IRA Charitable Rollovers: A Win-Win

John Till

Susan Till and Rear Admiral John Till '67, USNR (Ret.)

Inspired by the World War II naval service of his two uncles, Rear Admiral John Till '67, USNR (Ret.), knew he wanted to pursue a career in the U.S. Navy. Till, however, had no idea how profoundly and positively his experiences as a midshipman and Naval Academy graduate would impact the rest of his life.

Till served in the navy for 36 years. As an active duty officer, he was in the nuclear power submarine program. He later transferred to the naval reserve and began his graduate education, earning an M.S. in Health Physics from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

In 1977, Till learned that his grandparents' farm in South Carolina, where he had spent much of his time as a youth, was in dire financial distress and on the verge of being sold. Despite the lack of professional opportunities in the area, Till and his family moved to South Carolina to help save the farm that had been in the family for several generations. He also started a scientific research company, a move that has allowed Till and his wife, Susan, to give back to the institution that has helped them achieve so much.

"There's no question in my mind that I never would have had the professional career that I had, never would have started my own company, never would have had the courage to move back to and save our family farm if I hadn't come to the Academy," said Till. He retired from the navy as a rear admiral in 1999 and continues to lead Risk Assessment Corporation, a science-based company that specializes in the transport of radioactive materials in the environment and their effects on humans. "It's all about what the Navy and the Naval Academy taught me: the motivation to do a good job, the drive to overcome obstacles and the belief in myself—qualities the Academy still teaches midshipmen today."

Today the family farm is financially sound. Till's company has become a leading international authority on historical radiation dose reconstruction and environmental data management. While Till's gifts in support of the Academy date back to the 1970s, in recent years he has been able to increase his contributions considerably through the use of IRA charitable rollovers (also known as a qualified charitable distributions, or QCD). Once an IRA owner turns 70 1/2, he or she needs to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from the account each year. Susan and John decided to donate a portion of their rollover proceeds each year directly to the Naval Academy Foundation—supporting the Academy's future, reducing their tax liability and making them eligible for recognition in the President's Circle, the Foundation's leadership donor society.

"There is no question that the IRA charitable rollover is a great opportunity for Naval Academy graduates to contribute to the future of their alma mater," said Till. "When you get to the point in your life when you're required to reduce retirement funds, IRA rollovers provide an opportunity to support the U.S. Naval Academy's mission: ‘to develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically, and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty."

Please contact Patti Bender by Email or call 410-295-4186 to learn more.

 
 

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the United States Naval Academy Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to the United States Naval Academy Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 274 Wood Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the Naval Academy Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Naval Academy Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the Naval Academy Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the Naval Academy Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the Naval Academy Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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