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NAR Identifies Best Purchase Markets for Aspiring Millennial Homebuyers

July 25, 2014 Comments off

NAR Identifies Best Purchase Markets for Aspiring Millennial Homebuyers
Source: National Association of REALTORS®

First-time homebuyers have been largely absent from the housing market in the current economic recovery, but some metropolitan areas – particularly in the Midwest and West – are well positioned to see increases in home-buying from the Millennial generation in upcoming years, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR analyzed current housing conditions, job creation and population trends in metropolitan statistical areas1 across the U.S. to determine the best markets for aspiring, leading edge Millennial2 homebuyers. Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City were identified as top standouts for Millennials for having a young adult population with solid job growth rates and still relatively affordable home prices. Seven of the 10 metro areas recognized are in the Midwest and West.

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First OECD PISA financial literacy test finds many young people confused by money matters

July 25, 2014 Comments off

First OECD PISA financial literacy test finds many young people confused by money matters
Source: OECD

Around one in seven students in the 13 OECD countries and economies that took part in the first OECD PISA international assessment of financial literacy are unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only one in ten can solve complex financial tasks.

Some 29 000 15 year-olds in 18 countries and economies* took part in the test, which assessed the knowledge and skills of teenagers in dealing with financial issues, such as understanding a bank statement, the long-term cost of a loan or knowing how insurance works.

Shanghai-China had the highest average score in financial literacy, followed by the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Poland.

The gender gap in financial literacy was much smaller than in OECD PISA tests in maths or reading, with there being no significant difference between the performance of boys and girls, except in Italy.

But the inequality gap mirrors that in key school subjects: more socio-economically advantaged students scored much higher than less-advantaged students on average across participating OECD countries and economies. Non-immigrant students also performed slightly better than immigrant students from a similar socio-economic status. The gap between the two groups is larger than the OECD average in the Flemish Community of Belgium, Estonia, France, Slovenia and Spain.

The survey also revealed that skills in mathematics and reading are very closely related to financial literacy. However, high proficiency in one of these subjects does not always signal strong performance in financial literacy.
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Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Perception of Weight Status in U.S. Children and Adolescents Aged 8–15 Years, 2005–2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2012

  • About 30% of children and adolescents aged 8–15 years in the United States misperceive their weight status. Weight status misperception is more common among boys (32.3%) than girls (28.0%).
  • About one-third of Mexican-American (34.0%) and non-Hispanic black (34.4%) children and adolescents misperceive their weight status compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents (27.7%).
  • Approximately 81% of overweight boys and 71% of overweight girls believe they are about the right weight.
  • Nearly 48% of obese boys and 36% of obese girls consider themselves to be about the right weight.

A Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause

July 22, 2014 Comments off

A Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause
Source: Climacteric

Objective
A number of learned societies, including the International Menopause Society, have produced position statements pertaining to the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy. These documents are highly informative but are not designed for use by primary-care physicians and nurse practitioners during routine consultations. Our aim was to produce a toolkit for practitioners that could be used during office consultations to assist them in the assessment and management of the menopause.

Methods
We used clinical experience in primary care, combined with published diagnostic algorithms, positions statements from learned medical societies and relevant peer-reviewed literature to develop assessment and management algorithms relevant to the primary care of women age 40 years and older.

Results
The resultant ‘Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause’ comprises algorithms for the reasons why a woman might present, determination of menopausal status, key information that should be ascertained, issues that may influence treatment decision-making, hormonal and non-hormonal treatment options, symptom management and patient review, and a brief supporting document.

Conclusions
We believe these algorithms and supporting document provide an accessible desktop tool for health-care practitioners caring for women at midlife. The toolkit has been endorsed by the International Menopause Society for global use.

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts

July 22, 2014 Comments off

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts
Source: AARP Research

This set of fact sheets provides a one-page snapshot of 50+ African American and Hispanic populations in select metropolitan markets.

Each fact sheet includes information on the population size, education, employment, income, grandparents living with grandchildren, food insecurity and buying power. Hispanic/Latino fact sheets also include data on citizenship status and English language use.

Data points are based on the most recent available from cited sources and represent the 50+ population unless otherwise indicated.

