(End of year giving before 2013’s tax code uncertainty)
Many people and organizations are scrambling to maximize donations before the end of the year. Next year’s tax deduction for charitable giving is still uncertain as Washington hammers out a broad fiscal deal. Only one-third of Americans itemize their tax deductions, and 82% of them take a charitable deduction. In addition, studies have shown that most people donate to a charitable organization not because of the economic benefits such as tax savings but because they believe in the value of giving itself. However, it’s always a good idea to plan carefully when making a gift. If you’re intending to take advantage of 2012’s tax code certainty, you may want to consider a couple of options.
• Gifts of appreciated securities offer significant tax advantages to the donor and are simple to arrange. In most cases, donors can deduct the full market value of the securities on the day they are sold. This applies to long-term (at least 12 months) appreciated stock or other securities.
• You can make a gift of significance today yet reserve income for life through a Charitable Gift Annuity. You’ll receive a charitable deduction for part of what you give. For example if an 85-year-old donor gives $10,000 through a Charitable Gift Annuity they will receive an annual annuity of $790 (7.9% annually based on age) and a tax deduction of a little more than $5,400.
To take a look at additional gift plans, click here to view a simple chart that may be helpful when choosing a plan that matches your end-of-the-year charitable goals. It highlights the most common methods of giving.
This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. Please consult your advisors.
(Thanks to Guest Blogger Amy Johnson, Director of Philanthropy, Cedar Community, West Bend, WI) www.cedarcommunity.org
It has been said that the only two true ‘growth’ industries left in the United States is: Technology and Senior Services! The astronomical growth in technology is evident everywhere, from highly sophisticated cell phones; to retina scanning desk-top computers which bring you intuitive website options; to multi-tasking tablet computers that store hundreds of gigabytes of memory!
The senior services ‘industry’ is not so well known and it’s less understood, yet universally, demographers tell us of the huge impact the substantially growing numbers of seniors will have on our society. Senior health care professionals and family caregivers will also point to the amalgamation of technology and senior services! Technology is certainly finding its’ way into care giving for seniors! From ‘smart toilets’ with a heated comfort seating including ambient lighting and music featuring immediate urinalysis reporting for your physician; to automated pill dispensing machines; to residential monitoring systems with ‘plug and play’ motion sensors analyzing motion in one’s house 24 hours a day alerting family members to changes in the daily movement patterns of a loved one!
While technology development is exciting and may provide the solutions to many problems facing society, it is only one small piece of the puzzle many face when it comes to the needs of serving seniors in the United States where 10,000 people turn 65 years of age every day! In a recent keynote speech given at the annual LeadingAge Conference in Denver, Dr. Atul Gawande, author of The Checklist Manifesto, a surgeon and professor in the Harvard School of Medicine, pointed out that ‘medicine’ is just one aspect of health care! Quality health care is provided in a complex combination addressing needs including: medical responses, prevention of disease and interventions; wellness; nutrition; spiritual expression; environmental concerns; hygiene; transportation; social interaction; mental stimulation; security; travel; entertainment; physical activity, along with others. The ‘optimum’ needs to be the ‘standard’ of quality health care as seniors, their families, their friends, and senior health care professionals need to work together.
So what are the Options for Senior Services available?
• Home Health Care and Supportive Services. (Also known as Home and Community Based Services) Services from nursing care, to therapy, to housekeeping are made available in one’s private home.
• Palliative Care. Extensive nursing care for people needed services with complex and chronic health care issues prior to needing hospice care. This is available in one’s private home.
• Hospice Care. Nursing and supportive care provided to those in the last six months of life. Available in one’s private home or in a health care facility.
• Independent Senior Living. Homes in the form of houses, condo’s, or apartments for seniors typically 55 or older, providing amenities and services accentuating active senior lifestyles with conveniences not typically available when not in a senior living environment.
• Independent Senior Living with Home Health Care Services. Senior homes, condo’s and apartments with health care and supportive services provided in the senior’s living environment. Less expensive than assisted living and desirable in many situations.
• Assisted Living. Typically seniors live in an apartment setting but share meals with other residents in restaurant style dinning. Nursing professionals and supportive nursing staff are available 24 hours a day to meet the needs of residents who may need assistance with common daily living issues.
• Transitional short-term Care. Extensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy provided in a skilled care environment. Clients typically are admitted after surgery or trauma in order to be rehabilitated with goal of being discharged and sent back to the private homes/apartments of the senior.
• Long-term Care. Skilled long term care in a nursing home setting is provided for the medically and chronically compromised senior. 24 hours of skilled nursing care is available, along with a wholeness approach to meeting the health care, social, activity, nutritional, and spiritual needs of the clients.
Now it gets interesting! We have entered a time period in which nearly 10,000 people a day turn 65 years of age in the United States. Pew Research tells us that 26% of the entire U.S. population are Baby Boomers! The population of those 65 and older will increase from 35 million in the year 2000 to 55 million in the year 2020!
Anyone and everyone accessed to the world of media (which actually is everyone) has been warned of the dire consequences facing this nation and the world, as we face the onslaught of hugely burgeoning numbers of new ‘old’ people!
Linked to the idea of having a lot more old people in this nation comes a basket of negative assumptions. You’ve heard this all before! More old people will strain the Social Security System. More old people will push Medicare to the brink. More old people will cause a shortage of physicians. More old people will need services with far less young people to provide those services. From this point the negatives start sounding silly . . . more old people driving slowly down the highway with their left turn signals on! . . . more old people tying up the restaurants for the 3:00pm ‘early bird dinner!’
Isn’t it interesting what words we use to describe the increased numbers of seniors in our nation? We use Baby BOOMERS; the Silver TSUNAMI; and Demographic DISRUPTION! A BOOM, A tidal Wave, A disruption! Really? Really? Do we need to describe most every facet of the added numbers of seniors in those negative ways? Are there better descriptors that could be used?
Let’s look at it this in another way. Our new seniors are healthier than ever before. Our new seniors are wealthier than ever before. Our new seniors are more physically, mentally, socially, spiritually, educationally, and politically active than ever before.
As new seniors enter retirement, they basically reject the old definitions. Only 1% of new retirees plan on NEVER working again! The other 99% plan on continuing working in some form the rest of their lives! They will continue to contribute to society through adding their working experience expertise! They will continue to pay taxes! They will travel and take college courses! They will continue to invent new products. They will continue to support churches and charities! They will encourage better ecological practices in all we do! Ultimately, they are likely to provide the very solutions to what others describe as the ‘problems!’
So instead of using labels such as ‘Boomer,’ ‘Tsunami,’ or ‘Disruptive,’ how about we use different labels describing our seniors such as . . . friend, neighbor, brother, or sister?