Going ‘above and beyond’ to accomplish her dream
Years ago, Diane Jaeger and her husband brainstormed a “dream list” of causes they hoped to support financially. Unfortunately, his death from cancer left Diane a young widow at 47, and her priorities changed. But she never forgot that dream.
A few years later, Diane received an unexpected inheritance at her sister’s death. While discussing options for the money, her Thrivent financial professional Nathan Mahnke encouraged her to think big.
“Rather than one and done,” Nathan asked, “how about you go above and beyond?”
Diane recalls, “He asked me to pick something on my dream list, and I said I’d like to leave a million dollars to the church when I die.”
Her grandparents started First Lutheran Church in Yuba City, California, nearly one hundred years ago, where Diane is an active member. Nathan explained how she could make her dream happen by giving a charitable life insurance policy to Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing. When she passes away, the death benefit will be paid to a donor advised fund from which the church will receive gifts long after she’s gone. Meanwhile, since Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing owns the policy, Diane can declare a charitable tax deduction for the premium payments every year.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could do something like this. The mission work of First Lutheran will go on forever because Thrivent gave me the capability to accomplish a dream,” she says in awe. “Do people know this is a possibility?”
Now a retired business owner, Diane devotes time and energy to various First Lutheran ministries, including serving meals and distributing food to homeless people. She is also a life coach for new parolees who have been released from the prison system after decades of incarceration. She helps them adjust to life with the technology they have never used, such as smartphones and ATMs.
“It took me awhile to understand that true happiness comes when you can feel God’s smile,” she reflects. “There’s more contentment when it’s not about us, but about God.”
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Photo: A group of volunteers that Diane works with at First Lutheran Church, courtesy of Diane Jaeger.