dr. Barbara O’Neill, CFP®, CFCS, CPFFE, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, E-Mail: oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu Twitter: http://twitter.com/moneytalk1
This list includes three types of resources (Web sites, calculators, and videos) for ten personal finance topics: 1. Banking, 2. College Financial Planning, 3. Credit and Debt, 4. General Financial Planning, 5. Identity Theft, 6. Income Taxes, 7. Insurance, 8. Investing, 9. Retirement Planning, and 10. Saving. A brief description of each resource is provided. Most resources cited are from government agencies, non-profit organizations, or educational institutions. This document concludes with a list of free financial education curricula for youth and adult financial educators.
Banking

Web Sites

Comptroller of the Currency: Answers About Bank Accounts: https://www.fdic.gov/edie/index.html
This Web site provides a comprehensive overview of topics related to bank checking and savings accounts.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): http://www.consumerfinance.gov/
This government Web site provides consumer information about a wide variety of topics including banking, paying for college, mortgage payments, and consumer protection. Special target audiences for information include students, older Americans, and service members and veterans.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): http://www.fdic.gov/
This is the Web site of the federal government agency that provides insurance for bank depositors’ accounts in the event that a bank fails. It includes information on banking and FDIC insurance.

FDIC Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE): https://www.fdic.gov/edie/index.html
EDIE tells users how bank insurance rules apply to their specific group of deposit accounts. The Estimator tells users what’s insured and what portion (if any) of their assets exceeds FDIC coverage limits.

Federal Reserve Board: http://www.federalreserve.gov/
The “Consumer Information” section contains information about banking, credit, and mortgage topics.

National Credit Union Administration (NCUA): http://www.ncua.gov
This is the Web site of the federal government agency that provides insurance for credit union depositors’ accounts in the event that a credit union fails. It includes information on credit unions and NCUA insurance.

Calculator

Savings Calculator (Dinkytown.net): http://www.dinkytown.net/java/CompoundSavings.html
This web site features a calculator to determine estimated savings at a certain APY for a certain time period.

Videos

Check-Cashing Services: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/video-check-cashing-services.aspx.
This one minute, 4 second video discusses the high cost of check-cashing services and viable alternatives.

How to Balance Your Checkbook: http://www.ehow.com/about_4569806_checkbook-balancing.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask
This 1 minute, 51 second Howcast video describes an 8-step process for balancing a checking account.

College Financial Planning

Web Sites

Bureau of Labor Statistics Wage Data: http://www.bls.gov/bls/blswage.htm
This Web site provides wage data by state and region to help students find out what their future earnings might be.

College Navigator (National Center for Education Statistics): http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
This Web site provides searchable information about specific colleges and their costs and financial aid programs.

College Savings Plans Network: http://www.collegesavings.org
This Web site provides data about 529 plans and helps users compare 529 plans by feature and by state.

Consolidation Loans (Federal Student Aid): http://www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov/
This Web site provides information about how to combine a number of existing student loans into one loan.

Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA): http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch07.html
This IRS fact sheet describes the contribution limits and tax advantages of Coverdell ESAs.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Web Site: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
This Web site provides information about filing the federal FAFSA form to apply for student financial aid.

Federal Student Aid (U.S. Department of Education): http://www.studentaid.ed.gov
This Web site provides information about types of financial aid, qualifications for aid, and the application process.

FinAid: http://www.finaid.org
This Web site is a comprehensive one-stop resource for information about college financial aid and savings plans.
IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits For Education: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/index.html
This Web site provides the content of a comprehensive IRS publication on tax benefits related to education.

Smart Saving for College-Better Buy Degrees (FINRA): http://www.finra.org/web/groups/investors/@inv/@smart/@college/documents/investors/p124094.pdf
This Web link goes to a 26-page publication that discusses college planning and available savings vehicles.

Saving For College: http://www.savingforcollege.com/
This Web site provides data about 529 plans and helps users compare 529 plans by feature and by state.

The GI Bill Web Site (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs): http://www.gibill.va.gov/
This is the official “one stop” U.S. government Web site about educational benefits for veterans.

UGMA (Uniform Gifts to Minors) and UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors) Custodial Accounts: http://www.finaid.org/savings/ugma.phtmlThis Web site describes the features of UGMA/UTMA accounts and their potential impact on student financial aid.

Calculators

College Savings Calculator (The College Board): https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/paying-your-share/college-savings-calculator
This Web site contains an online calculator that asks a series of questions to determine the cost of college.

College Savings Calculator (FINRA): http://apps.finra.org/Calcs/1/CollegeSavings
This Web site contains an online calculator that asks a series of questions to determine the cost of college.

Coverdell ESA Calculator: http://www.calcxml.com/calculators/coverdell-esa
This Web site contains information about Coverdell ESAs and a calculator to determine the future value of savings

Fin Aid: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/costprojector.phtml
This Web site contains an online calculator that asks a series of questions to determine the cost of college.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/publication.asp?pid=FS634
This Web site contains a downloadable “paper and pencil” worksheet for users to calculate college costs.

Saving for College: http://www.savingforcollege.com/college-savings-calculator/
This Web site contains an online calculator that asks a series of questions to determine the cost of college.

Videos

About the College Savings Plans Network (CSPN): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baEVuFgWhak
This one minute, 41 second video discusses the mission and resources of the College Savings Plan Network.

Education Tax Credits and Deductions (IRS): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8w24hxuBwF0
This one minute, 20 second IRS video provides an overview of available college education tax benefits.

Five Was Ed Pays: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spNDLD2KRuA
This 2-minute video describes a variety of ways that post-secondary education enriches people’s lives.

Introduction to Student Financial Aid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7GJ8RQU0_o&feature=topics
This 3-minute video describes the process of completing a FAFSA form to apply for federal student aid.

Credit and Debt

Web Sites

Annual Credit Report Web Site: https://www.annualcreditreport.com
This is the central source Web site where consumers can request a free credit report under federal law from all three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Consumer Action: http://www.consumer-action.org/
This Web site contains information on a variety of credit-related topics and results of periodic surveys about different types of credit and debit cards (e.g., secured card survey).

