I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious
and difficult task of wise distribution.
As we move closer to year’s end, my thoughts as a financial advisor tend to drift toward taxes and how I can save clients money on their tax bills come next April. There are two significant ways to save on taxes. The first is to sell the securities that are negative in your portfolio and realize the loss. The second is to make charitable contributions for a tax deduction. There are several factors that dictate how much you can deduct in a given year, but I am not going to get into those specifics here.
What I would like to discuss is giving and charitable consciousness. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you are in a better place than many others. You have a warm place to sleep, food in your refrigerator, and clean clothes to wear. Hopefully, there are not gunshots being fired nearby, and you are free to practice your faith, politics, or sexual preference as you wish.
This presidential election will probably be the ugliest and meanest one in U.S. history. Buckle in, or tune out now! Our country is divided between those who want to protect the wealth and privilege of a few and those who believe in a fair and decent country in which everyone has the chance to be happy and successful. Let’s all take the high road here and agree that if we all succeed, we are stronger as a nation.
Money can be great. It’s fun to buy new clothes, eat a great meal, or take a fantastic vacation. Money can buy freedom, but it doesn’t buy happiness.
So, as we head into the holiday season and begin assembling lists of gifts for Christmas or Chanukah, let’s check that list twice. While giving is great and watching a smile erupt on a child’s face is priceless, why not consider checking your privilege this year and pledge to stop accumulating more stuff.
Personally, doing this won’t be easy, but I am going to try. Whatever the net savings, what we would have bought versus what we did buy, I will give to charity. Are you with me?