Current Events







Helpful Links

IRS Downloads

March Newsletter 2011

Newsletter Archives

Planned Giving Mentor

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

Quotes for today: Your days are only numbered when you start counting them. Yesterday's tomorrows and tomorrow's yesterdays, are but one and the same so make the most out of today. Peter Karsten, New Zealand


American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) announce new rate schedule effective July 1, 2011. Click here to view the web site announcement and to download the new rates.


How would you promote good estate planning?....How about skydiving on your 80th birthday!!!!

A longtime volunteer at the Gwinnett Medical Center Ruth Ann Chapin approached the Foundation with the idea of jumping out an airplane on her 80th birthday to promote good estate planning and the launch of the Foundation's new planned giving web site developed by the Sharpe Group. So the good folks at the Foundation, Jason Chandler, President and Ginger Powell Director of Development developed an advertisement, flyer and a video soon to be shown on their web site. It was promoted throughout the Medical Center, its subsidiaries and widely distributed to the Foundation's entire mailing list. One more thing Ruth Ann checked off her bucket list.

Click this link to read the full front page story in the Gwinnett Daily Post.


Taxes paid!.....In 2008 the top 0.1% of US taxpayers paid 18.5% of all federal income taxes. The bottom75% of taxpayers paid 13.7% of all federal income taxes (Source: Internal Revenue Service.)


What did our prospects stocks do?.....REALLY BAD, THEN REALLY GOOD - The S&P 500 lost 3.4% per year (total return) for the 10 years ending 2/28/09, the worst 10-year period for the stock index. Since 2/28/09, the S&P 500 has gained +88.4% (total return) through 3/31/11. As an index the S&P is considered representative of the US stock market.

The total market capitalization of the US stock market was $16.4 trillion as of 3/31/11 up $900 billion from its value on 12/31/10 and up from $8.0 trillion at the bear market low of 3/9/09 (source: BTN Research).


Retirees rocked by interest rate changes.....According to the U.S. Dept of Labor the average investment income for the 24.6 million households headed by people over age 65 and above was $2,564, down 34% from 2007. Retirees are using up their savings to maintain their standard of living since the interest rates paid by certificates of deposit and money market funds are at the lowest level since 1959.

Promote charitable gift annuities to charitable motivatived individuals who are looking for methods to increase their income and decrease their taxes. Gift annuities are an irrevocable gift and are vastly different than other revocable investments but they definitely have a place in the portfolio of charitably minded individuals. See success stories in the Kudos section of this newsletter.


Power of attorney basic for families and caregivers.....Planned giving professionals are often asked for questions about estate planning and end of life matters, below is some useful information.

The role of a ‘medical power of attorney’ is different than that of a ‘power of attorney’ for legal and business matters. See how each is different and the important role a medical power of attorney has:

What is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is an authorization to act on someone else's behalf in a legal or business matter. The individual who authorizes another person to act is the principal or grantor. The individual who is authorized to act is the agent. The term ‘durable power of attorney’ means the power of attorney remains in affect in the event the principle becomes incapacitated or dies.

What is a Medical Power of Attorney? Also known as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or as Health Care Agent, this authorization is made by an individual to allow someone to make decisions about healthcare on their behalf should the authorizing party become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding medical treatment.

Benefits of having a Medical Power of Attorney

•The agent knows you well and understands your desired medical treatments.
•As your condition changes, the agent can discuss options for treatment with physicians and has the power to either authorize or withdraw them.
•The agent can actively advocate on your behalf throughout your period of incompetence.
•If you have prepared a living will, your agent has that as a guide for your preferred treatment and can encourage healthcare providers to follow those guidelines.

Choosing the right person to be your Medical Power of Attorney

The person chosen to be a Medical Power of Attorney should be a trusted family member or friend who knows you well and is willing to take on the responsibility should the need arise.

When selecting someone for this position, consider the following:

•Select someone who you trust completely and who understands your decisions for medical care. Suggestions for discussion are below.
•Acting as a Medical Power of Attorney is a significant responsibility. Be sure that the person you ask is willing to be an effective agent for you, will ask questions of healthcare professionals, and will gather information needed to make decisions.
•Ultimately, the person you select will be making decisions based on your living will and your discussions with them. Be sure they have full understanding of your wishes.

Talking with your Medical Power of Attorney about your end-of-life wishes. Your Medical Power of Attorney should be aware of your values, quality-of-life beliefs, and how you feel about identified medical treatments and situations.

