How My Story Motivates Philanthropic Planning for Clients

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I’m very grateful for all the success I have had and am a firm believer in the importance of giving back. Through my efforts in memory of my late wife and what we do as a firm, I’ve tried to set an example for clients and the community at large of what philanthropy in action can do.

Although not everyone is philanthropically inclined, over the years I have found that many people who have achieved financial success also have a great deal of gratitude for the good life they’ve enjoyed. To some degree, they want to share their good fortune. That’s something I encourage among clients, telling them it doesn’t matter where you give; just find something that you’re passionate about and provide support.

In my work with clients, I use goals-based financial planning software and always include philanthropy in the conversation. To draw up a workable holistic financial plan, it’s important for the advisor to understand the depth of their client’s charitable inclination and what their goals are for annual gifting. Although each client’s situation is different, once I’ve established those basic parameters, I can draw upon some solutions I’ve used in the past to begin the discussion.

Let me give you an example of something I put into place for some clients in this past year. There was an older couple with no children, who were nearing retirement and had several million dollars invested with my firm. Their estate plan called for leaving the assets in their brokerage accounts to various nieces and nephews, but they also own an attractive lakefront property and some other assets.