April 1996 Issue of AFCPE Newsletter
Table of Contents
Judge McGee-Brown Highlights Financial Aspects of Divorce
Summarized by Sharon Burns, 1995 AFCPE Annual Meeting Program Chair, based on Judge
McGee-Brown’s presentation at the 1995 AFCPE meeting.
Yvette McGee-Brown, one of four Franklin County, Ohio Domestic Relations
Judges, gave a notable presentation concerning the financial aspects of
divorce. Many attendees suggested that time with her was too short. She
spoke from a practical, theoretical and judicial standpoint about the financial
issues in a divorce and the factors she considers when making her rulings.
The three major financial issues in a divorce are child support, spousal support (alimony, in some
states), and dividing the marital assets and debts. In most states child support is determined by
State statute (guidelines). These guidelines consider the number of children and the income of the
parents. Divisions may be allowed, but must be based on good cause.
Alimony or spousal support is not given in all cases. The judge was clear that in most cases the
income of the parties cannot support both new households at previous lifestyle levels. Often, the
debts of the marriage affect the spousal support awards in a negative way. In effect, the debt
swallows much of the future income.
Judge McGee-Brown suggests that both parties should expect to work after the dissolution of the
marriage. She often evaluates the need for “rehabilitative” support which allows a non-working
or underemployed spouse support for a period of time to develop or increase employment skills.
In long-term marriages (over 20-25 years) Judge McGee-Brown will consider “permanent”
support. This support is dependent upon the income earning abilities of the parties, age of the
parties, length of marriage, the distribution of assets and other factors. She is also one judge who
considers equalizing the after-tax income of the parties from long-term marriages. The division
of the marital assets and debts is particularly difficult in many cases. In dividing the debt, one
must consider what income the parties have to make debt repayments and the “matching” of debt
The two largest assets of marriages are houses and pensions. The decision of who retains the
marital residence or if it is to be sold is often based on the ability to afford the monthly mortgage
and operating costs, and the value of the equity in the home.
The present value of future pension benefits are often shockingly high. These values need to be
included in the balance sheet. Many state pension plans (STRS and PERS) are not divisible by
court orders (Qualified Domestic Relations Orders). Therefore, offsetting them with other assets
Many couples and attorneys forget the tax implications of property division. Ohio law and Judge
McGee-Brown consider the after-tax value of property when making distributions. However,
many attorneys and clients either forget to consider or don’t give adequate weight to the income
tax implications of their decisions. This mistake can be very costly.
Judge McGee-Brown stated that many divorcing individuals should search for attorneys with
good business knowledge or get financial advice during the process. This area is ripe for
counselors with good financial knowledge and negotiating skills.
Esther M. Maddux, CFP, University of Georgia
Welcome to the 1996 Board of Directors – Flora Williams, Past President;
Esther Maddux, President; Karen Varcoe, Vice President; Michael Rupured,
Secretary; and Nancy Porter, Treasurer. Board Members at Large are Dean
Brassington, Sharon Burns, Grady Cash, Judith Cohart, Barbara O’Neill,
and Fred Waddell. Ruth Helein with Administrator’s Inc. serves as AFCPE
Executive Director and Mary Stephenson is the Director of the Institute for
Click here for an electronic nomination form for your 1997 Board of Directors. We need candidates for President, Treasurer, and three Board Members at Large.
Take the time to nominate someone. Your Board serves to represent your interest, but we need your participation.
As your President, I heard some complaints about the composition of the slate of officers on the last ballot. The
nominating committee and the Board work hard to present a slate that represents our total organization. If you have
expressed concern about the slate of officers, this is your opportunity to have input. If I hear concern expressed, I
will ask if you completed your nomination form and submitted it.
To nominate someone, ask them if they are willing to serve. Then submit their qualifications.
Karen Varcoe reports that 32 people responded to the location survey in the last newsletter. Thank you respondents.
Announcements and questionnaires that go out in the newsletter are your
opportunity to be heard. Please use these opportunities. Your input is helpful as we make decisions.
Thought for the day: If I am not getting what I want or need, the solution has to come from within me. I have to
look inside and see what behavior needs changing to get what I need, not hold someone else responsible.
