Years ago, when Phyllis Moore and her husband John (who is now with Jesus) sold their business, each established a charitable gift annuity (CGA). At the time, they did this primarily for financial reasons. A CGA provides a charitable deduction when the gift is made, then fixed quarterly payments to the donor until he or she goes to heaven—at which point the remainder goes to the designated charity. “But,” Phyllis says, “over the years it has become a way to gift to the dozen charities I love to support.”
She uses the payments she receives to give to her church, WELS schools, a campus ministry, and parasynodical organizations—as well as medical foundations. “I like the letters and phone calls from students thanking me. I know how they need it. Those future pastors and teachers are needed, and I am glad I can help them.”
The combination of tax advantages, dependable payments, and accessible minimum gift amount make the CGA one of the more popular planned giving instruments. Perhaps it can fit into your Christian giving story as it did for Phyllis. For example, if you are 45 or older and would like to make a gift towards the Lord’s work that provides income during retirement—and a charitable deduction now (while income is higher), consider a version of the CGA called the deferred gift annuity. A deferred gift annuity allows you to make a gift in exchange for fixed quarterly payments starting at a future date and continuing until you go to heaven. Pictured is how a deferred gift annuity would look for someone who is 55, assuming payments begin in ten years. Transferring appreciated assets, e.g. stocks, may be an even more beneficial way to fund your deferred gift annuity since it may allow you to avoid capital gains taxes now and pay them in a more favorable way later.