Federal Reserve Credit Cards Consumer’s Guide: http://www.federalreserve.gov/creditcard/default.htm
This Web site contains a number of interactive tools and features, information about how to read a credit card statement, and information about credit card rules and regulations.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Credit Cards and Consumer Loans: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/loans.shtm
This Web site provides links to PDF files for fact sheets on a variety of credit and debt related topics.

MyFICO Web Site: http://www.myfico.com
This is the Web site of Fair Isaac Corporation, the provider of FICO credit scores. It includes information about how credit scores are calculated and links for consumers to order their credit score for a fee.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC): http://www.nfcc.org/
This Web site can help consumers locate a NFCC member agency to obtain credit counseling services.

PowerPay Web Site (Utah State University Extension): http://www.powerpay.org
This Web site helps users set up a calendar for accelerated debt repayment by comparing debt payoff methods.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Wise Credit Management Quiz: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/wise-credit/
This is the link to a 20-question assessment tool about credit management practices. Persons who complete the quiz receive a score, an interpretation of their score, and a list of action steps.

Reverse Mortgage Web Site: http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/reverse_mortgages/
This link provides users with links to almost a dozen AARP publications about reverse mortgages.
The Credit Score Quiz: http://www.creditscorequiz.org/
This Web site, developed by the Consumer Federation of America, contains a 21-question credit score quiz and supporting resource materials about credit scores.

VantageScore® Web Site: http://www.experian.com/consumer-products/vantage-score.html
This Web site describes the VantageScore®, a credit score developed jointly by the three major credit reporting agencies Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Whatsmyscore.org: http://whatsmyscore.org/estimator/
This Web site includes the FICO Score Estimator where users can get a rough estimate of their FICO score.

Calculators

Auto Calculators (Edmunds.com): http://www.edmunds.com/calculators/
This Web site includes six calculators to help users make car loan, lease, and trade-in decisions.

Auto Lease Calculator (Edmunds.com): http://www.edmunds.com/calculators/car-lease.html
This calculator helps users calculate the monthly payment for an auto lease.

Calculators (Bankrate.com): http://www.bankrate.com/calculators.aspx
A comprehensive “calculator Web site” with calculators for credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and other topics.

Federal Reserve Credit Card Repayment Calculator: http://www.federalreserve.gov/creditcardcalculator/
Users can input their credit card balance and APR and the calculator will tell how long it will take to pay off their debt making only minimum payments and how to develop a plan to pay off their balance sooner.

FICO Loan Savings Calculator: http://www.myfico.com/myfico/creditcentral/loanrates.aspx
The loan calculator shows the cost of a loan (monthly payment and total cost) for people with varying credit scores.

Should I Rent or Buy a Home? (Yahoo Calculator): http://realestate.yahoo.com/calculators/rent_vs_own.html
This Web site allows users to calculate the difference between renting a property and buying a home.

Videos

Consumer Credit and Debt: Co-Signing a Loan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yte4MBtoAqg
This video uses conversations among three cartoon characters to explain the pitfalls of co-signing a loan.

Types of Bankruptcy: http://www.ehow.com/video_4982843_types-bankruptcy.html#ixzz1mBiwjRnz
This video features a bankruptcy lawyer who discusses various types of personal and organizational bankruptcies.

General Financial Planning

Web Sites

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board): http://www.cfp.net/
This Web site provides information about financial planning topics and information about how to find a certified financial planner in a particular geographic region.

eXtension Personal Finance Web Site: http://www.extension.org/personal_finance
This Web site combines the best online personal finance resources of Cooperative Extension nationwide.

Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC): http://www.mymoney.gov/
This Web site is a “one-stop shop” of financial education resources from 20 federal government agencies.

Financial Planning Association (FPA): http://www.fpanet.org
This Web site provides information about financial planning topics and information about how to find a FPA member financial planner in a particular geographic region.

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA): http://www.napfa.org/
This Web site provides information about financial planning topics and information about how to find a NAPFA member (fee-only financial planner) in a particular geographic region.

Publications.USA.gov: http://www.publications.usa.gov
This Web site is a source for federal government publications on a variety of topics, including personal finance.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Financial Fitness Quiz: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/ffquiz/
This is the link to a 20-question quiz that assesses users’ frequency of performing recommended financial management practices. The quiz provides a score, an interpretation of the score, and a list of recommended action steps.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Money and Investing Web Site: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/.
This Web site provides links to personal finance information available from Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

Smart About Money: http://www.smartaboutmoney.org/
This National Endowment for Financial Education Web site contains information about a variety of personal finance topics and is organized around life events and key financial decisions.

The Wall Street Journal (Personal Finance): http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-personal-finance.html
This Web site contains links to Wall Street Journal articles about a wide variety of personal finance topics.

USA Today Money News: http://www.usatoday.com/money/
This online version of the USA Today newspaper contains articles about business and personal finance topics.

Women’s Institute for Financial Education: http://www.wife.org/
This Web site includes feature articles on personal finance with a special emphasis on topics of interest to women.

Identity Theft

Web Sites
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Affidavit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf
This is the link to the official FTC form that identity theft victims can use to report an identity theft crime to creditors, financial institutions, and others.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Identity Theft Web Site: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/
The FTC is the federal government agency with broad authority over identity theft and has an excellent Web site that is a one-stop resource to learn about identity theft.

FINRA: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ProtectYourself/InvestorAlerts/FraudsAndScams/p010734
This Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) fact discusses “phishing” and other online identity theft scams, including those related to investment fraud.

National Consumers League: http://www.fraud.org/tips/internet/idtheftavoid.htm
This online fact sheet from the National Consumers League has a good summary of recommended practices to reduce the risk of becoming an identity theft victim.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse: http://www.privacyrights.org/
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a non-profit consumer organization that raises awareness of how technology affects privacy and has excellent resources about identity theft.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension Identity Theft Risk Assessment Quiz: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/identitytheft/
This is the link to a 20-question online identity theft risk self-assessment tool. Persons who complete the quiz receive a score, an interpretation of their score, and a list of action steps.

