Is This The Year to Make Charitable Gifts?

By: David Smyth, December 12, 2019

Boy! What a difference a year makes. This time last year, everyone was saying that the equity markets were convinced that the Fed had overstepped in raising interest rates, and that we were headed towards a full-on recession. 
What actually transpired was that the Fed acknowledged the markets' concern and reduced interest rates, creating a soft economic landing with continued growth instead of a recession. Clearly, the markets have appreciated that gesture, as we find ourselves (at the time of this writing) at near all-time highs in the markets. 
From my perspective, I'm truly enjoying how this year's fourth quarter has shaped up versus last year's -  the markets are more positive, and that means I'm getting all the credit for that from you, just as I get all the blame when they're down - even though none of it has anything to do with me! I say all of that lightheartedly of course. Most of you do know that I'm not the Fed and that I don't control the financial markets, even if some of you suspect I have secret ties to Ukraine! (Kidding!)
One question I enjoy hearing and love to get from my client families is whether this is a good year to give money to kids/church/charity. Now, I'd like to be able to give you a blanket answer and say of course, but I have to speak the truth and say it depends. Now you're probably thinking, "depends on what, Dave?" I'll tell you - it depends on how much of your money you've already spent. I'm all for taking care of your kids, your church and your favorite charities. But, this shouldn't happen only because it's the giving season, and it shouldn't happen to the detriment of your own retirement. 
Many of you have already had conversations with us about your giving plans, and for those of you who haven't formalized those plans yet, please talk to us first. I love helping my clients give back, but if you've had a year where, for whatever reason, you've taken more out of your accounts than normal or than you planned, this might not be the year to make a large gift. 
On the flip side of course, if you've had a year where you faced no unexpected expenses and your accounts are healthy, we'd love to help you create a charitable or family giving plan. Give us a call anytime. 

Family Financial Partners | Growing Wealth, For Generations ™