What Is A Donor-Advised Fund?

Donor-advised funds are gaining a lot of popularity because of all the benefits that they provide. A lot of people thought that these benefits were only available to ultra-wealthy people or people who could create family foundations. But with a donor-advised fund, you can get a lot of those same benefits. 

As the donor to a DAF (donor-advised fund),

  1. You can give any amount you decide
  2. There are multiple ways to give, including cash, stock, funds, or real estate
  3. You get a tax deduction, same as if you were to give directly to the institution

So, why not just give directly to the institutions, the charities?

Here are a couple of reasons: 

  • Let’s say that you were going to give a stock – a highly-appreciated asset – and that you had multiple charities that you wanted to give to. You could fill out the DTC forms and everything needed to give to those different charities directly from your brokerage account. Or you can just do it one time and get it into your DAF, and then once the money is in there, you can decide the time and the place and when you want to give.
  • If it’s a big income year and, for tax purposes, you’d like to give more than you usually do. Well, rather than flooding the charity with a bigger gift than normal – for example if you normally give 10, and this year you’re going to give 50 – you could put in 50K out of any of your assets. And then over the next five years, you can have it spread out and sent out to each charity at the timing and pace you want. So you have a little bit more control over how it gets to get to these charities. 
  • You can also “give” real estate. Let’s say that you have a building and it has appreciated in value. You can give a portion of your building to a DAF and it gets converted into monies that you can then give out, which is pretty crazy to think about and really cool that it’s actually possible. 
  • One of the other advantages, and the reason why I use it personally is, yes, to give stock. But then the other reason is just setting it up on autopilot where every month or year, I can set up an amount that goes to each charity, and then I can let it go. And at the end of the year, I don’t get three receipts or however many charities you give to. You just get one from your donor-advised fund. 

So that’s a simple example of what a donor-advised fund is, as well as some of the benefits. 

Other institutions that have options for donor-advised funds:

  • Vanguard
  • Fidelity
  • Schwab
  • American Endowment Foundation
  • National Christian Foundation
  • Charityvest, a no-fee donor-advised fund

If you’ve got questions about donor-advised funds, you can either give us a call or click here to schedule a time to talk.

Three Common Myths About Planning for Retirement

Three Common Myths About Planning for Retirement

The thought of retirement tends to bring people peace and hope throughout their entire career. The thought of planning for retirement, on the other hand, tends to be overwhelming. The idea of lining up finances to get you to that point can seem like such a burden. However, we have found over the years that the most common problem that many people face when considering retirement, is they listen to all of the myths floating around out there. 

Before you get into the thick of the planning, it is important to first address and debunk a few of these derailing myths. 

Planning for Retirement is Complicated

Time and time again people overcomplicate their retirement plans. The truth is, your retirement plan should be simple enough that you completely understand it, and know how to best follow it. Otherwise, there is no way that it could possibly be effective. You are the main focus of your own plan. If your plan is designed to be overly complicated, it will not only be impossible for you to see benefit, but it may also be impossible for you to truly reap the intended benefits.

At Streamline Financial, we make it our mission to ensure that your plan is one that you can follow. We won’t help you to create a plan that only makes sense to us. Instead, we work to simplify the process for you so that you have a clear idea of the direction of your own future.

The Plan Must Be Extensive

Another common misconception that people believe about a retirement plan is that it has to be extensive. Many believe that in order to be prepared, they must dig into the tedious details, know exactly what they will want to spend money on every day for the rest of retirement, and budget for these specific expenses. However, what many don’t realize is a retirement plan does not need to be fifty pages long to be effective. In a sense, we have found that it is much easier to abide by the plan if you keep it short and simple, touching on the important things in a tangible way. In fact, we have found that most effective plans are only one page long

Your Retirement Plan Has No Room for Change

Lives are constantly changing. Your job may change, your family might change, and your overall retirement plan might change as a result of these other factors. Many people don’t understand that an effective retirement plan leaves room for this change. You are not locked into any restriction set in place. Your retirement plan can shift and grow as you do.

If you are hoping to plan for retirement soon, but feel overwhelmed by the complexity of it all, learn more about our effective one-page retirement plan. We are happy to work with you to debunk the myths and help you to create the retirement plan that works best for your unique lifestyle. Contact Streamline Financial Services today to begin planning for your retirement.

Successful Retirement Planning is Like Baking a Cake

Have a written recipe for the exact next steps in your plan.

There are so many moving pieces to your life and your retirement plan. And because life changes, the recipe needs to be adjusted too.

Now, I use the word recipe because sometimes we compare creating a successful retirement plan to baking a cake.

What’s the easiest way to bake a cake? It’s to have that recipe and to have the ingredients and the exact next steps that you need to get to that end result. But your recipe for retirement is going to be made up of different ingredients than, say, your neighbors or your best friends. Everybody has a unique plan.

At Streamline, we’ve created hundreds of these retirement plans, and we know that there’s about 70 ingredients that we use when designing them. Most of the time, it only takes 10 to 15 ingredients to get an ideal outcome.