Videos

Federal Trade Commission Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IEBVIh7bzc
This is a one minute, 8 second video about causes of identity theft. Set to music, it shows various ways that identity thieves steal personal information from victims.

Federal Trade Commission Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoPJImjP1ZQ
This video is one minute, 53 seconds in length. It features dozens of short statements from identity theft victims who describe their personal experiences.

Phishing Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8lWLwuiDwk
This video is 2 minutes, 31 seconds long and is done in “whiteboard” presentation style. It describes what phishing is and how to prevent it.

Income Taxes

Web Sites

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Assistant for Individuals (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=150703,00.html
The AMT Assistant contains a few short questions to help users determine whether or not they have to pay the AMT.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Outreach Campaign: http://eitcoutreach.org/
This Web site contains information about the EITC and links to EITC outreach campaign materials.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Assistant: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=130102,00.html
The EITC Assistant contains questions to help users determine whether or not they are eligible for the EITC.

How Income Tax Audits Work (How Stuff Works): http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/personal-income-taxes/income-tax-audits.htm
This “How Stuff Works” Web page describes what a tax audit is and how to prepare for one, if necessary.

How Long to Keep Financial Records (Bankrate): http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/how-long-to-keep-financial-records.aspx
This Web site has a helpful “Financial Records Timeline” chart that tells how long documents should be stored.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/
This is a go-to Web site for federal income tax information, publications, forms, tools, and tax filing. An especially helpful reference is IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/index.html.

Paycheck City: http://www.paycheckcity.com/
The interactive calculators on this site can tell users how much income tax will be deducted from their income.

Tax Credit vs. Deduction (Kiplinger): http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/ask/archive/2007/q0319.htm
The Web page explains the difference between tax deductions and tax credits with numerical examples.

Tax Information (Rutgers Cooperative Extension): http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/taxinfo/
This Web page lists federal marginal tax brackets by income ranges and tax filing status (e.g., single, married).

Taxes Terms (Investopedia): http://www.investopedia.com/categories/taxes.asp?page=2#axzz2BMmdXRMM
This Web site provides an easily searchable comprehensive glossary of tax terms organized in alphabetical order.

Taxpayer Advocate Service (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Advocate-Service-6
This Web page contains over a dozen links about an IRS office that helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS.

Test Your Income Tax Knowledge: http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/personal-income-taxes/income-tax-quiz.htm
This 20-question quiz tests users’ knowledge of income tax history and regulations.

Understanding Taxes Curriculum (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/app/understandingTaxes/student/whys_thm04_les02.jsp
This Web site has separate portals for students and teachers who can access educational content about income taxes.

Calculators

Payroll Deductions Calculator (Dinkeytown.net): http://www.dinkytown.net/java/Payroll.html
This Web page provides a payroll deductions calculator based on variables such as anticipated itemized deductions.

Mortgage Tax Deduction Calculator (Money-Zine): http://www.money-zine.com/Calculators/Mortgage-Calculators/Mortgage-Tax-Deduction-Calculator/
This Web site has a calculator that tells homeowners their tax deduction benefit over the life of their mortgage.

Withholding Calculator (IRS): http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/IRS-Withholding-Calculator
This calculator helps employees determine whether they have too much or too little tax withheld from their pay.

Videos

Common Income Tax Deductions (TurboTax): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf9tnErWNZs&playnext=1&list=PL6523916D525C4366&feature=results_main
This one-minute, 48 second video explains the difference between the standard deduction and itemized deductions and common types of itemized deductions.

“Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q85-NghrsY
This two minute, 30 second video describes how tax identity theft occurs and other common tax scams.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lD5nETWcGI
This three minute, 35 second video explains these two valuable resources for low- and moderate-income families.

Haven’t Filed a Tax Return in Years? (IRS): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz4AJBWE_Ac
This one minute video explains what people should do if they haven’t filed past tax returns and should have.

Tax Deduction Tips and Advice: How to Take Federal Income Tax Deductions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFkRlT6wEV8
This video describes IRS Schedule A and available federal income tax deductions.

The Appeals Examination Process (IRS): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZSI1RsIRG0
This nine-minute video provides an explanation of the IRS appeals process used to resolve tax issues.

Your Guide to an IRS Audit (IRS): http://www.irsvideos.gov/audit/
This Web site contains a series of 10 short videos that discuss topics related to the IRS tax audit process.

Insurance

Web Sites

Best’s Credit Ratings (A.M. Best Company): http://www3.ambest.com/ratings/default.asp
This Web site provides information about how A.M. Best rates the financial strength of insurance companies.

Car Insurance Basics (Insure.com): http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/basics.html
This Web site discusses seven key components of auto insurance policies and insurance terminology.

Glossary of Insurance Terms (A.M. Best): http://www.ambest.com/resource/glossary.html
This Web site provides an easily searchable comprehensive glossary of insurance terms.

Health Insurance Glossary: http://www.healthinsurance.org/glossary/category/a/
This Web site provides an easily searchable comprehensive glossary of health insurance terms.

Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/index.html
IRS publication 969 discusses HSAs and three other types of tax-advantaged plans to save for health care expenses.

Insurance Information Institute: http://www.iii.org/
This Web site has information about a variety of insurance topics including how to make a claim and flood insurance.

Insurance Premium Quote Web Sites: Insure.com (www.insure.com), InsWeb (www.insweb.com), Quick Quote (www.quickquote,com), and Lower Rate quotes (www.lowerratequotes.com)
These Web sites are examples of available commercial resources that provide insurance premium quote services.

Insuring Your Health: http://www.extension.umd.edu/insure
This Web site provides a consumer-tested workbook for making a smart choice health insurance purchase, resources for consumers and educators, and research on the topic of health insurance.

Long Term Care (LTC) Information (Department of Health and Human Services): http://www.longtermcare.gov
This Web site discusses types of long-term care services, how much they cost, and how to plan ahead for LTC needs.

