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December Newsletter 2011

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Planned Giving Mentor

Of Counsel: Winton C. Smith, Jr., JD

Quote for today: "Aging is not 'lost youth' but a new stage of opportunity and strength." Betty Fridan


Checks and Balances TV.....If you are interested in a short course on the basic of taxes check out "The Truth About Taxes" a free download from On their site you can view several programs designed to inform and provide consumers balanced financial advise and the basics of good financial planning.

Comment: Good charitable estate and gift planning depends on a motivated donor at the right stage of their financial and charitable life stage. There are many archived programs on their web site.

Marketing Tip: If your web site includes a discussion of planned gift strategies perhaps you could consider a link on your web site to Checks and Balances TV.


New Gift Annuity Rates Effective January 1, 2012.....The American Council on Gift Annuities has announced new gift annuity rates for 2012. This is the result of the decreasing return on the fixed income bond component of the ACGA investment return assumption. Handouts from both the Sharpe Group and Crescendo further explain the rational for change.

If you would like a laminated rate chart for the 2012 rates simply request one using the following E-mail request.


Best Out of Office End of Year Message.....My December message generated many out of office reply but one stood out. Neil Williams of used his message to inform and generate correct end of year gift information. I have modified it somewhat to protect their privacy.

Thank you for your email. I will be away from the office until Monday, Jan. 2. If you need immediate assistance prior to Christmas, please contact Carrie Monk at or 403-XXX-1234. Please note we are closed between Christmas and New Years.

For a donation to qualify for a tax receipt for the 2011 tax year it must:

· Be a check dated in 2011 and postmarked on or before December 31.

· Be a credit card payment made online at

· Be a donation of securities received in SAIT’s account at RBC Dexia on or before December 31. The form for gifts of securities is on our web site,

2011 tax receipts for these gifts will be issued early in January. Happy Holidays.


Bequest Statistics - indicate more than 75% of charitable bequests come from estates of decedents age 80 and older and 35% come from those who were age 90 or older at the time of death. The number of Americans age 90 or older has nearly tripled since 1980. 80% of all gift annuitants are 75 or older. (Sharpe Group, Give and Take, January, 2012)


Get your Financial Ducks in a Row.....Here is a link to an IRA Owner's Manual with countless useful articles that you can use with your prospects and to educate yourself about retirement plans and their personal options using common sense language. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Savings Bonds go Digital.....U.S. Savings bonds in paper form ended on January 1, 2012 ending a 76 year old tradition. Bonds can be purchased online only. Buyers can still purchase annually up to $5,000 of new Series EE and Series I bonds. Existing peeper bonds can still be redeemed at financial institutions and will continue to earn interest for as long as 30 years from date of issue. See for more details.

Comment: Savings Bonds offer a unique gift opportunity. While they must be cashed in and the accumulated interest reported establishing a gift annuity will generate a one time deduction to offset all or a portion of the tax liability. Remember adjusting the CGA payment rate downward increases the charitable deduction and there is additional benefit from the tax-free payments.


News and Notes....UNMARRIED SENIORS LIVING TOGETHER -Seniors age 65+ numbered 575,000 living with a partner in 2010. If collecting Social Security they each will all get a 3.6% raise beginning January 2012. (source: AARP bulletin, November 2011).

ASSISTED LIVING COSTS most in Alaska, $66,000 and least in Georgia, $28,800. The cost for high retirement states were: Arizona, $36,000; Florida, $31,950; North Carolina, $33,600, and Pennsylvania $36,000. (source: Genworth 2011 cost of care survey).

AGING POPULATION Florida has the highest percentage of individuals age 65+ at 17.3%, whereas Alaska has the least at 7.7%.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK - US taxpayers making more than $200,000 had a 1-in-25 chance of being audited last year. US taxpayers making more than $1 million had a 1-in-8 chance of being audited last year. For fiscal year 2011, a total of 1.6 million returns were audited (source: Internal Revenue Service).

WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE LIVE - 1 out of every 4 Americans lives in either Georgia, Florida, Illinois or California, the 4 states that had the most bank failures nationwide in 2009-10-11 (source: Census Bureau).

THE LONG-TERM AVERAGE - The S&P 500 stock index has gained an average of +9.3% per year (total return) over the last 50 years (i.e., the years 1962-2011). No single calendar year actually gained +9.3% in the last half century. The closest that any year came to the +9.3% historical average was in 1993 when the stock index gained +10.1% for the year (source: BTN Research).

LONGIVITY - In 2010 men reaching age 65 had an average additional life expectancy of 17.2 years, while woman reaching age 65 could expect to live an additional 19.9 years on average. (source: Profile of older Americans: 2010 U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, February 2011)

Comment: Old age is now perceived as a "time of continuing vitality, with 44% of Americans over age 65 describe this time as "the best years of my life."

NURSING HOMES - the national average daily rate in 2011 for a private room in nursing home was $239, an increase of 4.4% from 2010. (Source: 2011 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs, October 2011)

INVESTMENT RETURNS - The long-term average of the S&P 500 stock index is +9.3% for the 50 year period 1962-2011. No single calendar year actually gained +9.3% but the 1993 return was the closest to the historical average. (Source BTN REsearch)



Kudos Corner

In this section I periodically highlight some recent gift expectancies and gift program elements I think will be helpful and informative, not all gifts are included.

Comment: the end of year activity generated several planned gifts, IRA transfers and gift annuities for clients


James E. Connell and Associates is a national consulting service devoted to increasing resources for charities using the power of charitable estate and gift planning techniques.

Pinehurst office: PO Box 3335, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: 910-295-6800

Northeast office: 20982 Bayside Avenue, Rock Hall, MD 21661

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