Patriot Wealth - October 2019

OCTOBER 2019

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PATRIOT WEALTH

HOW TO KEEP YOUR ASSETS PROTECTED & ENSURE YOUR FAMILY DOESN’T HAVE TO ENDURE PROBATE

• TIME The average case can run anywhere from nine months to

Many people only know our Patriot Wealth team as a group of financial advisors who share the collective goal of helping clients get their financial plans in order. They want a life of reduced monetary stress and burdens, which can then lead to a relaxing and enjoyable retirement. While that description of our team is wholly accurate, few realize how much estate planning influences what we do. In our sphere, we find that the majority of people either have no estate plan or they have a poorly executed plan, both of which can cause tremendous financial loss, stress, and confusion for the family members left behind. Generally speaking, the most immediate issue with estate planning and asset protection is to avoid probate. Probate is the process by which assets are transferred to the next generation, charities, and/or someone else. The process can change slightly depending on jurisdiction, but the definition stays the same regardless of where you live: The Latin word “probate” is literally translated as “prove the will.” If you have a will, proving it might sound simple enough, but the probate process creates three major issues:

through the probate process. From a financial standpoint, it helps your surviving kin avoid all the hassle caused by probate, and, furthermore, because you appoint a trustee who is hired by law to follow the terms you set forth in your trust, it ensures your wishes are more securely kept. Lastly, and most importantly, revocable living trusts typically come as a package that includes all necessary documents, such as a “pour-over will,” which transfers any assets that haven’t already been added to the trust in the trust’s name at death; a trust certificate, which is an abbreviated form of the trust to be provided to banks when acquiring assets so they don’t have to provide a copy of the trust; durable powers of attorney for asset management; and an advanced health care directive. With all the benefits associated with a revocable living trust, you can see why we recommend it to our clients. If you want more information about trusts, let us know so we can put you in touch with an attorney we trust!

two years, but many end up taking even longer.

• PUBLICITY When a case goes to probate court, it becomes a matter of public record. Each county has its own probate court, so anyone could walk into the courthouse, go to the probate and estate divisions room, and pull a file to see who left what and how much. • COST The overall cost can change depending on the jurisdiction, but in North Carolina, for example, the average probate costs 7% of a person’s total estate, a number which can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. utilize a revocable living trust. A living trust is a document signed by the trust maker and a notary public that details what you wish to happen to your estate after your death. Because you’ve placed your assets in the trust, even after you pass, the trust is a living document, which means it doesn’t have to go The best way to avoid all the time, publicity, and cost of probate is to

–Rick White

This information is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered, it is not, however, intended to provide specific legal or tax advice and cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or to promote, market, or recommend any tax plan or arrangement. Please note that Patriot Wealth and its affiliates do not give legal or tax advice. You are encouraged to consult your tax advisor or attorney. Investment Advisory Services is offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors (RWA), a Registered Investment Advisor. Patriot Wealth and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

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DON’T LET MONEY GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR GRANDCHILD’S EDUCATION

College expenses aren’t what they used to be. What used to be affordable to any student with a part-time summer job now can take years to pay off. If your grandkids want to go to college, the cost of education should not be a barrier to their future. Luckily there are ways that you can help ease that financial burden. There are no limits on age, income, or monetary contributions attached to this college savings account, and contributions are tax-deductible in some states. Just like a Roth IRA, the earnings grow over time and can be used tax-free for qualifying expenses, like tuition and room and board. There are a few downsides, however. Funds from INVEST IN A 529 SAVINGS PLAN.

a grandparent’s 529 savings plan are considered student income and could hurt your student’s eligibility for financial aid. If you choose to fund through a parent’s 529 savings plan, which doesn’t count as student income, you lose control over the funds you contribute. Not everybody has $20,000 just lying around, but if you do, using it to pay for your grandchild’s tuition isn’t a bad way to spend it. Normally, annual financial gifts that are exempt from the federal gift tax can’t exceed $15,000, but payments toward someone’s tuition, for any amount, are not taxed. Keep in mind, however, that the money can only go toward tuition, not toward PAY THEIR TUITION.

other college expenses like room and board or textbooks.

HELP THEM FIND OPPORTUNITIES TO SAVE.

Even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to give, you can still help your grandkids look for other opportunities to save. There are thousands of available scholarships, grants, and programs to help students pay for college, and helping them look online and in your community can go a long way. College could be your grandchild’s first stop on the path to achieving their dreams. You can be a part of that journey by making sure money doesn’t get in the way of that.

