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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘gift’

Don’t Wait Until You’re 100 to Give Away Your Assets

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Recently, an eighty-year-old client shared some important news with me. He had just received an inheritance from his mother, who had passed away at the ripe old age of 100. His mother had been fabulously rich, but towards the end of her life she had slowed down, and therefore had little use for her money.

“As for me,” her son sighed, “I’m no spring chicken myself, and I don’t see myself needing so much of it either. But I sure could have used it when I was younger ….”

My client’s story is not that unusual. Many times, people may work hard to build up savings, but their loved ones only reap the benefits after the older generation has left this world. This doesn’t only apply to family members, either. How many times do you see on the sides of a large building a sign saying, “Built in the memory of …,” or read about the “John and Jane Doe Memorial Fund?” Do you ever wonder if the aforementioned John and Jane Doe look down from the Other World to see what is being done with their legacy? Or, how about a trust that isn’t being distributed exactly according to its founders’ wishes? Maybe they could have been involved in some of the projects, making even better use of their assets. Perhaps they would also have gotten greater joy out of it if they had lived to see these achievements for themselves.

At the same time, the amount of money that you can give away is always relative. Obviously, the more that you have, the more you can give, but you need to make sure that your own financial situation is secure so you don’t suffer as the result of over-generosity to your family or to various charitable causes.

How do you know how much to give?

First, consult with your financial adviser and determine your net worth. Together, consider how much money you need to be able to live a fairly comfortable life. Make sure to account for the unpredictable nature of life and the markets, and then consider gifting some of the excess.

Philanthropist Lewis Cullman said, “It’s better to give money away when you’re alive than to give it away in your will because what do you care what people say? When you’re dead, you won’t be around to hear it.” When I interviewed Mr. Cullman on the Goldstein on Gelt show, he told me that he once asked Warren Buffett why he didn’t give away even more money to charity (This followed an initiative when Warren Buffett and Bill Gates signed the Gates-Buffett Pledge promising to donate at least half of their wealth over time to charity, and invited other wealthy figures to join them). When I asked Mr. Cullman why fifty percent of Warren Buffett’s wealth wouldn’t be a good deal, he replied, “It’s a very good deal. But if you have $30 billion and you give half of it away, you’ve still got $15 billion and that’s a lot of money!”

If you want to watch your grandchildren or your favorite causes benefiting from your assets, consider meeting with your financial advisor and creating a financial plan to determine exactly how much you can gift. Get a free ebook to gain more inspiration to gift your funds by reading the thought-provoking interview with Lewis Cullman.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Crowning Miss Holocaust Survivor

Friday, July 6th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by his wife and co-host Malkah to talk about a beauty pageant for survivors of the Holocaust that recently took place in Haifa. They specifically discuss the reaction that the event created throughout the media. At 11:16, they begin to discuss the recently-passed regarding the banning of ritual circumcision in Germany and how it compares to a new Israeli law encouraging new mothers to breast feed. The segment wraps up with Yishai and Malkah talking about their experience with the Israeli post office and amazing gift that the Fleishers received.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Planned Polish Jewish History Museum to Receive $7 Million Grant

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which is set to open next year, will receive a $7 million grant from two Jewish philanthropic foundations.

The gift from the Koret and Taub Foundations will finance eight galleries that will take visitors through 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland. The exhibits will include a scale replica of a 17th century synagogue roof’s interior and will feature original artifacts from the Polish Jewish community, as well as multimedia.

Work on the museum began in 2005. It is a joint project of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, the City of Warsaw and the Polish Ministry of Culture.

“Poland is where my parents and grandparents were born,” said Tad Taube, president of the Koret Foundation and chairman of the Taube Foundation, in the press release. “This is their story. Poland is where I was born. This also is my story.”

JTA

Three Reasons Why You Should Not Help Your Children Buy a Home or Apartment

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

What is the greatest present that you can give your children when they get married?

In certain communities, the answer is, “an apartment.” Many parents take on second or third mortgages, sell their own homes, or bury themselves in debt to make sure that an apartment comes along with the trousseau. While they may not be looking forward to paying off huge debts at an age when most people are retired, they will probably sigh and tell you that these days, you can’t find a decent match for your child unless it includes an apartment as well.

