Ep 63: 3 Ways To Tax-Optimize Your Charitable Giving

Ep 63: 3 Ways To Tax-Optimize Your Charitable Giving

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The Smart Take:

Most Americans donate to charity and many have distinct goals in their retirement plan to meet annual charitable donations. Most also give cash … the easiest but also least tax-efficient way to give.

Hear Kevin discuss three ways to tax-optimize your charitable giving. Whether through in-kind transfers of appreciated stock, using a donor-advised fund, or via Qualified Charitable Distributions, each can help you gain a bigger tax break and meet your charitable goals in the Retire Smarter way.

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6:48 – Making Direct Gifts Of Stocks, Or Shares Of Mutual Funds

10:58 – Navigating Donor-Advised Funds

22:05 – Using IRA Money

26:29 – Two More Considerations For QCDs


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The Host:

Kevin Kroskey – AboutContact

Intro:                                     Welcome to Retire Smarter with Kevin Kroskey. Find answers to your toughest questions, and get educated about the financial world. It’s time to retire smarter.

Walter Storholt:                Well, it’s time for another edition of Retire Smarter. Great to have you along with us today.  Walter Storholt here with Kevin Kroskey, President and Wealth Advisor at True Wealth Design, serving you in Northeast Ohio, Southwest Florida, and the greater Pittsburgh area now. Kevin, we are excited to chat with you today as we wrap up our final show of 2020. How has everything gone for you the last couple of weeks as we get near the end of the year here?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Well, despite how bad things are nationwide right now with the Coronavirus and the pandemic, the Kroskey family’s doing pretty well. We have a seven-year-old and a two-year-old in the household, and Christmas has a new meaning when you have young kids.

Walter Storholt:                I mean, you’re like in the prime right now, right?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Our seven-year-old is over the moon. Like elf on the shelf is just the best invention ever. I mean, she is all into it and-

Walter Storholt:                Are you doing the change positions every night? Do you guys get into the creative settings and all that sort of stuff?

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, this morning, the elves had this wacky idea to go ahead and hang from our kitchen island light and build a little swing made out of an empty toilet paper roll, so yes. And I have to give all credit to my wife for this. She really takes the ball and runs with it. And it’s just such a fun time. I did the lights, so you have to do that as a dad, particularly when you have young kids. For years before we had kids, my wife and I just got away with putting little candles on the window sill, and then you have kids, it’s like, “Daddy, look at those lights. Daddy, how come we don’t have those lights?” And so-

Walter Storholt:                We need those red and green dots that fly all over the place and really trip out your senses. Projected onto the house. Right?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Well, that has made it a lot easier. But I did. I put in a Saturday and got the base built and said, “It’d really looked better if I went back to the store and bought a little bit more.” But the thing that we found this year is it seems like, with the COVID era that we’re in right now, everybody’s doing more to their homes, and it seems like the same thing is true for holiday decorations. So, it was a tough time to find some of the things that we wanted and were looking for, and we went shortly after Thanksgiving. I mean, I don’t even know if it was December yet, but my wife and I went shopping, hired a sitter to take care of the kids, and we were able to get dinner together and do some of these Christmas shopping items. I mean, the aisles were bare. We look respectable, but it was a bit surprising to us, for sure.

Walter Storholt:                Yeah. I can imagine people have been buying up all sorts of things. I know I tried to buy an office chair earlier this year, and they were all sold out. It took us like six months to get a couch delivered for the office for my home office. And then I got a desk just in time, but then I looked later just to see if desks were available, and the selection was super limited. So, not surprised to see some of the holiday decorations follow suit. But it’s fun to hear that you’re in the prime time with the kids. These next several years will be very fun for you. This time of year with them getting into it. And December, I’m sure it will fly by for you every year with elf on the shelf duties and decoration duties and all those kinds of things.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Speaking of flying by, so my two year old has this thing, she’s like, “Pretty lights,” and just the way that she says it is so cute and adorable. Well, we were running late to get my oldest to tennis practice the other night. And so yours truly was going a little too quickly down the road outside of our community, and apparently, there was a cop that was parked, turned on its lights. And though my two year old-

Walter Storholt:                Pretty lights.

