Advancement: Year End Gift Planning (with Dick Millham)

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Gift envelope with pencil

Planned Giving Officer Keith Johnson invites Dick Millham to the studio to discuss year-end gift planning strategies.

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Show Transcript:

Hi, my name is Keith Johnson. I serve as Planned Giving Officer at Cairn University as well as The Executive Director of The Regency Foundation.  Welcome to our wealth planning podcast series.  My hope through this series is to provide some practical ideas on how to establish Godly wealth management habits and discover some creative financial planning strategies based on principles from God’s Word that can benefit you and your family.
Throughout this series we have focused on 13 wealth management issues that most of us will face during our lifetime and how charitable giving can help you manage through them.  As a reminder, many of the financial issues we face can result in significant tax consequences.  One of the most significant tax saving tools that Congress allowed to remain in the new tax law is Charitable Giving.  Contributions to a charity such as Cairn University is by far the best way to reduce or even avoid paying taxes.
Today, I want to take a few minutes to provide some year-end tax planning advice in light of the new Tax Act of 2017.  Without question, the new tax law has impacted tax returns for almost all U.S. citizens.
The first major change is the fact that the standard deduction for all of us has been increased to $12,000 per person.  That means that you will automatically receive that amount as a deduction.  For those who have itemized your deductions in the past need to keep in mind that beginning this year, you will only be able to itemize if your expenses exceed $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for those filing joint returns.
One practical suggestion we have for you is to keep in mind that it may make sense to be more intentional about timing your charitable contributions.  It make sense to accelerate next year’s giving into this year to maximize your tax deduction.  That means you have until December 31st to make gifts.
I wish I had time to review all of the new limits on itemized deductions, but just remember, there are changes in the amounts you can take when you itemize your tax deductions this year. Be sure you know the new laws and limits.
On the positive side, charitable deductions remain fully deductible. In fact, Congress even raised the amount one can take as a deduction for giving to charity from 50% of your adjusted gross income to 60%.  That means that giving to charity has definitely been encouraged by Congress.
We always appreciate the generosity of those who give to Cairn University. As Planned Giving Officer, my job is to make it easy for you to give.  Not only that, but I am here to help you give in a way that allows you to get the greatest tax benefit.  So, to that end, here are some ideas you may want to use be the end of this year.
We always appreciate the generosity of those who give to Cairn University. As Planned Giving Officer, my job is to make it easy for you to give.  Not only that, but I am here to help you get the greatest tax benefit.  So, to that end, I want to share some ideas you may want to use be the end of this year.
But before I do, I have a special treat for you.  With me today is a friend of Cairn University:
Dick Millham from Doylestown, PA.

  1. Dick, share with us a little about your background and your relationship with Cairn University over the years.
  2. Dick, you have also graciously supported Cairn University over the years and I want to express my appreciation for your generosity.
  3. Why do you support Cairn University?
  4. One of the ways you have donated to Cairn is by giving stock. Tell me why you decided to do that?
  5. What income tax benefits did you receive by donating stock?
  6. Was the process difficult?
  7. Would you recommend our listeners to use this same method?

Thank you Dick. I really appreciate you sharing today.  So let me wrap up today by giving you some ideas you may want to use be the end of this year.

  1. You just heard from our guest that gifts of appreciated stock or mutual funds are one of the most advantageous way to give. If you own stocks, bonds, mutual funds or any security, consider giving that to Cairn University. By doing so, you will avoid all capital gains tax, plus receive a tax deduction for the full value of the gift on the date it is received.  I can help provide clear instructions how to use this technique.  We can work with your financial advisor to make this happen before year end.
  2. Gifts of Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs. This is another wonderful opportunity permitted under the tax code.  If you are 70 ½ or older and arrange to have your RMDs sent directly to Cairn University, you will avoid all tax on the distribution for 2018.  That may help lower your taxes on your social security income as well as lower your premiums for Medicare.  Again, I am here to help you make this happen in the most tax efficient manner.
  3. For those who need income, consider a Charitable Gift Annuity with Cairn University. As a special offer, we will send you at least 5% income per year for the remainder of your life if you make such a gift.  You will not only benefit by receiving income for life, you will also receive a charitable tax deduction for a portion of the amount used to establish the annuity.  This is a wonder full opportunity for those who want the benefit of income for life.
  4. Finally, consider establishing a Donor Advised Fund with The Regency Foundation. For those not familiar with a Donor Advised Fund, stay tuned for our next Podcast where I will explain them in detail.

I want our listening audience to know how grateful we are for the gifts you give to Cairn University.  I also appreciate the planned giving that so many of you do.  Whether you plan to remember Cairn University in your Will or create some other planned gift, we thank you.
Selecting the right charitable giving technique is really important.  Hopefully, through this series you are learning some practical ideas that will help you as you consider any charitable giving you might want to do as we close out this year.
As we close out this podcast today, let me remind you that we recently created The Pathway Society to honor those who seek to make a planned gift to the University.  If you have already remembered us in your estate or have purchased a charitable gift annuity through Cairn University or the Regency Foundation, you automatically qualify to be become a member.
At Cairn University and The Regency Foundation we want to be a valuable resource of information and ideas you can use in a practical way. If you want to establish a planned gift before year end, please get in touch with me right away.
Remember, we are offering one hour of financial planning consultation at no charge to you.  If would like to take advantage of that benefit or if you have any questions about planned giving, feel free to contact me by email at [email protected].
Thank you for your generosity and I look forward to sharing next month’s Advancement podcast.


Advancement PodcastAdvancement is a  podcast from the Office of Advancement. Planned Giving Officer Keith Johnson helps listeners understand financial principles, and establish practical and godly wealth management habits.


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