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy

July 21, 2014 Comments off

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration for Children & Families)

This National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) spotlight describes the high rates of risky sexual activity and pregnancy among teenage girls in the second cohort of NSCAW (NSCAW II). According to data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 16.8% of girls ages 14-17, and 45.1% of girls ages 18-20, had experienced at least one pregnancy.

Facts for Features — National Grandparents Day 2014: Sept. 7

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features — National Grandparents Day 2014: Sept. 7
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation’s grandparents.

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds
Source: Accenture

Entrepreneurs can help drive the creation of 10 million youth jobs across the G20 countries if existing barriers to entrepreneurship were lifted, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The study also indicates that while 74 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed by Accenture say they plan to recruit young talent in 2014, many believe that a shortage of people with relevant skills is hindering job creation and growth.

The Accenture study, “The promise of digital entrepreneurs: creating 10 million youth jobs in the G20 countries,” analyzes the views of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and highlights the barriers that are limiting the potential of entrepreneurs to create jobs and grow the economy. The report illustrates that while 85 percent believe they have a critical role to play in the creation of jobs for young people, they face a number of challenges including securing funding, scaling and sustaining innovation, growing internationally and accessing the right skills. The study was developed ahead of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Sydney.

The report indicates that many entrepreneurs believe more could be done to foster an environment of youth job creation in their country. Only one quarter (26 percent) consider the actions taken by their government to support youth job creation as relevant and efficient. Additionally, more than half (54 percent) cite a lack of incentives as a barrier to taking on more young people.

In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-Generational Living

July 17, 2014 Comments off

In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-Generational Living
Source: Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends

A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980.

After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement of having multiple generations together under one roof spiked during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and has kept on growing in the post-recession period, albeit at a slower pace, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Young adults ages 25 to 34 have been a major component of the growth in the population living with multiple generations since 1980—and especially since 2010. By 2012, roughly one-in-four of these young adults (23.6%) lived in multi-generational households, up from 18.7% in 2007 and 11% in 1980.

Geographical Variation in Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older US Adults, 1997–2010

July 17, 2014 Comments off

Geographical Variation in Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older US Adults, 1997–2010
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease

Introduction
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality; however, its geographical variation in older adults in the United States has not been characterized. We compared HRQOL among older adults in the 50 US states and the District of Columbia using the Health and Activities Limitation Index (HALex). We also compared the HRQOL of 4 regions: South, West, Midwest, and Northeast.

Methods
We analyzed pooled data from 1997 through 2010 from the National Health Interview Survey for participants aged 65 or older. HALex scores (which range from 0 to 1.00, with higher values indicating better health) were calculated by combining data on participants’ perceived health and activity limitations. We ranked states by mean HALex score and performed multivariable logistic regression analyses to compare low scores (defined as scores in the lowest quintile) among US regions after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.

Results
Older residents of Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia had the lowest mean HALex scores (range, 0.62–0.68); residents of Arizona, Delaware, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Vermont had the highest mean scores (range, 0.78–0.79). Residents in the Northeast (odds ratio [OR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.57–0.76) and the Midwest (OR, 64; 95% CI, 0.56–0.73) were less likely than residents in the South to have scores in the lowest quintile after adjustment for sociodemographics, health behaviors, and survey design.

Conclusion
Significant regional differences exist in HRQOL of older Americans. Future research could provide policy makers with information on improving HRQOL of older Americans.

IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones

July 17, 2014 Comments off

IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Many teenagers are driving vehicles that don’t offer good crash protection and lack important safety technology, new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. To help guide parents toward safer choices, IIHS has compiled its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teens.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ isn’t in the budget. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors
Source: AARP Research

AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Charles Schwab Foundation, designed and disseminated a financial capability curriculum targeted to the 50+ age group to approximately 11 organizations nationwide. Classes were offered beginning in September 2012 through December 2013. Approximately 2,775 people participated in these classes.

