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Category : Finance

Working From Home with Kids: 7 Tips to Make it Work

This unprecedented time has brought forth a slew of challenges, one of which has been glaring for many: working from home with kids is hard.

 

And with summer here and many summer activities cancelled, how do you balance your work life and home life? Here are 7 tips from Metroplex Wealth – your source for retirement planning near Dallas – on how to maximize this time:

 

Allow Flexibility

Your schedule may look different during this time. Many it’s not a traditional 9-5. Pay attention to when you have scheduled meetings and work around those times. Maybe your schedule is 2-hour blocks throughout the day. Give yourself flexibility to get some work done, then take the dog or kids out for a walk.

 

Create a Designated Workspace

 

For some working from home – full time or part time – is normal. For many, this experience has been new. Find a place in your home that can be a designated workspace, away from the noise where you can focus on the work at hand. Avoid setting up shop in the dining room or in a high traffic area of the home where distractions are plentiful.

 

Take Advantage of “Off Peak” Hours

 

Do you an early riser or a night owl? Take advantage of these “off peak” times when your family may be sleeping to get some extra work done. It’s amazing how productive you can be in the early hours of the day on a full night of sleep!

 

Set Daily Priorities

 

Prioritize your tasks in terms of things that must happen today – and things that can wait. Tackle the “must dos” first, then as you work down the list, you can begin working toward accomplishing more. Assuring the tasks that must get done are completed will relieve stress and give a sense of accomplishment.

 

Give Kids Additional Responsibility

 

Kids can do more than we often give them credit for. Teach them how to do common household chores, make their own breakfast, or get their own snacks. Delegating these common interruptions will give them a sense of accomplishment – and give you more time to get work done.

 

Dress Up your Workspace

 

It’s true that if we enjoy our workspace, we’re more productive and more likely to spend our time there. Do what you can to make your new workspace feel inviting and productive. Add greenery by moving a common houseplant to your desk from another area of the home. Buy a few simple organization bins or shelves to keep your supplies organized. As we work on retirement planning near Dallas from our home offices, we find that these little touches can go a long way to better productivity.

 

Give Yourself Grace

 

Working from home with kids isn’t easy. Some days are going to go well – others might involve your child in front a screen all day while you’re hope for a little quiet time to get your work done. Give yourself grace, knowing this season will pass and your kids will likely remember this time with fond memories of their time at home.

 

If you’re evaluating your retirement plans during this time and want to know how this current pandemic might be affecting your long-term financial goals, Metroplex Wealth would love to talk with you. Our team specializes in retirement planning near Dallas and can help with all of your financial planning needs.

5 Probate Mistakes to Avoid

 

Going through the probate process can be stressful.

 

The goal at Metroplex Wealth is to ease the burden by helping you create a comprehensive estate plan that will make the process run as smooth as possible. We see many cases enter probate, and there are some common probate mistakes that are important to avoid:

 

Delaying The Process

No one expects you to report the death and begin the probate process the day someone passes, but it is important to report the death in a timely manner. We often see people who wait months before beginning the process, incurring additional taxes, fees, and penalties in the process.

 

Failing to Protect & Maintain Assets

After a death, all assets must be identified, protected, and properly maintained by the estate. It is imperative to locate them as soon as possible, as to avoid any theft. Furthermore, properties that are owned by the estate must be maintained during the probate process. This means lawn services, keeping utilities running, and other common property maintenance.

 

Incomplete Records

An estate plan is designed to help the probate process run as smoothly as possible. One mistake we often see is that estate plans are out-of-date and do not list all assets, debts, or other information necessary to settle the estate. Be sure that your estate plan is updated regularly! If you are already in the probate process and an estate plan isn’t available, begin an inventory of all assets and debts so that the estate can be settled quickly. Where to start on finding all debts? Obtain a copy of the credit report, begin collecting mail, and talk with the deceased person’s financial advisors or family.

 

Not Notifying All Creditors

In that vein, after an administrator or executor has determined all debts, it’s extremely important to notify all creditors of the death. If not, additional costs may need to be paid out of your own pocket vs. the estate.

