Iowa Transfer of Wealth

What is the transfer of wealth?

Simply put, the transfer of wealth represents Iowa’s potential. It’s the entirety of assets expected to transfer from one generation to the next in the coming 40 years. There is always a transfer from generation to generation, as one generation passes away and leaves their estates to their heirs. But if those successors no longer live where they grew up, that wealth may leave the state or community where it was generated.

The 2024 Iowa Transfer of Wealth Study estimates more than $30.4 billion in Iowa wealth will change hands in the next 10 years. Over 40 years, the figure swells to $128 billion. The wealth may be held in real estate, securities, retirement accounts, and other assets.

2024 State of Iowa TOW Detailed Report
2024 State of Iowa TOW Summary Report

Why is the Iowa Community Foundations Initiative studying it?

Because the future of our communities depends on it! There is so much abundance – enough to change the future of our state. We study the transfer of wealth to help Iowa-based community foundations connect with local donors about investing in Iowa as part of their legacy. We want donors to know they can both secure their family’s future wellbeing while also enriching the community they call home.

TOW Fact Sheet

How did you come up with these numbers?

The University of Minnesota Extension developed the 2024 Iowa Transfer of Wealth Study.

Transfer of Wealth (TOW) estimates are scenarios of a “most likely future” based on historical research and reasonable assumptions of the future. Longer range scenarios are subject to greater uncertainty. The 10-Year TOW scenarios include the cumulative intergenerational wealth being transferred by permanent resident households from 2020 through 2030. The 40-Year TOW scenarios include the cumulative intergenerational wealth being transferred from 2020 through 2060. These estimates exclude wealth held by corporations, governments, and nonprofit organizations. TOW scenarios are presented in real, inflation-adjusted dollars meaning that a dollar in 2060 has the same purchasing power as a dollar in 2020.

Why 5%?

We believe our Iowa hometowns can continue to thrive if just 5% of this wealth transfer is contributed to community endowments through charitable giving. Over the next 10 years, that could be a $1.5 billion investment in Iowa; in the next 40 years the figure grows to $6.4 billion. Think of what our communities could achieve with that amount of money!

In no way are we suggesting parents not leave money to their heirs; however, we believe giving back does not need to be a choice between family and charity. When you leave just 5% to a community’s endowment, you can secure your family’s legacy AND help your hometown thrive. There are many options available in charitable estate planning to help you leave a legacy in your hometown.

What can I do personally to harness the transfer of wealth in my community?

There are three simple things you can do to ensure some of these critical resources remain in Iowa:

  • Talk to your professional advisor about including your community in your estate plans.
  • Give to an endowment fund at your local community foundation
  • Spread the word! When we all leave five, our hometowns thrive!

How can I obtain the transfer of wealth data for my county/region? 

You can contact Jenna Manders at by November 15, 2024. Summary reports are available for $250. Detailed reports are available for $750. Reports that have already been commissioned are linked below.

Once our wealth leaves the community, it is gone forever.
Once our wealth is endowed in our community, it is here forever.
The time to act is now—the opportunity will never be greater!