Four Tips to Help Achieve Your Personal and Charitable Goals This Giving Season
Posted November 2022
Autumn is a lovely time of year. Colorful trees, crisp breezes, and outdoor activities are a few highlights. For many of us, fall also includes the routine of turning our clocks back. As we fall back, let’s also take time to reflect on our joys and accomplishments of the past year.
First, did you achieve the goals you set earlier in the year? For many, updating their estate plans was one priority. In addition to a will or trust, it’s important to verify that the beneficiaries you have named on life insurance policies, retirement plans, IRAs, and bank and brokerage accounts are reviewed and—if necessary—updated to be consistent with your current wishes. Having a good plan in place will give you peace of mind in future years.
Second, many of us made purchases over the past year. This often means it’s time to clean out the old and unused items. One popular option is to donate “gently used” items. Some shelters and other social service organizations welcome donations of used business suits to help their constituents dress for interviews and find employment. Your unneeded items can help others find a bright future.
Third, how did you use your spare time? Are you counted in the 25% of the population who make a difference through volunteering? Some organizations seek volunteers to do active work, such as planting bulbs or building homes, assisting with walks, or participating in golf outings. Other organizations need help in thrift shops or call centers. Studies have shown that volunteering strengthens the body, improves mood, and lessens stress.
Finally, have you made gifts to one or more charities this year—perhaps to help fund a scholarship at your alma mater, to support your religious institution, or for other good causes? Consider making additional gifts this holiday season, the most popular time of year to give to charity. And think about how you might make those gifts. While many individuals write checks, savvy donors give stock; and donors older than 70½ can direct tax-free distributions to charity from their IRAs.
Your generosity this year will help others now and in future years.