Iowa Insurance Division SmartHer logo.

The Iowa Insurance Division is using civil penalties and licensing fees paid to the agency to fund a financial literacy program aimed at women.

The program is called SmartHER Money. The Iowa Insurance Division paid an Iowa-based consulting firm called AMPERAGE $257,000 to create, advertise and manage the program. A SmartHER Money conference is planned for August 19 in Cedar Falls, plus the firm has created a new state website under the SmartHER Money brand.

The company conducted an online survey last fall that found 93% Iowa women who responded have a role in managing their finances, but only half of the women described their household as financially secure. According to the consulting firm, younger women who responded to the online survey were more likely to report stress about saving for retirement and having enough money saved up to deal with emergencies. Eight percent had saved nothing in the past year and 45% said they are not confident they’re saving enough for retirement.

Half of the women who responded to the online questionnaire said they didn’t have the time or knowledge to be more involved in making decisions about household finances.