By Landon Yoshida, CRPC®, Vice President, Wealth Management and Principal; and Laura DeVore, Financial Advisor

“Have you ever met an unhappy generous person?”

This question was presented to us years ago on a coffee mug.  When we thought about the answer, it was a resounding and confident, “no, we have not.” All the generous people in our lives, whether giving of their time, talent or treasure, have a lasting happiness about them.

The feeling of generosity is uplifting, and if you have experienced this, it is undeniable. According to research from Harvard University and the University of Zurich, data from brain MRI scans proved that doing something generous for others has true mood boosting benefits. Not only that, but their studies also revealed those same people lived healthier physical lives due to their generous behavior.

Apriem Advisors was built on the foundation of serving and thinking of others before ourselves. Last year, to celebrate 20 years in business, we launched the Apriem Cares initiative. Apriem Cares is our philanthropic arm that supports charitable organizations in the community. Through it, we have taken on leadership rolls within philanthropic causes, sponsored a plethora of charity events and rolled up our sleeves to get involved at a hands-on level for those in need.

During the last 20 years, we have learned that our clients are generous too!  Here are two giving strategies that our charitable clients have used:

Donor advised fund: Those with a heart for charitable giving and a desire for privacy find that donor advised funds are a powerful option. Minimums are low to open these accounts, which typically start at $5,000. The full deduction is provided during the year of the gift; however, you are not required to gift all funds to charity at that time. Funds can also be invested to grow the initial gift balance. We have helped families use this giving account to involve their children and grandchildren by having the younger generations nominate charities to support.  Additionally, record-keeping is minimal with this approach, and does not require writing individual checks and gathering receipts.

Qualified charitable distribution: Many of our clients are over the age of 70.5 years old.  At this stage of life, they are required to take a distribution from their individual retirement accounts (IRA). For clients who are charitably inclined, they can give to charity directly from their IRA and avoid the income taxes normally charged on a retirement distribution.  This unique strategy is called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).  See this piece from our Financial Planner, Christopher Whitaker.

We agree that giving money is one way to show generosity. Giving your time is another way to be generous as well. After all, time is more precious than money, as you cannot make more of it!  So whether you want to give your time, talent or treasure, there are ways to get involved at Apriem Advisors and benefit from the gift of generosity.