Furthering ministry while helping your retirement

Many WELS members, seeking to thank Jesus for his grace and blessings, find the charitable gift annuity to be the ideal tool for supporting gospel ministry because it provides fixed payments throughout your retirement years and directs the remaining value to the Lord’s work. Marlin and Sharon Braun are an example of this. In fact, they have set up multiple charitable gift annuities (CGAs) and plan to do more.

Single-life annuity illustration (two-life annuities are also available).

We first heard about CGAs from Sharon’s parents, who set some up years ago for their retirement. Since we had been a bit negligent in funding our own IRAs over the years due to financial situations, we felt this was a good way to try and “catch up” on our retirement planning once Marlin turned 60. So far, we have funded about half of our goal and feel good that not only is the money being well used to further our synod’s work (when we go to heaven, numerous WELS entities of our choice will be receiving donations), but we have helped our own retirement plan. It has been a pleasure and quite straightforward working with our Christian giving counselor each time we have been ready to fund another of our CGAs.

Besides the gift to charity and dependable quarterly payments, a CGA also offers tax advantages. The illustration above shows how a CGA would work for someone 75 years old with payments beginning immediately (payments can also be deferred to a future date). Transferring appreciated assets (e.g., stocks) may be an even more beneficial way to fund your charitable gift annuity since it may allow you to avoid capital gains taxes now and pay them in a more favorable way later.

Your local WELS Christian giving counselor can share more (at no cost or obligation) about how a CGA may be a good way for you to give to the ministries you love.