Where to leave money when we die

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
msk
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by msk » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:06 pm

Tdubs wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:35 pm
There are so many worthy causes, but I recommend against a unique scholarship.

A) A pain to administer--someone has to pick the worthy candidate.

B) No one applies. A stunning lesson I learned as a professor, students don't bother applying for scholarships. My department had a full-year tuition scholarship and we had to beat the bushes to get students to apply, and I mean just put their name in. This is not an unusual problem, and I worked at a very blue-collar university. Lots of first generation students but clueless about opportunities for aid.
If you are still a professor there, tell them that other schools use automatic applications. E.g. a school in which I am involved puts all grad students into auto mode (for "merit" scholarships). I set up my own endowment for "need" scholarships and indeed after a few years they approached me for not having enough applicants! The issue is that in order for a student to be admitted into a grad program he had to first supply proof of funds being available for the program (mine are specifically for MSc programs, short). Consequently it made me wonder why so many of the recipients had fathers who died recently and who would have had to drop out for lack of funds. So now my endowment has been changed to "merit" but from 3rd world countries, as previously. Strange how inflexible universities can be against commonsense solutions. E.g. they could more sensibly make the endowment for "need" and any leftover funds go to "merit", but it seems they have different administrations :confused At least they are sensible enough that the funds simply get reinvested into the following year. My endowment has grown by some 10% despite having aided more than 20 grad students in the past 5 years.

I am a strong believer in aid to education. Teach a man to fish and all that. To the OP, find a school/college/university that trains people you empathise with and you can set up a scheme that either starts while you are still alive or at death. All major colleges have such templates ready...

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FIREchief
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by FIREchief » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:03 am

Tdubs wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:35 pm
There are so many worthy causes, but I recommend against a unique scholarship.

B) No one applies. A stunning lesson I learned as a professor, students don't bother applying for scholarships. My department had a full-year tuition scholarship and we had to beat the bushes to get students to apply, and I mean just put their name in. This is not an unusual problem, and I worked at a very blue-collar university. Lots of first generation students but clueless about opportunities for aid.
This is amazing. Perhaps another example of how absolutely financially illiterate our country has become. I recall years ago when my kids told their friends about the American Opportunity Tax Credit and neither they, nor their parents, had a clue.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

Rob1
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Rob1 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:49 am

afoolwithmoney wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:09 pm
Consider giving it to a charity like Givewell, which gives to charities around the world that they have rigorously evaluated for effectiveness. Currently they are buying malaria nets for children in sub-Saharan Africa. The idea is to save as many lives as possible for each dollar they distribute. Here are their current top charities:

https://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities

And I agree with the others, try to give while you are still alive so that you can enjoy seeing the fruit of your donations.
+1 for looking into GiveWell.

Several years ago I got serious about maximizing the effectiveness of my charitable contributions, and landed at GiveWell. The vast majority of my charitable giving is now earmarked for GiveWell.

Caduceus
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Caduceus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:13 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:33 pm

What is your opinion of donations to fund scholarships?
I dislike the way higher-ed is run currently, so I'm not inclined to do something like that. I am sure students will be appreciative, but I think something like this just indirectly subsidizes bloat and inefficiency at the end of the line.

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dm200
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by dm200 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:37 am

I would also urge anyone considering leaving money to charities in their wills to research and become involved with any such charities while still alive.

There are many (such as the one international charity I mentioned) where you can become personally involved and see, for yourself, what the charity does and does not do, how the funds are spent, etc. In many cases, you can even experience a "hands on" participation - even in a remote area of a foreign country.

For many reasons, some of the most effective charity work overseas is done by religious based organizations. One big reason for this is that the religious entity there may be the only effective entity managing schools, keeping the peace, etc. Often, as is the case with the primary charity I support, the financial support we send all goes for helping people in their daily lives -- and not for purely religious matters, such as converting any and every one.

