Foundation Blog

Planning for the Unplannable

We want to take the opportunity to let you know about a series of legal documents that every adult should have in order to take care of potential medical and financial issues that might arise. These documents are commonly referred to as “disability planning documents” or “ancillary documents”  and they are particularly useful, if not necessary, if you are living but become incapacitated.  They can be drafted by your personal attorney.  ... Read More

Tax Efficient Charitable Giving

by George Hobgood We all want our charitable gifts to benefit the recipient as much as possible. One way to do that is to make the gift tax efficient by donating appreciated assets. Suppose your favorite charity has expressed a need for something, but they have no room for it in their budget. And suppose you own stock for which you payed $10/share and it is now worth $200/share. If you sell it in anticipation of making a charitable gift with the proceeds, the IRS will take a portion of... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, August 26, 2019

See It, Do it

My husband and I decided several years ago to use short phrases to describe our family values (family aspirations might be more accurate!). Creed and I, and our girls can all remember them, and they have become part of our family thought pattern. Given our kids ages, “See it, do it” means if you use the last paper towel, replace the roll. Or, if you see the dog is out of food, feed him. Covenant’s Foundation has a similar philosophy. Our job is to support the church. The... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, March 25, 2019

What Parents of College-Age Children Need to Know

Do you have a high school or college student? Are you prepared for the unexpected? Will you be able to help your college student in a medical emergency? When your child reaches the age of 18, even though you may still think of them as children, they have now achieved adult status under the law: You can no longer manage money for your children.  You no longer automatically have access to their medical information, even if they are still covered by your health insurance and you... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, December 13, 2018

Things to Do Should I Predecease You: A Love Letter

  By ELIZABETH CHRISTIAN A longtime Covenant Presbyterian member—who wants to stay anonymous—recently wrote a love letter to his wife. This note was not hearts and flowers, it was not sentimental language, but it spoke “I love you” louder than anything imaginable. The letter was a list of things his wife should do if the husband dies first. Not an easy conversation, but one we all should consider having. With the author’s permission, I share his... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Teach Children How and Why to Budget

The word “budget” has an image problem. Most people view budgeting as a restrictive process that ruins all their fun. I see it as an opportunity to spend money thoughtfully on the things that really matter to you, and to stop spending so much darn money on the things that really aren’t that important to you in the first place. Spending thoughtfully is critical in order to build (and maintain) a strong financial foundation and is a key piece of spiritual growth. Our children have grown up... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, February 2, 2018

Stay Active

Scott Ream was a doctor for nearly 40 years and has been a Covenant member since 1978. Here, he provides some advice and ideas about how to be fulfilled durin g your retirement years.  Retirement offers many exciting possibilities for all of us; it also can pose a number of difficult issues. I retired as a primary care physician two years ago, but in the nearly 40 years that I practiced, I lived through the retirement transition with hundreds of... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Small Business Succession Strategy is a Key Estate Planning Element

  By ELIZABETH CHRISTIAN More than half of the businesses that are members in the Austin Chamber of Commerce employ fewer than 50 people and are considered "small" businesses by the federal government. Many Covenant members run businesses in this category. However, as the owner of a public relations agency with 18 employees, I can tell you that my business does not feel small at all. It is of enormous importance to my family and me, and thus to my estate. As a baby boomer, the... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Money Is Not the Problem—Our Attitudes Toward It Are

By MEGAN POORE Money can be viewed as a source of joy and security or a source of discord and scarcity, with a range of emotions in between. When best utilized, money is a good tool for us to provide things for ourselves and others. However, most of us do not have a comfortable relationship with money. In an effort to help people feel more confident with their money and financial decisions, I’ve pulled together some quotes to help shape a thoughtful view of money in our lives. ... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, June 9, 2017

