I’d like to start incorporating charitable giving into my financial plan, but I don’t know where to begin. What are the first steps I should take?
Charitable giving is a great way to give back to the communities in which we live. Our nation has a history of charitable giving, and our tax codes have encouraged us to share the wealth we have accumulated. The first step would be to answer the question ‘What motivates you to give?” The next step then becomes identifying an organization(s) with which you share a passion and is aligned with your motivation. It is important to ensure that the organization can provide documentation that they are a qualified charitable organization. Third is to identify the ways in which you can give. You can arrange to give annual gifts during your life time or arrange to have gifts made upon your death. Finally, determine how much you can give and how much you would like to give. It is important to ensure that your gifting does not affect your current standard of living, unless that is your intention. I encourage you to keep this in mind as you gather with your families this holiday season. Have an open discussion and think outside the box. Be sure to educate your children on the importance of giving and engage them in the process.
What are the benefits of charitable giving?
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” -Maya Angelou
Aside from personal gratification, there are a number of benefits of charitable giving. You may receive federal, and possibly state, income tax deductions for your gifts. Charitable giving may help to avoid capital gains tax. It may remove assets from your estate, which may be beneficial upon the transfer of the estate. Charitable giving may also provide a legacy for you and your family. There are also ways to generate possible lifetime income for you and your family through gifting of assets.
What role does philanthropy play at Axiom Financial Strategies Group?
We are very fortunate to have established our practice in this community. We are very grateful to work with our clients and help them achieve their financial goals. In turn, philanthropic giving is a very important part of our practice. We give time and financial gifts to various foundations and organizations which support education, small businesses, and other activities in the community. Twice a year, as a team, we take part in the Habitat for Humanity home builds in Floyd County. Since 2013, our team has given over 300 volunteer hours.
I want to start the New Year right and get on track with my finances. What questions should I ask when trying to find a financial advisor?
That is a great question. When choosing a financial advisor, it is important to understand the person’s qualifications.
- Are they a fiduciary in that they are required to put the client’s interests ahead of their own?
- What licenses, credentials and certifications do they hold?
- What do they charge for their services and how is it charged?
- What services do they and their firm provide?
- Do they specialize in certain types of clients?
- What is their investment and financial planning approach?
- How much contact can you expect and will they adjust that for your needs?
It is important to work with someone with whom you are comfortable. In addition, you should be comfortable with their proposed strategy. They should be able to explain their strategies to you in a way that you can understand the risks that are involved, as well as the performance expectations.