Kevin Kroskey:                  … had been saying pretty lights to Christmas lights, when she saw the red and blue, first she said, “Pretty lights,” and then she heard the horn and then she says, “Uh-oh.” It couldn’t have been scripted any better. And thankfully, the officer couldn’t have been kinder, gave me a warning, just asked me to slow down. So, we got to the tennis practice, albeit about 15 minutes late. But, “Pretty lights,” and then, “Uh-oh,” it was perfect.

Walter Storholt:                Oh, that is. That’s fantastic. Well, good stuff all around. And things have not just been busy for you from a home standpoint and the holidays and all that sort of stuff, but work has been busy, as well. We talked to recently on a recent podcast about, obviously, bringing in the new merger and growing the team a little bit. That’s been very exciting for you. And this time of year, as always, business-wise, gets busy with end of year reviews and planning and those sorts of things. Right?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yes. Lots of tax planning, lots of cash flow planning. We’re really wrapping up our busy season here, and we’ll close the book on the year about a week before Christmas. But the fourth quarter is always quite busy for us. So, a lot of things to do, and for today’s conversation, I thought we’d talked about some ways to leverage charitable giving. Studies show, most Americans are charitable to varying degrees, and speaking from our client experience, I would say about 40% or so actually have separate goals within their financial plans to go ahead and give to charity. And some of those amounts can get quite large. We have several clients that are actually donating more than six figures per year, but many are a few thousand to maybe 10,000 per year. Certainly, there are some tithing goals that people have, as well.

When you think about it, there are different ways to do it. Most people, by default, give cash, and that’s always the least efficient way to do it, at least from a tax perspective. So, I thought we’d talked through a few different ways to go ahead and try to enhance that giving. And the other thing I would say with the way that the world is this year with COVID, and there’s still so many people that are being disaffected by this, that a lot of the charities, community foundations, what have you, really do need all of our help this year to help those people that are negatively impacted by COVID. So, maybe we can all look to give a little bit more and do it tax efficiently with some of the things we’ll talk about today.

Walter Storholt:                No, I think that’s fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe more than in any recent year, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of additional need this holiday season. So, yeah, maybe that can be a rallying cry for all of us to be a little extra generous if it’s in our ability to do so this year. So, yeah, Kevin, it’s obviously going to be on top of mind for a lot of people, and maybe some new people will be entering the fray in terms of the giving world, as well. What are some of the best ways that we can leverage that charitable giving and some things that we need to be thinking about here in 2020, especially?

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, the first one we’ll talk about is just making direct gifts of stock or shares of mutual funds. So, this would be, if you have an account, what we would call a brokerage account or a non-qualified account, or another name for that would be a non-retirement account, so a joint account with your spouse, a trust account, an individual account in your name that you get a 1099 for every January, maybe even a revision in February and March, the way that it’s been going the last several years. But you have to pay, and it’s after-tax money. Some tax aspects that you have are, you put in, say, $10,000, and then it grows to 20,000 overtime. You have $10,000 of cost basis, but then you have a $10,000 capital gain. And about three-quarters of our clients have these types of accounts. Most money tends to be stored in retirement accounts, but maybe people are maxing out their retirement accounts, maybe they’ve inherited some money, what have you. But the vast majority of our clients do have these types of accounts.

So, whenever you’re donating stock, you don’t have to realize the capital gain upon sale, so it could be a potentially a two-fold benefit. One, not only getting an income tax deduction for the charitable donation but by transferring the shares directly to the charity and then having the charity sell it, because charities don’t pay taxes, you’re going to avoid the capital gain, as is the charity. So, it’s doubly efficient when you look at it that way.

And then, the other thing I would mention is from an investment perspective. So, the market, after going down quite a bit in February and March, bounced back quite strongly. Certain parts have bounced back more. Some are quite expensive and have increased a good bit. But if you’re looking at just prudent portfolio management, and maybe pruning your portfolio rather than selling some of those shares that have done really quite well, by going ahead and cherry-picking the ones that are most appreciated and probably a little bit more overweight from the targets that you want to hold them, cherry-picking those and giving those to the charity not only help you get the tax benefits of the income tax deduction, as well as avoiding the capital gains tax but also helps you bring your portfolio back into balance very tax efficiently.