Medicaid Web Site: http://www.medicaid.gov/
This Web site describes features of Medicaid, eligibility requirements, and how to sign up for benefits.

Medicare Web Site (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services): http://www.medicare.gov/
This is the official U.S. government Medicare Web site and includes links for information and online search tools.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): http://www.naic.org/
This Web site provides information about a variety of insurance and insurance regulation topics.

National Insurance Crime Bureau: https://www.nicb.org/
This Web site contains a service to check vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and information about fraud topics.

Social Security Disability Insurance: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/
This Web site provides information about qualifications to receive Social Security disability and how to apply for it.

Weiss Ratings: http://www.weissratings.com/
This Web site provides information about how Weiss Ratings evaluates the financial strength of insurance companies.

Who Needs Disability Insurance? (LIFE): http://www.lifehappens.org/who-needs-disability-insurance/
This Web site provides information about disability insurance such as who needs it and where to buy it.

Calculators

Care Cost Calculator (National Advisory Center for LTC Insurance): http://www.longtermcareinsurance.org/
The calculator shows the average cost of long term care in an area to help users determine savings or insurance needs.

Evaluate Life Insurance (Consumer Federation of America): http://www.evaluatelifeinsurance.org/
This Web site describes a resource for evaluating the rate of return on a cash value life insurance policy.

Life Insurance Needs Calculator: http://www.lifehappens.org/life-insurance-needs-calculator/
This online calculator helps people determine how much life insurance they need based on personal variables.

Videos

Deductibles and Coinsurances: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IybFtOtXdc&feature=related
This 2 minute, 42 second whiteboard video explains key insurance terms such as copays, deductibles, and maximums.

How Does Health Insurance Work? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXfGeMNnBsM&feature=related
This 2-minute whiteboard video explains how health insurance works and key health insurance terms.

How to Buy Car Insurance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbLoU6dEisg&feature=relmfu
This 3-minute video explains the steps involved in purchasing an auto insurance policy.

How to Buy Homeowner’s Insurance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luoRjGjUQqY
This 3-minute video explains the steps involved in purchasing a homeowner’s insurance policy.

How to Buy Renter’s Insurance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COvw1h_Mbr4&feature=relmfu
This one minute, 50 second video explains the steps involved in purchasing a renter’s insurance policy.

Insurance Fraud Video (CNET): http://cnettv.cnet.com/insurance-fraud/9742-1_53-50036636.html
This two-minute video is a television news segment about how health insurance fraud is committed.

Insurance Fraud Video (CBS Evening News): http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57367081/scammers-cash-in-on-car-accidents/?tag=mncol;lst;3
This three minute, 18 second video is a television news segment about how auto insurance fraud is committed.

Investing

Web Sites

American Association of Individual Investors (AAII): http://www.aaii.com/
This is the Web site for AAII, a national organization that provides investment information to its members and consumers.

Annuities (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC ): http://www.sec.gov/answers/annuity.htm
This Web site explains the different types of annuities and provides a link to more information about variable annuities.

Better Investing (National Association of Investors Corporation): http://www.betterinvesting.org
This is the Web site of the national organization that helps people organize and maintain local investment clubs.

Beware of Investment Fraud: http://www.usa.gov/topics/consumer/scams-fraud/investment.shtml
This Web page from USA.gov describes common “red flags” of investment fraud schemes.

Bond Rating (Investopedia): http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bondrating.asp#axzz2345s7vD2
This Web page defines what a bond rating is and explains the letters used by rating agencies to indicate credit quality.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC): http://www.sec.gov/answers/etf.htm
This Web site explains what ETFs are and how to buy them and provides dozens of links to additional SEC resources.

FINRA BrokerCheck: http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck/
This Web site describes a free tool for investors to research the backgrounds of FINRA-registered brokerage firms and financial advisors. FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

FINRA Investor Education Modules: http://www.finrafoundation.org/resources/education/modules/
This Web site contains 11 modules on topics such as key investment concepts and safeguarding investments.

Invest Wisely: An Introduction to Mutual Funds (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission): http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/inwsmf.htm
This Web site provides a detailed description of characteristics and types of mutual funds and mutual fund terms.

Investing for Your Future (IFYF) Home Study Course: http://www.investing.rutgers.edu and http://www.extension.org/pages/10984/investing-for-your-future
IFYF is a free Cooperative Extension 11-module basic investing home study course with monthly message updates.

Investment Company Institute (ICI): http://www.ici.org/
This Web site of ICI, the national association of U.S. investment companies, includes investor education resources.

Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz (Rutgers Cooperative Extension): http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/riskquiz/
This 13-question quiz has been found to be a reliable tool to assess users’ investment risk tolerance level. Users receive a score and an interpretation of it to help them make investment decisions.

Managing Investment Risk (FINRA): http://www.finra.org/Investors/SmartInvesting/AdvancedInvesting/ManagingInvestmentRisk/
This Web site explains the different types of risks that are associated with investing.

Morningstar: http://www.morningstar.com
Morningstar is a Web site that provides information and performance analyses of mutual funds and other securities.
Mutual Fund Education Alliance: http://www.mfea.com/
This mutual fund trade association Web site includes fund ratings and articles on a wide variety of investment topics.

Mutual Fund Prospectus (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission): http://www.sec.gov/answers/mfprospectustips.htm
This Web page describes two types of fund prospectuses (statutory and summary) and the information they contain.

Net Worth Calculation Worksheet: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/networthcalcworksheet.pdf.
This is a downloadable “paper and pencil” worksheet for users to calculate their net worth.

Net Worth Calculation Spreadsheet: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money (see Microsoft Excel Financial Templates)
This is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet with pre-programmed formulas for users to calculate their net worth.

North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA): http://www.nasaa.org/
The NASAA Web site can be used to locate contact information for state securities regulators.

Smart Money (Wall Street Journal): http://www.smartmoney.com
This magazine-like Web site provides information on a wide variety of personal finance and investment topics.

