Mary Owens: Caring for our community in a time of crisis
I am going to take a side road this month and talk about something that is just as important as proper estate planning and how it protects you and your family. Instead, let’s talk about ways we can CARE for our local community in the time of a crisis.
With so many in need, we have lots of options on how we can assist.
Let’s all start by saying a big “THANK YOU” to those who are taking the brunt of the hard work and risk of still serving all of us in the critical areas of the economy. The list is long. Health-care workers, grocery store employees, pharmacies, gas stations attendants, critical retail, police, fire and EMTs, road maintenance, critical government offices, funeral homes, take-out restaurants and more. Without their willingness to work, we all would be far more challenged in our daily lives than we are currently experiencing.
Tell them you appreciate them. They are stressed out and need our words of warmth.
We also need to thank those who are assisting seniors who cannot or should not leave their homes for any reason. So many are going to the pharmacy or grocery store on behalf of their loved ones and neighbors. A phone call to those who are shut in just to make sure they are OK can make a senior feel less alone and depressed. It may be a small thing to do for someone, but the emotional boost it gives to a senior is not expressible. Your call makes them feel worthwhile and thought of in a way no other act can do.
The CARE Act, which was recently passed into law, also gives those who are old enough to be taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from their IRA to enjoy a tax break. The new CARE ACT includes a temporary waiver on minimum mandatory IRA distributions for 2020, so those who don’t need the income out of their IRA can potentially reduce their tax bill. The act still allows you to direct all or a portion of your RMDs to charities without having to include the distribution given to charities into your taxable income. You can’t deduct the charitable deduction on your tax return, but you also do not have to itemize your deduction in order to get the tax benefit.
If everyone considered donating their estimated tax savings caused by this law, think of the enormous needs that could be funded locally. So many charitable organizations are hurting for funds. Food distribution organizations like Interfaith Food Ministries are trying to feed so many that are unexpectedly unemployed. The need for low income housing is ever increasing. Consider Habitat for Humanity, as they apply their skills of hundreds of volunteers to build affordable homes for families. Our cultural and performing arts have totally shut down. As you watch Netflix from your living room, think of all those good folks who are fighting for their survival. Center for the Arts finished their stunning remodel of the studios just as the shutdown occurred. What a devastating blow to them. InConcert Sierra and Music in the Mountains have all had to cancel their performances as well.
There are so many quality charities that need our assistance right now. Young people too, who do not have such things as RMDs out of an IRA, have chances to give as well. Think of that decreased gasoline bill because we now rarely go out the door. Think of those extra jingles in your pocket as an opportunity to help others.
But the list of folks in our community who need our assistance is not just limited to charities. There are many hard-working people and business owners who have lost all their income. Let’s think about our spending habits prior to the shutdown. Did you go to the local theater frequently? Help them out by buying advance tickets now for future movies. What about your hair stylist, your local gym? Send them a check for their services anyway. They all need to survive. So many are hurting financially. Help where you are able and encourage others to do the same.
Nevada County is a very special place. We still know one another here. This is our home. Let’s do what we can to get through this with the least amount of pain to our community. All this stress will pass in time. But bringing joy to those in need in the form of some financial or emotional support will help us stay strong.
Small actions can create enormous faith and benefits in the big picture: the vibrance and emotional strength of our home.
Mary Owens, Principal/Branch Manager, RJFS, 426 Sutton Way, Suite 110, Grass Valley,, 530-272-7500. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Owens Estate and Wealth Strategies Group is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Investment advisory services offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Neither Raymond James Financial Services nor any Raymond James Financial Advisor renders advice on tax, legal or mortgage issues, these matters should be discussed with the appropriate professional. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Mary Owens and not necessarily those of Raymond James. This information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation.
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