 

Trying to Do It All Alone

Probate is a complicated and stressful process, and the wise counsel of highly trained lawyers and advisors who specialize in probate near Dallas is vitally important. Sure, you could probably do it alone, but it could cost you more in the long run with additional headaches and mistakes that hit the bottom line. Not to mention, well-trained specialists know how to save you the most money when going through the probate near Dallas process.

 

At Metroplex Wealth, we work closely with the Redding Law firm, offering the convenience of having all of your estate planning and probate near Dallas needs met under one roof. Whether you are just beginning the probate process for a loved one or are wanting to make sure your estate plan is current, give us a call today.

5 Questions to Ask when Selecting an Estate Planning Firm

When it comes to estate plans, one size definitely does not fit all.

 

If you’re looking for estate planning near Dallas, we realize that your options are plentiful. Where do you start? While it can be overwhelming to select a firm for estate planning, Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas offers the following questions to ask each firm before making a decision:

 

  1. Do You Do A Lot of Business with Clients in My Situation?

As we said earlier, there is no “one size fits all” solution for estate planning. Each client we work with at Metroplex Wealth has their own personal assets and situation that must be taken into account. Is your family blended? Is there a disabled child in your family? Are you a business owner? All of these things and more matter for tailoring a plan to you.

 

  1. Am I Comfortable with This Person?

An estate planner can have all the credentials in the world, but if you don’t feel comfortable with them, then they are the wrong fit for you. You will be sharing a lot of very personal information with this person, so be sure it’s someone you feel you can trust and have a strong rapport with.

 

  1. How Much of Your Firm is Dedicated to Estate Planning?

Asking this question gives you a good sense for how in-depth their knowledge and expertise of estate planning near Dallas is. As rules and regulations can change often, look for a firm that spends a great deal of their resources on estate planning  to ensure the best plan possible.

 

  1. What Is Your Protocol for Working with my Other Financial Advisors?

Estate planning doesn’t happen in a black hole. It happens with collaboration from wealth managers, attorneys, accountants, and more, and it’s important that your estate planner has a history of working well with these counterparts. At Metroplex Wealth, this is one of the things we specialize in! In fact, we have the unique advantage of having all of this under one roof! We share an office with Redding Law firm, ensuring that collaboration between estate plans, financial planning, retirement planning, and other wealth management is constantly happening. And if you want to talk to one of us about your wealth management approach, we’re all just one phone call away.

 

  1. What is your Fee Structure?

Fees and structures vary by estate planning firm, but it’s important to get an idea of cost before making a selection. Look for transparency and open dialogue so you know what to expect up front. Just be wary of making a decision solely based on cost, as lowest cost doesn’t always equal best value.

 

Metroplex Wealth is a wealth management firm in Southlake, Texas that specializes in estate planning near Dallas. Call us today for a consultation on how we can serve you.

3 Reasons Why You Should Choose Metroplex Wealth for your Estate Planning Needs

Each of our days here are numbered, and for most of us, it’s very important to make sure your estate is in order so that family and loved ones are not burdened with excess financial costs and lengthy court proceedings to get the assets we want entrusted to them.

 

Metroplex Wealth specializes in estate planning near me in Southlake, Texas, offering you the peace of mind and financial guidance you need to get your affairs in order.

 

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is simply getting your financial affairs in order and creating a plan for who will get what from your estate upon your death, to what extent you want each person to receive benefits, and when benefits should be received. It’s also an important tool for maximizing the estate that is passed to your heirs through proper tax planning. It’s never too early to begin the process.

 

Why Choose Metroplex Wealth for Estate Planning?

Metroplex helps many clients get their affairs in order with proper estate planning near me in Southlake. Here are 3 reasons to choose us for your estate planning needs:

 

  1. Partnership with Boutique Law Firm

In order to get all of your estate planning documents properly filed, a lawyer must be involved in the process. At Metroplex Wealth, we actually share an office with a boutique law firm, Redding Law office, so we are easily able to consult them on any and every question or issue you may have. When you come in to sign documents, everything is in one place. It’s a partnership that reduces headaches and makes your life easier – giving you peace of mind in the estate planning process.

