Time, Talent, and Treasure: Why You Need a Plan for Giving in Retirement

Time, Talent, and Treasure: Why You Need a Plan for Giving in Retirement

For many of you, the end of the year means a last-minute rush of giving to charities you support.

That rush often leaves you saying, “Next year, I have to do this better.” But when it comes to philanthropy, what does “better” really mean?

It means having a strategy for giving.

If you’re newly retired, an entrepreneur with an unusual income stream, or an investor with a mix of liquid and illiquid wealth, you might approach giving on an asset-based income, rather than the income generated by your business or your career. That can be a challenge.

Giving on an asset-based income brings up questions like:

“How much is enough?”

“Can I afford to give like I used to and still maintain the quality of life I hoped for?”

“What measuring stick do I use to determine how much I give?”

Those are all completely reasonable concerns.

During your career you gave because of your beliefs. Those beliefs might have been based on a faith that called you to tithe, or simply a desire to give back. Either way, if you’re like the clients I have the privilege to work with, you gave because you wanted to—because giving brought meaning and joy.

You gave because it’s in your DNA. That didn’t change simply because you retired or sold your business.

You’re still you, just a retired you.

In other words, the “why” of giving is still there.

It’s the “how” that will change.

In retirement, or with an uncertain income, you need to change the way you approach philanthropy. Giving on an asset-based income is a new challenge, and in your career, what did you do when confronted with a new challenge?

You developed a strategy.

That strategy must start with a clear vision for your life, and then a concrete plan for how the numbers make your vision a reality – it’s what we call Life-Wealth Planning. There’s no substitute for the peace of mind and clarity that flow from seeing on paper how your lifestyle works, how your “giving” aligns with your “living,” and to know with certainty how much you can give.

You’re then free to get creative and strategic with your giving.

Creating a strategic-giving plan is an incredible opportunity to align your values, goals, and resources with organizations doing things you truly believe in. It’s an opportunity to turn questions like, “How much is enough?” and “Can I afford to give?” into statements about the type of impact you want to make.

Statements like:

“In 2024, I’ll fund the expansion of my church’s mission work in Africa,” or “I’m going to give my resources and my insight to help grow a job training program for ex-offenders in St. Louis City.”

And having a strategy for how you give is also an opportunity to make a difference using more than just your treasure. It’s also an opportunity to use your time and talent – the skills you’ve acquired throughout your career that are often more valuable to nonprofits than your wealth.

In retirement, you have that freedom – and that’s the focus of our next post.

It’s perfectly natural to be concerned about how much you can give on an asset-based income. As a leader who’s driven by principles, convictions, and beliefs, that concern can become a source of stress.

But, with a plan for how you give, that flows from how you live, it doesn’t need to be.

Retirement is your chance to have a second act. Part of that act can be making an impact on the world in ways your career never allowed.

And creating a plan for how you give may not have been as necessary in your first act—but it’s an opportunity to make your second act both inspired and effective.

James Matush, Jr., CFP®, MBA

James Matush, Jr., CFP®, MBA

James "Jim" Matush, CFP®, MBA, is the CEO and Founding Partner of Trinity Wealth Advisors, a leading wealth advisory firm serving affluent families in the St. Louis area. With 40+ years of experience in financial services, he offers his clients actionable plans to help them achieve their goals.