Walter Storholt:                So, that could be very important, I think, because a lot of people, that’s maybe a little bit harder than just the gifting of cash. It takes a little bit more maneuvering to do some of those things. It can be just as effective.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yeah. That’s a good point, Walter. So, most of the charities, I mean, whether it’s your local church or, certainly, the larger ones like a Red Cross or United Way, they’ll generally have accounts set up at different custodians where it’s generally as simple as getting a transfer form and transferring your shares. You do have to identify the shares. So, I guess one additional item here, let’s say that if you have X, Y, Z shares, or let’s just say it’s Apple stock, and you bought that Apple stock over maybe three different time periods, so what’s called a different tax lots of Apple. So, what you would want to do is make sure that you specifically identify the tax lots that have the largest gain, or I’ll say it another way, the lowest cost basis, and go ahead and transfer those over.

So, you have to be careful about how you’re filling out the transfer form. It is a little bit restrictive in the sense that for any charity that you would want to donate to, you have to fill out a form for each of those charities and have to coordinate all that, but the operational hurdles aside, the increased efficiency that you get from a tax perspective, by avoiding the capital gains tax and getting the income tax deduction, is quite substantial.

Walter Storholt:                Okay. What other charitable giving elements should be on top of mind?

Kevin Kroskey:                  So, where donating stock directly works well, you can do the same thing, but you can donate the stock into what is called a donor-advised fund. So, this is a fund that once you transfer shares or any sort of property into it, you are making a gift. It’s an irrevocable gift. However, you are the trustee of the fund, and then you can dole the money out to qualify charities over time. The stock, on the other hand, goes directly to the charity in the prior example, and they can do whatever they want with it. In the donor-advised fund, you could donate, say, maybe it’s $40,000 of stock that you’re putting into the fund, but maybe you only want to give out five or $10,000 per year to the qualified charity. So, there are some distinct advantages that you can avail yourself from the donor-advised fund because of this.

One of them is what I just talked about, and it’s bunching. So, whenever the Tax Reform Act was passed, and you look in 2018 forward, one of the things that happened is the standard deduction was raised substantially. So, if you’re just a married couple filing a joint tax return in 2020, your standard deduction, or what you get to subtract from your gross income before you calculate your taxable income, is nearly $25,000. When you look at that, and the fact that another provision of that tax reform was that you could no longer deduct any more than $10,000 in state, local, or property taxes, what many many people are finding is that they’re just not itemizing any more. So, if we go through a simple example and, again, round numbers, $25,000 standard deduction, and maybe you are reaching that $10,000 cap in state, local, and real estate taxes. So, you’re at 25, subtract out 10, Walter, what’s the result?

Walter Storholt:                Oh, we got 15.

Kevin Kroskey:                  You got it, buddy. Just making sure you’re paying attention to me. And so, you got 15,000, so if you don’t.

Walter Storholt:                You were feeling charitable and wanted to give me a win here in the holidays. I appreciate it.

Kevin Kroskey:                  It’s been a while since I put you on the spot like that.

Walter Storholt:                You haven’t tested me lately.

Kevin Kroskey:                  No. No, no. I’m slipping. I’ll have to set a New Year’s resolution to do more of that.

Walter Storholt:                That’s right. Get the calculator ready.

Kevin Kroskey:                  But if you look at that $15,000 variants, and what other things might you be able to deduct? Well, most people can’t deduct their health expenses unless there’s some really astronomical expense that they’re paying out of pocket, but most people can’t deduct that. While you’re working, your premiums are deducted pre-tax from your pay, so you can’t double-dip and have those pre-tax and then take a tax deduction for it. If you’re retired, you’re paying with after-tax money, but there’s still a pretty substantial hurdle rate that you have to get over before those health-related costs are deductible. You can have mortgage interest, but a lot of retirees particularly have their mortgages paid off, so maybe there’s… And interest rates are pretty low today, too, so even if you do still have some remaining life on your mortgage, one, you’re pretty far into the term where most of the money’s going to principal and probably quite little to interest, and the rate’s probably pretty low. Maybe you’re getting some benefit there from a mortgage interest, but most people aren’t these days, at least most people that are at or near retirement.