Stocks (FINRA): http://www.finra.org/Investors/SmartInvesting/ChoosingInvestments/Stocks/
This FINRA fact sheet provides a comprehensive overview of features and types of common stock.

Treasury Direct: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/
This is the federal government Web site for the purchase of U.S. savings bonds and Treasury securities.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: http://www.sec.gov
This is the Web site of the federal government agency charged with protecting investors against fraud.

Yahoo! Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com
A comprehensive Web site for personal finance information including daily investment performance data.

Calculators

Annuity Calculator (MoneyChimp): http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/annuity_calculator.htm
This Web site helps users calculate the annual payout for an annuity using data for three variables that users input.

Asset Allocation: Fix Your Mix (CNN Money): http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/assetallocwizard/assetallocwizard.html
Users input data about their time frame and risk tolerance and receive suggested asset allocation weightings.

Dollar Cost Averaging Calculator (American Century Investments): https://www.americancentury.com/calculator/dollar_cost_averaging_calculator.jsp
Users input the amount of their monthly investment and monthly share prices to calculate an average share price.

Investment Return Calculator (AARP): http://www.aarp.org/money/investing/investment_return_calculator/
Users can input data about their investments and receive a projection of the amount that their money will grow to.

Rule of 72 (Calculators): http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/04/040104.asp#axzz2345s7vD2
This Web site contains calculators to estimate the time or interest rate required for a sum of money to double.

Taxable vs. Tax-Advantaged Savings? Calculator: http://www.calcxml.com/do/inv07
This calculator can determine the future value of taxable and tax-deferred investments based on inputted data.

Videos

Elder Investor Fraud: A National Epidemic (Investor Protection Trust): http://www.investorprotection.org/learn/?fa=eiffeVideo
This video describes the problem of elder investment fraud and common ways that older adults are defrauded.

How Mutual Funds Work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8tK6LuOP3E&feature=topics
This one minute, 44 second video explains how mutual funds operate, how they are bought, and their advantages.

Introduction to Bonds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svOsKnWlW-g
This one minute, 47 second video explains characteristics of bonds and how they are issued to investors.

Investing Money in Plain English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaPfs1WY9QM
This “whiteboard” format video provides an explanation of the risks and potential benefits of investing money.

Stocks vs. Bonds (Investopedia): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuIAscSa0p4
This one minute, 56 minute video explains the characteristics of and differences between stocks and bonds.

What are Stocks?; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGp4ofULzQ
This one minute, 25 second video explains characteristics of stocks and how they are bought and sold.
Retirement Planning

Web Sites

American Savings Education Council (ASEC): http://www.choosetosave.org
This Web site contains information about planning and saving for retirement and related financial topics. It is hosted by ASEC, a national coalition of public- and private-sector organizations.

Center for Retirement Research (Boston College): http://crr.bc.edu/
This Web site is a good source of information about retirement topics and research findings about retirement.

Delaying Retirement But Not Your Retirement Dreams: https://www2.troweprice.com/iws/wps/wcm/connect/d2edab0046d7abf0a87eb899d35c25cc/0477923_P1.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=d2edab0046d7abf0a87eb899d35c25cc
This T. Rowe Price article explains how people can start living their retirement dreams while they are still working by starting to do things on their “bucket list” while working a few additional years.

403(b) Wise: http://www.403bwise.com/
This Web site contains information about tax-deferred 403(b) retirement savings plans.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): http://www.irs.gov/retirement/article/0,,id=111413,00.html
This Web site contains an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fact sheet with frequently-asked questions about IRAs.

Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC): http://www.pbgc.gov/
This Web site provides information about the federal government agency that guarantees certain benefits to eligible private sector workers whose employer’s defined benefit pension is not financially sound.

Plan Well, Retire Well: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/eb141/
This University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Web site features frequent blog posts on retirement planning topics.

Planning For a Secure Retirement: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/retirement/
This Purdue University Cooperative Extension Web site is an entire retirement planning course that is broken down into ten modules with additional links to online resources.

Retirement Confidence Survey: http://www.ebri.org/surveys/rcs/
The annual Retirement Confidence Survey, sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), measures workers’ attitudes about retirement and trends in how people are planning for retirement.

Retirement Living Information Center-Taxes By State: http://www.retirementliving.com/taxes-by-state
This Web site features a clickable U.S. made that provides state tax data to help retirees make relocation decisions.

Retirement Readiness Rating (R3) Survey: http://www.ebri.org/surveys/rcs/2000/dis_rrr.cfm
The R3 survey provides a personalized assessment of how prepared people are to retire.

Social Security: http://www.ssa.gov/
This is the Social Security Web site home page where users can find links for forms and publications, locate a Social Security office, and apply for retirement benefits online.

Social Security Benefit Estimate Web Site: http://www.ssa.gov/mystatement/
This Social Security Web link allows users to obtain a personalized retirement benefit estimate online.

Uniform Distribution Table for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs): http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/ira-table.asp
This online fact sheet from Rutgers Cooperative Extension shows the appropriate divisors for taxpayers over age 70½ to use to withdraw the correct RMD amount from tax-deferred retirement savings plans.

Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER): https://www.wiserwomen.org/
This Web site contains information about retirement planning topics that is especially targeted toward women.

Calculators

AARP Retirement Calculator: http://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/retirement_calculator/
This online calculator uses data inputted by users to provide an analysis of their preparation for retirement.

Compound Interest Calculator: http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm
This calculator from MoneyChimp shows what a certain amount of principal (i.e., investment deposit) will grow to at a specific interest rate over a specific number of years.

Life Expectancy Calculators: http://www.northwesternmutual.com/learning-center/the-longevity-game.aspx (The Longevity Game, Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company) and http://gosset.wharton.upenn.edu/mortality/perl/CalcForm.html (How Long Will I Live?, Wharton School) and http://www.msrs.state.mn.us/info/Age_Cal.htmls (Life Expectancy Calculator, Minnesota State Retirement System). All three calculators include questions about users’ personal health and lifestyle.

