In the Community

Great News for People Who Are at Least 70 1/2

IRA charitable rollover
Every day as many as 10,000 Baby Boomers in the United States gain the opportunity to become philanthropists in an easy way.

The reason? They turn 70 1 /2 years old -- the age they first must start taking mandatory annual distributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts. Thanks to federal legislation, taxpayers ages 70 1/2 and up can directly donate up to $100,000 a year in IRA assets to charities without it counting as taxable income.

Today's new mandatory IRA distribution candidates were only 27 years old in 1975 when IRAs first became available to anyone in the U.S. with earned income. After decades of diligently putting money into IRAs to grow tax free, it can be puzzling to figure out how best to use those accumulated assets.

"I see a lot of people who are ignorant as to what they can get out of their IRAs," says Ian Holder, a certified financial planner with Merrill Lynch in Norfolk. "It's a process to educate them that the IRA charitable rollover is permanent" and can benefit them and their favorite nonprofits.

"Most people I work with don't really need their IRAs to live on," says Jim O'Brien of Norfolk, an Edward Jones financial advisor. Jim is a fan of the IRA rollover option for eligible clients and uses transfers from his personal IRA to help organizations meaningful to him and his family.

A direct transfer to charity is "a convenient, stress-free way to give and doesn't increase my tax burden," Jim says.

We are happy to help you or someone you love explore options for an IRA charitable transfer through the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. We have helped donors use their IRA assets to start or add to designated, field-of-interest, scholarship or unrestricted funds. Please note that for now, the Internal Revenue Service does not allow IRA transfers to donor-advised funds.

Contact Kay Stine at or (757) 622-7951 to get started.

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