The Proper Mindset Is Important as You Prepare for Retirement

In its ongoing commitment to educating Covenant members and friends about saving, the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation offers many excellent strategies and tips. In this following article, CPF Chair Megan Poore, a financial advisor at Lucien, Stirling and Gray Advisory Group, writes about an unexpected aspect of retirement -- the emotional component.   You have put pen to paper, you have spent years saving, you have a plan (and a plan B, and even a plan C), and you have your date... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yearend Tax-Planning Season Is Upon Us

by JoAnne McIntosh   Many of you are looking forward to the end of year holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas and spending time with friends and family. The arrival of November and December also mean it’s time to start thinking of end-of-year tax and gift planning. Here are some tips to make this planning season as productive as possible:                           ... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Overcoming Common Roadblocks to Estate Planning

by Michael B. Knisely Many people offer reasons why they haven’t gone through a thoughtful process of estate planning. Some of these might sound like these: “I don’t have an ‘estate’ – there’s not enough money for me to need a will or a trust.” “I’m too busy.” “I’m perfectly healthy right now, so there’s plenty of time to plan later.” “Everything will automatically pass to my spouse anyway.” “My husband and I can’t agree on who we would trust to manage... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Saturday, October 15, 2016

Planning for Retirement

by Megan Poore Once many of us get to a certain stage in life, we start thinking about retirement. Are you at that point? Perhaps you have read a few articles on the subject or have used an online retirement calculator to tell you how much money you should be putting aside to provide you with a comfortable retirement income. While it is vitally important to have this information, it has been my experience as a financial advisor for more than a decade that some other very important steps in... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, September 15, 2016

Planning Your Estate: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family

by Elizabeth Christian Texans who die without a will can leave chaos in their wake—problems that could have been avoided if they had made good plans for their estates. But when many people hear the word “estate,” they think, “Well, that rules me out. I don’t have an estate—I just have a house and some cars and a little retirement fund.” But forget mansions and big lawns; under Texas law, what you own, no matter how modest, is an estate. The Covenant Presbyterian Foundation, whose... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, August 15, 2016

The Last Gift a Parent Can Leave a Family: Peace of Mind

The losses of some loved ones are sudden; these bring sorrows and challenges of their own particular kind, and my prayers are with any of you who have gone through an unexpected death in your family. All too often, however, we lose our parents at the end of long illnesses. This article is geared to families dealing with this sad and unfortunate scenario. That said, we’re hopeful that anyone in the Covenant community, whether or not you’re grappling with an aging and ill loved one, can... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, May 25, 2016

How to Avoid Money Arguments With Your Significant Other

by Megan Poore How can I fight with thee about money? Let me count the ways… Money arguments can pop up for any number of reasons. It is common for one partner to complain about how another is spending money. Disagreements can come from helping family members with their finances or for differences in opinion about charitable giving. Perhaps sometimes you feel like you’re not even speaking the same language. And since that causes stress, perhaps you compensate by avoiding the subject.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Just a Note From a Trumpet

Rhonda Brink writes this month's education article from the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation. Rhonda makes suggestions on how to make sure your faith commitment is included and remembered in your estate plans.  Part of an estate planner’s job is to get you a bit worried about the status of your will. After you read this, I hope you will have no cause to worry – that your will and all the gifts you want to make are perfectly stated and up to date. But the truth is that many of us either... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, April 8, 2016

Top 10 Estate and Business Planning Tips

Covenant Presbyterian Foundation member Joanne McIntosh writes about the most important things to do in your estate planning. These top 10 recommendations will help you whether you are just starting your estate planning, or have had a plan for years you need to review and update. Tip #1. Have an estate plan.  The most common estate planning mistake is not having an estate plan. Unfortunately, no one can escape death, but thoughtful planning for what may occur after your death is one... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, March 4, 2016

One Family's Story about Insurance Choices

Not long after the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation launched its education campaign on financial planning, Joy Baskin offered to write a story on the importance of family planning. The Foundation is honored by her wish to share her story with you, and hopes it will prompt conversations within your own families. My husband, JJ Baskin, passed away in March 2015 after a year-long fight against lung cancer. Before his diagnosis in April 2014, he had been a relatively healthy non-smoker.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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