Charitable Giving And Retirement

Monday, September 3, 2018 | Leave a comment

The average individual can spend less during their retirement due to a budget. One exception can be giving to charitable causes. A study by the WPI or the Women’s Philanthropy Institute looked at the way households in America spent money as they retired. The study revealed both single women and married couples maintained the same level of giving to charities both prior to and after they retired. The charitable giving of single men decreased once they retired.

The report from the WPI also showed both married and single women have less confidence regarding their financial health upon retirement than men. Their focus is not on outliving their savings. Considering women generally live longer than men, this fear is justified. There are numerous ways for both women and men, married and single, to donate to charitable causes without being concerned about running out of money. Using a savings meant for retirement to make donations is most likely to cause the individual to outlive their savings unless they use proper care.

A way to donate to causes in retirement is to plan for them just as you did your retirement savings portfolio.  A portfolio likely plans for retirement income to last the life of the individual. One of the most important aspects of the retirement portfolio are the monthly retirement paychecks from annuity contracts.  These are guaranteed and will last for a lifetime. If the stock market crashes, this income will not decrease. These paychecks can then be supplemented with either yearly or monthly retirement bonuses. These may have fluctuations depending on the investment performance, but they can last for life.

When the portfolio is properly in place, charitable giving can be funded with these bonuses and paychecks. It is important to allow for charitable giving as part of the budget in addition to the other living expenses. This will enable the individual to give to charities while ensuring the person will not outlive their savings. There is another excellent method for planning to increase effectiveness for charitable giving. Many individuals have concerns the recent changes made to the tax laws may decrease their income and impact their charitable giving.

The concern is there will be a significant decrease in the taxpayers itemizing their deductions. This makes it harder to use taxable income to make donations. Any individual age 70 and 1/2 or above has another option. A traditional IRA can be used for a qualified charitable distribution. This distribution will not be included in the taxable income. The distribution will also apply towards the minimum required distribution.

There is an annual limit of $100,000 for qualified charitable distributions. This cannot be funded from both 410 (k) plans and IRA’s. If the 401 (k) plan contains a substantial savings, these funds can be used for charitable giving by rolling over the savings into an IRA. The IRA platform must enable the individual to be able to write checks.

The report from the WPI also revealed married couples and single women have a higher likelihood of volunteering once they retire than single men. There is a lot of research showing volunteers enjoy financial security and health benefits while providing their communities with substantial contributions. The documentation for this research is located in the Hidden in Plain Sight report prepared by the Center on Longevity located at Stanford. Anyone not currently volunteering may want to give some thought to pursing this activity once they have retired.

Planning for both volunteering and charitable giving may be important when determining retirement planning. This will not only enable the individual to give something back to their community, it often increases the enjoyment of life.  Let’s review your plan today, contact us to set up a time to talk.

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