[June 10, 2014]June is International
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – a designation for
most people to, if nothing else, take stock in the good
fortune they and their families have enjoyed, and
consider contributing something for charitable purposes.
“It’s a news story that never gets old: the little kid suffering from cancer who
runs in a touchdown and gets a standing ovation, or is recognized by an entire
city as Batman for a day, or the little girls who dress up for prom night
because, tragically, they may not make it to high school,’’ says independent
retirement advisor Gary Marriage, Jr.
“Retirees, who’ve lived full, mostly blessed lives, often wish they could do
something for these children or another cause that touches their heart.”
Marriage, CEO of Nature Coast Financial Advisors (www.naturecoastfinancial.com),
which specializes in maximizing retirees’ finances, says charitable efforts can
provide a powerful sense of purpose and meaning to life – whether they come in
retirement or during the working years. Marriage, for instance, is founder of
Operation: Veteran Aid, which helps veterans and their surviving spouses with
long-term care expenses by qualifying them with the Department of Veteran
Affairs’ Aid and Attendance benefit.
He reviews four reasons why retirees should explore charitable giving.
Voluntary vs. involuntary philanthropy: At the federal level, you can
zero out your estate taxes by diverting what would have gone to the
government in favor of your chosen cause. In a real sense, the government is
a sort of charity; through taxes, a citizen’s money goes into the social
capital funnel. If you’re worried your tax money isn’t being spent wisely,
consider a legitimate charity that you would like to support. There are
legal leveraging techniques that can be used to make your taxed income skew
more voluntary than involuntary.
Smart from the heart giving: Each year, Americans give about $300
billion to charity. Like any investment, carefully consider to whom you’re
giving; ask plenty of questions. Also, think about giving to underfunded
charities. Finally, make your money go further by donating your time and
skills to the charity. You’ll likely experience even greater satisfaction
when you combine a donation of money and effort.
The rewarding knowledge of your will: Only about 40 percent
of Americans have this important legal document, which covers
your estate’s executor, guardians for children and how to
distribute your estate. A fourth component is gifts, which
enables you to identify people or organizations to whom you wish
to give gifts of money or specific possessions, such as jewelry
or a car.
Perspective on your money: Many people say, “…but I’m not
Bill Gates or Warren Buffett – let those guys give their money
away.” In fact, there are many “middle-class millionaires” –
those who live modestly in middle-income neighborhoods, who have
a net worth of $1 million or more. “These folks have saved money
their entire lives, and they don’t donate money easily,”
Marriage says. “However, others in their same situation have
donated some of their estate and found it among the most
rewarding acts they’ve ever done.”
GINNY GRIMSLEY, NEWS AND EXPERTS]
About Gary Marriage
Gary Marriage, Jr. is the founder and CEO of Nature Coast Financial
Advisors, (www.naturecoastfinancial.com), which educates retirees on
how to protect their assets, increase their income, and reduce their
taxes. Marriage is a national speaker, delivering solutions for
pre-retirees, business owners and seniors on the areas affecting
their retirement and estates. He is an approved member of the
National Ethics Bureau, and has been featured in “America’s Top
Hometown Financial Advisors 2011 and most recently selected to
Co-Author a book with Steve Forbes titled, “Power Principals.”
Marriage is also the founder of Operation Veteran Aid, an advocate
for war-time veterans and their families.