“Do your giving while you’re living so you’re knowing where it’s going.” It’s a catchy phrase that you may have heard, and while the concept is seemingly simple, implementation can often be a bit more complex. Although we may have a desire to be generous, regular giving can sometimes prove to be a challenge and unless we are intentional about making it a priority it can often fall by the wayside. I’d like to explore some of the hesitancies that I’ve encountered with clients through my experience, reasons they often feel hindered when it comes to giving and how we help to work through these issues together.
For some, there is a fear that if clients give now, they won’t have enough in order to meet their day to day needs as well as reach their savings goals. I see this fear even more acutely among seniors facing longevity risk all the while working with relatively fixed incomes. For others, the focus is on deferred gifting, sometimes through insurance, where a charity is the beneficiary or sometimes as bequests set up through a client’s will. This is a very popular way to incorporate giving after a lifetime of saving and growing assets into a sizeable portfolio, such that clients can leave a legacy behind. These Estate and tax planning strategies sometimes complement existing regular charitable giving, but sometimes they do not. Again, this can be due to a fear of not having enough to reach their targeted savings goals or with the well-intentioned thought that if they continue to save up, they can leave a bigger gift at a later date.
The good news is that incorporating giving, and not only future giving, into your financial plan is something that can be easily implemented with some thoughtful tax planning. We work with clients to ensure that they can meet their day to day spending needs, save for the future AND give generously in the present time. As a Portfolio Manager, I have been blessed by working alongside clients, some of whom have donated or bequeathed over millions of dollars. It is clear that tithing and charitable gifts are high priorities in their lives and it is an honour to play a small part in helping them live generously. Giving with a cheerful heart is an opportunity to see the fruit of our gifts while we’re still alive. I have been fortunate enough to witness how much joy is received through these acts of generosity, not just as the receiver, but as the giver as well. Being generous in the now is the ultimate gift that gives back. Why wait to experience such blessings?
Janet Kim Sing, Portfolio Manager
Capstone Private Wealth