For children, the just-passed holiday season is mostly about getting. For adults, this doesn’t totally change, of course. As I write this, I think about all those financial services employees for whom a Christmas or year-end bonus is normally a major part of their compensation. And in 2001, many of those people did not get too much in the way of a bonus. Perhaps you were one of them.
As we grow older and wiser, the holidays skew more toward giving than getting. Partly that comes from wanting to please the children in our lives and partly because we know the joy that the act of giving brings to the giver. But it goes beyond that. This year many of us are feeling thankful to be alive and well. Disasters like we’ve suffered often lead the survivors to reflect on all the blessings that we continue to enjoy.
As many of your clients grow older and gather more assets–money and houses and investments–their thoughts, ironically enough, increasingly are turning to giving away some of their excess.
This month’s cover story focuses on giving. Senior Editor Cort Smith reports on the change in attitude among the affluent, many of them baby boomers. The article, which begins on page 40, provides the psychological underpinnings for these charitable impulses. More importantly for your purposes, the story details the many vehicles–old and new–that exist for charitable giving.