Social Security Life Expectancy Calculator: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/population/longevity.html
This calculator shows the average number of additional years that a person is expected to live based only on their age and gender. Lifestyle factors, health status, and family health history are not considered.

The Ballpark Estimate: http://www.choosetosave.org/ballpark/
The Ballpark Estimate is a simple planning tool that provides a rough estimate of the amount of money someone needs to save to meet their retirement savings goal.

Video

Ready for Retirement: How Much Money Do You Need?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhVhESLR5Bk&feature=related
This 4-minute video describes the basics of the financial planning process and things retirees should consider.

Saving

Web Sites

America Saves: http://www.americasaves.org/
The America Saves program Web site encourages individuals to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. The E-Wealth Coach Articles page of the America Saves site http://americasaves.org/for-savers/21 contains an archive of articles written by financial experts about building wealth and saving money. The America Saves Week Web site http://www.americasavesweek.org/ provides information for both individual savers and campaign coordinators.

Feed the Pig: http://www.feedthepig.org/
This Web site uses a humorous cartoon pig character, Benjamin Bankes, to promote saving for financial goals.

Financial Goal-Setting Worksheet: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/goalsettingworksheet.pdf
This one-page Rutgers Cooperative Extension worksheet can help users to calculate savings needed for financial goals.

Frugal Living (About.com): http://frugalliving.about.com/
This Web site provides information about reducing living expenses to free up money to save.

Save and Invest.org (FINRA Foundation): http://www.saveandinvest.org/
This Web site provides information on saving and investment topics including emergency funds and goal-setting.

Saving vs. Investing (FinancialWeb): http://www.finweb.com/financial-planning/saving-vs-investing.html
This Web page provides a good explanation of the differences between saving and investing.

Small Steps to Health and Wealth™: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/
This Web site describes small steps that people can take to improve their health and save and invest money.

Calculator

1% More Savings Calculator (New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/03/24/your-money/one-pct-more-calculator.html
This calculator shows how much someone can accumulate by increasing savings by 1% or more a year.

Videos

Savingsman Public Service Announcements (EBRI): http://www.choosetosave.org/psaplayer/index.html
This Web page contains links to 15- and 30-second PSAs that promote the value of saving money for retirement.

The Pros and Cons of Saving and Investing (ING Tutorial): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DBdWeTxXeU&feature=related
This two- minute video explains saving versus investing with an analogy to a race between a tortoise and a hare.

Free Financial Education Curricula Building Your Future™ (The Acturarial Foundation): http://www.actuarialfoundation.org/programs/youth/getonthelist.shtml
This Web site provides information about how to order a free 3-book high school personal finance curriculum.

Family Economics and Financial Education (University of Arizona FEFE): http://www.fefe.arizona.edu/
This Web site includes information about training workshops for teachers and free ready-to-teach lesson plans.

Financial Fitness For Life (FFL): http://fffl.councilforeconed.org/
This Council for Economic Education Web site includes curriculum materials (downloadable activities and visuals) for personal finance lessons on financial planning related topics. Print materials are also available for purchase.

Hard Core Financial Education Boot Camp (Rutgers Cooperative Extension and NJ Coalition for Financial Education): http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/bootcamp/
This Web site contains videos and PowerPoint slides for a full-day financial education training program for teachers. Printed PowerPoint handouts to accompany the videotaped presentations can be downloaded free of charge.

Learning, Earning, and Investing for a New Generation (CEE): http://www.hsfpp.org/
This Council for Economic Education Web site includes curriculum materials (downloadable activities and visuals) for 21 personal finance lessons on saving, investing, and related topics. Print materials are also available for purchase.

Money Matters Pro (NY Public Library): https://sites.google.com/a/nypl.org/money-matters/home/curriculum
This Web site contains annotated PowerPoint presentations, activities, and online resource lists for 11 personal finance programs for adults. The workshops were developed to provide training to library staff on personal finance resources.

Money Skill (AFSA Education Foundation): http://www.moneyskill.org/
The Web site includes a demo and information about Money Skill, a free online personal finance course for young adults. The high school version contains 36 modules, with pre- and post-tests, and covers key financial concepts. There is also a middle school version with 12 modules. The course is aligned with national Jump$tart Coalition standards.

Money Smart for Young Adults (FDIC): http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/young.html
This Web site provides information about the FDIC youth curriculum and how to order it on a CD free of charge.

NEFE Financial Workshop Kits: http://www.financialworkshopkits.org/
This Web site provides free downloadable curriculum materials for adult financial education workshops including PowerPoint slides, scripts, handouts, and other resources. Materials are organized by topic area and audience.

NEFE High School Financial Planning Program®: http://www.hsfpp.org/
In the “Get Materials” section of this National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) Web site, educators can order print materials (six student workbooks) and download or view online resources.

Practical Money Skills for Life: https://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/foreducators/lesson_plans/highschool.php
This Web site from Visa provides links to a free downloadable 22-lesson personal finance curriculum for grades 9-12. Lesson plans are also available for grades Pre K-2, 3-6, and 7-8.
For lists of additional free financial education resources, see http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/fl/finlitk12.asp and http://www.dfi.wa.gov/financial-education/educators-high.htm.

Posted in Banks, Consumer Protection, Debt, Elderly, General, Income, Internet, Investment, Personal Finance, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Google Analytics for Extension Reporting

Posted by Fahz on 2014/01/21

Based on my Promotion and Tenure Report progress, I was advised to have a focus area on Social Media, specifically on Google Analytics. Two publications that my supervisors and colleagues would like to see are on Google Analytics – one for Extension county personnel and the other one for a national conference. Since I missed the deadline NeXC-NEDA 2014, I have to focus on submissions for NEAFCS and NETC 2014 – both due soon.

Anyways, writing about Google Analytics for professionals of various Google Analytics understanding has been more challenging than expected. From an elaborated out line below …

Image

….. my piece to NM County Home Economics agents looks as such ::

 

 

How Extension Personnel can Utilize Google Analytics for Reporting

Fahzy Abdul-Rahman, Ph.D.