So, if I go back to that example and 25 standard deduction, say, your property taxes and some of the state and local taxes you’re paying fills up 10,000 of that by your cap there, but really, the next $15,000 that you donate to charity has no marginal tax benefit whatsoever. And for most of our clients, that would meet their annual gifting goals for the vast majority of people that we work with. That’s a pretty good chunk to give to your church or to charity each year, and with tax reform, even though tax rates are lower and the tax brackets are wider, the fact that the standard deduction is as high as it is, it’s really harmed some charities from just a tax perspective, and people maybe not being as generous as what they had before, because they’re not getting an incremental tax benefit from it.

So, when you look at the donor-advised fund, however, you’re still going to have that same sort of effect where the first 15,000 is not going to do anything for you, but if you’re, say, giving $15,000 per year and you look out and say, “Well, hey, this is something that’s important to us. We’ve always done it. We’re going to continue to do it. It’s in our financial plan. Why don’t we just go ahead and we’ll cherry-pick some stocks that have appreciated quite a bit? And maybe we’ll put, say, four years in there. So, we’ll put in 15,000 times four, 60,000,” we still lose out on the 15,000 in year one. However, we get to take the additional deduction of $45,000 over our standard deduction, so we will itemize this year, and then we’ll go back to the standard deduction for the next three years, as we dole out our four years of money over that time period.

So, that bunching allows you to just make a more efficient gift overall. It also brings the tax deduction today, so the value of the deduction, or the value of a dollar for that matter, is more today than it is in the future, by and large. So, that bunching strategy really can be effective. A couple of wrinkles to that, too. Do this a lot for our clients that are late 50s, getting ready to retire, maybe in their early ’60s, and they’re working, they’re in their highest income years, their highest tax years, they paid off their mortgage, they don’t have the deductions that they used to, the kids are out of the house and what have you. And we’ll say, “Look, you’re planning on working another three to five years, let’s definitely go ahead and put a lot more money in now while you’re in a higher bracket so you can go ahead and not only get the deduction today but get it at a higher tax rate than what you’re going to be in when you get into retirement.”

And then another wrinkle on top of that, if you’re a business owner, there’s something that was also included in tax reform called a qualified business income deduction, and that starts phasing out as your income goes higher. And it’s possible to potentially have a marginal tax rate nearly as high as 50% when you’re in that phase-out range. So, when we’ve gone through this with some business owners and saying, “Hey, here’s where it’s shaken out for you tax-wise this year. We see that you’re giving some money to XYZ charity each and every year to your church or what have you, because of the tax code and because of where your income’s falling this year, if you go ahead and you fast forward and give a bigger contribution, either to them directly, or if you do just want to put it into a donor advised fund, get the deduction now, but then dole it out over the successive years, you’re going to be saving at a 50% rate. Because it’s going to allow you not only to save what it seems like your income tax rate is, but it’s going to allow you to qualify for this additional deduction.” And we would put those two together; it’s nearly a 50% tax rate.

So, we’ve had some clients that have made much, much larger charitable donations than what they historically have because we’ve been able to go ahead and leverage the tax code and leverage some of these ways that we’re talking about to make their gifts more efficient. It’s the same dollar as the charity, but basically, it costs them less because they’re getting more from Uncle Sam to go ahead and support it.

And then, finally, the last thing I would want to mention about the donor-advised fund, if you’re donating stock directly, as in the first example that we gave, it’s a transfer form every time. You’re going ahead, maybe having to do that for each charity. It can get a little operationally messy if you’re looking to do it multiple times per year to multiple charities. It’s a fair amount of work. In the donor-advised fund, however, it’s really, you can do the gift, the money goes into the donor-advised fund. You can continue to hold the securities in there, or you could sell them. Again, no tax consequences because it’s within this charitable fund at this point. When you do sell them, you can leave some money in cash, you can leave some money, maybe a little bit more conservative investment, because you’re going to be using it over the next few years. If you’re going to be spending money or donating money, generally in the next three years, you probably don’t want to have that in the stock market.

