April 1996 AFCPE Newsletter, Part 2
C.S. Karpel (1995). The Retirement Myth. New York: Harper Collins Publishers. ($18 hardcover book, 250
This book, aimed at baby boomers currently age 32 to 50, packs a
wealth of information between its two covers. Scores of interviews
with pension consultants, economists, actuaries, demographers,
government officials, and aging specialists are included. While
parts of the book are downright depressing, the book concludes with
an ambitious agenda for change. Chapters 14 and 15 outline dozens
of strategies that consumers individually and collectively can take to reverse predicted economic trends.
Most people are familiar enough with the book’s main premise:
the fact that the baby boom generation’s huge size has placed it at a disadvantage since the days when it was in split
kindergarten. The book begins with a stark scenario about “senior
shelters” in the year 2014 that take in older persons with less than
$25 in assets and are under pressure from younger taxpayers to
reduce costs. Various chapters then go on to describe predictions
for the future of Social Security and employer pension plans and the
statistics from a variety of sources are synthesized.
Most interesting to me were the chapters on the future of health care (“How To Survive Gerontocide”) and the
stock and bond markets
(“The Great Depreciation”). According to Karpel, age-based health care rationing is inevitable. Older Americans
assets will be able to bypass “the system” and pay cash for
treatment in offshore hospitals. Such facilities, anticipating this trend, are already open. Those less fortunate will
wait and suffer.
Traditional investment advice for seniors will need to be reconsidered early in the 21st century. Relying on
econometric models constructed by Schieber and Shoven, Karpel predicts that, as stocks and bonds are sold by
pension funds to support baby boomers as they age, there will be strong downward pressure on asset prices (both
institutional and personal). This trend can’t be changed but can be ameliorated by increased U.S. savings rates.
Otherwise, the financial (and real estate) markets could be depressed for as long as four decades as supply (of assets)
Chapter 15 (“Independent Means”) provides some suggestions for baby boomers in the years ahead including
tax-deferred savings, maximizing employer “matches” to savings, and increased investment in equities for long-term
growth. Baby boomers must also be prepared to shift to securities capable of retaining their value during the
predicted depreciation. Some suggestions: sector funds (e.g., financial services, health care) positioned to profit
from an aging population, emerging markets mutual funds (i.e., investing in countries with younger populations),
short-term government securities, and perhaps gold. Another smart “investment” is to have children. Quoting
Stanford economist B. Douglas Bernheim, “make sure they love you so they’ll want to take care of you when you’re
old. See to it that they become productive, so they can afford to.”
The Retirement Myth ends with an impressive action agenda, including many goals espoused by AFCPE.
Among them: convincing school systems to teach personal finance, supporting expanded pension coverage,
accelerating pension vesting schedules, encouraging savings (and appropriate asset allocations) in 401(k)s, and
supporting a national public/private campaign to encourage saving. Persons teaching and counseling middle aged
adults, or baby boomers themselves, will find the insights from this book truly awesome and may want to reconsider
some of today’s “conventional financial wisdom” as a result.
Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers (NJ) Cooperative Extension Service
Call for articles for the 1997 Journal of Consumer Education. Articles can be position papers or research articles.
For particulars contact Vicki R. Fitzsimmons, Editor
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Economics
305 Mumford Hall
1301 W. Gregory Drive
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
Purdue University now offers and interdisciplinary minor in Gerontology for graduate students. With about 50
faculty across campus affiliated with the program, the Interdisciplinary Gerontology Program has a strong base.
Students must complete 15 hours of graduate work related to aging in at least 3 different departments. This minor is
a good complement to Family and Consumer Economics graduate degrees. For more information,
contact Sharon A. DeVaney, phone (317)494-8300 or email: email@example.com.
Extension Associate. Applications deadline April 15, 1996. Starting Date August, 1996. DESCRIPTION: Non-tenure track position on a twelve month appointment. Three year contract. QUALIFICATIONS: M.S. degree
in Consumer or Family Economics or other relevant field. Three to 5 years experience in extension or community
education. Ph.D. desirable. CONTACT: Apply by sending application letter, resume, and three letters of
recommendation to: W. Keith Bryant, Chair, Consumer Economics & Housing,
117B MVR Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 14853, Tel: 607-255-2238, FAX: 607-255-0799, E-mail:
Counseling the Compulsive Gambler: Phase I & Phase II 1996 training schedule and brochure is available from
the Minnesota Council Training Institute, 314 West Superior St., Suite 702, Duluth, MN 55802; voice (218) 722-1503.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Denver, CO.
The number of financial planners licensed to use the CFP and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER marks
reached an all-time high 31,572 CFP licensees in 1995.
