How to Handle a Furlough: Develop a Plan

Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®

Extension Financial Management Specialist and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University

Sometimes, just as people are making progress to improve their finances one small step at a time, something happens to set them back. For some people in today’s difficult economic climate, that setback is a furlough.

Furloughs (also known as “temporary layoffs”) have been in the news a lot lately and are being used by both public and private sector employers. In some cases, furloughs …

Ten Steps to Seven Figures

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

April 2019

Ten Steps to Seven Figures

One of the most frequently cited purposes of investing is to build wealth for future financial goals such as a new car, a college education for children, and financial security in later life. Many people even have a specific dollar amount in mind such as having $1 million saved by the time that they stop working. 


Below are ten recommendations to …

Monthly Investment Message: November 2017

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

November 2017

The Benefits of Financial Health

This article is adapted from a previously written blog post for the eXtension Military Families Learning Network:

After a successful course of treatment, many doctors tell their patients that their physical health status is NED, which is doctor-speak for No Evidence of Disease. The same NED acronym can also be applied to a person’s financial health: …

Impactful Financial Education: How Cooperative Extension is Making a Difference

Extension Pre-Conference |  2017 AFCPE Symposium

Agenda and Attachments

7:15 am      Registration and Continental Breakfast – Sponsored by NEFE

8:00 am      Welcome and Introductory Activity

Erica Tobe, PhD, Michigan State University Extension

Elizabeth Kiss, PhD, Kansas State University Research and Extension  

8:15 am      Evaluation from a National Program Leader Perspective

Toija Riggins, PhD, USDA NIFA

8:30 am      Evaluation from a State Administrator’s Perspective

Michael Gutter, PhD, University of Florida/IFAS   

8:45 am      Getting Extension on the Map: Common Indicators, Common Reporting

Getting Extension on the Map: Common Indicators, Common Reporting

The recently released briefing paper, Cooperative Extension’s Capacity to Demonstrate Impact in Financial Capability and Well-Being: A Briefing Paper,” is a result of almost two years of collaborative effort by Extension FRM professionals to share and document programmatic similarities across the states in an attempt to develop three programmatic tools: 1) a common logic model, 2) a list of program outputs and outcome indicators, and 3) a crosswalk of NIFA indicators to programmatic indicators provided by participants.

It …

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Resources

Image of the US individual income tax return form - form 1040

The Financial Security for All Community of Practice has compiled the following list of informational resources related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Legislation

Background Information: Land-Grant Universities

Background Information: Other 

  • Here are

What Are the Minimum and Maximum Amounts That Can be Saved Each Year in an IRA?

Federal tax law limits 2017 contributions to a traditional and/or Roth IRA to $5,500 for a worker with earned income ($6,500 for those who are age 50 or older before the end of the year). An additional $5,500 can also be saved for a worker’s spouse, regardless of whether or not the spouse is employed. In addition, spouses who are age 50 or older can contribute an additional $1,000 ($6,500 total) for a total of $13,000 of contributions if both …

Monthly Investment Message: February 2018

Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management

Rutgers Cooperative Extension

February 2018

A Hierarchy of Financial Decisions

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are an account that people can set up to pay for unreimbursed medical expenses such as deductibles, co-payments, and services not covered by insurance. Eligible individuals can establish and fund these accounts only when they have a qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP). HSA money gets deposited tax-free, grows tax-free, and comes out tax-free, if used according to …

What Are the Income Restrictions to Qualify for a Deductible Traditional IRA?

People with earned income who are not in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, regardless of income level, may qualify for a tax deductible traditional IRA. Another group of taxpayers who can deduct a traditional IRA contribution in full are those with an employer-sponsored plan who have incomes in 2017 under $62,000 (single) and $99,000 (married couples filing jointly). The phase-out ranges (where contributions are limited in gradual steps as income increases) for singles and couples are $62,000 to $72,000 and $99,000 …