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Charitable Planning Ideas at Any Stage

As we grow older, thinking about legacy and what is important to us allows us to set charitable goals.  Here are some general considerations and a few charitable giving ideas for the planned giving journey.

In your 50’s, evaluate whether your will and other legal documents adequately reflect your wishes and any life changes (marriage status, children, etc.). Also look at retirement savings. If you have retired in your 60’s, evaluate your expenses, healthcare needs, and philanthropic goals within the context of assets and any new budget. In your 70’s, take another good look at whether your financial and philanthropic goals are aligned. Do you still need to include any gifts in your estate plan? In your 80’s and 90’s, assess whether you have everything you need and how you would like to be remembered. 

Making an Impact in Your 50’s

  • Retirement plan assets:  Naming favored charities as a full or partial beneficiary is simple, effective and could result in overall tax savings.  Contact your plan administrator to complete a change-of-beneficiary form.
  • Appreciated securities: When you donate stocks, mutual funds, or other public securities that you have owned for longer than a year, you can avoid capital gains tax and receive a charitable income tax deduction when you itemize.

Making an Impact in Your 60’s

  • A gift in your will or living trust:  With a set gift amount or percentage of your estate, you can create a legacy.
  • Donor advised fund: This popular option – known as a DAF – is like a charitable savings account and can be used to make an immediate or future charitable gift. It offers low cost, flexibility, and tax advantages.
  • Life insurance policies: In many cases, a gift of a life insurance policy can make a great gift if your children are grown and financially stable.

Making an Impact in Your 70’s

  • A gift from your IRA:  If you are 70 ½ or older, you can make a direct gift from your IRA without having to pay income taxes on that money. If you prefer, you can also name one or more charities as beneficiary of your IRA by simply updating the beneficiary form.
  • Life income gifts: There are many options including charitable remainder trusts, CGAs.

Making an Impact in Your 80’s

  • Any of the aforementioned giving options: Including retirement account gift, life insurance policy gifts, gift from a DAF, etc.
  • Legacy letter: A companion piece to your estate plan is a chance to share your dreams, life story, and values with your loved ones.

We are ready to work with you and your professional advisors to discuss giving options that best fit your personal circumstances. Please contact SBMM Executive Director Greg Gorga at with any questions.

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