Acknowledge the feeling. Identify the issue that led to the feeling. Express feelings appropriately. Resolve the issue
by clarifying facts. Consider these questions:
What about this situation is frustrating me?
What is the real issue I need to address?
What am I thinking and feeling?
What do I want to accomplish?
Who is responsible and what are they responsible for?
What specifically needs changing?
What am I willing to do?
Universities Registered By AFCPE
The Committee on Registration and Accreditation of College and University Programs met at
the Annual Conference and extended the period of registration from three to five years. They also
designed registration categories for institutions based on degrees and courses in the program.
- PF – personal/family finance course only-undergraduate or graduate
- FC – financial counseling course only-undergraduate or graduate
- PF&FC – both personal/family finance and financial counseling courses-undergraduate or graduate
- UGRM – undergraduate related major
- UGM – undergraduate major in personal/ family finance or financial counseling listed in institution bulletin
- GD – graduate degree in personal/family finance or financial counseling
- UGM&GD – both of the above
Since the article in a previous newsletter about registered programs, five additional universities
and their categories listed below have met the AFCPE requirements for registration. These
universities and programs in personal finance/ financial counseling education will be registered
with AFCPE from 1996 to 2001.
- Mankato State University, Chan H.Lee, UGRM
- The University of Alabama, Milla Boschung, UGM
- University of Arkansas, William Bailey, PF
- University of Massachusetts, M.J. Alhabeeb, UGM
- University of Rhode Island, Joan Gray Anderson, UGRM
Universities registered in 1995 will have their registration extended to year 2000 for a total of
five years. The institutions and their categories are:
Iowa State University, UGM
Michigan State University, UGRM
North Dakota State University, UGRM
Oregon State University, USM&GD
State University of New York at Oneonta, UGRM
University of Georgia, PF&FC
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, PF&FC
The University of Manitoba, PF&FC
University of Nevada-Reno, PF&FC
Utah State University, UGM&GD
Virginia Polytechnic & State University, UGM&GD
The committee will mail information on registration to AFCPE members employed by colleges
and universities during the spring semester. Completed applications for registration for 1997-2002
will be due October 15.
The accreditation procedure is still being developed. Materials for accreditation will be sent to
AFCPE members in institutions as soon as they are available.
Members of the committee are Celia Hayhoe, Craig Israelson, Lauren Leach, Jean Lown, Ruth
Lytton, Kathy Prochaska-Cue, Rosemary Walker, and Virginia Rowland, Chair.
Click here to find out about the new book review editor for the Financial Counseling and Planning Journal
Recommendations For AFCPE Distinguished
President Esther Maddux asks the membership to make
recommendations of people for possible designation as a
Distinguished Fellow of AFCPE.
The criteria for the award are that the nominee must:
- (1) have provided exemplary long-standing service to AFCPE;
- (2) be a nationally recognized leader in the field of financial counseling and planning
- (3) have displayed high standards of professional and ethical conduct throughout his/her
Persons making nominations should provide the name of the
nominee and his/her current mailing address and telephone number,
a descriptive outline of the accomplishments of the nominee in
relation to the criteria, and provide your address and telephone
number. Nominees may be contacted for additional information.
Please forward recommendation(s) to Ruth Helein, AFCPE
Executive Director, by May 31, 1996.
The Financial Counseling and Planning World Wide Web pages
have been expanded to include academic positions related to family
finance. As of Feb. 26, there are four positions listed.
Editor’s note: Web address in January 1996 Newsletter is incorrect.
One of the choices in the journal web page will take you to the new AFCPE
web pages, created by Grady Cash and Sherman Hanna. To
go directly to the AFCPE Home Page:
Among other items, it is possible to submit a change of address form, if one
includes both old and new addresses.
We are beginning to plan for the 1996 Annual Conference to be held in
Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Annual Conference will be held from
November 13-16, 1996. Ken Douglas will be the local arrangements chair and
host. He assures us of a memorable stay in Grand Rapids.
Sharon Burns will be the liaison with the Board of Directors. She will also work with a committee
of conference planners including Jeannie Relaford and two other individuals to be announced soon.