 

  1. Tailored Approach

In fact, at many large firms you aren’t able to speak with your lawyer or financial planner easily. But with us, it’s easy to call and ask us – or your lawyer – a quick question. No question is too small. We tailor our business to your needs and it’s that personalized, “small town” feel keeps many of our clients coming back with all of their wealth management needs for years to come.

 

  1. Free Annual Estate Planning Reviews

Laws change. Needs change. We get that. At Metroplex Wealth, we offer an annual estate planning review – free of charge – to make sure your documents still reflect your current needs. If you already have an estate plan, we are more than happy to review that plan for free and recommend any changes to maximize wealth. You don’t even need to schedule these reviews; we will call you to get the ball rolling and schedule your annual review free of charge.

 

If you are looking for estate planning near me in Southlake, Texas and the greater DFW area, call us today at Metroplex Wealth. We would love to review your current financial situation and see how we can help.

Are You Making these 5 Asset Protection Mistakes?

In a world of litigation and high tax rates, it is incredibly important to make sure your assets are properly protected. Metroplex Wealth offers asset protection near Dallas, Texas, with a staff that is well versed in how to best protect your money.

 

That being said, we have seen many asset protection mistakes over the years, and here are 5 of the top mistakes we see often. Are you making these asset protection mistakes?

 

  1. Clients Who are Underinsured.

Let’s start with insurance. Sure, insurance can’t protect all of your assets, but it certainly helps. We see many clients who think they have enough insurance, when in fact there are underinsured. In the case of a lawsuit, a large umbrella liability policy is critical. Depending on your career and assets, work with an estate planning attorney to determine the proper amount of umbrella insurance for you.

 

  1. Believing Assets in Living Trusts are 100% Protected.

Trusts certainly offer asset protection near Dallas, but they do not offer 100% protection in the case of living trusts. Living trusts give the grantor the opportunity to move money in and out at various times, so in the event that creditors come after you and your money and you are still living, a court may determine that you need to use money in the living trust to pay off a creditor. That being said, trusts are excellent vehicles for asset protection, but it’s important to visit with an estate planning attorney about if you are opening yourself up to risk with the trusts and living trusts you have.

 

  1. Improperly Titling Assets.

When protecting your assets, it’s important to know what assets are titled under your name and to formulate a game plan for titling in a way that best protects you and your money. Do you have adult children who cars or other assets that have your name on them? If they run into issues, then you can be liable. What about your spouse’s creditors for property you share together? Talk with a firm like Metroplex Wealth that specializes in asset protection near Dallas on what is best for you.

 

  1. Exposing Yourself to Risk Through IRAs

IRAs are a great vehicle for long-term retirement savings, but unlike 401K plans that are governed by federal law, the rules about IRAs are governed by state law. Take a look at your state laws on IRAs – both Roth and Traditional – and see if you are unnecessarily exposing yourself to risk.

 

  1. Not Designating Assets to Heirs

Providing for and leaving assets to your heirs can get complicated, particularly if there are multiple spouses involved and many players in the mix. Depending on your specific situation, trusts can be a great asset protection vehicle but there are other methods of protection that can be utilized as well.

 

Concerned there might be some gaps in your asset protection strategy? Call us today at Metroplex Wealth for excellent asset protection near Dallas, Texas.

5 Asset Protection Strategies that Really Work

An important aspect of wealth management is asset protection. In a world where lawsuits happen everyday – over the most flippant of reasons – you must ensure that your wealth is secure and well insulated from creditors and lawsuits. This is where asset protection near me comes into play.

 

Our team at Metroplex Wealth specializes in protecting your assets for future generations.  We don’t do it by lying or hiding your wealth; we use the law to our advantage to create a specialized solution that works for you and keeps your money safe. Here are 5 asset protection strategies we recommend that really work:

 

Have a Plan Now

Here’s the thing: when you realize you need an asset protection strategy, it might be too late. Moving money around near the date of litigation can be misconstrued as a fraudulent transfer and may get you in more legal trouble. Instead, plan now and assume that litigation could happen to you. Take the proper steps now to protect your assets.

