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Consumer Connection: Iowa Insurance Division SmartHER Money Conference

Sonya Sellmeyer

By Sonya Sellmeyer, Consumer Advocacy Officer for the Iowa Insurance Division

The Iowa Insurance Division believes it is critically important for all Iowans to have access to financial education resources and the tools to learn how to save for a secure retirement so we provide Iowans the Save4Later program.  For women, their financial journey often looks different due to caring for children, aging parents, and a longer life expectancy.  To help women navigate their financial journey, the Iowa Insurance Division has created a new public outreach program created specifically for women called SmartHER Money.

A recent “SmartHER Money Literacy Financial Research” survey commissioned by the Iowa Insurance Division has revealed some eye-opening takeaways about how female Iowans view financial management, insurance, retirement planning, and investments.  The good news is Iowa women are active in daily household financial decisions and outpace the national average in participation in employee-sponsored retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or pension.  According to a 2017 Pew Trust study, 48% of all Americans participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and 62% of Iowa women reported an employer-sponsored plan like a 401(k) as a source for expected retirement income. 

However, 56% of Iowa women also reported that they lacked confidence when making financial decisions as they plan for retirement, and more than half reported that their households were not financially secure.  SmartHER Money was developed to assist all Iowa women no matter their age or the stage along their financial journey.  The goal of SmartHER Money is to empower women to face their fears and anxieties about money, financial planning, and investing.  

How can SmartHER Money help you?  The importance of money management for women is vital.  SmartHER Money will teach the basics of budgeting, retirement savings, investments, earning power, financial planning, and much, much more.  The website is broken down into the SmartHER four cores of planning, earning, saving, and retiring.  If you need a place to start, review our planning section to help you set up a budget, provide creative ways to spend less money, or deal with debt.  The retirement planning section has information we all can use for a secure financial future.  Wherever you are on your financial journey, SmartHER Money has something for you.  

SmartHER Money is holding a free event for women on October 17, 2022, in Cedar Falls at Bien VenU Event Center.   Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. from Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen.  The free one-day event will feature two panels of local experts discussing planning/earning and saving/retirement.  The keynote speaker Manisha Thakor is the founder of who will be teaching attendees how to “Own Your Finances, Own Your Life”.  Seats are limited so RSVP by October 3, 2022.  

Financial wellness is important for all Iowans, but the financial journey can be confusing.  Straighten out your journey with SmartHER Money and eliminate the confusion.