As you bring this year to a close and review whether you reached your financial goals, you should also be asking yourself one important question: Did I make charitable contributions in 2015?
If your answer is yes, you likely made a smart move that can play out well for you financially. Yes, charitable giving is simply a great thing to do from a philanthropic standpoint, but there are benefits to your giving. If your answer is no, that’s okay, too. There are still few weeks left before the year ends, and now would be a good time to devise a strategy that can benefit your heart and your pockets.
With careful planning, you can make charitable giving an important part of your estate planning. You can also use your finances to expand charitable giving beyond the holiday season and make it a year-round commitment. Choosing charities you believe in or groups that share your philanthropic goals can help you make the most out of your donations.
When it comes to charitable giving, you might be surprised at the options and ways you can do it. Ask your financial advisor about Donor Advised Funds, Charitable Trusts, and Private Foundations. Also, talk to your advisor about the tax benefits and the tax rules that go along with the type of contribution you want to make. There may be certain restrictions or guidelines behind what you donate that you should take into consideration before the donation is made. If you intend on making a gift to a family member (in the form of a donation), you definitely want to be mindful of how your generous act can impact your overall financial plan.
If you want to get a brief education on charitable giving before talking to your advisor, request a copy of our short guide on Charitable Giving. This guide offers an excellent opportunity to bring yourself up to speed on types of charitable giving, tax implications, and more. Or, if you have a specific question then you can always contact an advisor.