But the other thing, when you’re using the fund after you get it set up, it’s just like using your online bill pay at your bank. So, you can have the charities in there that you use. If, say, the donor-advised fund maybe doesn’t have your church, it’s relatively easy to go through and get a new 501(c)(3) set up through their systems, and then you could set it up where it’s like a recurring payment maybe every month or every quarter, or whatever works for you. Or literally just sitting down and making a one-off payment to whatever charities that you want, it’s just like paying your bills when you log into your bank account. It’s a lot easier than doing the transfer form each and every time, as we were talking about in the first example.

We actually have a client where they transferred some appreciated stock into a donor fund some years ago, but they just found that operationally it made their life so much easier. Even though they just put cash in the donor-advised fund, they don’t have any additional shares in those non-qualified accounts that contributed. To them, it was worth it. It just made their life simpler. They didn’t have to track the receipts. They didn’t have to provide their receipts to the CPA for tax preparation. They just said, “Look, we’re just going to put our cash into the donor-advised fund. We’re going to make all of our gifts from it. And then we get a one-page report from the donor-advised fund we use for our tax prep. Our life is a lot easier.”

Walter Storholt:                I can see how just from an organizational standpoint, it just feels cleaner once you get it set up to do it all that way. I think you answered my follow-up question, but I’ll just clarify. You don’t have to have one of these funds set up for each charity you want to contribute to and help. You can have the fund then tie into multiple different efforts if you want.

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yeah, you got it. And these funds are available. Vanguard has one, Fidelity has one, Schwab has one. Those tend to be a little bit limited in terms of the investment options that you can select. We will use some local community funds or local companies that can actually be open architecture, where we can use whatever investments we prefer. They’re a little bit more flexible with the kind of property that they can receive. We’ve been talking about donating stock, but you can also donate real property. You could donate life insurance policies. You can get fairly creative with the gifting. And a lot of the larger ones like the Vanguards, Fidelitys, and Schwabs are very plain vanilla.

So, we like flexibility. Most of our clients are well-suited for just the simple stock gifts that we do on a regular basis for them. But we’ve had some cases where we’re able to add a lot more value by having more flexibility and then having a donor-advised fund company that can go ahead and meet us where we needed to be and deal with some of the more complex property rather than simple shares of stock.

Walter Storholt:                Very helpful. I can see that would be something that’s wise to get some guidance on when it comes to a donor-advised fund, but a lot of flexibility there and ability to accomplish some things that maybe you otherwise wouldn’t be able to without it. So, I can definitely see the benefit for a lot of people. What other things do we have to consider here when it comes to charitable giving this year?

Kevin Kroskey:                  All right. So, I said I had three. We went through two of them. And the donor-advised fund was our preferred option before 2018. So, once tax reform hit, because of some of the reasons I already explained, we like it, we still like them a lot, but if you’re age 70 and a half or better, and you have to be 70 and a half or better, you can’t be 70. It has to be 70 and a half when you can really start considering using this, but you can start using IRA money. So, using IRA money, it’s called qualified charitable distributions, QCD for short. Some other people will call it a charitable IRA rollover, but it tends to be really a little bit more tax-efficient for most people, not for everyone. And again, you have to be 70 and a half or better, but it tends to be the most tax-efficient way to go ahead and give these days.

And essentially, it allows IRA owners, 70 and a half or better, to transfer up to $100,000 per year from their IRA, or could be an inherited IRA, directly to charities. And this amount, it shows up on your tax return, but it doesn’t really add to your income. So, what I mean by that is, let’s just say $10,000 goes from the IRA directly to a charity, so it’s not going into a fund. It’s more like that first example of donating stock, so it is a little bit more paperwork that’s required here. But $10,000 goes directly over to the charity. You’re not adding the $10,000 to your adjusted gross income on your tax return.

And that’s effective particularly when you are in your 70s, 70 and a half or better, if you’re married filing jointly, and your income is above 174,000 in 2020, your adjusted gross income, you’re going to have to start paying higher Medicare premiums. That’s the Medicare income-related adjustment. If you’re single, that starts at half that amount, so 87,000, which is not too difficult to go ahead and surpass. And there are different tiers that the higher you go in terms of your adjusted gross income, the more punitive the add-ons to the Medicare premiums become. And we have several clients that it’s common planning where we’re working around these tiers.

