While our calendars may protest the often fast-paced weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s good for us to end the year giving gifts and giving thanks. The end of the calendar year can cause us to think about the future which can, at times, be scary and is always unknown. However, generosity and gratitude can redirect our attention, reminding us that we are loved and that we can in turn love others.
Maybe you’re wondering, “What in the world does this have to do with my financial plans?” At a high level, we believe that every good financial plan involves generosity. Each of us at Peak Financial Management have experienced the transformative effects of generosity and desire that same experience for you. We’re not the only ones to have come to this conclusion; studies have shown that the act of giving can actually have positive effects on your physical health, maybe even as important as negative factors like smoking! Don’t feel like going for a walk after your Thanksgiving feast? Give someone a gift or even just a hug. (Though the walk is still a good idea.)
Additionally, from a technical, how-to perspective we are equipped as your financial planners to help you give smarter. Certain assets, from a tax perspective, are better suited to giving. In other words, there are ways to give more to your favorite charities and less to Uncle Sam. Another important place to consider generosity is through your estate planning. Most people assume their assets should simply be divided between their heirs. However, it’s good to ask questions like; “Do my heirs need that money? Are they prepared to handle that amount of money? Do my heirs share my values and outlook on life?” Again, we enjoy having these types of conversations and want to ensure your estate plan reflects your wishes.
Finally, to our clients: rather than making a donation in your honor this year we will be providing those who attend the Christmas Brunch with a Subway gift card. We ask that you do two things: 1) give the card to someone who you think could use a meal and 2) tell us the story. Our hope is this might stretch your comfort zone a little bit and give you an opportunity to exercise generosity. Please be safe but also take the chance to talk to someone you might not have otherwise, even if it is just to ask them their name. The simple act of giving can have a profound effect on both the giver and the receiver.