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Tax Reform Southwest Florida Women's Foundation

How will the Tax Reform Act affect you and your charitable giving?

And how we can help at the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation!


The 503-page tax law became effective this year on January 1. There is time before the end of this tax year – 2018 – to make a difference in your financial outcome by thinking strategically about your charitable giving in 2018. 

If you live in a state with high income and property taxes and you have a mortgage, you could find that you can still itemize and can make use of your charitable deductions. Even if you don’t itemize, here are some strategies to make gifts to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation and still receive tax benefits:

  1. You can make larger gifts to charity. Your total deductions may put you close to the threshold where itemizing your deductions offers greater tax benefits than taking the standard deduction. In this case, you might consider making a larger charitable gift to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation so that you can enjoy the additional tax savings that itemizing would offer. 
  2. Use a Donor Advised Fund to deduct now and transfer later. One option is to make a larger gift to your Donor Advised Fund in order to reach your threshold to itemize deductions, and then distribute to your favorite charities at the time that is right for you. If you do not already have a Donor Advised Fund, please consider this option from the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation.
  3. Make gifts of appreciated property such as publicly-traded securities to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation. The new law will still allow you to make gifts of appreciated assets held for at least one year without triggering capital gain tax. If you itemize your deductions, you will get the double tax benefit of an income tax charitable deduction based on the full value of your appreciated assets in addition to capital gains tax avoidance.
  4. Make gifts to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation using the charitable IRA rollover. If you are over 70½, you can make a direct transfer from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA to charity of up to $100,000. You will avoid all income tax on your withdrawal, even if you don’t itemize after the new law.
  5. Make a gift to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation from all or a portion of what’s left in your retirement plan. Assets in your IRA, 401(k), or other qualified retirement plans may be subject to income tax when distributed to heirs. Making a charity a beneficiary of a portion or the entirety of your retirement plan will avoid the income tax that might otherwise be due from your heirs. This is an extremely tax efficient way for you to make gifts to charity that costs your heirs less than giving other kinds of assets.
  6. Include a gift for the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation from your estate. The new tax law retains current law and does not impose limits on estate tax charitable deductions. If you have adequate assets and may be subject to estate tax, you might consider a charitable gift from your will, trust, or other estate planning documents. Such a gift will reduce your estate tax burden.

    You should always contact your accountant or financial planner to understand how the new tax law will affect your individual tax situation. In addition, the members of our Planned Giving Council want to ensure that you make the best decisions to elevate the status of women and their communities.
    Please feel free to call on any of our Council members to discuss your specific interests, questions or goals related to making a planned gift to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation or contact Brenda Tate at (239) 908-0301 or brenda@fundwomenfl.org
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Turning a dark experience into a drive for the future

Two years ago, Yuzellie Garcia decided to return to school to become the person she needed when she was a child.

I graduated in 2012 and spent a few years not knowing what I wanted to do,” said Ms. Garcia.

But when it finally came time to decide what to do, Ms. Garcia sought purpose and meaning from her childhood experiences. Her upbringing wasn’t easy. She grew up in a single parent household with three siblings. Her mom worked three jobs and struggled to make ends meet. She also experienced sexual and emotional abuse.

I’m studying what I’m studying because of the sexual and emotional abuse I endured. Things like being locked in a dark closet all day and growing up with shame, self-blame and guilt. Thinking it was my fault, and not having anyone there to show me that what was going on wasn’t OK, and it wasn’t my fault,” Ms. Garcia said.

She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice; she will be attending Florida State University this summer to study criminology and criminal justice and hopes to use her education to work in the human trafficking field. Her journey has led her to find a very clear purpose — to help children who are struggling with abuse. Children in low-income homes, who may be at risk. Children who may need a mentor like herself.

Ms. Garcia is on the path to fulfilling her goal thanks to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation Earn to Learn FL Program. Earn to Learn FL helps low-to-moderate income students earn a higher education with little or no student debt. It’s a simple formula that combines mandatory student savings with financial aid, required financial literacy training and success coaching. Through the program, Ms. Garcia has been able to secure $9,000 to fund her education. She has saved $1,000 of her funds and received an $8,000 match supported by the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation and local partners like the Southwest Florida Community Foundation.


“The Earn to Learn experience has been amazing; it’s so easy. The application was very fast. The lengthiest thing was the financial literacy course, but that was helpful. It wasn’t something that you would dread to do. The Women’s Foundation worked with me and my circumstances,” said Ms. Garcia.

For students like Ms. Garcia, education is much more than a simple degree. It’s a way to serve and fulfill their purpose. To pay it forward so that future generations have the opportunity to thrive.

Click HERE To support our Earn to Learn Program

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The Plight of Florida Caregivers is Taking a Toll

The plight of florida caregivers is taking a toll

June 21, 2018 is the longest day of the year and the day set aside by the Alzheimer’s Association to show love for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The truth is, every day can be the longest day for women who carry the responsibility of lovingly caring for a person with any type of disability.

