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Old 03-19-2015, 09:12 AM
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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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.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:05 AM
Location: Idaho
4,629 posts, read 4,473,076 times
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Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
How do people consider giving money to charity along with living within one's retirement means?
Giving is just something that is done. Especially 'stuff' that is still usable but that I no longer want or need. I'd much, much rather donate it to a worthy charity than hold a garage sale. Those are just a pain and I see as I get older, I don't want to deal with the hassle of cheapskate, potential buyers. I do however discriminate to who I donate. Organizations with high overheads that pay their executives massive amounts of compensation do not get my donations.

Now, if you're talking about tithing . . . that's something that I can't afford to neglect. No matter how tight the budget, that is something that shows up at the top of the spreadsheet, just below income. I think I'm not quite understanding what you are asking.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:18 AM
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I think that in retirement, you should continue to give if it makes you feel good, in the same way you treat yourself to a nice meal out or a vacation.

We give a camping scholarship each year to an underprivileged teen who would not otherwise have that experience. Just knowing that he is in the outdoors having (hopefully) one of the greatest times of his or her life makes us feel very good ourselves. Definitely win-win.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:39 AM
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,459,763 times
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Truly, only you can answer how important it is to you, and don't be pressured into "living within your means" by someone elses standard.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:40 AM
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We have same charities we gave as before retirement. Its just about being able to afford or not ;really.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:07 AM
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I look at giving as what everyone does, except some people give to BMW or Gucci or fancy restaurants to make themselves feel good, while others give to churches or hospitals or social programs to make themselves feel good. As long as you can afford to give to luxury brands or charitable organizations, then give and feel good. The problem comes when people give "too much" to Mercedes Benz or TV evangelists.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:10 AM
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 991,367 times
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I think you will find that these things fall into place once you retire and get accustomed to your new life. I give small amounts because I know that many people giving small amounts, or doing small services, is just as important as one person giving a large amount.

there are things you can do even if you "can't afford to retire" and are not physically able to volunteer.

I am sure you will work it out. I like to give locally now. That's me. Makes me feel like I am a part of my community.
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:24 AM
Location: Las Vegas
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Give what you can afford to give. I no longer give money, I volunteer in the community. And I have three rescue dogs!
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Old 03-19-2015, 11:33 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,622 posts, read 39,986,663 times
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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)

This is a very favorable tax planning tool (Donate to your Donor Fund on high earning yrs) or windfalls., funds will be available later (i.e. during retirement)

Actually, I did this in my 30's with the intent to 'gift' into perpetuity. (I set it up with a Community Foundation, but later transferred to Vanguard). I fund it with appreciated assets (usually stock that has grown too much or too fast to justify taxes).

You can specify a succession plan; distribute funds to your charities or managed by a like minded successor trustee.

Much of my 'retirement' contribution is labor / teaching / volunteer time. (and being the 'benevolent landlord' to my 'adoptee' tenants..., amazing the financial messes tenants can get into). I try to be especially understanding of my commercial tenants nearing retirement! (Giving them opportunity to implement succession planning / sale of business ).

The 'missing' element of my gifting is 'profit sharing'. Was about 7-10% for 40 yrs and tried to always pass it on to a needy neighbor or seniors. Your PT gigs would still avail excess $$ for these 'special' gifts.

Continuing to drive a 37 yr old 50 mpg car helps me to continue giving to others. It is a good reminder on hot days (no AC). Someday I will get to an age / health condition to need AC I will have to upgrade to a $500 car.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:12 PM
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You don't need money to be charitable. Volunteer at your favorite charities.
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