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Gift annuity a ‘delightful surprise’ of generosity

People don’t know how generous they can be. That’s an insight Kathleen North has gained in her 15 years with Thrivent, and a recent case illustrates her point.

A newly widowed “salt of the earth” client brought a spreadsheet she had created to show Kathleen how her income was affected without her husband’s Social Security.

“She knew she could live on the reduced income,” Kathleen recalls, “but she was disappointed she wouldn’t be able to give the way she had when her husband was living.” The couple had always tithed 10 percent of their income, but that figure would now be reduced.

Kathleen recommended the client use life insurance proceeds to fund a charitable gift annuity. The annuity provides income during her lifetime and creates an ongoing gift to her church and charities after her death. It also enables her to maintain her level of giving during her lifetime.

“She had no idea a gift like that was even an option. It was a delightful surprise that she could be so generous with her modest lifestyle,” Kathleen says. A retired office worker with no children, she has been a dedicated volunteer at her church and with charities she supports.

Tax strategy not always important

When discussing priorities with this client, reducing taxes was not on the list. Kathleen notes that FPs may not think to recommend charitable solutions if clients aren’t concerned about tax savings.

“She had no need to reduce her taxes, but listening to her, I knew offering both income and generosity were important,” Kathleen says.

‘Tell me more’

Clients don’t always arrive with prepared spreadsheets, but they usually have something significant on their minds, according to Kathleen. To encourage deeper conversations, she often says, “Tell me more,” and waits for them to respond.

“Once we fully understand the concern, we can start to find the solution that can accomplish their goals,” she says.

In this case, the client was concerned about keeping her gift anonymous to avoid drawing attention in her community. “It makes sense for privacy and security that her name will not be revealed until she passes away,” Kathleen says.

Collaboration with Thrivent Charitable

Kathleen used a Zoom call to introduce her client to a gift planner at Thrivent Charitable who explained all the details and provided an illustration. “I don’t do charitable cases every day, but they do,” she says. “Thrivent Charitable provides the tools and is always respectful that the relationship with the client is mine.”

Contact our team of gift planners to discuss unique solutions for your clients. Email us or call 800-365-4172 to get started.