It’s a concern I hear again and again: Will I still have enough?
What people are really asking is a little more subtle, and it’s: If I give money to charitable causes, will I still have enough for me?
This is a valid concern. No one would argue that it makes sense to give money from your pocket to charity when your own family is starving.
But I want to assuage people’s fears they have and not only show them that, most of the time, they do have enough money both to give and take care of their families. Not only that, but the rewards of giving are so great that you’ll forget you ever had a fear of giving in the first place.
First: Why people give
Some people give because of tax incentives. Others give because they like to see their name printed in a program of donors or etched into a plaque on the wall. Others give because they believe that someone in their position should give money.
None of these reasons are bad reasons to give money. The truth is that we do get many benefits from giving, including tax breaks, recognition, and a feeling of having done our duty.
But giving becomes an even more powerful thing when we connect with what’s really happening when we give. We’re choosing where we want to have an impact on the world. We’re demonstrating what matters to us. We’re changing lives for the better.
You’re not just endowing a scholarship in your name at your alma mater; you’re helping a worthy student attain their degree and affecting the trajectory of the rest of their lives. You’re not just giving money towards cancer research; you’re contributing to something that one day may save the life of your child’s child. You’re not just donating to an organization that helps provide fresh water to communities in rural Africa; you’re saving a father and son who would otherwise die from drinking contaminated water.
No matter what cause you’re moved by or choose to give to, the fundamentals are the same: By giving, you change the lives of other people in the world for the better. What an amazing legacy!
But will I have enough?
Getting back to the issue at hand, the question was whether there’s enough to do all those things, affect all those lives, and still have enough to live on and to support your family.
The simple answer is yes.
How can I be so sure, since I don’t know your financial situation?
I’m not psychic, and I’m not relying on anything conceptual for my answer. The answer lies in the IRS tax code and in the law books. There are many financial vehicles and legacy-building strategies that can leverage charitable giving to not only do good deeds in the world, but to reduce your tax burden or increase cash flow.
Every case is different and there’s not room here for me to go into how these things are possible. You’ll need to speak to a financial advisor and possibly an attorney to figure out the right financial vehicles and strategies for your situation.
The point I’m making here is that you don’t need to be afraid of giving. You can do wonderful things in the world and still live the lifestyle that matters to you.
Planning to have enough
Now that you can rest assured that you will indeed have enough, you can change your mindset around money from “What can I do to make sure I have enough?” to “What can I do to make sure everyone benefits?” Once you have a win-win goal in mind, it becomes a prosaic matter of discovering exactly how to make that happen using the financial tools available to you.
Building a legacy and becoming a philanthropist won’t happen without a plan. If you want to dip your toe into charitable giving, or you’ve been giving for a while but want to do so strategically, contact my team at Renn Wealth Management Group. Together, we can review your circumstances, discuss your goals, and formulate a plan that’s win-win-win.