The purpose of the report is to evaluate the impact of the financial training by:

  • Comparing behaviors relating to key financial topics before and after participating in the class
  • Determining whether desired financial behaviors increased after participating in the class

A pre-test post-test evaluation methodology was designed by AARP in which financial behaviors, including behaviors around spending, saving, budgeting, investing, handling debt, etc., were measured prior to training and at two follow-up time points (3- and 6-month post training). Analysis of respondents’ financial behaviors pre- and post-training reveals notable findings on the impact of the training classes:

1. Participants’ levels of anxiety about their financial situations decreased significantly from before to after the training, with the proportion “very worried” dropping by 36% (from 22% to 14%) from pre-training to six months post-training, while those “not very/not at all worried” increased 24% (from 34% to 42%) during the same time period.

2. Participant scores on the Financial Management Behavior Scale (FMBS) measured at three points in time show that there was a statistically significant improvement in average scale scores pre- and post-training.

3. Looking at other discrete indicators of change in financial behaviors, most significant post-training (6-month) change was found in the following “positive” behaviors:

  • calculating net worth
  • reducing financial fees
  • reducing spending and/or increasing earnings
  • prioritizing debt payment
  • reviewing credit card statement

Likewise, frequency of some “negative” behaviors declined significantly 6 months post, including:

  • being overdrawn
  • being contacted by a collector
  • taking out a payday loan

4. Developing a clear financial goal was a major accomplishment for those who took the training, with a 50% improvement rate in participants setting a goal. Among those with a defined goal, the proportion with an Action Plan increased 40% by the end of the study period.

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012

July 15, 2014 Comments off

TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey, 2012

  • Nearly all (98.5%) youth aged 12–15 reported watching TV daily.
  • More than 9 in 10 (91.1%) youth aged 12–15 reported using the computer daily outside of school.
  • In 2012, 27.0% of youth aged 12–15 had 2 hours or less of TV plus computer use daily.
  • Among youth aged 12–15, girls (80.4%) were more likely to use the computer 2 hours or less daily when compared with boys (69.4%).
  • Fewer non-Hispanic black youth aged 12–15 (53.4%) reported watching 2 hours or less of TV daily than non-Hispanic white (65.8%) and Hispanic (68.7%) youth.

Excessive screen-time behaviors, such as using a computer and watching TV, for more than 2 hours daily have been linked with elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and being overweight or obese among youth (1–3). Additionally, screen-time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood (4). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported Expert Panel and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children limit leisure screen time to 2 hours or less daily (5,6). This report presents national estimates of TV watching and computer use outside of the school day.

Exploring the Retirement Consumption Puzzle

July 14, 2014 Comments off

Exploring the Retirement Consumption Puzzle
Source: Journal of Financial Planning

Executive Summary

  • Empirical research on retiree spending has noted a “retirement consumption puzzle,” where retiree expenditures tend to decrease both upon and during retirement. This decrease in spending is inconsistent with general economic theories on consumption, which suggest individuals seek to maintain constant consumption over their lifetimes.
  • Government data on consumption was analyzed in this study to understand how retiree consumption actually changes over time.
  • The results of the analysis suggest that although the retiree consumption basket is likely to increase at a rate that is faster than general inflation, actual retiree spending tends to decline in retirement in real terms. This decrease in real consumption averages approximately 1 percent per year during retirement.
  • A “retirement spending smile” effect is noted. This finding has important implications when estimating retirement withdrawal rates and determining optimal spending strategies.

Vulnerability of Social Institutions

July 11, 2014 Comments off

Vulnerability of Social Institutions
Source: OECD

Future generations will pay a high price if we fail to reform pension, health care and unemployment schemes. Social institutions will be tested in the coming years by ageing and slowing growth that threaten their sustainability and the adequacy of their deliveries, undermining the risk sharing that social institutions provide. In the face of these challenges, social institutions need to be reformed and adjusted regularly to adapt to trend changes and to shocks with-long lasting effects.

America’s Young Adults — Special Issue 2014

July 11, 2014 Comments off

America’s Young Adults — Special Issue 2014
Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

The well-being of young adults in the United States today remains an area of key interest to the public and policy-makers alike. This age group faces the well-known challenges of achieving financial and social independence while forming their own households at a time of greater economic uncertainty than in the past. Better understanding of the achievements and needs of these young adults will inform approaches to best support this exciting and challenging transition to adulthood.

