by Robert Heuermann, Executive Director
Those words were spoken by the ghost of Babe Ruth in the 1993 movie The Sandlot, and they always stuck with me. In a lot of ways, these words are true; legends live on in our hearts and memories forever. But we’re not all blessed with superhuman strength or ability.
As the executive director of the Catholic United Financial Foundation, I actually see this every day. Regular people, people who aren’t especially wealthy or different from you or me. who go from zero to hero practically overnight.
They may not be inspiring an entire generation of future sluggers, but to the causes they support – which may include their local parishes, catholic schools, students at those schools or their own charitable focus – they become difference-makers. What I’m referring to are legacy gifts and donor advised or donor directed funds, which perpetually support institutions and are set up by individuals, so that after they die the gift continues to give. In some cases, forever.
Many people think that setting up such a legacy is an impossible dream, something the wealthy might be able to do but not regular folk. Fortunately, that’s not the case at all. In fact, many of the legacy funds that the Foundation manages were set up by “normal” individuals and couples. We have some couples who are raising several kids, paying for a house and college debt, working nine to five, AND managing to fund long-lasting gifts like what I’ve described. How? Many use the power of life insurance.
Think about it. You have life insurance so that you can leave a large sum to your children or surviving spouse when you die. Many of our legacy fund clients also consider their tithe or their favorite charities when they purchase life insurance, which leads to a number of wonderful outcomes.
If you plan early, the amount you actually put into the policy compared to what comes out of it can be dramatically different – pennies on the dollar. Not only that, but life insurance benefits are free of income tax – which again makes your gift more effective. And paired with the services the Foundation offers, we can arrange so that the life insurance pays into a trust, which then goes on to pay scholarships or annual gifts to your chosen institutions. The Foundation has a number of tools in our quiver when it comes to maximizing the impact of your charitable gift.
If you want to be legendary but don’t know where to begin, consider talking to the Foundation or your local Sales Representative about setting up a donor advised fund or a legacy gift using charitable life insurance. It’s an affordable and rewarding way to ensure you may never be forgotten.
3499 Lexington Ave N
St. Paul, MN 55126
This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. Discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax adviser to see if these strategies make sense for your unique situation.