Late-in-Life Philanthropy: How to Leave Your Mark That Will Last For Generations

Late-in-Life Philanthropy: How to Leave Your Mark That Will Last For Generations

Article posted in General on 27 June 2018| comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 27 June 2018


Much giving begins late in life. this article provides helpful guidance on logical steps to follow.

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”

-Albert Camus

Many begin to ask themselves what legacy they will leave behind as they enter into their golden years. Besides your immediate family, who will remember your name, raise a glass in your honor and celebrate your achievements in the future? The gift of philanthropy enables your name to live on in honor and respect in the hearts of many through charitable donations.

Hire Help

Financial contributions are not always a cut and dry transaction. Be sure to first attend to your overall health and wellness before diving into alternative financial distributions. Set aside funds for unexpected financial burdens, such as medical care services not covered by Medicare. Next, enlist the help of financial planners and accountants to protect your assets. This is a wise decision before making a large one-time or numerous recurring donations. Choose an individual you trust or who comes highly recommended and will have your best interests in mind. Establishing complex donations, like recurring grants and deferred giving, are likely not going to be within your wheelhouse to establish on your own. You may also chose to distribute funds to organizations not located in your home country, causing further complications that would benefit from having a financial professional employed to help navigate you through the process.

Set an Example

Becoming a mentor to the younger generations — whether they are your children, students or otherwise – may be all you need to do to leave your mark on this world. Exhibiting how to give selflessly, and with purpose, is a valuable attribute that not all citizens have impressed upon them. If you are in the position to create a designated philanthropic account of $25,000 or more, you can appoint individuals to manage these accounts in the event of your death. Discuss with with your financial advisor the options of passing your account privileges along to the loved ones that you may be leaving behind. By planning ahead and providing your next of kin with a successional plan will enable them to continue your philanthropic endeavors in your name after you have passed. Typically, you can name up to two people to assume your account's privileges.

Estate Management

Preliminary planning of your family’s estate will be needed to manage your assets in the event of your death. Often, managing non-liquid assets can be the most difficult. Consider donating things like pieces of real estate or plots of land to non-profit organizations that can utilize them in their day-to-day operations. If you are able, join the board of directors of a non-profit organization to to understand their current needs and oversee the budgeting process.

The Philanthropy 50 list has found that charitable donations have been increasing since the economic downturn of 2009. In general, donations are trending toward foundations, colleges, and universities.

According to the American Alliance of Museums, Baby Boomers control 70 percent of the disposable income in the United States. Any charitable donation with good intent is worth doing but be challenged to think outside the box in terms of philanthropic opportunities. Assessing how you are going to distribute your philanthropic efforts may determine the legacy that you leave behind.

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.


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