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Leaving a legacy that will help children is important to Marvin Fried, but so is watching his gifts at work. That is why he has established six charitable gift annuities since 2002 in support of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"I don't have any heirs, so I want to leave what I have to others. But I get a lot of pleasure from giving and want to do it while I can enjoy it," says the former businessman who sold his company and retired 12 years ago. "Charitable gift annuities are made to order for me because they allow me to give to my favorite charities while I am still alive and receive a regular income for as long as I live."
Here is how a St. Jude Charitable Gift Annuity works: A donor transfers cash or securities to St. Jude to establish the annuity; in turn, St. Jude pays fixed payments for life to the donor, or up to two annuitants named by the donor. At the time of the last annuitant's death, the principal goes to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. The donor may receive several tax benefits, including an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift. Annuity payments are treated as part ordinary income, part capital gains income in the case of securities (15 percent) and part tax-free income.
"I like annuities because they allow me to make a major gift while I'm alive, and that gives me a good feeling," Marvin says.
Committed to helping children and animals, Marvin says he is particularly dedicated to St. Jude because he loves what the hospital does to help patients and their families cope with catastrophic pediatric diseases. He is keenly aware of the importance of this work, having lost his only child to a catastrophic illness. His son, Scott, underwent surgery at another hospital for a benign brain tumor when he was 2. Although the operation was a success, a severe complication left him extremely disabled. He died of pneumonia nearly seven years later. A plaque in tribute to Scott will soon be placed in the hospital in recognition of Marvin's generous gifts.
Marvin remains devoted to children today and enjoys close relationships with great nieces and great nephews. A Boston native, he lived and worked half of his adult life in West Hartford, Connecticut.
"My whole life's dream was to live on the water with my boat right outside the door, so when I retired I moved to Mystic, Connecticut, and lived on the river," he says. Although he was able to sail his boat every day, he missed close friends. To be closer to them, he and his 13-year-old cat recently moved back to West Hartford.
You might say Marvin understands what is truly valuable in life—the pleasure of being with friends and family and the good feeling of giving to others.
To learn more about St. Jude Charitable Gift Annuities, visit www.stjudelegacy.org or call 800-395-1087.
Reprinted from Promise Winter 2011