In such areas, education can be a very productive and sustainable priority. This can be especially true for the education of girls and young women - on an equal scale as for boys and young men.

nesta
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by nesta » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:43 am

We have no children either, though have siblings and nieces and nephews. We are giving some of them a small flat amount, which doesn't amount to a very large percentage of what I hope our estate will be. Then my husband and I each picked three organizations to split the rest between. We hope that all the work we put in to saving throughout our lives will greatly benefit those charities and the people they help.

shell921
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by shell921 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:47 am

1130Super wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:52 am
Any thoughts on divesting some of it while your alive? I’ve always found the best charity is just overpaying hardworking people that need it. My theory is that they are actually working for it (leaving a $100 tip to your server or house cleaner) in my opinion it’s better then a handout or all the bureaucracy of it going through a charity.
I like this idea ! My young woman barber is hardworking and she and her hardworking husband have 3 kids. They struggle
financially.
My 29 year old masseuse works hard and has a hard time with her health as she is recovering from Lyme disease.
My gardener and housecleaner both also work hard and could use more $$. One of the 45 year old volunteers I know through
my volunteer job at the local Neighborhood Watch office also struggles. Look around. There are good people who
work hard whom you could help so much.

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dm200
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by dm200 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:52 am

Here is another charity that does good work -- both domestically and internationally.

https://www.ramusa.org/

You can get personally, hands on, involved.

I had the privilege of meeting the founder of RAM, Stan Brock - now deceased.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Broc ... nthropist)

He certainly had an interesting history/career - including a stint on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.

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dm200
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by dm200 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:01 am

Consider, also, using a DAF as a vehicle for delivering a stream of funds to a charity over many years.

Set up and fund the minimum for a DAF (such as Fidelity) and find someone to be the successor trustee (preferably a much younger person - or perhaps two such persons). Then, have that person ready, willing and able to regularly distribute funds to this charity.

As I have often posted, some very deserving charities can well handle a large lump sum, while others are not prepared, for many reasons, to do so. In the latter case, using a DAF to distribute annually can make a,lot of sense.

oldfatguy
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by oldfatguy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am

Caduceus wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:05 pm
Wricha wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:02 am
Also having similar thoughts. Higher education is off my list as they have done nothing to lower the cost of education to make it more affordable to more people. Instead they have driven up the cost (even with new technology) forcing students into some devastating situations.

Lately I have been just observing local organizations/individuals and just giving them money anonymously. This is purely situational and does not address what to do with large amounts of money when one dies. So I am interested what other have to say.
I would not leave any money to higher education organizations. I say this as someone with two higher degrees from Ivy League schools. They have plenty of resources already and have access to donors. I find the entire college system increasingly ridiculous as time goes on. Why do college professors need to re-invent the wheel for a select group of students when they can just craft the best lecture and then post it online for millions of students?

This is especially true for foundational classes. Why do we need ten thousand different professors at ten thousand different colleges preparing Introduction to Accounting when we can do something like hire the three best accounting teachers in the world to put together an entire lecture series that is then filmed and put on Youtube (or some other website), and then paired with educational material that's made free for everyone?

So much of money in higher ed these days goes to administration. I was looking at the directory of a college just last week and it's ludicrous - they have 8 people in an administrative department doing work that one person can do. It's just bureaucratic creep.
The anti-education screeds on this site are fascinating.

Caduceus
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Caduceus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:17 am

oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am

The anti-education screeds on this site are fascinating.
I'm not anti-education. I'm for reform of the current education system. I don't say this as some right-wing Republican type. I'm a bleeding-heart over-educated liberal with a Ph.D. in my field from Harvard. You don't have to be anti-education to suggest that donating money to inefficient educational institutions is not the best use of money.

Northster
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Northster » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:32 am

I too am leery of higher ed but am much attracted to the idea of 'teach a person to fish...' Have not yet found a suitable option.

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dm200
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by dm200 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:35 am

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:17 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am
The anti-education screeds on this site are fascinating.
I'm not anti-education. I'm for reform of the current education system. I don't say this as some right-wing Republican type. I'm a bleeding-heart over-educated liberal with a Ph.D. in my field from Harvard. You don't have to be anti-education to suggest that donating money to inefficient educational institutions is not the best use of money.
I am certainly no higher education expert -- but I continue to be very puzzled that the costs of higher education seem to be growing at such a large annual rate. Why aren't there cost efficiencies that are common in other areas - automation, efficiency, etc.

What is happening in Higher Education in countries otherwise similar to the US?

finite_difference
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by finite_difference » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:42 am

1. Suggest finding a really good eye doctor and updating your prescription. I work with older folks and when commas start to look like periods then I tell them to get their glasses updated ;)
2. I’m going to need glasses soon at this rate...
3. There are so many wonderful, legit charities out there. I would spread the wealth a bit. Also, consider your extended family.

