A 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.