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Top 10 Financial Tips

Top 10 Financial Tips – in our opinion..

  • Don’t overpay for insurance

We feel it is wise for a consumer to check deductibles and coverages closely.  We have found over the years there are many instances when clients were overpaying for coverages that they didn’t know they had and certainly they were not planning on using the coverage.  We also strongly encourage our clients to consider taking a picture or video inventory of what items you own currently.  We like to see this documentation stored off site in a secure location.

  • Don’t be cheap when it comes to your legal docs/plans

You can complete a legal doc package that start at a price of only around $150 (ish).  Why not just complete these docs now instead of waiting?  We have several attorneys that we suggest to complete legal docs and we also feel that this is a critical step in covering all the basics when it comes to financial matters.  We have done a few videos on this on another page you can view here:  https://www.innovativewealthpartner.com/estate-guide/ if you want more information on the topic or similar ones.

  • Have a DISCUSSED and thought out plan for long term care

There is no reason to at least not have a discussed a thought out plan for covering the concept and idea of a long term care need.  We know that it is not always realistic to fund a long term care insurance contract but at least having a discussion about what the future could hold is simple.  This might entail not only your desires but also how and when you might start to shift money and consider the next steps.   We like to see this conversation be something that is done on a regular basis and have a plan that adjusts over time as assets change and needs potentially as well.

  • Use common sense when seeking increased returns on assets

Taking 50% more risk isn’t worth a 1% increase in yield each year.  It can seem like a good idea at first glance but so much of financial matters is simply risk management.  Be sure your risks are “calculated rather than random!

  • Have balance in your overall approach to money

Do not have 90% of your assets in one type of account (IRA or whatever that may be).  We see many clients that enter our office that have done a good job of accumulating some assets, and more often than not we see most of those assets in one type of account.  We cannot stress how important BALANCE is in ones financial life just as it is in ones life overall in general.

  • Use debt instruments with common sense

Leverage can be a helpful tool when it comes to money.  If you are one of the many consumers in the world that is anti debt, we feel your pain, however, you probably already own more leveraged items that you might realize.  We do not like the use of risk to take risk but at time leverage can help when it comes to financial matters.

  • Be consistent

A lack of consistency is usually just a lack of good planning.  We have seen a steady, long term, well thought out strategy to be the most helpful to those who have done well financially over the years.  That being said, we do not feel that consistency means its acceptable to sit and forget it.  These matters are usually fairly important to ones financial future and consistency along with close monitoring along with the way have proven helpful to most.

  • Avoid emotional entanglements

Do not buy and hold something that you never want to own or you just want to recoup your cost (cost of money is a big factor).  When we say the cost of money, that really means what alternative items you might be able to own with those same dollars if you didn’t own the item being addressed in the first place.

  • Know when to cut your losses

Life and disability insurance is a good example.  We are fully aware that at times in ones life, things change.  Do not be afraid of making changes when those changes are in ones best interest.  Often times we have helped clients to end the use of some insurance related product because it was just no longer suitable at their age and with the intended desired outcomes.  Cash value inside life insurance, disability insurance, chronic illness coverages are all examples of insurance related contracts that can need adjusted to cancelled over time.

  • Align your actions with your core values

Be sure your actions are in alignment with your objectives.  We could go on about this point for a great deal of time but the bottom line is YOU are in charge of your financial decisions and you should care about these topics.  We find so many individuals in todays’ marketplace that dislike finances because it can be overwhelming and confusing.  We can relate to this but we struggle to think this is a good excuse to be lazy and do nothing.

Hopefully we have not given you too many details in this article but enough.  If you would want more information on any of the above points, please reach out to us.  We can answer any questions that you might have or address any concerns.


DISCLAIMER:  Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Partners, a registered investment advisor. Stratos & Innovative Wealth Partners are separate entities from LPL Financial.

The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: IN, MI, GA, CO, FL and KY.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

Guarantees are based on the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

All investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

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Estate guide

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Long term care


Specialized Strategies

We offer many “outside the box” ideas to our clients and view ourselves as specialists in this area. We spend a great deal of time studying the economy and researching opportunities in the industry. This is simply a short list of ideas that you might enjoy reading about. This is not comprehensive in nature and does not include everything.

Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified advisor.

In service withdrawal

An “in service withdrawal” is a strategy that exists today that can impact many employees and employers that relates to taking money out of qualified plan (401k) while still remaining employed and “in service” at the current job. This will not apply to everyone and in fact it is rare that a 401k plan would permit to someone under the age of 55 but some plans do offer it.  We are not educating you on this topic in an effort to suggest something but instead simply to inform you of the topic and that it is something that you may hear about in the world today.  If you would like to discuss this topic further please reach out to us.

72t or 72q solutions

A 72t (or 72q) is an option that is available to individuals who have qualified money inside an account and need access to that money before the attained age of 59.5. It is common for folks to leave the money in a plan until age 59.5 in order to avoid paying the 10% penalty that could be imposed by the IRS. If one does this and play by the rules, the 10% penalty can be avoided. Call us today to learn how. The rules are clearly written into the tax code. Distributions are still subject to federal and state income tax. Please consult a tax advisor for specific tax advice.