But in fact, there are three reasons why buying an apartment can be detrimental for you and your children:

You can’t afford it

You may jeopardize your retirement. You have worked all your life to support your family, providing your children with an education and everything they need to grow into fine, responsible citizens. As you grow older, your children should move on to support themselves and the savings that you have put aside can be used for your golden years.

You need to be fair to your children –don’t give to one unless you can give the same amount to all. Buying an extra apartment can be costly. If you have more than one child, huge resentment can arise between them if only one of them got the free apartment.

Not everyone is doing it

Although the rumor mills may say “everyone buys the bride an apartment,” it is just not true. I have been a financial advisor both in New York and in Israel and I have seen what goes on firsthand. Some folks help, and some don’t. This is very much a matter of individual choice.

If your future in-laws pressure you, just say no. Tell them your financial planner advised against it. You do not need to be forced into putting yourself into heavy debt to pay for an additional apartment that you really can‘t afford.

Would you sell your daughter for camels?

If the parents of your child’s intended absolutely refuse to marry their child to yours unless you pay up, are you really interested in this match anyway? We live in the modern world where people marry based on mutual goals, dreams, and love. If the other side’s main priority is how much money you have (and are willing to spend on the wedding/apartment), rather than your child’s sterling personal qualities, the future may not shine so bright.

Rather than putting yourself into debt or spending your retirement savings, encourage the young couple to build their home and future together on their own two feet. Their teamwork building their own home (both physical and spiritual) will create more of an everlasting edifice than even the most luxurious apartment from you.

If you want to know more about when it’s wrong to gift to your children, read Gifting Money to Children – Right or Wrong.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

It’s My Opinion: It’s All in the Attitude

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The lobby of the doctor’s office was crowded. I slid over to accommodate an older gentleman, who was moving toward me.

“Don’t worry,” he said, “my walker has a built-in seat, but I’ll sit next to you and be your guard!” He was dressed simply. His eyes were twinkling. His smile was wide.

Time dragged on. Many in the waiting room showed impatience. They glanced at their watches. They complained to each other.

The gentleman beside me sat patiently. We exchanged pleasantries. We became waiting-room friends. I asked him where he was from, and he told me he was born in Poland. Little by little, he shared his story.

He was a teenager when World War II broke out. He had been in several concentration camps. His body carried the badge of his experience. He wore the death camp numbers on his arm.

“Life is beautiful,” my new friend asserted. “Every day is a gift.” He continued to speak in a highly positive way. He had children. He had grandchildren. He was “privileged” to have visited Israel.

My name was called and I entered the office for my appointment. When I came out the gentleman was still sitting in the waiting room. I went over and thanked him for sharing his story with me and being a role model of courage and tenacity.

“You know,” he said, “what happened to me when I was young, actually was the reason that I have a good life now. I never get upset over the little things that drive other people crazy. I enjoy every day that I am alive. I know they are all a gift. I am truly happy.”

I went outside to give the valet the ticket for my car. As I contemplated my recent conversation, a woman burst out of a black Mercedes. She was elderly, well dressed and coiffed. She was muttering and sputtering as she passed by, but I could clearly hear what she had to say.

“The [expletive] golden years,” she exclaimed, “Well, they stink!” Her face was red. Her voice rose to a wail. “I’m so annoyed,” she added. “Now I’m late for my appointment!”

Yes, things happen. We are late. We are early. We mixed up the date. There are delays and mistakes and problems we deal with all the time. There are bridges that are up and computers that are down, cars that won’t start and leaks that won’t stop.

There is success and failure, joy and angst. There are fender benders and fatal crashes, big catastrophes and minor annoyances and everything in between.

Certainly we should not judge someone from an isolated incident. There is often a “back story” to explain someone’s actions. Nevertheless, I could not help but be compelled by how these two people handled the stress of life.

“Life is beautiful.” “Life stinks.” It’s all in the attitude.

Shelley Benveniste

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Mother-in-Law in a bind… or is she?