Over the 20 years since it held its first organizational meetings, the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (the Forum) has established a tradition of cooperation and commitment to understanding the challenges and opportunities facing children and families today. This year, in a Special Issue on America’s Young Adults, the Forum extends that commitment to describing the well-being of youth as they transition into adulthood. Next year, the Forum will issue its customary full report, America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being.

HHS — Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report

July 10, 2014 Comments off

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Center on Elder Abuse)

The Top Five Priorities critical to understanding and reducing elder abuse and to promoting health, independence, and justice for older adults, are:
1. Awareness: Increase public awareness of elder abuse, a multi-faceted problem that requires a holistic, well-coordinated response in services, education, policy, and research.
2. Brain health: Conduct research and enhance focus on cognitive (in)capacity and mental health – critical factors both for victims and perpetrators.
3. Caregiving: Provide better support and training for the tens of millions of paid and unpaid caregivers who play a critical role in preventing elder abuse.
4. Economics: Quantify the costs of elder abuse, which is often entwined with financial incentives and comes with huge fiscal costs to victims, families and society.
5. Resources: Strategically invest more resources in services, education, research, and expanding knowledge to reduce elder abuse.

Hat tip: PW

Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans

July 9, 2014 Comments off

Prevalence of Incontinence Among Older Americans (PDF)
Source: National Center for Health Statistics

Objective
This report presents national estimates of incontinence prevalence in the United States using data source-specific definitions of incontinence among persons aged 65 and over by sociodemographic characteristics during 2007–2010.

Methods
Data are from the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF), the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS), and the 2009 Long Term Care Minimum Data Set (MDS). Findings are based on in-home interviews with 2,625 noninstitutionalized respondents (NHANES) and reports provided by designated facility or agency staff members for 6,856 residential care facility (RCF) residents (NSRCF), 3,226 current home health care patients (NHHCS), 3,918 hospice discharges (NHHCS), and 2,416,705 nursing home residents (MDS). Response rates for incontinence questions were 84% among noninstitutionalized persons (NHANES), 98% among RCF residents and home health and hospice care patients (NSRCF and NHHCS), and 99% for nursing home residents (MDS).

Results
This is the first report presenting national estimates on incontinence for subpopulations of older persons sampled in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics surveys and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Long Term Care Minimum Data Set. Because a different definition of incontinence is used by each data collection system, it is not possible to make data comparisons between them or to summarize results across all surveys. Accordingly, only survey-specific results are presented. Including recent data from all of these data collection systems facilitates a multidimensional picture of incontinence, while underscoring the need for a standardized definition.

The Great Society, Reagan’s revolution, and generations of presidential voting

July 9, 2014 Comments off

The Great Society, Reagan’s revolution, and generations of presidential voting (PDF)
Source: Columbia University (Ghitza and Gelman)

We build a generational model of presidential voting, in which long-term partisan presidential voting preferences are formed, in large part, through a weighted “running tally” of retrospective presidential evaluations, where weights are determined by the age in which the evaluation was made. Under the model, the Gallup Presidential Approval Rating time series is shown to be a good approximation to the political events that inform retrospective presidential evaluations. The political events of a voter’s teenage and early adult years, centered around the age of 18, are enormously important in the formation of these longterm partisan preferences. The model is shown to be powerful, explaining a substantial amount of the macro-level voting trends of the last half century, especially for white voters and non-Southern whites in particular. We use a narrative of presidential political events from the 1940s to the present day to describe the model, illustrating the formation of five main generations of presidential voters.

Young First-Time Mothers Less Likely to be Married, Census Bureau Reports

July 8, 2014 Comments off

Young First-Time Mothers Less Likely to be Married, Census Bureau Reports
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The percentage of young first-time mothers who are married is dropping, according to Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012, a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the early 1990s, at least half of all first births to mothers younger than age 23 occurred in marriage. Since 2005, more young mothers were cohabiting (38 percent) than were married (24 percent) at the time of their first birth. However, the majority of all women continue to have their first child within marriage.

Fertility of Women in the United States: 2012 uses data from the 2012 American Community Survey and the 2012 Current Population Survey. The report examines women’s marital status at the time of their first births, the completed fertility of women up to age 50 and the fertility patterns of young women. Fertility patterns are shown by race, ethnicity, age, citizenship and employment status, as well as state of residence.

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