We are excited about the opportunity Michigan speakers offer us. It should
be an exciting and educational conference. We look forward to seeing all of
you in Grand Rapids!
Joan Lewis, of the University of Georgia, has agreed to be the Proceedings
Editor. Individuals who wish to respond to the “Call for Papers, Student
Papers, and Ideas at Work” should submit their work to Joan Lewis, Dawson
Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-3622. The original “Call for
Papers” requested that submissions be sent to the Executive Directors in
Phoenix, Arizona. Please note this change and mail all submissions directly to
the Proceedings Editor.
1996 AFCPE Awards
Recognize AFCPE members, friends and supporters by nominating persons,
programs, counseling centers and writers for special recognition at the 1996
Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Look for awards’ nomination
instructions in this Newsletter.
Five awards involve recognition in two ways: $100 and a certificate for Financial Counselor of
the Year; Outstanding Award; Mary Ellen Edmondson, Educator of the Year; Outstanding
Educational Program; Outstanding Financial Counseling Center. Outstanding student papers
involve a certificate and $250 or $150 award.
Names of the 1995 winners were printed in the January Newsletter.
OOOPS!!! Add to the awards list, Sharon DeVaney, Purdue University,
who received the Outstanding Journal Article Award!!!
the need for education in retirement investing especially the need for those
who participate in defined contribution pension plans.
Nominate a person, program, center, or publication
you professionally admire for an AFCPE award!
|Financial Counselor of the Year:||A $100 award and a certificate to an AFCPE member
who has contributed outstanding work in financial
|Journalism Award:||A $100 award and a certificate to the author (or
publisher, if applicable) of a widely distributed article,
periodical, or book which provides useful information
to those working in the fields of financial
|Mary Ellen Edmondson
||A $100 award and a certificate to an AFCPE member
who is an outstanding teacher in financial
counseling/planning. The winner may be a classroom
instructor, with extension, or a practitioner who
devotes a large portion of his /her practice to educating
|Outstanding Educational Program:||A $100 award and a certificate to a program that has
demonstrated that it has an impact in the field of
financial counseling/planning. Preferably the program
would be usable with a variety of audiences and could
be adapted for use by practitioners and educators.
|Outstanding Financial Counseling Center:||A $100 award and a certificate to a financial
counseling center which has demonstrated its
effectiveness in its local community.
Save Your Refund Campaign
The Competitiveness Policy
Council and the Commission on
Saving & Investment in America are
working together to encourage
consumers to SAVE YOUR
REFUND. The Council is a bipartisan
government entity which makes
recommendations to the President and
Congress on ways to improve
competitiveness and raise US living
standards. The Commission is a
nonprofit educational organization
formed to take the lead in reversing
shrinking US saving and investment at
Financial management educators are
encouraged to join various banks and
financial institutions, as well as the
U.S. Departments of Labor and
Treasury, to get the SAVE YOUR
REFUND word out. Below is a short
message you can use in newsletters,
radio programs, workshops, and other
educational settings. For more help,
call Stephen Gaskill at (202)632-1307.
Save Your Refund
April 15th is “Tax Day,” but for
many people, it also means that a tax
refund has already or will soon be
arriving in the mail. Some 74 million
Americans receive refunds on their
federal income taxes, and the average
refund last year was whopping $1,150.
This year, government and industry
groups have some advice on what to
do with the money: SAVE IT! Most
Americans feel like they aren’t saving
enough as it is, and your tax refund
check is a perfect place to start. Put
your refund in a separate savings
account at the bank, or use it to
purchase a longer term security, like a
certificate of deposit. If you can’t save
the entire amount, maybe you can set
aside part of it. Through compound
interest, every dollar you save will
work for you. Saving more over a
period of years improves your
financial security, and also helps
create new businesses and more jobs
in the economy.
