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Thread: Dying Broke? Or donating to charity?

  1. #1
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    Dying Broke? Or donating to charity?

    If you were a single childless person with no family to leave your not-so-vast fortune to, what would you do with it. Spend it while alive or donate it to charity when you died?

    Lets say you have a paid for house, no debt, are retired at 50 with a guareented pension that covers all you expenses with some left over for fun, as well as free medical coverage. If you had $200K sitting in a bank in savings what would you do with it?
    1). Invest it in case you need it for a nursing home or care in your old age? Donating any remander to charity when you die?
    2). Spend it down over the years so that you are left with only a small amount (or nothing) and plan to sell your house if your pension didn't cover old age costs?
    3). or something else?

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Spartana, that's such a personal decision! I can only answer for myself, and if I put myself in that situation, I would:
    --Get Long-Term Care insurance as a surrogate for your #1.
    --Not scrimp TOO much on myself..make sure I'm having the life experiences that I want
    --But relish the opportunity to leave behind whatever is left to a cause I really believed in--maybe a scholarship or something. Leave behind some kind of "compensation" for whoever is going to have to manage your estate.

    Andrew Carnegie once said "If you die rich you die disgraced," so I think dying broke is a good idea, and if you feel strongly about a good cause, share the "wealth."
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Ha. I'll probably die broke but for other reasons.

    But if I was in the circumstances you propose, I would of course make sure my situation was secure, but I wouldn't blow it all just to spend it. That's too extravagant for my taste. Right now my thinking is that I'd contribute whatever is left to an environmental organization. That preference could change, but yes, definitely give it to some group that I value.

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    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I'm a giver....even when I don't have much to give.
    I would live well, do the things I want to do, but if I didn't have children (I do) or if I have enough for children and extra I'd probably set up a Benevolence Trust through my church. I would put a stipulation that money is not to just be given out for any benevolence requests but tied to doing something (cleaning pews, picking up the parking lot, working in the church veggie/fruit garden - which my trust would also set up, etc). We have requests daily for 'help' and there just isn't enough money for each request, or a way to really ensure that they would appreciate the money (some can get downright demanding).
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    I do have a will that leaves everything to my sister (also single and childless but around my same age with moolah of her own - more than me :-)!). But if she dies before me, then everything go to the Best Friends Animal Sancuary in Kanab, Utah. Just trying to work out if I should tuck my money away for the future or start spending it down a bit (fun and charity) each month since I'm now settled (well, as settled as I'll probably ever be :-)!).

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    Donate it.... definately. Better yet have it put in a trust so that the earnings are paid out to your favorite use, such as the Cuzzin It hair re-growth fund and your gift can give perpetually

    If you spend the money before you die and decide that a new Bentley or something else like a condo on the Mexican Rivera, would make your final day comfortable. You would not have it and isn't that what you saved it for ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poco Pelo View Post
    such as the Cuzzin It hair re-growth fund and your gift can give perpetually
    Well I already donate my hair to Locks of Love once it gets too long - does that count as "financial" charity? No? darn! Well can't ever see me needing the Bently -or really anything more than I have now barring an emergency. Would actually LOVE to have a lot less if I didn't have critters right now. Still plan to sell the house once they are gone and downsize further.

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    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    "If" I had a nice pension that covered most expenses and no debt to worry about, plus a good surplus of cash, I don't exactly know what I would spend the cash surplus on. I've lived a modest lifestyle for so long I would probably think that most of the extra things I could spend money on would be squandering things away and I'd not feel right about it. I'd probably let it ride for any large late life medical expenses or extra care and make sure that a favorite charity would get the remainder. LTC insurance isn't a half bad idea. From what I've read, there seems to be a slot in asset value where a person should consider it. Over and under that value, they say to take your chances. $200,000 plus a modestly priced house probably falls below that slot.

    There are some functional things I could see spending money on that would be fun to have and also help the environment. So would not be so frivolous. Like maybe an electric car or solar for the house.

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    make preparations to take care of yourself and leave the rest to your church family or another group which has given you pleasure and comfort over the years.

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    Senior Member Tammy's Avatar
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    I would gradually use the money to travel the world in a frugal enough way that I could travel for a long time, and then if any is left when I was dead it could go to charity.
    serenity

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