Michael Fleming: Opportunities with gifts of life insurance | Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing

Michael Fleming: Opportunities with gifts of life insurance

Michael Fleming believes he’s paying it forward every time he talks to other Thrivent financial professionals about generosity planning.

A champion of joint field work, Michael offers practical advice to colleagues. “When you do thorough, comprehensive planning, you help clients reveal their values and what’s on their hearts,” Michael says. “You will uncover what’s important to them, and it’s a natural progression from mitigating taxes to charitable planning.”

Seeing a traditional solution in a non-traditional way
With a recent case, Michael helped another FP position a gift of life insurance as a solution for his clients. A retired couple with no children, their long-term goal was to accumulate wealth they could one day give away. 

“It’s inspiring to meet people with a give-back attitude and help them give back more,” he says.

It was vital to the couple that their gifts remain anonymous. And, they want to provide an income stream over time to charities they care about versus a one-time lump sum.

“They were not fans of life insurance,” Michael recalls. “It can be an obstacle because many clients are programmed to think of insurance traditionally. But it’s also an opportunity to educate them on the non-traditional ways it can be used.”

Michael was able to share the possibilities. “If you can show clients the impact to their estate without a dependence on stock market growth, they start to see life insurance as a tool rather than basic income replacement.”

Michael’s recommendation included a donor-advised fund from which the clients will designate anonymous gifts during their lifetime to 10 charities closest to their hearts. The eventual death benefit from the couple’s second-to-die life contract will be paid to the donor-advised fund and provide an ongoing income stream to 15 charities. 

Among the many benefits of gifts of life insurance, clients can change beneficiaries at any time and decide how long the charities are supported with the death proceeds. Also, premiums are tax-deductible when Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing is the owner of the contract.

Continue the conversation
“Find out what’s important to your clients,” Michael suggests. “Once you have connected at that level, call the gift planners and the conversation can continue.”