New Extension Educational
“Small Town Housing: Policy and
Potentials” . . . is a three-hour satellite
videoconference, 9-Noon Central
Time, May 9, 1996. The conference
reviews a three-year study of housing
in small towns in Arkansas, Iowa,
Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
Participants will earn about current
national and state housing policy,
ponder the potential impact of black
grants, and identify local housing
concerns. No charge for the
conference downlink. Site registration
is due by March 15, 1996, to Bonnie
Shrewsbury, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 123 Home Economics
Building, PO Box 830801, Lincoln,
NE 68583-0801, phone (402)472-0659, FAX (402)472-9170. AFCPE
member KATHY PROCHASKA-CUE, University of Nebraska
Cooperative Extension, is on the
“Money 2000” . . . is a program
designed to increase financial well-being of New Jersey residents through
increased saving and reduced
household debt. The goal is to enroll
2000 households in each of New
Jersey’s counties who will be
encouraged to save or reduce debt by
at least $2000 by the year 2000. For
more, contact Barbara O’Neill,
Rutgers Cooperative Extension,
Sussex County, Administration
Building, Plotts Road, Newton, NJ
07860, phone (210)579-0985.
FTC and Information
In its first case targeting advertising
on the “information superhighway,”
the Federal Trade Commission has
charged Chase Consulting with
making false claims when promoting
its credit repair program on an on-line
For latest FTC news, the FTC
Newsphone is available at (202)326-2710.
WRHMFE Newsletter, Summer 1995.
Child Care and the Household
Using sophisticated statistical
techniques and early 90s data from
national studies of households with at
least one child under the age of six,
researchers found that 37.6% of the
households had child care
expenditures for items such as day
care, nursery school, babysitting or
other home care expenditures. The
average budget share for households
with child care expenditures was
5.6%, while one in four spent 8.3% or
more of their budgets on child care
expenditures. Expenditures were
higher for college educated women
than women with a high school
Park, S.Y. (1995), Child care services: Two
statistical/econometric approaches to household
choice and demand. EFERMA News, 11,(3).
Changes in Credit Life Insurance.
The Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency proposed a rule on how
national banks may distribute income
from credit life insurance sales. The
proposed rule would for the first time,
state that it is an unsafe and unsound
banking practice for bank officials and
insiders who sell credit life insurance
to take advantage of that activity for
personal profit. This change is meant
to reinforce the core principle of the
regulation that income derived from
the sale of credit life insurance should
be credited to the bank, not bank
officials and insiders.
ACCI Newsletter, 11/12/95, 43(6),1.
New Guidelines for Term Life
The National Association of
Insurance Commissioners adopted a
model consumer protection bill,
Guideline XXX, to regulate the
pricing of guaranteed level term life
insurance. Already law in New York
and expected to be ratified by the
other 49 states, the bill is designed to
prevent insolvencies in the insurance
ACCI Newsletter, 11/12/95, 43(6),1.
A survey by the National Fair
Housing Alliance (800)910-7315
suggests that top-grade home
insurance policies may be hard to
obtain and are more costly for
minorities, even in middle-class
neighborhoods. Agents consistently
quoted higher rates for less coverage
to African-American and Latino
callers who participated in the study.
ACCI Newsletter, 11/12/95, 43(6),1.
Auto Insurance and Credit
A person’s credit history is one of
the best predictors of future auto
insurance claims. It is not only the
poor that get caught, the practice of
issuing insurance based on credit
reports is spreading to homeowners
and renter policies. Many companies
flat out deny coverage to people
whose money-management skills don’t
ACCI Newsletter, 11/12/95, 43(6),1.
Consumer Expenditures, 1994
Although no one family is average,
the updated average annual
expenditures per consumer unit
(average-size 2.5 persons; number of
earners 1.3; number of vehicles, 1.9;
age of reference person 47.6 years)
were $31,751. Average income was
The increase in expenditures from
1993-94 was somewhat more than
increases in general price levels, as
measured by Consumer Price Index
(CPI). Transportation and housing
experienced the largest increases, up
11% and 5%, respectively. Largest
declines were in entertainment (-3.6%), apparel and services (-1.9%),
followed by health care (-1.2%). Food
edged up slightly (0.3%) and personal
insurance and premiums increased by
1994 Average Annual Expenditures
12/1/95, NEWS, Bureau of Labor Statistics
How Heavy Are Debt Burdens?
The rise in installment credit to
18.9% of disposable income reflects
the growing “convenience usage” of
credit cards. But after adjusting for
convenience usage and the debt
implicit in cars acquired via leases, the
use of installment credit is at peak
Big upticks in installment debt
seems to be concentrated among low-
and middle-income groups. Credit-card debt by families with incomes
above $50,000 shrank!
