So, right about now, folks are thinking about giving. It’s that time of year. Toys for the grand- kids. Jewelry and vacations and such for spouses. All great and fun to receive. Today, let’s talk about really meaningful things. Things that can make a difference in someone’s life.

Thing One:A great gift can be a gift of education. There is an investment vehicle called a 529 plan. The 529 is not so much an investment but a tax-free basket of investments. In 2019, gifts totaling up to $15,000 per individual will qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. This is a way for you to fund a child’s education and have the money grow tax free, if used for higher learning.

Thing Two: Sometimes when a spouse passes, it leaves an income shortfall. There are a few things that you can do to counteract this insult to injury. One is that you can buy a life insurance policy to cover funeral costs as well as other end-of-life expenses. This way, you can grieve without having to worry about money. Now, if the cost won’t change your lifestyle while your alive, you may consider an income replacement policy. This is just life insurance with enough death benefit to replace the income of a spouse. Sometimes these policies can even be used to cover long-term care, grow in cash value, and be sold if the coverage is no longer needed.

Thing Three: Do you have a favorite charity that you gift to every year but always wished that you could make an even larger gift? Well, life insurance may be able to magnify your gift. We call this a Legacy Gift. You deposit premium dollars into a life insurance policy and name a charity or charities to receive the death benefit after you pass. It can be as small as a few thousand or as large as you like. I actually have a client in Las Vegas who had a CD that she was not going to use for anything so she decided that she would like to transfer the asset to a life insurance policy, effectively doubling her 400,000 dollar CD to an almost 800,000 dollar tax-free death benefit. Even better, she has access to the cash value if she needs it while she’s alive and can always change her mind.

Stay warm and have a great Thanksgiving.