A survey commissioned by the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services in December 2020 states a lack of financial knowledge by 40% of Iowa women as the obstacle to their financial involvement. To help increase financial involvement through knowledge the Iowa Department of Insurance and Financial Services created the SmartHER Money website. The information is free and geared toward educating and empowering women to take control of their finances and face their fears and anxieties about money, financial planning, and investing.
Reducing fears and anxiety about money starts with financial education and is essential for financial wellness. Financial wellness is being able to meet current and ongoing financial obligations, feeling secure about the future, and being capable of making choices that allow us to enjoy life now and in the future. Financial wellness is good for your overall health too.
Use SmartHER Money to increase your financial knowledge by learning the basics like creating a budget, the importance of an emergency fund, opening a savings account, paying bills on time to avoid fees, whittling down debt to avoid paying interest and increasing your credit score.
From there you’ll learn to save by planning for your family’s college expenses and how a 529 plan could be beneficial. There is also information about employer-sponsored retirement plans and how to take advantage of the ‘free money’ associated with employer matching, and learning how to open an Individual Retirement Account (IRAs).
You’ll also learn about other ways to put your money to work for you by investing to build wealth and prepare for retirement. Retirement portfolios need regular reviews to ensure investment strategies align with your goals, age, and risk tolerance. Consulting with a licensed financial professional when necessary can be helpful at this stage.
As you continue to grow in your financial knowledge, there are resources about understanding taxes, your credit score, and your credit reports. Reviewing your insurance coverage and ensuring you have proper coverage limits as well as understanding the different types of insurance and what is appropriate for your circumstances can be discussed with a licensed insurance agent.
Lastly, protecting your hard-earned assets is important so the resources offer information about having discussions with your family about finances, freezing your credit with all three credit bureaus, and organizing your financial records with a filing system including making a list of policies and account numbers. At some stages of the financial journey, it may be wise to consider a power of attorney for financial matters. Periodically reviewing the ten tips to prevent fraud can help you avoid being a victim of a scam.
All Iowans are on a financial journey. Utilize SmartHER Money as your free, unbiased resource today to help set, review, adjust, and maintain your financial goals regularly to become financially empowered.
To learn more about SmartHER Money join us on October 17, 2022 from from 8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. at Bien VenU Event Center in Cedar Falls for a free in person conference with expert panelists and keynote speaker Manisha Thakor, founder of MoneyZen, and a nationally renowned speaker and financial literacy advocate for women. Register now to boost your financial literacy, improve your financial wellness, and secure your financial future.