Family Resource Management Specialist

 

Google Analytics provides data of website visitors that can be very useful if utilized in a correct manner. Designed with businesses in mind, Google Analytics can still be beneficial for non-business organizations like Extension. The goals of this article are to explain the importance of including Google Analytics in Extension programming, and to share ways of utilizing Google Analytics for Extension programs.

For people who are not familiar with Google Analytics, it is an online tracking service that provides data and statistics on your websites and their visitors. Data obtained from Google Analytics are very rich, which includes number of visitors, their demographics, time in the day (and night) when people visit your website, keywords search used to enter your website, geographical location from where your visitors accessed your site, and how long people stayed on your website. A full listing of metrics available may be obtained from Google Analytics website.

Before going further into Google Analytics, there are a few clarifications. There are actually various other website tracking or analytics services to obtain visitor data. Other analytic programs include Clicky, GoSquared, Woopra, and ShinyStat. Since Google Analytics is by far the mostly used, we will stick to Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Setup

In order to obtain data from Google Analytics, we need to first include Google Analytics web tracking code program to permit or enable Google Analytics to collect data on your website visitors. This can be done by anyone with basic website knowledge. If you work in organizations with IT personnel like universities, you can ask IT personnel to set up your websites and online materials so that Google Analytics can track their important metrics.

Start simple

If you are unsure about Google Analytics, you should give it a try. A quick way to do so is by testing Google Analytics set up for college websites. If you have a choice, choose sites that have high number of hits such as the college’s website. By playing around with the menu, you should be able to see the metrics and dimensions available for reporting and extension programs.

Simple Reporting

Journals usually brag about their number of subscriptions to imply the number of people their journals would reach out to. As more publications are getting placed online, Google Analytics provides the ideal platform to see visitors who have landed on your online resources such as your newsletters. In this way, you will be able to obtain visitor information specific to your article, as opposed to printed journal subscription.

Starting simple with Google Analytics also covers starting simple in reporting metrics such as number of visitors to your website and top website visited last year.

Table 1: Google Analytics Results for selected NMSU FRM Extension How-To Guide Publications, 2010

Title Page-views Unique Page-views Average Time of Page Bounce Rate
G-204: Right to Cancel: Telephone Sales

126

120

0:02:38

85.71%

G-205: Don’t Be Robbed by Fraud

245

236

0:02:45

90.48%

G-216: You Can Check Your Credit Rating

202

183

0:01:17

45.62%

G-220: Write Checks the Right Way

155

147

0:00:00

95.33%

G-224:Unfair Trade Practices Act

145

137

0:00:58

91.67%

G-229: Organize a Home Filing System

101

90

0:00:00

69.22%

G-235: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

114

107

0:01:26

56.03%

G-246: Information to Help Your Heirs

269

263

0:02:29

91.67%

G-247: Things to do Before Making a Will

2,122

2,035

0:04:28

95.54%

G-259: Smart Shopping

182

171

0:02:57

78.95%

G-412: Designing a Hobby Center

4,633

4,299

0:06:27

83.33%

Total

13,394

11,888

0:05:07

81.34%

 

Setting Your Goals

One of the main ways businesses are using Google Analytics is by looking into top sites that lead to sales and positive behaviors towards brand loyalty. The positive behaviors could be playing videos related to the company and following the company’s social media accounts (E.g. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook). Since the focus of Extension is not to seek profit, other goals in Extension program may include enrollment in programs and personal savings actually accumulated. The important thing here, like many of your Extension programs, is to set goals for your website. From there, hopefully, you can design ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your website in reaching your goals. With these goals, you can actually measure knowledge and behavior change rate, known in Google Analytics as Conversion Rate.

Figure 1 below shows a simplistic funnel describing traffic from NMSU America Saves (AS) Project webpage. From the figure, we could figure out the effectiveness of that particular website in influencing its visitors to enroll in the saving program. One can observe that thirty percent of visitors who landed on that page actually signed up for the savings program. A more complicated funnel system with funnels of various websites provides more insights on underperforming websites with regards to your website goals. If you see your webpage on motivations for savings are not leading to an acceptable conversion rate (e.g. 3% visitor to this page enrolled in the savings program), you may need to alter the content of that page.

 Figure 1: How a Google Analytics Funnel May Be Utilized to See a Page Performance in Reaching a Website’s Goal

 

 Funnel

Not-So-Basic Applications

Beyond the aggregate numbers, there are other metrics and activities that you can manipulate to get enriched information.  Some of these applications are:

Segmentation: More advanced Google Analytics users would want to segment the aggregate numbers. This enables users to get richer insights on websites visitors and their behaviors. In fact, an expert on Google Analytics remarked that aggregate Google Analytics numbers are useless (Kaushik, 2013). For instance, the visitor numbers may very well include number of people who merely stumbled on the page although they intended to search for other resources with similar keywords.

  1. Automatize your monthly report: Automatizing your monthly or weekly report is a great way to get a personalized report without having to spend too much time. You can set up a template report containing your interested metrics. Monthly report will allow you to see some trends, search keywords that led to your site, website visitor trend changes as a response to your programs, and other metrics of interest.
  2. Use the Google Analytics data to further improve your site: Demographic and keyword data may provide insights on how your sites have improved and ways to improve your websites. If your sites designed for youth are being accessed mainly by older Americans, you may be doing something wrong. For instance, Google Analytics may spit out data on low smartphone visitors, indicating your websites may not be smartphone- or table-format friendly which would turn off younger visitors.

Conclusion

For many extension personnel, reporting season may have just ended. However, this is the best time to install Google Analytics so that you may harvest the data when it comes to the annual reporting season. The Google Analytics properties mentioned are just the very basics of Google Analytics and how it is very applicable to Extension works, especially in evaluation reporting. As Null (2013) it, “you’re a fool if you don’t include Google Analytics” in your websites.