The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) and the Financial Planners Standards Council of
Canada (FPSCC), a newly formed, federally incorporated, non-profit, financial planning council, have announced an
agreement allowing the use of the CFP and Certified Financial Planner marks in Canada.
In Alphabetical Order — MEET THE Who’s Who Brave Ones Who Dared to Be First in AFCPE!!!
Sherman Hanna, Journal Editor
Ph.D., Consumer Economics, Cornell; B.S., Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (MIT)
Professor, Consumer Sciences Department
The Ohio State University
I’m from: New York (high school); and all over,
Best part of job: Power to set my own agenda
Best financial decision: Switched 100% of retirement into
stocks in 1980
When I relax: create WEB pages.
Barbara O’Neill, Board Member
Ph.D., VPI; M.S., Cornell; B.S., SUNY Oneonta, NY
Professor, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service,
Sussex County, NJ
Certifications: CFP, CFCS, AFC, enrolled in CHC
I’m from: Newton, NJ
Best part of job: Positive feedback from clients;
knowing I made a difference
Best financial decision: Investing aggressively in my
Worst financial boner: My real estate limited
partnership investment was rolled into a REIT.
Despite a paper loss, the REIT pays dividends.
When I relax: soak in hot tub, jog, shop, read, visit
Michael Rupured, Secretary
M.S., B.S., University of Kentucky
Extension State Specialist, Family Financial Education,
Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Program,
I’m from: Lexington, KENTUCKY!!!
Best part of job: Work with people from different
backgrounds and feeling that my work makes a
Best financial decision: Starting early to save to
Worst financial boner: Traded in a 74 Cutlass Supreme
for a 76 Ford Fiesta–undoubtedly the dumbest thing I’ve
done to date.
When I relax: Head for the garden (weather
permitting). Tinker with my aquariums; play with my
two cats, watch classic movies, read
Karen Varcoe, Vice-President
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., University of Illinois
Consumer Economics/Management Specialist, University
of California, located in Riverside.
I’m from: Marshall, Illinois (3,500 pop.)
Best part of job: Work with diverse audiences; free to
develop new programs
Best financial decision: Marrying my husband, a saver
(I’m not), plus he’s a nice guy!!
Worst financial boner: Didn’t buy US Surgical Stock at
$36 (went to $118)! Didn’t buy GM. It went up. The
rental property investment went down.
When I relax: read, bicycle, garden, travel.
Fred Waddell, Board Member
Ph.D., VPI, M.S., Kansas State University.; B.A.,
University of Kentucky
Family Resource Management Specialist, Alabama
Cooperative Extension System, Auburn.
Certifications: NBCCH (National Board Certified Clinical
Hypnotherapist), NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)
Best part of job: Variety and travel
Best financial decision: Returning to school late in life for
Worst financial boner: Too numerous to mention; Getting
When I relax: workout, walk, run, read, good wine, play
with my mutts, canoe, white water rafting
Judy Urich, Newsletter Editor
Ph.D., University of Minnesota; M.S., Kansas State
University; B.S., Iowa State University
Family Resource Management Specialist, University of
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service
I’m from: Upper Midwest; Midwest; Mid-South (AR)
Certifications: CFP, CFCS
Best part of job: Variety, making a difference
Best financial decision: Aggressively saving and
investing from the git/go.
Worst financial boner: Not selling (more than once) when
equities lose more than 20% of my cost basis.
When I relax: garden, read, long-distance voice
phone sessions with my kids, sing in a church choir.
Bulletin Board (cont.)
National Institute for Consumer Education (NICE)
In 1996 National Institute for Consumer Education will
conduct two intensive seminars for community and military
personnel: Personal Finance and Financial Counseling. Last
year’s participants gave the seminar very high marks. Over 95
percent indicated that it met their expectations.
Update your knowledge and strengthen your skills. The
seminars also assist those registered in the Accredited
Financial Counselor (AFC) program to prepare for the tests
and take an AFC qualification exam.
Contact Gwen M. Reichbach, Associate Director, NICE,
EMU, 207 Rackham Bldg., Ypsilant, MI 48197, (313)487-2292.
Four $10,000 fellowships available in College of Family
Life, Utah State University. Minimum requirements: 3.5 GPA
and GRE scores in 70th percentile or higher. The Department
of Human Environments at USU offers a doctoral program in
Family Economics and Consumer Sciences. Contact: Jean M.
Lown, Ph.D. UMC 2910, USU, Logan, UT 84322-2910,
| Wanted! News items and short
reviews of recent books, videos,
software, fact sheets, curricula for
newsletter. Member produced items
are recognized in the Author’s
Corner. See the mast head in the next
column for editor’s address,
telephone, Fax, and due date for next
|Newsletter (ISSN 1096-464X) of the Association for Financial Counseling
and Planning Education
AFCPE, Vol. 13, No. 2