Discussion questions to help you clarify your wishes with yourself and your Medical Power of Attorney:

•What medical treatments would you refuse or accept at the point you become incapacitated and why?
•What are you afraid might occur if you can’t make decisions for yourself?
•What are your family member’s beliefs in relation to your own beliefs about what should happen?
•What are your views about artificial nutrition (food) and hydration (fluid)?
•Under what conditions is it acceptable and not acceptable by you for hospital staff to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to restart your heart?
•What are your feelings about receiving treatments such as mechanical ventilation, antibiotics or a feeding tube? What situations does it make sense for you to receive these treatments?
•If your condition doesn't’t improve, would you want them discontinued after a time? What does that mean specifically?

(Reprinted from the web site resources of the Society of Senior Advisors,


News and Notes....56% of Americans have less than $25,000 saved for retirement,and 29% have less than $1,000 saved. 33% of retirees were forced to tap into their savings last year just to cover basic expenses.

Just 7 percent of workers say they plan to retire before age 60 compared with 30 percent of retirees who report they retired that early. Sixteen percent of workers plan to retire at age 60-64, although 38 percent of retirees retired at these ages. On the other hand, 25 percent of workers (compared with 7 percent of retirees) plan to wait at least until age 70 to retire. (Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute)

The median net worth of 115 million American households is just $96,000 (Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.)

The average American family's household net worth declined 23% between 2007 and 2009, according to the Federal Reserve.

A rare survey of U.S. households, first performed in 2007 but repeated in 2009 in order to gauge the effects of the recession, reveals the median net worth of households fell from $125,000 in 2007 to $96,000 in 2009.

Families that owned stock saw their portfolios drop by more than a third to $12,000 from $18,500, on average. The value of primary real estate holdings decreased by an average of $18,700.

Families took on more debt, pushing median total debt levels to $75,600 from $70,300. They also made less money. Media household income dropped from to $49,800 from $50,100.

Families in the top 10% of net worth in 2007 saw their incomes decline by 13% on average, a phenomenon the Fed attributed to large declines in capital gains and in business, farm or self-employment income.


More on Roth conversions....Bank of America executed more than 56,000 Roth IRA conversions containing $3.8 billion last year, up from 12,000 conversions in 2009. Over a quarter of the transfers (14,500) worth $1.4 billion were executed in December 2010 alone. The average Bank of America Roth IRA conversion amount was $68,000, up from $22,000 in 2009. Last-minute converters in December shifted even more into a Roth IRA, averaging $94,000.

I have a seminar on the power of charitable giving during a Roth conversion. For information and a proposal email me.


Kudos Corner

This is a new section where I will be periodically highlighting some gift expectancies and gift program elements I think will be helpful and informative, not all gifts are included.

Kudos to David Gillig, Senior Vice President and Executive Director, and Elise Webster, Director of Planned Giving, Rady Children's Hospital Foundation, San Diego, CA. The Foundation secured an $825,000 gift annuity funded with residential real estate located in Columbia, South Carolina. The 6,500 sq. ft. home was appraised between $900,000 - $925,000 The donors both age 66 will receive a 5.10% payment. The donors committed to helping children found the Foundation after doing an Internet search and examining gift options.

Kudos to Jason Chandler, Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Lawrenceville, GA for kicking off the Foundation's charitable gift annuity program with solicitation of two gift agreements. One two-life agreement (67 and 72), and a one life agreement (80) each for $100,000. Donors both board members were educated about gift annuities and charitable options during the development of the policies and procedures for the program.

Kudos to Mark Erhard, Director, Major & Planned Giving, St. Mary Medical Center Foundation, Langhorne, PA. Mark, (former student from the AHP Madison Institute for Philanthropy), after a three year effort secured a $300,000 charitable gift annuity from a 93 year old donor for the benefit of his long time administrative assistant (age 86). The donor who previously had a "very tragic circumstance with the hospital" embraced the idea of giving away a large portion of his estate now for the benefit of others.

Advertisement brings PA fundraiser to NC...Kudos to Mark Rank, Senior Director Principal and Planned Gifts, York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA for a charitable gift annuity advertisement that elicited several direct responses, including a large gift from a couple (age 77 & 85) who coincidentally live just down the road from Connell & Associates. The York College Magazine piece features a highly regarded York College professor who is known far and wide in the York College community. The article includes a rate chart for ages 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, which shows the annuity payment rate, deduction amount, effective rate, and taxability of payments.


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, 15 Pinewild Drive, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: 910-295-6800

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

To unsubscribe from this newsletter click this link and in the title line put unsubscribe