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Retirement Income for Financial Conservatives

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by Bill Hurd '61

Are you conservative with your money? Do you want a lifetime income? Yes? Then I suggest you give away some of your money. You know what comes next. Of course I mean give some to Clarkson. But just how would you do this?

I'm suggesting that you consider funding a charitable gift annuity, especially if you are approaching age 60 or are in retirement. An annuity can guarantee lifetime income to you and/or someone else. The income can start immediately, or can be deferred until it is expected to be needed. I'm sure you know this, and you also know that there will be nothing left for heirs when the annuitants are gone, or after a guaranteed term of years. You probably think that leaving nothing to heirs is a disadvantage. I have two answers for this. First, I'm not suggesting that you invest everything in annuities - just enough to guarantee some steady income. This will allow you to make some growth investments with other funds, without worrying about losing everything. Second, I think that the best thing that you can do for your heirs is to take care of yourself, so they never have to take care of you. An annuity can go a long way in accomplishing this.

Why a charitable gift annuity? Won't you get a higher return with a commercial annuity? The answer is maybe. Charitable gift annuities have tax advantages that tend to make them competitive with or better than commercial annuities, depending on your personal situation. Sal Cania, director of gift planning at Clarkson, or I can help you individually in this regard. Another point is that an annuity with Clarkson is very safe, because it is guaranteed by all of the resources of the University. The payout rate is the same for almost all charities, and is recommended by the American Council on Gift Annuities. The rates are very conservative. Personally, I would not shop for the highest commercial rate; just as with everything else, higher returns usually mean higher risk.

Another point I'd like to make is that gift annuities can be established for fairly small amounts, and a person can have many annuities. You could fund a small gift annuity every year, or as you have financial opportunities. This gives flexibility in funding, and has the advantage of averaging the payout rates, which depend on current interest rates as well as the ages of the annuitants.

What's next? If you're ready to get started on a gift annuity or you want specific information from Clarkson, contact Sal Cania, director of gift planning. You can also check current rates and other information at Try the Clarkson Gift With Income Calculator at . This will enable you to calculate the immediate tax deduction, the annual payout, and how the payout is taxed.

Read Bill's article, "Family First with a Charitable Trust"                         
Read Bill's article, "Trust Your Children or Trust a Trust"                       
Read Bill's article, "Take Care of Yourself First"                                           
Read Bill's article, "A Charitable Trust Might be for You"
Read Bill's article, "Charitable Giving May Be Easier Than You Think"
Read Bill's article, "Do You Have a Tax Problem?"
Read Bill's article, "Why and How We Give to Clarkson"

Footnote: Bill Hurd passed away in 2016.  This article is published in thanks and admiration to a loyal Clarkson alumnus.

(rev. 12/2016)