Money Smart Week Events Help Iowans Manage Personal Finances

Iowans have a chance to brush up on their money management skills during Money Smart Week April 5-12, 2014. Financial institutions, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and community groups have teamed up to offer a full week of events designed to help Iowans of all ages better manage their finances. Special events and classes will be offered across the state including Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Creston, Harlan, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and the Quad Cities.

Seminars throughout the Week

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Iowa Money Smart Week partners will be offering free financial seminars throughout the week to help Iowans enhance their personal money management skills, said Margaret VanGinkel, a family finance program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Topics range from home-buying basics and financial literacy for youth to retirement planning and investment options for senior citizens.

“All events are free of charge and do not include sales pitches. A full calendar of events in your area is available," Van Ginkel said.

Money Smart Investor Conference April 12

The Money Smart Investor Conference will take place Saturday, April 12 at Drake University Olmstead Center from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Financial experts can help you trim your budget to increase your portfolio, maximize Social Security benefits and bring out your entrepreneurial side," Van Ginkel said.

Gerri Walsh, president of FINRA Investor Education Foundation will be the keynote speaker. Walsh will discuss strategies to reduce investing fees, capitalize on entrepreneurism and stay financially organized. Other sessions will cover retirement planning, 401Ks, information about banks and fraud, and financial know-how for care givers.

A Financial Wellness Expo will take place after the Investor Conference starting at 12:30 p.m. Financial experts will have displays and prizes and offer brief presentations about tools to help determine how much to borrow for student loans, the importance of a will, kids and money, and credit and financial wellness.

More information about the conference, expo and registration is available at

“Since 2002, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has been a proud sponsor of Money Smart Week. Each year Iowa State University Extension and Outreach takes an active role in this week of activities across the state to help present useful financial information to Iowans of all ages. Put it on your calendar and learn something new to help you manage your money,” Van Ginkel said.

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