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Blue Sky Financial Partners is dedicated to being the company that encourages, empowers and equips people to soar financially and live the life of their dreams. That includes helping clients to check items off their bucket list and providing education on financial topics to schools, churches and community groups. From taking a client flying to teaching kids at local schools how to save and plan for their futures, Blue Sky is making a difference. Below are some past events that Blue Sky Financial Partners is proud to have been a part of.

Dream Flight

Helping to make our client’s dreams come true is at the core of Blue Sky’s vision. I had the distinct pleasure of helping one client to realize his life-long dream. Mr. Dummel was 87 years old, and he had always dreamed of flying. Although he worked on an aircraft carrier in WWII, he never got the chance to fly.

As a surprise, his children asked if I would take him flying the next time I visited. Without him knowing, I flew down to their local airport where his daughter-in-law picked me up in her car. After meeting with Mr. Dummel, I told him that I had a surprise for him. He was going flying that day. Confused, he said he couldn’t go because he didn’t have a ticket. When I told him, my plane was waiting for him at the airport, he became very excited, and we headed for the airport.

With some help from my wife and his daughter-in-law, we helped him inside the low-wing plane. Once in the air, I explained the controls and told him how to maintain level flight. Then, with a bit of fanfare, I took my hands and feet off the controls. Somewhat concerned, he asked, “Todd, what are you doing?” With a big smile, I replied, “Dave, you’re flying the plane!” Tears began to flow as the realization hit him. I teared up too when I saw the sheer joy on his face. Back on the ground, we took several pictures. After many hugs and more tears, it was time to fly back to Valparaiso.

Mr. Dummel cherished those pictures to the end. In fact, at his funeral, just a few months later, on top of his casket sat the picture from that day in the airplane. His family said he never stopped talking about that flight.

Everyone deserves a chance to fulfill his or her dreams. I’m just thankful I could help Mr. Dummel fulfill one of his.

Taking Time to Give Back

On August 12, 2016, the Blue Sky Team of staff, family, clients and friends spent the day “Trimming the Trails” at Coffee Creek Preserve. For about three hours, we trimmed back trees and edged the trails so everyone can fully enjoy the paths throughout the preserve. It was a hot and humid but we made it a lot of fun. We truly enjoy giving back to our community and are so thankful to the United Way for holding this annual Day of Caring. We appreciate everyone who was on our team: Jerry and Susan Hale, Matt Scott, Scott Yahne, Rick Wooten, Alex Steciuch, Megan Sidell, Michelle Earp, Gary Housman, Todd and Cheryl Wooten. You’re awesome!

South Side Christian Church Seniors Attend Financial Workshop

Todd is often asked to speak to church groups about financial planning. Most recently, the retiree group from South Side Christian Church in Munster asked Todd to speak for them. He educated the group on the new tax laws and changes to Social Security, as well as discussed a variety of financial topics that are of interest to seniors.

Boone Grove Middle School Learns about Financial Planning
Todd Wooten Leaves an Impression at the Middle School Math Fair

For the second year in a row, Todd Wooten presented financial concepts to the 8th graders at Boone Grove Middle School in Valparaiso, IN.

During the fair, ten different groups of eighth graders listened to Todd as he educated them on what he does as a financial advisor and why he chose his career path. Todd taught what the insurance and financial services industries do and how money works. Using the analogy of flight and the forces exerted on an airplane, he explained how money interest can work for us or against us.

Another principle that Todd shared was the 10% rule: take 10% of every dollar and put it away at an early age so that over time the money grows to a sizeable amount through compounding interest. He also explained the rule of 72: your interest rate divided by 72 tells you how long it will take your money to double. The kids really enjoyed learning how money works. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

“I learned how to save in my near future and it was very helpful. Thank you! I will one day look back and say it only starts with a dollar!” – Angela M.

“Thanks for teaching me how to save money. You helped me understand how interest works. Now I save 10% of whatever money I get. In 10 years, that small 10% of $5 will be doubled. The information on being a pilot was cool too, and how you used it as a metaphor for how money works.” – Johnny S.

“Thank you so much for coming. My favorite part was when you showed us how the plane was like money. I learned a lot from you about how money works. I really enjoyed your table the most. I really hope you can go next year and teach the exact same thing!” – Brock. T.

“Thanks for showing me how to double my money. Me and my father started putting 10% away each paycheck! It has helped us a lot! You also incorporated being a pilot in there. You made it fun and easy to understand. Thanks again for coming.” – Mya G.

“Dear Mr. Wooten, my students and I would like to thank you for being a part of this year’s Math Fair! We appreciate the time you took out of your day to spend with us. I know that my students really enjoyed learning about your career. They are still talking about their experiences that day! Thanks for making a positive impact in their lives.” – Jessica Fauser, 8th Grade Math Teacher

Personal Finance Class Presented to Merrillville High School Seniors
Todd Wooten Gets Students to Think About Their Financial Futures

A frequent volunteer with the Junior Achievement program, Todd had the opportunity to share key financial concepts with local high school seniors. Many young adults are not prepared to succeed financially which is why Todd is passionate about educating the next generation on how money works.

During a multi-hour session, Todd’s students were engaged, curious and amazed by things they’ve never been taught before. Several topics created a buzz in the classroom, including how compounding interest works. After the students realized the power of compounding interest over time, many stated they were going to go out and open their first savings account. Todd increased their financial literacy by sharing the smart money list and the importance of investing, but specifically investing in a tax-efficient manner and using leverage. Students appreciated the analogy of the four forces of flight and how they compare to interest that can act for you (savings) or against you (credit). He also explained the importance of creating a Financial Flight Plan ™ so they can leverage the one thing that cannot be purchased or sold…TIME.

Todd inspired the Merrillville High School seniors with the message that with hard work and by using key financial concepts, they too, can be successful and that smart financial decisions will impact the quality of their lives.