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How to make charitable giving a lifelong pursuit

Lifestyle Read Time: 3 min

Charitable donations are good for the recipient, and increasingly, research shows that they are good for the giver, too. Supporting a cause you believe in can generate tax benefits, boost personal happiness and may even reduce stress and inflammation which improves overall health.1 With benefits like these, it’s no wonder that people want to keep giving to charity throughout their lives and include charitable giving in their legacy plans.

Consider these ways to plan for a retirement where you can help continue supporting the charities you value.

Share your charitable goals with a professional

Your financial professional stays updated on the strategies for optimal retirement — and they know you. Share your thoughts about giving in retirement and work with them to define and refine your retirement strategy. Together, you can optimize things like your gift and tax strategies, taking advantages of shifting laws and regulation. In 2021, for example, the CARES Act provides incentives to encourage greater charitable giving.2

Secure guaranteed sources of income

Simply put, one way to keep giving is to keep earning. Consider talking with your financial professional about annuities, among other options. Annuities are a way to help replace a paycheck in retirement. Generally, you pay into a plan over time. Once the annuity threshold is met, the plan begins to pay you back. These payments become guaranteed5 income during your retirement years — income that you can share with charities you support.

Additionally, a diversified portfolio that earns robust interest over your lifetime can also provide funds to donate in your later years. 

Add a Charitable Benefit Rider to your Life Insurance

When people think of life insurance beneficiaries, they tend to think of family and other loved ones. A charitable benefit rider, however, expands this thinking to include a charity of your choice.

With a Charitable Benefit Rider, when you purchase life insurance, you can select a charity to receive funding from your policy.  And on some term life products, there are unique riders that donate an extra one percent of the death benefit — over and above the amount paid to the designated beneficiaries — to any qualified 501(c) (3) charity of the policy owner’s choosing.3 As a result, you not only help provide financial security to your loved ones after your death, you add charitable giving to your legacy. 

Remember that time is a resource

In addition to (or instead of) your money, keep in mind that you can always give your time. In retirement, people often have more free time, and you can use it to deepen your relationship with a cherished cause or share expertise you’ve honed through your career. Volunteering in retirement can help give you a sense of purpose and has been shown to increase longevity and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.4

If you have a longstanding relationship with an organization you’ve given to, consider deepening your involvement by volunteering or even seeking a seat on the board. Or if you have professional skills developed over a long career — as an attorney, an HR professional, etc. — consider lending them to a cause you believe in. You can even get started before retirement, building relationships and learning about opportunities for further involvement when you have more time to give.

If you have a charity you’re passionate about, retirement doesn’t have to mean the end of your generosity. With the right retirement strategy and a commitment to the cause, you can remain involved throughout your life — and even beyond. And in the process, you may learn that giving has rewards for you as well.


1 Why Giving to Causes You Care About Is Good for Your Health, Everyday Health, Oct. 5, 2021

2 Temporary Enhancements to Charitable Contributions Deductions in the CARES Act, Congressional Research Service, Updated Feb. 5, 2021 

3 The Charitable Benefit rider is available on Guardian Level Term policies. Up to a maximum of $100,000. Subject to state availability. Guardian Level Term is issued by The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Inc. (GIAC), a Delaware corporation whose principal place of business is 10 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001. 1 888 GUARDIAN (1 888 482 7342). Policy form numbers: GLT 10, 15, 20, 30: 20-GLT Charitable Benefit Rider: 20-CBR GIAC

4 Retiring to Volunteer,, October 5, 2019

5 All guarantees including the death benefit payments are dependent upon the claims paying ability of the issuing company.


Material discussed is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Therefore, the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice.

Brought to you by The Guardian Network © 2021. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America®, New York, NY

2023-164798 Exp 11/2025 *Pre-approved content*

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Sam Duffey
Sam Duffey
Ashford Brokerage, CA License #0J09024, AR License #15480533 Director of Brokerage Sales (205) 843-9434

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