New Year, time to make a plan

Originally published on 10/11’s Pure Nebraska Program.

Everyone’s got some new year’s resolutions. Nebraska Community Foundation is encouraging people to make “planning” one of them.

“We’d like all Nebraskans to get their financial affairs and their estate planning in order for 2022,” Jim Gustafson said. Gustafson is the Nebraska Community Foundation Gift Planning Advisor. “If you have a will in place, it’s a good time to take a look at it, review it, and update it if needed. If you don’t have a will, it’s a good time to create one, as statistics show most people don’t.”

Experts are encouraging people to consider the concept of “planned giving”. “Planned giving can mean many different things to many different people,” Gustafson said. Nebraska Community Foundation says it’s a chance to decide where your money can do the most good. “Planned giving is where you stop and think about what you want to do, and how you want to do it,” Gustafson said. “You take time to think about what’s important to you. What does your hometown mean to you? How has it made a difference to your family and your business?”

NCF can provide the help needed to make these decisions. “Contact the Nebraska Community Foundation and we can help you think through, and learn about the different options that are available to you,” Gustafson said. “We are proponents of meeting with your professional advisors to look at the options, and think about what plan makes the most sense given your financial circumstances. We can walk alongside you as you put your plans into place.”

There are easy ways to give back to your town. “The two most popular options are either a gift in your will, or a beneficiary designation on a financial account like a life insurance policy, retirement plan, mutual fund or bank account,” Gustafson said. “These are easy and popular because you are able to stay in control of your assets during your lifetime. If you need to make changes you can, and there is really no cost to making this type of plan. But, you’ll have the piece of mind of knowing your intentions are in place.”

Many times, just knowing how to achieve a goal is half the battle. NCF provides the right resources to help with making plans to give back to your community. “The resources we have are basically three different ones,” Gustafson said. “One is our website. It offers options you can read about. There, you can also do some calculations on what planned giving may mean to you from a tax and income standpoint. At the website, you can request a copy of our free wills guide. You can get a downloaded copy or ask us to send it to you. The third resource we offer is our staff. We are available to visit with you at no cost or obligation, to talk through what you want to accomplish.”

Experts say you can give back to your community, while making sure your family is cared for at the same time. “Taking care of family is the most important priority,” Gustafson said. “But, many of these options that are available allow people to care for their family, and their favorite charitable organizations in their hometown at the same time.”

Planned giving may be worth exploring in the new year, and it’s something that could truly benefit greater Nebraska. Nebraska Community Foundation is also suggesting people consider the concept of “5 to Thrive.” In this case, If people gave back a small part of their wealth to their hometowns, there would be more money to invest in the economic development and future of the community. The campaign asks the question, what if people left just 5% of their wealth behind for their towns? To learn more about the “5 to Thrive” campaign, and the Transfer of Wealth that’s happening in Nebraska, go to the NCF website, or give the Nebraska Community Foundation a call.


You take time to think about what’s important to you. What does your hometown mean to you? How has it made a difference to your family and your business?

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