Friends of Acadia is legit:

https://www.charitynavigator.org/index. ... orgid=4858

You can search for more charities there. Also, check another site as well as a double-check.

Not everything on the Internet is 100% correct but it nonetheless contains 99.9% of all the information you’ll ever need. So you need to use your critical mind to filter what’s true from what’s not. For every Bogleheads website there’s a million Edward Joneses.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Ged
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Ged » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:45 am

I like the idea of charitable giving to organizations that can be verified to be doing work that will have real long term benefits to the recipients using an evidence based assessment. Generally that turns out to be organizations that fight chronic disease in some manner.

This site has a list and a description of their selection process.

https://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities

finite_difference
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by finite_difference » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:52 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:35 am
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:17 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am
The anti-education screeds on this site are fascinating.
I'm not anti-education. I'm for reform of the current education system. I don't say this as some right-wing Republican type. I'm a bleeding-heart over-educated liberal with a Ph.D. in my field from Harvard. You don't have to be anti-education to suggest that donating money to inefficient educational institutions is not the best use of money.
I am certainly no higher education expert -- but I continue to be very puzzled that the costs of higher education seem to be growing at such a large annual rate. Why aren't there cost efficiencies that are common in other areas - automation, efficiency, etc.

What is happening in Higher Education in countries otherwise similar to the US?
The size of the higher ed bureaucracy has exponentially grown while the size of the faculty (# of professors) remains flat and federal and state funding is flat. Some of that bureaucracy is justified (like a Career Building Office) but much of it should be reduced and streamlined.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinesi ... expensive/
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

student
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by student » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:01 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:35 am
Caduceus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:17 am
oldfatguy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:10 am
The anti-education screeds on this site are fascinating.
I'm not anti-education. I'm for reform of the current education system. I don't say this as some right-wing Republican type. I'm a bleeding-heart over-educated liberal with a Ph.D. in my field from Harvard. You don't have to be anti-education to suggest that donating money to inefficient educational institutions is not the best use of money.
I am certainly no higher education expert -- but I continue to be very puzzled that the costs of higher education seem to be growing at such a large annual rate. Why aren't there cost efficiencies that are common in other areas - automation, efficiency, etc.

What is happening in Higher Education in countries otherwise similar to the US?
I cannot say for private institutions. State funding has been dropping for public institutions. At my public institution, state funding has dropped from 80% of the budget to under 20% in the past 30 years. We worked with community colleges nearby for transfer students. For a student going this route, the tuition for a 4-year degree is about $39,000. This is the ticket price, and most pay much less due to scholarships and financial aid. (Of course we are just a generic Research 2 institution.)

Caduceus
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by Caduceus » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:03 am

finite_difference wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:52 am

The size of the higher ed bureaucracy has exponentially grown while the size of the faculty (# of professors) remains flat and federal and state funding is flat. Some of that bureaucracy is justified (like a Career Building Office) but much of it should be reduced and streamlined.
Yes. I was looking at a college directory yesterday and I noticed that instead of one diversity officer, they now have seven. At places like HYPS, you have entire offices created to babysit students and keep donors happy. I'm LGBT myself and happy that colleges are more sensitive to the experiences of minorities, but hiring seven diversity officers is the sort of thing that makes me tear up the donation request forms they send me every year.

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dm200
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Re: Where to leave money when we die

Post by dm200 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:31 am

Caduceus wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:03 am
finite_difference wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:52 am
The size of the higher ed bureaucracy has exponentially grown while the size of the faculty (# of professors) remains flat and federal and state funding is flat. Some of that bureaucracy is justified (like a Career Building Office) but much of it should be reduced and streamlined.
Yes. I was looking at a college directory yesterday and I noticed that instead of one diversity officer, they now have seven. At places like HYPS, you have entire offices created to babysit students and keep donors happy. I'm LGBT myself and happy that colleges are more sensitive to the experiences of minorities, but hiring seven diversity officers is the sort of thing that makes me tear up the donation request forms they send me every year.
Seven "Diversity" officers?? Maybe I am being over simplistic or naive, but shouldn't "diversity" be part of everyone's job at such a University!!

When I went to college (1963 - 1967) there was virtually no "diversity" or even talk of it. Even the football and basketball teams were 100% White. And this was not a university in the then racially segregated south, bu ta private university in the far Northeastern US.

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