Charitable gift annuities benefit donors now, Baltimore forever

July 26, 2017

“When my husband Sidney and I thought about charity, it wasn’t whether we should give or not, but how, when, to whom, and how much,” observed Jean Silber, reflecting on a pattern of giving that she and her husband Sidney, now deceased, established. “We felt blessed that we could well afford to give and often admonished ourselves that we might not have been generous enough.”

The Silbers

Few would agree with that, as the Silbers were involved in charitable work in the Baltimore community for many years and Jean continues this tradition. Their relationship with the Baltimore Community Foundation dates to 1991, when they gave their first gift through their family fund, the Silber Foundation directing annual gifts to the BCF Children and Families Fund, a field-of-interest fund that has supported grants for a range of programs, from early childhood development to after-school programs for middle-school students to a grantmaking program run by teens.

The Benefits of Annuities

“Initially, we began to think about establishing gifts in our wills,” Jean recalls. “But those gifts could be subject to change. Outright gifts of cash or equities of a substantial size also gave us some pause. But we have found the perfect solution in charitable gift annuities.”

Both Sidney and Jean established charitable gift annuities in their names, and they felt the advantages are significant. Through a simple contract with BCF, they made a permanent gift to help build BCF’s endowment for children and youth. In turn, they receive a fixed income for life.

“Our financial status during our lifetime was not diminished but actually improved,” Jean observes. “The income provided from the annuity is far greater than any we might receive from either a taxable or tax-free bond. Since Sidney was 88 when we established these annuities, his annual income from the annuity was 10.5 percent, substantially tax-free. An annuity established for me at age 75 gave me an annual income of 7.5 percent—still far better than a bond and not subject to the vagaries of the stock market. We felt this was the right choice for us—giving to the charity of our choice, receiving an income for life, and receiving a charitable tax deduction at the time the annuity was established, all in full compliance with federal tax law.”  

The Silbers were pleased that this form of giving created a charitable legacy that will benefit BCF and the programs it supports in their areas of interest. “They know better than we do where the need is,” Jean says. “It’s as simple as that.”

The Silbers learned about BCF in a Baltimore Sun story, and asked Sandy Hess, their friend and a former BCF board member, about the organization. In addition to the Associated Jewish Charities and their alma maters, MIT and Goucher College, they added the Baltimore Community Foundation to their list of preferred charities.

“Charitable gift annuities are now our major form of giving,” Jean says. “We have one final hope that, if we are no longer in need of the income from the annuity, we can advise BCF to enjoy the funds as an outright gift. We feel fortunate that the Baltimore Community Foundation is here to perform the wonderful services they do, which enables us to reach those in need.”

Want to discuss this more? Visit our legacy planning website, or arrange a meeting with Rosemary Calderalo today.

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