Perhaps credit woes of low- and
middle-income groups with incomes
under $50,000 are behind rising
bankruptcies, credit-card delinquency
rates, and softening sales. These
consumers have not benefitted from
the 1995 huge run up in stock and
Is the lack of income growth
plaguing most American families for
two decades finally starting to
undermine the aggregate economy?
While the theory has been that rising
consumption by more affluent
households would keep the economy
on an even keel, the reality may be it
was the growing reliance of low- and
middle-income families on borrowing
to maintain living standards that
provided essential fuel for economic
growth. Perhaps our economy is less
resilient and more vulnerable to a
spending contraction than many
Business Week. December, 1995.
Privacy and Your Money on the
If you want to buy or sell shares,
transfer money, or even do something
as simple as look up your account
balance on the World Wide Web,
you’re generally out of luck.
That’s changing as securities firms
begin to make personal account
information available to investors on
the Internet. More complex online
transactions may soon be a reality.
Within a year, you may be able to
make exchanges, move money
around, and use automatic money
management programs. Question: Will
the security software be workable?
For consumers, there is a critical
security difference between online
banking and securities management. If
the bank were to have an electronic
break-in, depositors could rest assured
that their money was FDIC insured.
Securities firms don’t have such
insurance at their disposal.
Liz Gorham, Utah State University, WRHMFE
Newsletter, Winter, 1996.
SEC Investor Assistance Office
Targeted for Elimination
The administration requested a 15%
increase in funding for the Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC),
directed primarily at improving
oversight of investment advisers and
During the 1980s, the SEC staff
grew only 4%, while the markets, and
with them the agency’s workload,
grew exponentially. This created
serious gaps in oversight, in the
rapidly growing investment adviser
and mutual fund fields.
A Senate bill would force personnel
cuts of 20% eliminating many recent
gains and hampering new efforts.
Also included in the Senate bill is a
provision abolishing the Office of
Investor Education and Assistance,
which represents less than one percent
of the agency’s budget but triggers
nearly 20% of the agency’s
The office handles 40,000
complaints annually with only 25 staff
members and provides educational
services and materials to help
investors identify, avoid, and report
October 1995, Consumer agencies face tough
budget year, CFAnews, 29(6), 1.
“Coming to Grips with Your
Finances” is a new home-study series
by the University of Idaho
Cooperative Extension System. Linda
Kirk Fox, PhD, Extension family
economist, worked with a team of
county extension educators to prepare
five lessons on the topics of financial
planning–getting started, record
keeping, credit, insurance, and savings
and investments. Each lesson is
available for $1. A set costs $5. Place
orders with UI CES, Ag Publications
Building, University of Idaho,
Moscow, ID 83844-2240, (208)885-7982. Request Misc. Series #112.
Jack R. Kapoor, Les R. Dlabay, &
Robert J. Hughes (1996). Personal
Finance (4th edition). Burr Ridge, IL:
Richard Irwin. 665p.
Popular college text in personal
finance uses the following main
themes decision-making and
opportunity costs, in analyzing
personal financial calculations using
case studies which mirror varied life
situations. Free with each text are
Personal Financial Planner
worksheets, Personal Financial
Casebook, Instructor’s Manual, test
banks, transparency masters, &
audios. Software for Windows 95
available at nominal cost (800)323-4560.
The new address to write TRW for a
complimentary credit report is:
TRW Complimentary Report
PO Box 8030
Layton, UT 84041-8030
To assure prompt service, and at the
same time protect your financial
privacy, include the following with
full name, including Jr., Sr., III, etc.
complete address(es) for a five-year
period, including zip code(s)
Social Security number
spouse’s full name, if married
year of birth
copy of driver’s license or current
Or call (800)682-7654 for
information on how to write for a
Viatical Settlements: A Guide for
People with Terminal Illnesses, is a
new special brochure from the Federal
Trade Commission and designed to
advise terminally ill people who are
considering selling their life insurance
policies in order to get funds to pay
their bills. Arrangements to accelerate
financial benefits from life insurance
policies, whether they are called
“living benefits” or “viatical
arrangement,” have legal, financial
and tax consequences that are
complicated. They should be reviewed
in advance by professional advisors,
according to the FTC. FTC news
releases and other materials also are
available on the Internet at the FTC’s
World Wide Web site at:
A New Voice for Investors, by
Adrienne Press. The voice of
individual investors may get a little
louder in Washington with the
emergence of a new education and
advocacy group called the National
Council of Individual Investors
Don’t look to the Washington-based
council for hot tips on what to buy and
sell in today’s bull market.