 

Use Retirement Plans to Your Advantage

Retirement plans are a great place to diversity wealth and protect it from creditors and litigation. 401K plans and 403B plans are exempt from creditors until assets are distributed, making them a great form of asset protection near me. IRAs are also somewhat shielded from creditor liabilities, but don’t hold the same restrictions as other retirement accounts.

 

Gift the Money to Family or Charities

Here’s an easy one: give it away. If you anticipate giving your assets to your children eventually anyway, you may consider diversitying your estate plan and providing asset protection through gifting today. Your favorite charity could also benefit from your generosity.

 

Know Your Insurances

Insurance is very important, but it’s not the end-all-be-all when it comes to asset protection near me. Know the policies you have, what they cover, and what they don’t. Consider an umbrella policy to cover you for unexpected liabilities. Using insurance in conjunction with other estate planning technques can be a great way to protect your assets.

 

Keep Your Personal and Business Finances Separate

There needs to be a clear delination between personal assets and business expenses or you risk a creditor going after both! There are different vessels where you can protect money on both sides: trusts, LLCs, FLPs, etc. Talk with your estate planning attorney about what avenues best fit your needs for asset protection in Southlake.

 

If you are looking for someone to step in and help you protect your assets, then give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas. Our team specializes in asset protection, and we do not believe in “one size fits all” solutions. We tailor our approach to each client, creating a plan that’s best for you and your money. Call us today to set up a consultation.

Why Now is the Time to Do Year End Tax Planning

  • admin
  • December 10, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, Metroplex Wealth is working with many of our clients on proactive tax planning. Sure, it’s something that is important to consider throughout the year, but now is the time to assess if you can make any adjustments that will prove fruitful on your 2019 tax returns. Here are 5 things our advisors at Metroplex Wealth urge you to consider before the new year:

 

Charitable Giving

Is now the time to make a sizeable charitable gift? The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to various deductions, but charitable giving deductions have remained relatively untouched in terms of taxation. This means you’ve got a great opportunity to make some charitable gifts and improve your tax situation in the process.

 

Give Cash this Holiday Season

Take advantage of the $15,000 ($30,000 if married) annual exclusion gift, allowing you to give up to this amount in cash or properties all tax-free. This may be a good strategy if you’d like to pass assets along to your children without reducing your lifetime exemption from gift and estate tax.

 

With Income, Timing is Everything

Consider your tax bracket for 2020? Do you anticipate it being lower than 2019? If so, you may want to defer income until after Jan. 1 to offset the tax burden. The opposite is true if you’re expecting a great rise in income next year.

 

Give to Tax Advantaged Accounts

Now is a great time for maxing your contributions to 529 plans, trusts, and other tax advantaged accounts. Income in these accounts is not taxed as long as its used according to the rules set forth in the plan.

 

If you have questions and want to see if you need to make any adjustments for tax planning before the new year, please give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas. Our proactive tax planning department can help you make sound decisions that protect your hard earned assets.

Wealth Building: 5 Ways Young Professionals Can Get Ahead

When you’re just beginning your career, it can seem impossible to find the extra capital to begin investing or saving for anything, but getting a head start on investing in your early 20s can pay monumental dividends down the road. Here are 10 ways Metroplex Wealth recommends young professionals get ahead when it comes to building long-term wealth:

 

Build an Emergency Fund

Depending on your risk tolerance, an emergency fund should be somewhere between 3-9 months of living expenses on hand and liquid in case you need to access it in a pinch. Do this first before moving forward with other investment strategies.

 

Take Advantage of Time

As a young professional, time is on your side. Compounding is the greatest gift of an early investment – an investment opportunity that you cannot ever get back.

 

Take Risks

In that same vein, the longer timeframe for investments mean you can take more risks with your money. Consider talking with a wealth manager about aggressive growth funds.

