Giving in Retirement

retired couple walking dog

Retirement. At twenty, we rarely think about it. At 45, we dream about it. And, at 55 we worry about it. A significant amount of financial planning tends to focus on that time in life when, as the saying goes, we “finally stop working and start living.” But what about our charitable giving? When we retire, does that fall under the “working” we used to do or the “living” we have ahead of us?

My role at Abundance Canada allows me to meet people from different backgrounds and at various stages in their charitable giving. Many of them plan to maintain their charitable giving throughout their retirement years. Some even expect to increase their support for charity once they retire. Abundance Canada has gift planning options for all phases of life, including retirement.

Set the Scene for Long-term Generosity

Transitioning out of the workforce offers unique opportunities for strategic giving that lay the foundation for ongoing generosity in retirement. For example, a person selling their business might offset capital gains taxes with a sizeable charitable donation. This donation would be added to an Abundance Canada Gifting Fund, and then the donor could disburse the earnings and/or donated capital to charities throughout retirement. In the same vein, people downsizing, selling vacation properties, or divesting of a second home can donate some (or all) of the proceeds of these sales into a gifting fund to seed their ongoing charitable giving.

Travel Without Turbulence in Your Giving

Many people love that retirement affords them the opportunity to travel, and thousands of Canadians choose to spend the cold winter months in warmer climates. However, leaving when the snow falls and coming back in the spring can make managing all the receipts and donations a bit tricky. Abundance Canada’s Gifting Fund provides the flexibility to schedule when you wish to distribute funds. Then, while you’re enjoying the sunny weather or travelling the globe, Abundance Canada will disburse funds to the charities you have recommended. Many retired ‘snowbirds’ find this very helpful.

Of course, giving to charity isn’t limited to making cash donations, and retirement brings many opportunities to give in other ways.

Invest in Generosity

Donating publicly traded securities that have increased in value and are held in a non-registered investment account allows you to continue giving generously without having to withdraw cash from your bank account. By donating stocks, bonds or mutual funds in-kind, you avoid the capital gains tax you would pay if you cashed them in first and then donated the proceeds from the sale. This is a very tax effective and popular gifting option.

A New Lease on Life Insurance

Many people purchase life insurance policies for a specific season of life, often when they are raising a family. However, by the time retirement comes around, the beneficiaries that would depend on the policy may have become financially independent. If a life insurance policy is no longer needed, it can be gifted to a registered Canadian charity who will issue an official donation receipt for the fair market value of the policy. An Abundance Canada gift planning consultant can explain more to you about this gifting option.

Time to Give

Retirees, especially those who find they have more free time than cash to donate, can give their time to support the causes they care about. Opportunities for volunteering are almost endless when you no longer have to commit a majority of your day to your career. You can now put your considerable expertise to work helping others. For example, a retired accountant can volunteer helping people in need complete their tax returns, or an administrator moving on from an office career can help someone brush up on their word processing or excel skills, or a retired teacher can volunteer as a homework mentor. Charities are always looking for helping hands – find a cause you care about and get in touch!

Keeping It Simple

Abundance Canada helps people develop and implement their generosity plans. Using an Abundance Canada Gifting Fund, a donor can recommend when, where, and how to distribute their gifts to charity. We handle the rest. It is that easy!

So, whether retirement is around the corner or years down the road, it’s never too early to start thinking about the future of your generosity. How will you give? Abundance Canada can help you create a generosity plan that allows you to maximize your support for the causes you care about most, today or in retirement.

Abundance Canada works with people of all ages to assist them in achieving their philanthropic goals. We can help you create a customized generosity plan that suits your charitable aspirations at every stage of life. Speak with a gift planning consultant to learn more or see Gifting Solutions.

Contributed by Brad Friesen
Gift Planning Consultant

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