They act as a watchdog group for
the millions of Americans who are
trying to make their money grow,
according to NCII policy director
Gerri Detweiler. Detweiler’s training
comes from the Bankcard Holders of
America, a watchdog group for the
The group’s first point of attack, in
fact, is the securities litigation reform
bill, Detweiler says.
The NCII’s services — which are
also available online
(http://www.ncii.org/ncii) — include a
directory of each state security
regulatory agency, a newsletter, and
investors’ rights section with a list of
places to turn for help and tips for
writing a complaint letter. For more
information about NCII, you can also
The above is adapted from Money
Daily on the Web. TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE MAILING LIST for Money Daily, use any browser to reach the latest edition
on the Web at http://www.pathfinder.com/moneydaily/1995/latest.html and click
Nominations Due September 1, 1996
All AFCPE members are encouraged to submit nominations for the awards listed below. Recipients will be
honored at the Awards Breakfast during the 1996 Annual Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Please include the following information in your nomination. Please attach any supporting materials and
mail to Dennis Chrisco, PFMP Coordinator, 22 MSS/OPF, 553147 Kansas St., STE 103, McConnell AFB, KS
1) Nomination for (please indicate the award for which you are submitting a nomination. Use a separate form
for each nomination.)
Financial Counselor of the Year
Mary Ellen Edmondson Educator of the Year
Outstanding Educational Program
Outstanding Financial Counseling Center
Name of individual or center:
Title (if an individual):
3) Statement of Merit for Award. Indicate why you believe this individual, program, or center should receive
this award. Attach documentation as needed.
4) Background information. For individuals, include a brief biographical sketch of the nominee. For centers or
programs, include a brief history.
5) Nomination made by
Notes: Please take care in completing nomination application; incomplete applications will not be considered.
The award winners will be notified prior to the conference, so do not hesitate to contact the nominee for needed
information for the application. It is acceptable to nominate yourself. For the Journalism Award, please include
a copy of the article or an example from the book or periodical which can be reviewed by the committee.
PLANNING EDUCATION BOARD MEMBERS
The President shall
a. provide strong leadership for the organization.
b. preside at all meetings of the Association and the Executive Board.
c. prepare and distribute an agenda to expected participants for each meeting in time for them to effectively
d. arrange bi-monthly conference telephone call for Executive Board meetings.
e. act as ex-officio member of all committees.
f. oversee the activities of the entire organization.
h. respond to miscellaneous correspondence pertaining to the Association.
i. assist in implementing the activities of the organization.
j. work closely with the Executive Director.
k. work closely with the Past President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer who comprise the Executive
Committee of AFCPE.
The Treasurer shall
a. obtain budgets from committees and respond.
b. prepare standard financial reports in cooperation with Executive Director.
c. prepare special financial reports as needed to illuminate specific endeavors of the Association, such as
income and expenditure summaries of the Annual National Meeting and the student scholarship fund in
cooperation with Executive Director.
d. prepare an annual budget for the organization and seek the approval of same by the Executive Board soon
after the business meeting at the Annual National Meeting.
e. respond to miscellaneous correspondence pertaining to the finances of the Association.
f. assist in implementing the activities of the organization.
g. develop financial policy statements in cooperation with the Executive Director.
The At Large Executive Board members shall:
a. participate actively in the activities of the Association and The Executive Board.
b. provide leadership for various activities of the Association, particularly those that arise on an ad hoc basis
during the year.
c. assist in implementing the activities of the organization.
d. act as Board liaison for designated committees assisting committee chairs in carrying out committee goals
and responsibilities and reporting to Board on committee progress.