|Thinking Like a Couponer to Magnify Charitable Giving
We read about the die-hard couponers who clip and combine coupons to save massive amounts of money. I wish I were more skilled in this area. I'll clip a coupon if I run across one here and there, but I am certainly not as diligent as some. I neglect using coupons on smaller purchases, but as the price tag goes up I am sure to look for discounts. When I make a big purchase I do my homework, look for discounts and haggle.
Many families are the same way--they won't sweat the small stuff, but when making life's big purchases they make sure to capture as much savings as possible.
Did you know that doubling up on discounts can magnify your charitable giving? For many families, charitable giving to church, ministries and non-profits accounts for a meaningful piece of the monthly and annual budget. With donations over the course of a year adding up to substantial amounts of money, any savings in this area are certainly worth pursuing. Still, many American families fail to "clip the coupons" on their charitable giving. Most families still give cash or write a check. They miss simple strategies that could save thousands of dollars or allow them to give more generously.
|The “Cash Only” Giver
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American family has about 11% of their total assets in cash (this includes CDs, money markets, savings, cash and checking). Everything else is in the form of non-cash assets…our stuff. Investments in publicly traded stock are a big item and investments by business owners in their own companies is at the top of the chart as well. Real Estate is way up on the list too. These statistics represent all Americans and Christian givers are no exception. When you really look at it, Christians in America have way more “stuff” than they have cash.
|Don't Put All Your Eggs in One BRACKET
always liked the television show MacGyver. Throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s MacGyver could be found putting his Boy Scout skills to good use. Trouble always seemed to find him but he was resourceful. He would take in his surroundings and using items he found, along with the paperclip from his wallet, he could overcome any obstacle. The story line was often far-fetched, but by using his brain, not his brawn, MacGyver was ready for any situation.
We can take a lesson from MacGyver in preparing for any tax situation. Too often we see folks who think they are adequately diversified heading into retirement. They believe that building a portfolio and selecting different asset classes provides adequate diversification. It may take more than that.
|Fiduciary – The New Industry Standard
We still hear horror stories about folks who have diligently saved for years and company who locks them into a bad product and receives a large commission. Unfortunately, in the financial industry there are still individuals and companies that are working to line their pockets and to make sure the company meets sales quotas.
This is unacceptable. Thankfully, many professionals including doctors and lawyers are held to certain standards within their industries requiring that they put the interest of their clients first. Professionals legally obligated to put their client’s interest first are known as Fiduciaries. This standard does not apply to all industries.