 

Start Slow

As you’re learning the markets and the investment style that works best for you, start with a conservative amount of money and only invest that which you don’t need for everyday expenses and your emergency fund.

 

Use Networking to Your Advantage

If you don’t know where to start with investing and building wealth, do not be afraid to ask. Ask others what they are doing. Look to older professionals you trust and ask what their strategies are; ask which companies they invest their money with. You never know until you ask.

 

Are you ready to take the plunge into investing and building long-term wealth? If so, give us a call at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas – the top wealth management firm in Southlake. Each investment approach is tailored to your individual needs, ensuring we’re doing what’s best for you and your long-term financial goals. Set up a consultation today and let’s talk about building wealth now!

How are You Paying for Healthcare Expenses in Retirement?

A recent study from Fidelity found that a newly retired couple at the age of 65 will need about $285,000 to cover healthcare expenses in retirement.

While many of our clients do an excellent job of planning for retirement, the idea of planning for healthcare expenses that high aren’t even on their radar. Most people think their healthcare expenses will be a lot less, but the above statistic is a reality for most.

Metroplex Wealth is passionate about helping you gain traction with a well-rounded estate planning approach that includes planning for healthcare expenses in retirement. Here are a few things to consider as you tackle the issue:

 

Medicare Has Its Limitations

If you’re assuming Medicare will pick up the bill for healthcare expenses in retirement, chances are, it won’t be a holistic approach. For example, Medicare is not equipped to cover the costs of prescription drugs that can be very expensive if it’s lacking the Medicare Part D policy. You’ll also have limitations on vision and dental benefits, depending on the plan. Medicare participants can go into retirement expecting the pay deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for things not covered.

Options for Pre-Retirees

If you haven’t yet retired and are looking to the future, there are some ways to plan for healthcare expenses and protect your hard-earned assets. For many clients, we recommend taking full advantage of an HSA, or Health Savings Account, because of its tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred growth, and tax-free withdrawals. Long term care insurance is another great option, but pricey. It will help cover living expenses for extended care without draining your nest egg. Younger couples may get better rates for buying into this program earlier or coupling it with a life insurance policy.

If you’re interested in exploring retirement healthcare planning options that are right for you, call us at Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas today for a consultation.

4 Things You Must Do Before Selecting a Wealth Manager

  • admin
  • October 13, 2019

Selecting a wealth manager shouldn’t be a knee jerk reaction. Don’t select someone just because they come highly recommended by a friend or because they talk a big game. Make sure you find a wealth manager that fits your specific needs and creates an environment where you are able to preserve, protect, and build wealth year-after-year. At Metroplex Wealth in Southlake, Texas, here are 4 things we recommend you must do before selecting a wealth manager:

  1. Evaluate What You Need

Not all wealth managers are created equally and each specializes in something different. Some are heavy on stocks and bonds, while others offer tax preparation and estate planning. Others still, might focus on real estate. Know where the gaps in your long-term financial plan so that you can better assess which wealth manager is the best fit. At the very least, avoid wealth managers who produce cookie-cutter portfolios.

 

  1. Be Mindful of How the Fee Structure

Using a wealth management firm is a wise decision for gaining wealth, but also know that wealth managers do not work for free. Before choosing a wealth management firm, be sure you know how they are paid. Are they commission based? Do they offer a flat fee for their knowledge and expertise?

 

  1. Know Their Communication Style

If someone else is handling your investments, then it’s nice to know they are only a phone call or text away. Choose a wealth manager that is easy to contact, that returns calls promptly, and regularly meets with their clients to re-evaluate their portfolio for optimal production.

 

  1. Look into their Reputation

Checking references, the Better Business Bureau, and online reviews are very important when it comes to understanding how a wealth manager will deal with you and your money. Do not hesitate to do a thorough check before trusting someone with your long-term financial security.

 

Metroplex Wealth is a full-service wealth management firm in Southlake, Texas, specializing in estate planning, wealth management, asset protection, retirement savings, tax planning, and so much more. Give us a call today for a consultation to see if we are the right fit for you.