State Treasurer of Iowa

State Treasurer of Iowa News: 2013 3rd Quarter

For families already busy juggling the demands of work and home, college planning may be the last thing on your mind. However, with the cost of a higher education rising faster than inflation, nearly every family will face the question of how to pay for it when the time comes. Thankfully, the answer is quite simple – start saving today. By starting early, saving regularly and making smart investment choices, families can make their savings work for them and College Savings Iowa is here to help.
To get a jump start on helping your loved ones start saving for college, celebrate College Savings Month with us. College Savings Month is a national campaign to help bring attention to the fact that saving for college is one of the most significant things families can do for their children.As a way to help families start saving, we are celebrating by giving away a $5,290 College Savings Iowa account. For more information and to enter the giveaway, please visit any time before November 30.
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Records Broken at the Iowa State Fair

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced that the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt had another successful year at the Iowa State Fair. “Over 8,500 claims of unclaimed property were discovered, totaling over $1.9 million," said Fitzgerald. "The largest treasure found during this annual event was $107,100.00. This was certainly an exceptional year for our booth at the Iowa State Fair."
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt program has returned over $165 million in unclaimed property to more than 404,000 individuals since Fitzgerald started it in 1983. Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions or companies that have lost contact with the property’s owner for a specific period of time. State law requires these institutions and companies to annually report and deliver unclaimed property to the state treasurer’s office, where it is held until the owner or heir of the property is found. Common forms of unclaimed property include: savings or checking accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility security deposits and safe deposit box contents. 
“We are dedicated to helping Iowans reunite with their missing money and property,” Fitzgerald said. Visit to see if you have a treasure waiting for you.

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald announced that 85% of the children that participated in College Savings Iowa's annual State Fair survey show getting a college education is a necessary step to achieving their dreams and career aspirations. “Iowa children are already thinking about their futures,” stated Fitzgerald. “This survey demonstrates how important it is for families to start planning and saving early to help make college a reality for their children.” 

“Every year we ask children visiting the fair what they want to be when they grow up and if they will need to go to college to achieve these goals,” Fitzgerald said. “Needless to say, we are always amazed by the responses they offer.” Seventeen percent are planning on becoming veterinarians, with another 11% hoping to become teachers. Doctor came in third this year with 8% of the responses, and nurse ranked fourth with 4%. “According to one child, it will cost him $14 to go to college to become Batman.”

“Families that save and invest for their children’s college education will be better prepared to meet the challenge of paying for it when the time arrives, and College Savings Iowa is here to help,” added Fitzgerald. Anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. This year Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $3,045 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income.* Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, visit or call 1-888-672-9116.

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Message From the Treasurer

I am dedicating this section of our newsletter to the safe deposit box contents that come in through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. I often receive the question, "what is your favorite item?" As you can imagine, contents vary wildly. We receive valuables such as gold coins, jewelry, and stock certificates. We also receive more sentimental items like grandpa's pocket watch, childhood toys, and war medals. But my favorite items in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt are all of the family photos that are turned over to my office. In this digital age, it is nice to see how families save their black and white photos of their loved ones throughout the generations. It is my office's responsibility to return contents to their rightful owners and no matter the value of the contents, I take that charge seriously. Thank you for taking the time to read our quarterly newsletter and feel free to contact my office with questions or concerns. or 515-281-5368

Michael L. Fitzgerald
Treasurer of State

Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald presented a $5,290 College Savings Iowa account to 6-year-old Haley Link at the Davenport Public Library in June. Haley was chosen to receive the award after her mother, Heather, entered her for the giveaway as part of the College Savings Iowa Spring Giveaway.
“With college tuition rising faster than inflation, saving for college is not an easy task these days,” stated Fitzgerald. “Saving ahead of time is one of the most significant things a family can do to help make college a reality for their child. It can reduce a parent’s need to borrow to cover educational expenses, which can help them and their child get through college with less debt.”
The College Savings Iowa 529 Plan attended various events across the state this past spring to help spread the message about saving early. While learning about the Plan, families were able to register for the 2013 College Savings Iowa Giveaway. Haley, who was randomly selected from over 8,000 entrants, will be able to use the $5,290 to help pay for tuition, books, room and board at any qualifying institution. 

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