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The #SomersetCountyGives campaign launched two weeks ago, with the ambitious goal of adding $1 million over the next five years to the Somerset County Community Fund. Long-time Somerset resident and financial advisor Bill Rice wrote a Letter to the Editor in support of #SomersetCountyGives, which was published in the Somerset Daily American.

We’re grateful to Bill for publicly reinforcing the premise of this campaign: each of us has the power to make a difference, and together, we will have a lasting impact on the communities we love.

Bill Rice

Here’s his Letter to the Editor:

#SomersetCountyGives Lets us All Leave a Legacy

by Bill Rice, Financial Advisor, Laurel Highlands Financial Services

It is Thursday, January 25, 2018, and I just left the media announcement by the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Somerset County Endowments. I serve on the Board of Directors for both the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and the Somerset County Endowments. I am excited to say we are going to increase the size of the Somerset County Community Fund by $1 million in five years.  As I was driving back to my office, I started to think about what a great area we live in. I was thinking about the hard-working people that make up this area. I can remember, not that long ago, when the fund was started with $200,000. I am amazed how that small start helped so many nonprofit organizations. I am so excited to be part of this new campaign because I see what that small fund did to help our county all of those years ago. Think what a legacy we will leave this area when we grow this Somerset County Community Fund by $1 million. I personally think we will reach our goal in three years, not five years.

I have spent 32 years as a financial adviser in the Somerset area, and I see the importance of responsible financial planning in a person’s life. I want everyone to make it a goal this year to contact their trusted financial adviser and, as part of your annual review with your adviser, talk to them about how to improve your financial situation. Also talk to them about how to leverage your donations to charity, or to your church. There are many strategies that can be utilized, using life insurance for instance, that can preserve your family’s inheritance while making significant charitable gifts to your favorite charity.

Here’s an example of one strategy: You transfer assets, receiving an appropriate tax deduction, to the charity of your choice in the form of a trust. Annual proceeds from the trust pay for insurance that upon your death (or spouse’s death) will benefit your heirs free of gift or estate taxes. This way, you have provided for the community and also for your family.

Other strategies are:

  • You can donate to an existing policy, even one that still has premiums due.
  • You can simply name the charities as the beneficiary of a new or existing policy.
  • You can fund a life insurance policy to benefit a foundation directly by making a donation to the foundation for that purpose.

Each of these ways has tax advantages, which may include savings associated with a charitable income tax deduction, avoidance of lump sum capital gains on highly appreciated assets, and reduction of estate taxes. These are complex issues, and it is important to have your trusted adviser work with the very qualified people at the charity of your choice.  Also remember there have been changes to the tax laws starting in 2018 that will make it important to seek additional help from your tax advisers.

So please become part of something exciting, something with purpose, something that will help your community.

Talk to your financial adviser about leaving a legacy to your favorite charity using charitable planning strategies.

Bill Rice is a Financial Adviser with Laurel Highlands Financial Services. He also serves on the board of directors for the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and on the board of directors of the Somerset County Endowments.

*Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.  Fixed Insurance products and services offered by Laurel Highlands Financial Services are separate and unrelated to Commonwealth. *  Laurel Highlands Financial Services, 109 W. Main Street, Somerset PA 15501, 814-445-4588.

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