Reference

 Kaushik, A. (2013, September 9). Google Analytics Visitor Segmentation: Users, Sequences, Cohorts.  Retrieved January 6, 2014 from http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/google-analytics-visitor-segmentation-users-sequences-cohorts/

Null, C. (2013, October 2). 4 Simpler Alternatives to Google Analytics. Retrieved January 9, 2014 from http://www.pcworld.com/article/2051368/4-simpler-alternatives-to-google-analytics.html

 

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NMSU Estate Planning Conference for Women

Posted by Fahz on 2014/01/03

ImageA great conference on money management for everyone especially older adults. The emphasis is on women because women tend to live longer and live as widows (due to tendency to marry older men). At the age of 65, women are three times as likely as men to be widowed. Historically, women also tend to be less knowledgeable in personal finance issues and have less money management experience. So, spread to word out …

From New Mexico State University Hotline – Jan. 3, 2014:

NMSU Estate Planning Conference for Women offered at NMSU

The 2014 NMSU Estate Planning Conference for Women will be held Wednesday mornings beginning on Feb. 5, and each Wednesday morning through Feb. 26, at Anderson Hall (Physical Science Laboratory), on the NMSU Las Cruces campus. This is the seventh annual conference exclusively for women.

This special program is offered as a community service for area women with support from Tammie Campos, NMSU Alumni Association; Debbie Widger, NMSU Foundation; and Glenn Davis, ScottHulse PC. The four-part series is led by 13 prominent financial planners who volunteer their time. The curriculum offers the fundamentals of financial and estate planning, including wills and trusts, asset protection, taxes, charitable giving, elder law, money management and much more.

A past participant, Margie Rankin, wrote, “Thank you, this was truly a beneficial and informative conference.”

There is no charge but space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Participants are asked to attend all four sessions. The final session will include a fun graduation celebration luncheon for participants and speakers.

For more information contact Robert Peterson at 575-646-4358 or peterson@nmsu.edu.

To register for the conference, contact Nohemi Perez, NMSUF special events coordinator at 575-646-1106 or nohemip@nmsu.edu.

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A Blogpost a Day Keeps the …

Posted by Fahz on 2014/01/02

OK, OK! … I’ll leave the answers to you all. New year means catching up with reports and projects. Right now I am finishing up a piece on Utilizing Google Analytics for Extension Educators (reporting, planning, improving online presence) and preparing for the tax season.

My Google Analytics piece outline: GA4Extension

Google Analytics for Extension Educator Outline

Google Analytics for Extension Educator Outline

This year’s volunteer tax prep training looks a bit scary due to the exam:

The training and test have been changed this year. This year, the advanced course is a standalone course and test. You only need to take the Advanced test, not the Basic. The good news is, there are only 40 questions on the advanced test (as opposed to 64 on the basic, intermediate and advanced, last year). The bad news is, you can only miss 8 questions and still pass (12 last year). Also this year, the standards of conduct test has increased to 10 questions. All volunteers must take the Standards of Conduct test, even greeters and translators. The test booklet is included in the printed material, and as always, I strongly urge you to read the test and try answering the questions before training begins.

Anyways, just found this today. I hope I can blog to improve on all work-related matters ::

“Blog every single day, once a day. Don’t follow trends. Don’t measure. Don’t read the comments. Start now.” – Seth Godin, best-selling author and blogger

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/30-day-blog-challenge-tip-1-sr?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3257304

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Utilizing The Tech Savviness in Youth for Household Financial Advancement

Posted by Fahz on 2013/12/23

 As one of the poorest states in the nation, New Mexico (NM) needs an economic boost from any possible sources. The youth population is certainly a promising target to focus on in order to alleviate poverty and improve economic conditions in NM. Although some may think that the efforts are surely to be long-term oriented with youths, they may still make immediate impact in the short term.

An area in which the youth are excelling is technology. Youth are relatively more tech savvy and spend more time on high-tech gadgets than the older generations. These technology-related areas include the internet, cell phones, social networking websites, and computer devices.

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Home Internet Adoption Rate by Technology and Age, http://bber.unm.edu/pubs/BBER-Broadband.pdf

 

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Generation Raised on Internet

A win-win situation can be had if these youth would channel these computer skills to help their parents with household management, especially the financial-related ones. The youth and their parents can complement one another; the former being tech savvy and the latter being more knowledgeable about financial issues. With some training and assistance, the internet may be used as a tool to increase the household income, by, for example, developing a website on family business online (e.g. agricultural tourism, cultural products, agricultural products), advertising sales through craigslist, and getting involved in online jobs. Although youth may not be familiar with some financial practices and jargons, their familiarity with the computers may complement their parents’ knowledge. Youth may be able to chat with an expert, call an expert, Google the right phrases, and sense the reliability of a website based on its appearance (URL address and design).

US Census Bureau (Davis, Day, & Janus, 2005) reported that, based on Current Population Survey 2003, 80% of Americans 15- to 17-year-olds use the internet while 94.9% of this age group use computer. The respective proportions for those 18 years old and older are 59.5% and 63.7%. If the youth internet use in each state follows that of all ages, one may expect the internet use among NM youth to be lower than that of the national average. The overall percentage of internet use in 2003 for NM was 44.8%, compared to 54.7% nationally. The relatively low internet use among the youth in NM is likely related to the fact that NM is not among the 34 states with education technology standards by school grade level. A potential spot for the NM youths is that the student to internet-connected computer in public schools is 3.1, compared to the national average of 3.7 (Education Research Center, 2007). Even in high-poverty schools[1] in NM, this ratio stands at 3.1, compared to the national average of 3.8 (Education Research Center). These numbers indicate that NM has the capital, but requires educational programs to promote healthy computer and internet use among the youth.


[1] High-poverty schools refer to schools in which more than half the students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program.

Internet World Stats: http://www.internetworldstats.com/unitedstates.htm#NM

Broadband Subscription and Internet Use in New Mexico, Bureau of Business & Economic Research University of New Mexico, June 2013  http://bber.unm.edu/pubs/BBER-Broadband.pdf

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