The Gift of Feeling Good about Your Money

“Sue, I want to pay more taxes.”  I’ve never had a client say, “Sue, let’s write a bigger cheque to Revenue Canada. “Many folks think charitable giving is for the wealthy. The truth is, it is suitable for anyone who pays taxes.

We choose between giving our taxed dollars to Revenue Canada (CRA) or donating to a charity. The Canadian Government has given us this choice. If you don’t choose, CRA takes your taxes and the government decides. Before CRA claims your tax dollars, you have this amazing ability to allocate your taxes to serve a cause you value. Yet, not everyone makes planned gifts to a charity.

Consider this: if you have assets that appreciate, like property, stock, or retirement investments, and these assets are brought into your cash flow, they are taxed. Rather than paying the tax, if you plan ahead before you sell them, and plan a gift to a charity, those tax dollars flow to the charity rather than the Government.

Some planned gift structures work best on assets realized during your life. Others focus on assets that are realized, or brought into cash, after death. With a little advance planning when you realize appreciated assets, you can send money to charity instead of to Revenue Canada. 

My personal experience supporting a variety of local charities here in Kingston has been incredible. Seeing the work being done and enjoying my part in their success has given me a sense of joy and accomplishment. Giving feels good! Giving does good!

In June, I received the Ian Wilson Award for Volunteering in Fundraising for my involvement with the University Kingston Hospitals Foundation (UHKF). Working directly with them as Chair of the Extraordinary People, Innovative Health Care campaign team I appreciate the impact health has on my lifestyle. Most of us prefer to avoid hospitals, clinics, or home supports. When we do need help we want solutions. Kingston’s healthcare is innovative. Collaboration has led to world-class success in cardiology, stroke, dementia/Alzheimer’s, to name a few diseases.

UHKF is unique to Kingston– the charitable arm for Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Providence Care. Kingston healthcare continues to strive towards delivering the best care possible through collaborative and innovative approaches to transforming the patient and family experience. Those who care for us want to fix us. Giving them the tools benefits us all. Find something that matters to you, like your health, and plan your giving.

I am sure giving to Revenue Canada does not make you feel as good as giving to charity. Talk to your financial advisor.