PLANNING FOR RETIREMENT IS MORE THAN FINANCIAL 3 BOOKS TO HELP YOU REIMAGINE YOUR LIFE AFTER WORK

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S ‘50 STATES, 5,000 IDEAS: WHERE TO GO, WHEN TO GO, WHAT TO SEE, WHAT TO DO’ If you’re like thousands of other retirees around the country, you might be eager to do some traveling during retirement. If you’d rather stay a little closer to home, then this book is ideal for you. Travel experts at National Geographic have joined together to relay the best travel experiences in every state, from the obvious to the unexpected. With sites including beaches, battlefields, national parks, hotels, and out-of-the-way museums, the book has something for everyone! The years you spend in retirement are called “golden” for a reason. Check out these books to see how to make the most of your newfound free time!

While several amazing and informative retirement books top the best-sellers list, many of them solely explore financial topics and avoid discussions regarding how individuals can actually approach the “living” aspect of retirement. While financial planning is of the utmost importance, the huge life transitions associated with retirement deserve equal recognition. It’s for this reason that the team here at Patriot Wealth decided to compile a list of three best-selling books to help you prepare for this new and exciting chapter of your life!

mental and physical well-being, and solid social support.” With over 110,000 copies sold, this publication has inspired curious retirees to take charge of their purpose and fill their time with meaningful and inspirational experiences. In his book, award-winning author Hyrum W. Smith combines enthusiasm and humor to help retirees reimagine their lives outside of the workforce. Through his challenging and compelling principles, Smith helps readers find answers to the following questions: 1) Can you simplify life? 2) Is there a way to make intelligent and anxiety-free retirement planning choices? 3) Can you learn from the lives and experiences of people who have found their pathway to happy retirement? 4) What are their secrets to aging well and a happy retirement? ‘PURPOSEFUL RETIREMENT’

‘HOW TO RETIRE HAPPY, WILD, AND FREE’

According to world-class author Ernie J. Zelinski, the key to a great retirement involves much more than access to adequate funds; it also incorporates “leisure activities, creative pursuits,

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One of the primary fears Americans share all throughout the country is they might experience severe memory loss in their senior years. While it’s natural to worry about the type of memory decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, the fears that younger Americans share are often a little exaggerated. For example, in one survey, approximately 57% of adults between the ages of 18-64 believed they would suffer from some form of memory loss during their senior years. However, studies show that only 25% of adults over the age of 65 actually do experience memory loss. While the fears might be exaggerated, it doesn’t mean people shouldn’t work to keep their brains active. Your memory helps you accomplish both basic and complex tasks, so it’s vital to keep your brain healthy and fit. You can start by focusing on exercise, both mentally and physically. Just like talking daily walks or bike rides can help your body function normally, doing daily mental exercises can help build your memory. Consider using acronyms to help you remember items to pick up at the grocery store. Experts also recommend talking out loud and doodling as great memory building techniques. In addition to these daily exercises, your brain is best worked when you’re challenging it. Especially during retirement when you have a little more free time, consider trying your hand at a new hobby. If you’ve always wanted to play an instrument, start taking classes. If you’ve always been interested in learning a new language, download a helpful phone app like Duolingo and get started. Another great way to prevent memory loss is to reduce the amount of stress you face. Because your brain can only process so much information at any one time, when your cognitive load is bigger than your brain’s ability to handle it, you can’t learn or consolidate new knowledge as effectively. If you feel like you’re rushing, slow down. If you feel overwhelmed, try talking to someone or perhaps even look into meditation. Because the human brain has the fantastic ability to take in new information, change, create new neural connections, and store important information in its long- term memory, seeking out new learning opportunities helps keep your long- and short-term memory intact! TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR BRAIN IN YOUR SENIOR YEARS KEEPING YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FRUIT

Inspired by Food Network

This super easy and fun way to create homemade treats provides your kids with a healthier and more delicious alternative to packaged industrial candy. As a bonus, making it is an awesome Halloween activity for your family to enjoy.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 package melting chocolate • Assorted dried fruit, including apricots and mangoes

1. In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. 2. Place a large, heatproof mixing bowl on top of saucepan so that no steam can escape. Place melting chocolate in mixing bowl and double boil until melted. 3. Dip half of each piece of fruit in chocolate before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet to rest. 4. Let cool for 10 minutes until chocolate solidifies. 5. Place in school lunches, serve at parties, and indulge in a few for yourself. DIRECTIONS

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PATRIOT WEALTH 4350 Lassiter at North Hills Ave. #330 Raleigh, NC 27609 INSIDE THIS ISSUE It’s Time for Some Estate Planning Advice! PAGE 1

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3 Strategies for Helping Grandkids Pay for College PAGE 2

3 Books to Help You Reimagine Your Life After Work PAGE 2

Chocolate-Dipped Fruit PAGE 3

Tips for Boosting Your Brain in Your Senior Years PAGE 3

The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow PAGE 4

HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN HALLOWEEN CELEBRATIONS IN SLEEPY HOLLOW

In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October.

Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.

witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical

Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year- old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires,

based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible

exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins.

If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to

lose your head!

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