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On Valentine’s Day, financial gifts can be sweet

Posted February 12, 2014 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

Valentine’s Day is almost here. This year, instead of sticking with flowers or chocolates for your valentine, why not give a gift with a future? Specifically, consider making a meaningful financial gift.

However, a “meaningful” gift doesn’t gain its meaning from its size, but rather its impact. What types of financial gifts can have the greatest effect on the life of your loved one? Here are a few possibilities:

•    Charitable gifts. Your valentine may well support the work of a variety of
charitable organizations. Why not give to one of them, in the name of your loved one? Not only will you be helping a group that does good work, but you may also be able to receive a tax deduction for your contribution, assuming the organization qualifies for tax-exempt status. And if you give financial assets, such as appreciated stocks, you may also be able to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the donated shares.

•    IRA contributions. Many people don’t contribute the maximum annual amount to their IRA (which, in 2014, is $5,500, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older). While you can’t directly contribute to your valentine’s IRA, you can certainly write him or her a check for that purpose.

•    Gifts of stock. Like everyone else, your sweetheart uses a variety of products, and he or she might enjoy being an “owner” of the companies that produce these goods. You can help make that happen through gifts of stock in these businesses. A financial advisor can help you through the straightforward process of buying stock and transferring it to another person.

•    Debt payment. Consider volunteering to pay your valentine’s car payment, or credit card payment, for a month, and then encouraging him or her to put the savings to work in an investment. The fewer debts we have, the more we have to invest for our future.

As you can see, you can choose from a range of financial gifts to brighten Valentine’s Day for your loved one. So, consider the ones that make the most sense for your valentine and start “wrapping them up,” so to speak.

Information provided by Tammie L. Schroeder, financial advisor, Edward Jones, 2600 Grand Ave., Suite 212, Des Moines, 243-9112.





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