For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Marlene Stum



Room 299A McNH
1985 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Tel: 612-625-4270

Fax: 612-625-4227

Download CV Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Interest

Aging Families, Economic Well-Being and Financial Literacy
Decision-Making Issues and Processes in Later Life Families
Intergenerational Resource Transfers
Interpersonal Social Justice and Inheritance Dynamics
Advance Care Planning
Long-term Care Risk Management

Recent News

Money magazine features Stum's advice for estate planning

Stum advises in MarketWatch article "Who's getting the beach house?"

Stum advises on estate-planning in Consumer Reports

Stum featured in CNN Money blog on dividing inheritance


Ph.D., Continuing and Adult Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
M.S., Family Economics, Kansas State University
B.S., Consumer Affairs, Kansas State University

Research & Discovery

Families and inheritance: The meaning and experience of interpersonal justice and family relationships. This project addresses a complex and challenging normative later life decision situation that few elders and their family members escape, but which researchers and practitioners have typically ignored. Inheritance decision situations present complex social, emotional, legal, and economic dimensions of transitioning possessions (titled and non-titled). Decisions about one’s estate can be triggered by an elder moving to assisted living or other type of living arrangement, relocating to live closer to adult children, as well at death. Inheritance decisions can occur during one’s lifetime (gifting) as well as after one’s death.

The overall purpose of this research is to increase understanding of the meaning and experience of interpersonal justice in the context of contemporary family relationships and inheritance decision situations. Three key lenses address gaps in the existing literature: a) interpersonal social justice perspectives, b) both titled and non-titled types of resources, and c) multiple family members perspectives (focusing on older parent/adult child, and adult sibling relationships).

Financing long term care and later life financial security: A family perspective. Financing long term care is a growing social policy and family economic well-being issue. Without adequate planning to manage the risk of long term care on the part of individuals, the need for long term care can mean a loss of financial security for elders, increasing reliance on public resources, unmet needs, and increasing demands on the human capital of fewer and fewer family caregivers. The future financial security of an aging population depends in part upon being financially literate regarding managing the risk of long term care.

This research provides insight into the realities and dynamics of family member intentions and behaviors in regards to managing the complex and unthinkable risk of long term care. This project contributes a theoretically solid foundation on which to design and develop policies and practices to change family decision making behavior related to financing long term care and personal responsibility. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are used to understand the role of the decision context, perceptions, and decision processes on financing intentions and behaviors. Insight into the factors couples perceive and describe as decision making barriers and motivators have been gained. Findings have been used to develop decision making tools to help family members, state and federal policymakers, and practitioners make more informed long term care risk management decisions.

Outreach & Engagement

Improving Financial Literacy and Decision Making in Later Life Families. My faculty appointment is with the University of Minnesota Extension who’s mission is to connect community needs and University resources. My teaching is focused on non-classroom research-based outreach and engagement in family economics and gerontology.

Health Care Directives: Advance Care Planning. A user-friendly planning tool used to identify end-of-life preferences and wishes, and to identify who you want to make decisions for you if you are medically unable. Specifically developed to reflect Minnesota state law.

Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate? Practical and proven resources to improve family decision-making about the transfer of personal property.

Invest Now: Money in Retirement  online course: This site offers you a no charge self-study to help you learn about and navigate important mileposts along the road to achieving financial security in later life. If you want to be financially secure in later life, it’s never too early to begin preparing. The sooner you begin, the more choices, control, and peace of mind you will have.

Financing Long Term Care: A Resource Center for Families: Unbiased, research-based information and decision-making tools about long term care risk, costs, and financing alternatives.

Financial Security in Later Life: Unbiased information and decision-making tools to begin planning NOW to be financially secure in later life.

Honors & Awards

2011 Invited Technical Expert Panel member for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program and National Clearinghouse for long term care information.

2007 Fellow status in Gerontological Society of America.

2007 Outstanding Conference Paper. "Financing long term care: Risk management intentions and behaviors of couples." Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).

2004 Financial Security in Later Life National Initiative. Outstanding Educational Program. Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE). Member of national team and major contributor to resources.

2001-2006 Cooperative Extension National Initiative Development and Management Team Member for “Financial Security in Later Life.” One of 13 faculty nationwide nominated and selected for leadership roles.

1999 Harlan Copeland Award for Excellence in Programming for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™ (Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education) 1999 Commendation from Governor of Minnesota for Partnership efforts with Project 2030, Aging Initiative upon recommendation of Board of Directors of Partnership Minnesota

1997 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Florence Hall Award for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™

1997 University of Minnesota Dean and Director’s Team Award for “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate?”™

1993 Applied Consumer Economics Award for “Elderly and Out-of-Pocket Home Care: Are Expenses Catastrophic?” American Council on Consumer Interests


  1. Stum, M. (2016).  Elder family financial exploitation:  The critical role and response of professionals.  Certified Senior Advisors, 66(2), 23-17.

  2. Woosley, A., Danes, S. M., & Stum, M. (2016). Utilizing a Family Decision-Making Lens to Examine Adults’ End-of-Life Planning Actions. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 1-12.  10.1007/s10834-016-9497-0

  3. Barnett, A., & M. S. Stum. (2013). Spousal decision making and long term care insurance.  Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education.  24(2), 5-19.

  4. Barnett, A. & M.S. Stum. (2012). Couples managing the risk of financing long term care. Journal of Family & Economic Issues. 33, 363-375.

  5. Matzek, M. & M.S. Stum. (2010).  Are consumers vulnerable to low long term care knowledge? Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. 38(4), 410-434.