There is a risk that the principal balance of the account could be exhausted in the event that the distributions exceed the net earnings and growth of the investments. Individuals who live beyond their normal life expectancy many find their account values have been completely depleted. 72(t) is a tool to access money prior to age 59 ½ without the 10% penalty. It is not a tool to enable an individual to retire early if they are not otherwise able to. There are substantial penalties for any deviation from a plan once enacted.

NUA (net unrealized appreciation)

This is a complex strategy that relates to a very small number of targeted clients who have highly appreciated company stock inside a retirement plan. If you would happen to fit this category you should call us today to discuss further. This is not a strategy that is good for the average person but if you have over 100k of highly appreciated company stock inside your 401k this may be a great option for you to consider. We can potentially help you save on taxes by working within the rules the IRS has established for us.


Kyle Bass fan page


One of the economists that we enjoy listening to and following is named Kyle Bass. Kyle was made famous by a prediction he made in 2007. He correctly saw the real estate crash of 2008 well in advance of many others in the industry.

If you want to know when we post more content on this page, please sign up by contacting us with ‘Kyle Bass’ in the ‘Reason for Contact’ box. We will not sell your information to anyone. This is completely confidential.

PLEASE NOTE: The information being provided is strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web sites provided here, you are leaving this web site. We make no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these web sites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, web sites, information and programs made available through this web site. When you access one of these web sites, you are leaving our web site and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the web sites you are linking to.

*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets. Kyle Bass and his respective company and services are not affiliated with LPL Financial, Stratos Wealth Partners, or Innovative Wealth Parnters.

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Paying for college

How to pay for college expenses

College is getting more expensive by the day and we feel that eventually this trend will change but for now it certainly has become the new normal. Here are some funding sources that we have used in the past in order to pay for college:

  • 529 accounts or other college accounts that are similar
  • Trust earnings
  • Earnings from old money such as CD’s or investment accounts
  • College loans (subsidized is better)
  • Home equity loans
  • Money that is currently in an IRA
  • Cash value of life insurance
  • Rental property income

Obviously there are many more ways to pay for college but this is just a short list. We also like to encourage parents to think outside the box when it comes to college. Many alternatives might exist that might allow your child to enjoy many of the benefits that college offers without all the expense.

As most things when it comes to financial matters; starting early and having a plan is always a good idea. Waiting until your child is 17 or 18 can make the choice rushed and difficult.


Disclaimer:  Prior to investing in a 529 Plan investors should consider whether the investor’s or designated beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program. Withdrawals used for qualified expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Please consult with your tax advisor before investing.


Retirement income planning

Retirement Income Planning

Several things come to mind when I think about retirement and one of the major issues would be running out of money. Setting up financial matters to address this risk makes a lot of sense for some of our clients.

Having some base income that is fixed can make a lot of sense. We often times like clients to think of their money in similar terms to investing during the accumulation phase of their lives. During accumulation nearly everyone has heard the mantra; don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We like this analogy and feel it is appropriate for retirees as well. Think of your money like you have different baskets attempting to accomplish different objectives. One basket might be “fixed” and include things such as pensions, CD’s, fixed annuities, cash value of life insurance that are fixed, savings accounts etc. Basket two might be things that are dependent on a market which might include bonds, stocks, alternatives etc. Lastly, basket three would include things that might be required to accomplish what one wants after they pass away. This could include life insurance death benefit proceeds, house or something else one would more than likely not spend during their lifetime. If you have a nice balance of all these different types of assets often times a retiree can be confident knowing that they do not have all their eggs in one basket. Assuming these things are allocated in a diverse enough manner!

We actually view retirement such that we view investing in any market; risk management is key. Risk management should not be limited to the normal risks that everyone plans for such as stock market risk; we really feel that everything has risk. Stocks, bonds, interest rates, currencies, financial institutions etc. We feel that if any of these are not planned for it could leave a retiree up a creek without a paddle.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors.


Estate strategies and techniques

Estate Strategies and Techniques

Over the years there have been several occasions where we have ran into some complicated estate tax planning issues that require a bit more time and attention than the average middle income American might need. These issues are usually a case by case basis and handled with care and hiring the right team. We have a great deal of experience in working with attorneys’. The issues usually arise when a clients net worth approaches 5 million dollars or more. We work with several trust teams and can incorporate many complex features into a strategy.

This issue is actually not just for retired people with a large estate, even the small to medium size family can benefit from having a plan in place. Also, one last item to keep in mind is that no plan really means that you are relying on the government (state) to set your plan for you. We usually like to see our clients be in control so often times we encourage clients to consider this before it is too late.

ESTATE inventory guide (FREE resource)

ESTATE checklist


Discliamer:  Innovative Wealth Partners, Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd and LPL Financial do not provide legal advice or services. This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized legal advice.  Please consult your legal advisor regarding your specific situation.