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Old 03-19-2015, 12:20 PM
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Unfortunately, I cannot actually volunteer at, say, Wildlife SOS, which rescues brutalized elephants in India, or go down to San Angelo and work with the donkeys at Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue. The most I can do for charities is work more and give them monthly donations (so they can count on their income).

I think I was asking if giving away money can be part of a retirement budget, and clearly, people have said yes, it can be, if it matters to you. I'd rather adopt another dog than go to an expensive restaurant (although ideally, I'd like to go to a neat cheap restaurant AND adopt another dog)!

It seems counterintuitive to cut spending on one hand and give away money with the other, but it is a matter of priorities, if something must be cut. I think "tithing" is the idea that one gives ten percent of income to one's church? Or is it any charity? Nonetheless, I don't support a church, but feel strongly about supporting people and groups who are doing things that I cannot do myself that I want to see done. Like elephants.
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Old 03-19-2015, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
I am not yet retired but I do find that my charitable donations matter a great deal to me in terms of meaning, feeling like I'm doing the right thing, and so forth. I donate to a few local things (where maybe I could put in some time) but most are national or international groups where volunteering time isn't an option.

I am wondering how to fit this in along with "living within means" and spending less and so on. I am in the house I expect to stay in (1250 sq.ft., everything important on first floor) and I can hire out heavy cleaning, home care and yard work. I am car-dependent, although everything I absolutely need is within three miles, and medical care is eight miles away (and local Council on Aging runs transportation to that).

I guess I'm wondering about giving money away at a time when I am likely to have less. My pension promises to be quite lucrative and I can work twice a week at a very good rate while collecting the pension at age 65. I am not likely to be low on the financial food chain for a long time, if at all. Is giving money away part of living within one's means? Adopting multiple senior dogs?

I can see a time where my favorite vacations (costly ones) are horseback treks. Obviously age-limited at some point and my interest in travel is pretty low after that.

How do people consider giving money to charity along with living within one's retirement means? Thanks in advance for your input.
We backed off giving money to charities but we're both involved in helping those who need it. I took a volunteer job as a database entry person 2x a week for four hours because I can do that in my sleep and while not religious, Asheville-Buncombe County Ministry does wonderful work for those in need. I also did therapy dog work until I couldn't do it anymore. My dog obviously needed to but I could not. My partner is very much involved in helping those in need as well. We'll write a couple donations a year but have had to cut back (I had to leave the workforce ten years earlier than expected).

I bought a bed that was sort of on the cheaper side and it killed my back for too many years. Based on one of the threads here, I sucked it up and am getting a bed made for me (it's Asheville and you can do things like that without totally breaking one's fixed income). I finally decided life was more important than worrying about money. We hope to go on a decent vacation this year or next. I still worry about money but ... life is more important. I'd like to go on the horseback trek with you and while I can still ride a motorcycle, I think my body would be in serious pain from the horse. I loved it and grew up riding.

Enjoy life and your time while you have it.

Take care, OP.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:11 PM
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
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I support our church, give to mission work and some charities. I have no intention to change after retirement. Everything I have and am is from God. God says we're supposed to help the poor and orphans, and support the church and mission work so I do. Its God who keeps me funded, so I depend on him and let him take care of things that are beyond my ability.
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Old 03-19-2015, 02:39 PM
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How do people consider giving money to charity along with living within one's retirement means? Thanks in advance for your input.
You must just be asking these questions to help you figure out how you personally feel about the decisions to continue to donate while in retirement. You seem 'torn' as many people are about various financial decisions at different times in life. That's part of the decision making process, I guess. Given that many choices have a pro and a con.

Donations if they're that important to a person technically are no different from any other expense. Is the person going to cut it or reduce that expense in retirement, or not? Or can the person continue to "afford" continue to making that expenditure. That's true whether it's about eating out, travel -- or charitable donations.

Notice that all of those give a person experiences or a good "feeling," and not a tangible asset or possession for personal use, or that one could sell later and get money back.

No doubt, as you get closer to retirement, and your income, pension, savings or whatever budget numbers you have -- will become more concrete, you will have a better idea of what you can 'afford' to give.

For many people in a materialistic society it IS counter-intuitive -- if not crazy -- to give money away and live on a tighter budget for one's self. BUT if that's the kind of giving person you are, and you don't need much for yourself, and want to give to help others....then do that. I would say that you, or anyone, should carefully consider giving money away if they themselves don't have enough for their own lifestyle -- and also the most likely or catastrophic emergencies that could crop up. But if a person is set money-wise -- how ever they describe that for THEM...then give all you want....And don't care what others especially those who you know are more selfish anyway or less courteous of others, happen to think about it.

If you're not sure about how much money you'll have or what you'll be able to 'afford' -- the first retirement year why not get settled first, see what you have income wise, see how your spending is, and then if you can afford to donate do it at the end of the year.

(As it happens I also am debating this for myself: how much to give to charity, when I'm trying to save for my own retirement, and have debts. On one hand I WANT to give. On the other, does it make sense to donated to charity when I could use that money myself. And I'm not talking big money. For example if I give about 800.00 a year to charities...which gives me 200.00 a year off my taxes....which means I'm still out 750.00 from my pocket. Well, that's 600 that I could have saved/invested or spent for me.)
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I set up a donor advised fund here: Very ez auto and specific gifting ($500 minimum), wide investment choices and low cost.
https://www.vanguardcharitable.org/ (Fidelity / Schwab have similar options)
The minimum required initial gift for a Vanguard Advisory Fund is $25000; $5000 is the minimum subsequent gift.
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:11 PM
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Thoughtful responses, all. Thank you.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:07 PM
Location: Henderson, NV
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I continue to give to the charities that are important to me, but since my income is less, I give less than I did in my working years. I also volunteer, something that I didn't have much time for when I worked, so I guess all told, my contributions to charity are about the same, just made up differently.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:56 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,685 posts, read 40,050,764 times
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Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
The minimum required initial gift for a Vanguard Advisory Fund is $25000; $5000 is the minimum subsequent gift.
clarification of "gifting".... above is "FUNDING" / setting up your initial fund and later adding to it. Once you have your fund you can "gift" (outflow) from that fund at will (within IRS / Vanguard rules) Thus they have 'Outflow / gifting minimum of $500' to keep costs in line. (I.e. you don't use it to give $25 occasionally to an charity solicitation). It is truly a tool for systematic gifting, as well as setting aside current funds (using current tax status 'contribution deduction' for future contributions (when you may not be itemizing tax return).

To get a Donor Advised fund started, you can start smaller than $25k at a community foundation or other 'guardian' operation, and later transfer into Vanguard or similar.

It is often that a 'retiree / early exit / life change / severance / distribution' would avail the opportunity to make an initial $25k 'contribution' to a perpetual 'Donor Advised' gifting fund favorable to your final 'income / salary / windfall' yr of taxes.

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 03-20-2015 at 02:08 AM..
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:04 AM
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We are blessed and able to contribute to charities and have a good life.
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:16 AM
Location: UpstateNY
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Our income is less now but our expenses are as well, I give a bit more now. I still volunteer and plan to do more of that once we move. Augiedogie's post is whre I am at now.
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