Dear Rachel,

I need sympathy and you sound like the type of person who would understand where I’m coming from. Here we are, finally at the stage where our kids are all grown, baruch Hashem, and raising families of their own, and we can sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Okay, sit back may not be totally accurate since my husband and I are both still working in order to be able to maintain our standard of living.

Please don’t get me wrong; we are far from well to do (we don’t even own our own home), but we are not the couch-potato type and are grateful to have the ability to lead active lives. The extra cash my job brings in also makes it easier for me to spoil my grandchildren — one of life’s little joys. Until recently, that is…

Two of our granddaughters were having birthdays just weeks apart. Our son and his family live quite a distance away, but with that being a surmountable issue, I happily shopped on my lunch break for some nice gifts for the two girls. (A younger sib had been the recipient of my generosity just a couple of months earlier when he had his Chumash party, and the baby’s birthday was still several months away.)

I gave the wrapped-up gifts to a co-worker who happens to live in their vicinity, and I phoned my son to let him know that my co-worker would be in touch with them. As for me, I could hardly wait for the girls to see what I bought them and could just picture their reaction.

My enthusiasm was short-lived — when my son called me later that day to ask if the gifts were only for his daughters and to let me know that my gesture wasn’t sitting well with his wife. My daughter-in-law, he went on to explain somewhat awkwardly, felt that it was not right to exclude the other children.

I pointed out that the girls were celebrating birthdays and reminded him of the occasions when their other children had been the recipients of my big heart, but I may as well have talked to myself. The bottom line, apparently set by his wife, was gifts for all or for none. Period.

I was floored, to put it mildly, but the last thing I wanted was to get between my son and daughter-in-law, so I just let it go. My husband had no qualms about the solution: Return the gifts for a cash refund and forget about it.

I did exactly that, and there’s been no mention of the incident since.

Here comes graduation and I can’t ignore it, Rachel. How should I handle this?

What’s up with daughters-in law?

Dear What’s Up,

Nothing new. It’s ages old, well known and documented — there’s just something there (between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law). That’s not to say that there aren’t any who get along famously, but generally speaking, it is not an easy relationship. Even the Gemara concurs and sums up the friction as rooted in a mother-in-law’s resentment at seeing all that she has entrusted to her son bestowed on his wife. The daughter-in-law senses the vibes her husband’s mother gives off and reciprocates in kind. One’s heart reflecting the other’s heart…

Your letter makes no reference to past contentions between the two of you that might have precipitated this incident. Regardless, let’s keep in mind that daughters-in-law are as entitled to their moods as the rest of us overworked and underappreciated women.

Still, this is no reason for you to “ignore” upcoming graduations and other occasions you wish to acknowledge. One resolution that works for many grandparents, for a myriad of practical reasons, is to let your grandchildren choose their own gifts — with the money you give them, or with gift certificates they are bound to appreciate.

Come graduation, hand it to the graduate, preferably in a card that can contain a personal message from bubby. If you can’t make it there, put the card (with check or gift certificate enclosed) in the mail — you know, the old-fashioned kind that requires a stamp on the envelope and address in longhand.

Rachel

Anti-Israel Scottish Student Loses Appeal of Racism Conviction

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

A university student in Scotland lost his appeal of a racism conviction for insulting a fellow student’s Israeli flag.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel at the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh turned down Paul Donnachie, 19, in a bid to have his conviction overturned. Donnachie had been sentenced last August to 150 hours of community service and was expelled from St. Andrews University.

Donnachie in March 2011 told Chanan Reitblat, an exchange student from Yeshiva University in New York, that Israel was a terrorist state and the flag was a terrorist symbol. He then put his hands down his pants and rubbed them on the small flag hanging on the wall, the BBC reported. He also called Reitblat a terrorist.

The flag had been a gift to Reitblat from his brother, an Israeli soldier.

“This is a ridiculous conviction,” Donnachie said at the time of his conviction, according to the BBC. “I’m a member of anti-racism campaigns, and I am devastated that as someone who has fought against racism I have been tarnished in this way.”

A second student, Samuel Colchester, 20, was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. He was suspended from the university for one year.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-israel-scottish-student-loses-appeal-of-racism-conviction/2012/05/02/

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