Giving from the Heart
Isn’t it fascinating how the importance of possessions and status diminish as we mature? Each decade of your life enlightens you that there is more to life than “what’s in it for me” or how much you own. Seemingly small things like reaching out to a friend or taking a grandchild to the zoo magnify in significance. Spend a day with a blossoming teenager and you realize how far you’ve come as you try in vain to express to said child what only time and experience can really teach.
Eventually, you may turn your focus inward and wonder how you can ensure a life with purpose and positive impact using what you have learned and acquired. For some, that means giving their time, energy or possessions, How one gives is a personal choice.
If you decide to give possessions, integrating your desire to give with your overall financial and life plan can benefit you and your recipients, You may think, “I’m giving. Why should I complicate the matter?” That may be the right approach. But consider these questions.
Have you evaluated your own financial well-being to ensure you have enough to sustain you for your lifetime? Sometimes the greatest gift to others is taking care of yourself.
If you have plenty, have you thought about how gifting to a family member or friend will impact their life? Will it be positive or enabling? Does the recipient have the means to support the particular gift (think real estate)?
Gift selection and timing have an impact, when should you give? During or after life? The tax effect can change depending on the timing. What should you give? Does it make a difference? It can, depending on the asset and the recipient. Life insurance and Roth IRAs, for instance, are income tax free upon death while 401ks and IRAs can be taxable.
How should you give? There are a variety of ways which include outright, Will, Trust, and partnership interests. There are also donor-advised funds or gift annuities if charitable giving is your focus. You can create a Family Foundation if your wealth and generosity support it.
The nuances around giving are more complex than meets the eye. Taking the time and seeking expert advice to craft a plan can maximize the impact of your giving objectives. The act of giving remains simple however. Give from the heart and the rest will follow.
Prior to investing, you should consult a financial advisor and read all available information. The examples given are hypothetical, for illustrative purposes only. The product features mentioned must be sold by prospectus and carry investment risk. Investment advisory services offered through Verde Wealth Group, LLC, a state registered investment advisor. Securities offered through ValMark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC. 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300, Akron, Ohio 44333–2431. 1–800-765‑5201. Verde Wealth Group, LLC is a separate entity from ValMark Securities, Inc. © 2016 Verde Wealth Group, LLC. All rights reserved. This article was initially published June 2013. Any tax information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended for public circulation. Further, you should seek specific tax advice from your tax professional before pursuing any idea contemplated herein.