DES MOINES, IowaAug. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) released results from a statewide survey examining the retirement preparedness of Iowans. The survey, funded by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) in collaboration with the Iowa Insurance Division, AARP Iowa and Detroit Public Television, revealed that 49 percent of Iowa residents do not feel that they are adequately planning or financially prepared for their retirement.

Surveying 500 Iowa adult residents (53 percent female and 47 percent male), the survey found that well over one-fourth (37 percent) of Iowans have less than $5,000 saved or invested for retirement (not including home value). The results also reflect that a large percentage of Iowans do not currently have any investments at all in their future, with many respondents citing they do not have sufficient retirement planning knowledge to feel comfortable contributing to a retirement fund without seeking help from a professional financial advisor or counselor.

“Every Iowan, regardless of income, race, or background, should be afforded the ability to live comfortably in their retirement years,” said Rebecca Wiggins, executive director of AFCPE®. “The findings of this survey emphasize the need for accessible resources that promote foundational financial literacy and education that can guide responsible fiscal decision-making.”

Other notable findings from the statewide survey include:

  • Thirty-nine percent of Iowans are planning to live off of Social Security in retirement.
  • Over half (51 percent) of Iowans are currently carrying credit card debt.
  • Twenty-four percent of respondents said they do not have enough money to save or invest in their retirement.
  • Fifty-one percent of Iowans said they did none of the following when using a financial professional: verified they are licensed to do business in Iowa, checked to see if the investment products they are selling are registered in the State of Iowa, contacted the Iowa Insurance Division, or background-checked the financial professional through FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
  • When asked to provide the most accurate statement that describes retirement planning, the most common answer among white respondents (44 percent) was “I have a financial plan in place and am following it,” while most common answer among African Americans (36 percent) was “I have not started.”

“Whether you’re 25 or 65, it’s never too late to start planning for retirement. Working with a licensed financial professional can help consumers build retirement plans that fit their needs and risk tolerance,” said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen. “I encourage all Iowans to take advantage of the upcoming forum at Iowa Public Television to enhance their retirement preparedness.”

In response to the survey results, the Iowa Insurance Division will join AFCPE®, along with AARP Iowa, Detroit Public Television and the Investor Protection Institute, for an informative event at Iowa Public Television – Maytag Auditorium in Johnston, Aug. 29, 5-8 p.m.

The program is designed to bring together financial professionals, government officials, community-based organizations and consumers to ensure Iowans have the education, tools, and resources to plan for a secure future. “Making Cent$ of Retirement: An Investor Education & Protection Event” is free to the public. To register for the event, and to view full results of the survey, visit

AFCPE® ensures the highest integrity of the financial counseling profession by certifying, connecting and supporting diverse professionals. Our comprehensive certification programs represent the gold standard for financial counseling, coaching, and education, including the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification which is accredited by NCCA and nationally recognized by CFPB and Department of Defense.

Ericka Brause

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