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias demand intense caregiving and women shoulder a particularly heavy burden. The care they provide can be more physically and emotionally demanding and more time-consuming, and it takes a heavier toll on their work and family life. Women, as caregivers, often do not get the help and support they need to provide the years (even decades) of care required for loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She is drained emotionally, physically and financially.

One fact in particular jumped off the page as I read the recently released Status of Women in Florida by County: Health & Well-Being report. Did you know more than one in five Florida women aged 65 and older (21.7 percent) reside with a person with a disability? This is very personal to me since I’m 67 years old and know first-hand how women cope when Alzheimer’s, as only one example of a disability, knocks on the door to visit and never leaves. I believe the percentage of 21.7 is much higher since most women do not check the little box on a survey that asks, “Are you over age 65 and residing with a person with a disability?” I never thought to check that box.
And yet, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the economic impact of dementia caregiving across the nation is huge, and particularly in Florida which is only behind California and Texas in terms of numbers of caregivers, hours of unpaid care and the value of that care. In 2017, there were approximately 1,121,000 dementia caregivers in Florida, who provided more than 1.25 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at more than $16 billion. The numbers are staggering, and the burden in our state falls mostly on women.

The Status of Women in Florida Report underscored other disturbing health challenges, including the rate of diabetes, an increase in suicide, and the widespread violence in Florida against women, but the plight of Florida women who are caregivers hit a personal chord with me.

Several policies recommended by the Report would go a long way to provide much-needed relief to the many women in Florida living with a person who has one or more disabilities. They include:

  • pass paid family leave and paid sick days laws for working caregivers
  • address the high cost and lack of availability of long-term services and support
  • ensure that Medicaid adequately supports low-income people and allows them to receive services in their preferred settings
  • allow registered nurses to delegate more tasks to trained direct care workers
  • allow nurses to focus on tasks they are uniquely qualified to perform and nurse practitioners to practice to the fullest extent of their education and training.

There is no simple or single solution, but these policies would go a long way to support caregiving women in Florida. Every day is our longest day.

Go to http://fundwomenfl.org/research/ to view the complete report for all key findings and recommended solutions.
Respectfully submitted by:
Brenda Tate, CEO
Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation
www.fundwomenfl.org

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Consider this strategy to increase your 2018 tax savings. 

CONSIDER THIS STRATEGY TO INCREASE YOUR 2018 TAX SAVINGS

Consider this strategy to increase your 2018 tax savings.

This is the year to find new charitable giving opportunities created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Starting this year fewer donors will receive a tax benefit for carrying out their charitable intent because deductions have nearly doubled for both individuals ($12,000) and couples ($24,000) and deductibility of state and local taxes is limited to $10,000.

The Planned Giving Council of the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation recommends a strategy to ‘bunch’ your charitable gifts in a single year. This allows you to exceed the higher standard deductions. By donating several years’ worth of cash or appreciated stock to the Donor Advised Fund offered by the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation in a single year, you realize the full tax benefits of your giving and the charities of your choice receive gifts from your Donor Advised Fund over multiple years.

The members of our Planned Giving Council want to ensure that you have the best strategies to maximize your charitable impact and associated tax benefits. Please feel free to call on me or any of our Council members to discuss your specific interests, questions or goals related to making a planned gift to the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation.

Sincerely,
Lisa M. Simington, CFP®
President – Florida West Coast
BNY MELLON WEALTH MANAGEMENT and Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation Board Member

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Peter Simmons Is Named Development Director of Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation

Peter SIMMONS IS NAMED DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WOMEN'S FOUNDATION

Peter Simmons, Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation Development Director

Bonita Springs, FL – May 14, 2018 –  The Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation announced today that Peter Simmons has been named Development Director.

“We are thrilled that Peter has joined the Foundation’s team to increase our capacity to serve Southwest Florida and the state of Florida while helping us build upon and increase our development and outreach, which we have worked on diligently since 2011,” says CEO Brenda Tate.

Peter understands the complexities of different organizations, project development, raising capital, staff management and working successfully with others to make a project come together. Over the past 20 years, Peter has raised millions of dollars for non-profits and political causes.

Peter was elected to the Bonita Springs City Council in 2012, and elected Mayor in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida League of Mayors and is a member of the United States Conference of Mayors.

In September 2018, he appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, FOX, CNN, CNBC and was quoted in The New York Times and The Miami Herald, providing ground coverage of Hurricane Irma.

He was a Division 1 athlete on the University of New Hampshire crew team and is an “honorary deputy” with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He is a native of the New Hampshire Seacoast, and lives with his wife, SueZahn, and two children, Elizabeth and Peter, in Bonita Springs.

“We are long-time supporters of the outstanding work of the Southwest Florida Women’s Foundation”, says Tommye Fleming and Patrick Arnall. “Peter will play a central role in helping the Foundation increase its endowment to $5 million by 2020, along with securing grants and donations to underwrite the expansion of programs such as Earn to Learn FL and Business Building Blocks (B3) for Women.”

For additional information, contact:  Brenda Tate at (239) 908-0301 or Brenda@fundwomenfl.org

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