So, even though tax rates are low right now, and with the way that the election panned out, it seems like we’re going to have a divided government and be able to retain those low tax rates for at least a few more years, this Medicare income-related adjustment is always something that you want to make sure that once you are on Medicare, or actually two years before you’re able to go on Medicare, there’s a two year look back for the tax return, that you’re just managing your income and being mindful of not crossing one of these thresholds unintentionally and adding onto your Medicare premiums. So, that’s one. The QCDs will not show up on your income.

Conversely, I’ll give you the other example. Let’s say that you took a $10,000 distribution from your IRA, and then you gave that $10,000 to a charity. Well, again, the $10,000 is going to be added to your income. You’re going to have to pay taxes on that, and then you’re going to go, and you’re going to try to deduct it. But just like we talked about, your standard deduction is about 25,000, and if you’re 65 and better, it’s actually a little bit higher. So, you’re probably not itemizing. Thus you’re not going to get any income tax benefit from taking that IRA out, receiving the cash, and then giving the cash to the charity. Much better to just do the QCD with the funds going directly from your IRA directly to the charity.

And when I say directly to the charity, sometimes literally the check will just be mailed to the charity. We have some clients, when we utilize these, they prefer to get the check and then maybe put it in the offering basket at their church, or what have you. You can do it either way. But the important thing about that check is it’s made out to the charity. It’s not coming and being constructively received by you, the taxpayer. So, that’s a big, big thing to remember there.

And then two other things I’ll mention about the QCDs. Whenever you are itemizing, each state is different, but most states do not allow you to have a charitable deduction on the state income tax return. So, for donating stock or the donor-advised fund in the first two examples that I provided, you’re not really getting state tax benefits there, in most states. There are some exceptions to it, but most states don’t allow you that separate deduction. When you’re using the IRA money, you’re getting both a federal tax benefit as well as the state income tax benefit because, again, the income is not showing up on your tax return. So, in Ohio, basically, it starts with your adjusted gross income from your federal income tax, and then there are some different adjustments and what have you. Because the IRA, or the QCD, I should say, is not being added to the adjusted gross income, you’re getting the benefit over on the Ohio income tax return, as well, because it’s not showing up there either.

Then lastly, and then I’ll do a quick recap. I know we talked about several different things that may feel like you’re drinking from a fire hydrant at this point in time but-

Walter Storholt:                I do like calling them just QCDs. I find that helpful versus the alternatives.

Kevin Kroskey:                  For sure. And then, lastly, again, this is for high-income taxpayers, but when you get a 200,000 or more adjusted gross income if you’re single, or 250 or more if you’re married filing jointly, there is something called a net investment income tax. And basically, for any dividends, capital gains, interest income, it’s adding an additional 3.8% surtax on your investment income, so again, this is the investment income that you have from your non-qualified accounts, so your non-retirement accounts. And when you put it all together, I mean, you could get up to, at least on just the federal basis alone, 23.8% marginal rate on that type of investment income.

Whereas, with the QCDs, because if you have somebody that’s… We can think of a handful of clients who I just worked on the last week or two, their income, they’ve done pretty well, they’re in retirement, but with pensions, with RMDs, with social security, I mean, their incomes are still in the $200,000 plus range. And when you put it all together, their investment income is being taxed at a higher rate, and a 3.8% is being added onto it. And we still have that Medicare income-related adjustment to be worried about, as well. So, using the QCDs for somebody like that could help them avoid not only those Medicare tiers but also help them avoid that additional 3.8% surtax on their net investment income.

So, there’s a lot that we talked about, for sure. It starts simple with donating stock and not only getting the tax deduction but also being able to avoid forever any capital gains on appreciated securities. And then, you’ll add another wrinkle in and say, “Well, hey, if we actually do this donor-advised fund, we do the same thing in donating stocks, but now we can do this bunching strategy, we can go ahead and maybe do more when we’re in a higher tax bracket and dole that out over time, still retain control over it. And because the standard deduction is higher, we don’t have to lose as much from that $15,000 example that I gave because we’re going to bunch it.” And then, operationally, that donor-advised funds a lot easier, too. And then the third one was just using the QCDs once you’re 70 and a half or better. Really being able to get both the federal as well as state income tax benefits and being able to better control where your income’s going to be, helping to avoid those higher Medicare tiers and helping to avoid the net investment income tax, as well.

