By E. Peter Dubay

Leave your legacy

Stephen Covey, the author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” states that there are four major desires that we all have as human beings:

*To live

*To love

*To learn

*To leave a legacy

We spend most of our lives working on the first three desires, however, not as much thought and effort is given to how to leave your legacy. How can we leave something behind that defines the things that are important to us in our lives?

It all starts with your values

What are the things in your life that are most important to you (i.e., family, friends, career, community, environment, education, etc.)? Your values make sure that you have a set of rules and standards that you can use when helping you make decisions about your future. Everything we think, say and do is filtered through our values. Most people simply haven’t sat down to get really clear on their values.

The benefits of giving

Charitable giving is a great way to share your values and leave your legacy. There are many ways to make donations that benefit you and the causes in which you believe. These ways of giving provide relief from income taxes, capital gains taxes and estate taxes. Many also give opportunities to generate income for you during your lifetime.

One of the more creative ways to make a charitable gift is a donation of an Individual Retirement Account through a method called a Qualified Charitable Distribution. There is good news for taxpayers over the age of 70 1/2. Congress has voted to make permanent the exclusion from income of up to $100,000 per person, per year, for IRA distributions that are given directly to charities. One of the key benefits of the direct charitable contribution from your IRA is that the distribution counts towards your Required Minimum Distribution.

YMCA Cape Cod

Cape Cod is a diverse community with needs that are both unique and common to other areas. Our community experiences health concerns, hunger and poverty, for example. We have at-risk and vulnerable populations, like children and teens, our growing elderly population, and those with special needs. No matter the issue, YMCA Cape Cod is committed to meeting the health and wellness needs specific to our community. Every day, YMCA Cape Cod takes on challenges that make a local impact. We serve over 10,000 community members annually, 50 percent of whom are children, and will not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay.

Learn more

YMCA Cape Cod will offer a series of educational sessions to help people explore their values and the various opportunities for giving. The first in this series is titled “Leave Your Legacy” to be held at the YMCA Cape Cod, 2245 Iyannough Road, West Barnstable on Wednesday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A complimentary lunch will be served by the YMCA Diabetes Resource Center. Space is limited, so reservations may be made by contacting PJ Richardson at (508) 364-6500 ext. 141 or pj@ymcacapecod.org. If you cannot attend this session and would like more information, please let us know and we will contact you.

Peter Dubay is a Certified Fund Raising Executive who, since 1978, has worked with nonprofit organizations to raise more than $75 million. Some of these organizations include YMCA Cape Cod, Cape Cod Hospital, South Shore Hospital, Brockton Hospital and Riverview School. He is currently serving as Special Gifts Advisor for YMCA Cape Cod.

This article was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Health & Wealth.