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Why I Give: Phil Swan '64

Philip L. Swan '64A solid and eye-opening Bowdoin education paved my way to ultimately becoming IBM's chief economist, which was great fun. Financial aid made it possible for me to attend the college. Since retiring in mid-2011, amid volunteering and developing an economics blog, my thoughts have circled back to Bowdoin.

My wife, Pat, and I determined to make a substantial gift in our lifetimes, established a series of deferred gift annuities, initially using highly appreciated stock. Besides the joy of giving to the college so dear to our hearts, we benefit from significant tax savings, both up front and on future payments received.

The gifts offer us rolling future payments that should beat current inflationary expectations-valuable in a highly uncertain policy environment. And the longer the payments are deferred, the higher the annuity rates will be. As life spans continue to lengthen, it's nice to know that additional payments will kick in later.

We've also taken advantage of the IRA charitable distribution to make an outright gift to the Alumni Fund and the Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund. This allows us to generously support the college during our lifetimes in a tax advantageous way.

I've spent over 50 years studying the economy-beginning during my time in Brunswick-and I'm not about to stop now. The economics of the IRA charitable distribution and unrestricted and deferred gift annuities to Bowdoin make sense for us. We're pleased that the college also reaps the benefits.

-Phil Swan '64

Phil's Bowdoin degree, as well as his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, is in economics. After teaching at Boston University, Phil joined IBM in 1974. He and Patricia, who have been married since 1966, live in Stamford, Conn. They enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren, including family trips to the White Mountains each year. Phil also spends time teaching driving safety courses and helping low-income people file their taxes. He is on the board of New Neighborhoods Inc., which builds and refurbishes housing for low-income families.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Bowdoin College 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 Bowdoin College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011, 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 a charitable account sponsored by a public charity that donors use to support their philanthropy.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

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, timeshare property, 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.

A lead trust holds appreciating assets for a term of years (or for your lifetime), and makes quarterly or annual payments to Bowdoin College. The College benefits from the stream of reliable, steady gifts from the lead trust, and you're able to witness the impact of your gifts during your lifetime. At the end of the trust's term, all remaining trust assets are distributed to your designated beneficiaries with greatly reduced (in some cases zeroing out) gift and estate tax, regardless of how much the trust has grown.

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 Bowdoin 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 Bowdoin 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 Bowdoin where you agree to make a gift to Bowdoin 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.

With a retained life estate, the donor(s) irrevocably deeds a personal residence or farm to the College, but retains the right to live in it for the rest of his/her life, a term of years, or a combination of the two. The term is most commonly measured by the life of the donor or of the donor and the donor’s spouse.

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