A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
Jack and Linda’s house was quiet now. After more than 25 years of family busyness, all of their children had moved out to start their own careers and families. This new phase of life brought the empty nesters time and space to reflect and reminisce. Retirement was on the horizon, and Jack and Linda were eager to avoid the planning pitfalls they had watched their parents endure.
Growing older had not been easy for either of Jack or Linda’s parents, and the family had recently experienced firsthand the anxiety and financial burden that can arise when estate plans are put off or left unclear. Adamant they would make things easier for their own children, Jack and Linda initiated a series of plans for retirement including:
- a financial plan to ensure their needs would be met long term,
- a housing plan to clarify future living arrangements,
- a Generosity Plan™ to maintain their charitable giving during their lifetime and beyond, and
- estate plans to make sure their last wishes would be clear and easy to follow.
Generosity Planning for Retirement and Beyond
First, Jack and Linda met with their financial planner to review how much they had saved and how this translated into retirement income. They wanted to make sure their combination of cash, securities, and life insurance would be enough to support their lifestyle, provide for the family, and give to charity. They looked over their financial assets and discussed the potential tax liability in their retirement and their estate. It turned out that charitable giving from certain assets would help to off-set a portion of the tax liability.
They contacted Abundance Canada to review their gifting options. We discussed their charitable goals and reviewed the financial assets from which they hoped to do their giving. Jack and Linda wanted to maintain their current charitable giving during their lifetime and to give to charity in their wills. Because generosity had always been an important family value, they wanted to involve their children and future grandchildren in their charitable giving. In this way, they hoped to model charitable giving and provide opportunities for the next generation to experience the joy of philanthropy.
Flexible Family Giving Today and Tomorrow
Jack and Linda were excited to find out they could plan all their charitable giving through Abundance Canada. A Generosity Plan, along with tax planning advice from their advisor, would ensure their current and future charitable giving was both easy and tax efficient. It would also allow them the flexibility to update the plan as their life circumstances changed. Their Generosity Plan allowed their children and grandchildren to contribute financially and each year they will meet as a family to recommend the charities they want to support.
Finally, Jack and Linda met with their lawyer to update their wills, clarify their wishes, and determine the representation needed should they become incapacitated. They set up their wills to not only provide for their loved ones but also designated a portion of their estate to charity. By naming Abundance Canada in their will, they were able to recommend how their charitable bequests would be disbursed to a variety of charities over a number of years. Furthermore, their children and grandchildren will be able to participate in their Generosity Plan long after Jack and Linda have passed away.
A Legacy of Generosity
Although it took some time and effort, Jack and Linda know that the careful plans they have put in place will allow them to enjoy their retirement years even more. During their lifetime they will use their Generosity Plan™ as an example of philanthropy for their family, and they have peace of mind knowing this giving will continue through their charitable bequest after they are gone.
Instead of worrying about the future, Jack and Linda now look forward to spending time with loved ones creating a legacy of generosity together. Do you have a plan for your future generosity?
Contributed by Brad Friesen
Gift Planning Consultant