So, these are things that we… We’re in that busy season right now. This is a conversation for probably about two-thirds of the people that we’re meeting with right now. In aggregate, as I mentioned, a little bit less than half have a direct goal in their financial plan for charity. And giving cash is great and giving in general, and even if it’s not cash, giving your time sometimes is even more valuable. But if you are going to go ahead and be giving something of monetary value, there are definitely some ways to go ahead and enhance that where the charity’s getting the same dollars, but you’re getting a greater tax benefit, just doing a little bit smarter. So, that’s something that I hope everybody can take away from today, but as you’re looking at doing maybe some year-end gifting, which is most charities get most of the gifts at year-end, these are all things that you still have time to do before the end of the year, as well.

Walter Storholt:                I think that’s hugely important, Kevin, and remembering that there’s, one, we’ve got time to make some of these decisions and lots of resources and opportunities to make the most out of them. And that’s the smart way to do it, help people out at the same time, increasing your flexibility, and making your impact go further. Because the more money that you can help yourself save while benefiting your community, the more generous you can be the following year, as well. So, there’s a lot of a certain logic to that, above and beyond just the general help of benefiting those less fortunate around you.

So, if you have any questions about something that we’ve talked about today, feel free, get in touch with Kevin Kroskey, talk about these kinds of things. Kevin and the team can certainly help you navigate through all of these questions and decisions, just as you would with the rest of your financial and retirement plan. 855-TWD-PLAN is the number to call. That’s 855-893-7526. Or you can go to truewealthdesign.com and click on the Are We Right For You button to schedule a 15-minute call with an experienced financial advisor on the True Wealth team. That’s truewealthdesign.com.

Well, Kevin, you better get back to work and come up with something creative to do with those elves for the next day and all the days leading up to the end of the year here. And we appreciate you here in 2020. We’ve made it through this crazy year, and we’ll turn the page to 2021 and see what happens then.

Kevin Kroskey:                  I think everybody’s looking forward to turning the page. And hopefully, as I get closer to the end of the year, we don’t see any more of those pretty police lights than my daughter’s talking about.

Walter Storholt:                Yeah. Let’s keep the lights only on the premises at home. Right?

Kevin Kroskey:                  Yes. It’s the running joke in the household now, so daddy’s getting a fair dose of it.

Walter Storholt:                Funny parting story for you. This doesn’t relate to the holidays, but my mom once got pulled over, dropping me off in front of the elementary school because she was speeding through the school zone because she was running late to work and was trying to drop me off at school. But by the time the police officer caught up to us, we were literally right in front of the school, so there are all these kids getting dropped off, and then here I am getting out of my mom’s car to walk the rest of the way to school with everybody watching the police talking to my mom. And all day, all I heard was, “I saw your mom getting arrested, Walter. Oh man.” It blew up. And she tells the story of how I’d get home, and apparently, I don’t remember this part, but apparently, I got home and just said, “Mom, I’m never talking to you again. You got arrested in front of everybody.” And she’s like, “I didn’t get arrested.” But everybody at school saw Walter’s mom get arrested. She’s never lived that one down. But it’s made for a good story all these years later.

Kevin Kroskey:                  I was going to say, you’ll have to bring it up Christmas. You got to tell those stories; otherwise, they die.

Walter Storholt:                Oh, we will. We will. Absolutely. Kevin, thank you very much. Appreciate you and your guidance throughout the year., And we’ll be looking forward to talking to you again when we hit a new calendar year 2021, right around the corner.

Kevin Kroskey:                  All right. Thank you, Walter. Appreciate your help, as well.

Walter Storholt:                Thanks a lot. That’s Kevin Kroskey and Walter Storholt. Thanks for listening to the show all year. If you’re new to the program, welcome. We’ve got lots of good episodes and topics on tap for you, as we’ll turn the page to next year on the next episode. Thanks for being with us, and we’ll talk to you next time right back here on Retire Smarter.

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