“The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.”Paolo Coelho
The wise words of famed Brazilian author Paolo Coelho highlight an essential truth – we make a far greater impact through our actions than our words alone. When leaving a lasting legacy, how we live and what we do matters most.
This idea has powerful implications for philanthropic planning and charitable estate gifts. Rather than simply holding opinions on social causes, we can create real change by making philanthropic donations part of our legacy.
About Paolo Coelho, Author of The Alchemist
To understand the context behind the quote, let’s look at the man who wrote the words. Paolo Coelho was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is best known as the author of the beloved novel The Alchemist, initially published in 1988.
The Alchemist has sold over 150 million copies in 80 languages, becoming one of the bestselling books in history. The story and its messages about following one’s dreams have resonated strongly with readers across the globe.
In addition to fiction, Coelho has written extensively about his spiritual beliefs and practices. His book The Pilgrimage recounts his experiences walking the 500-mile Road of Santiago de Compostela in Spain in 1986.
Coelho’s other works draw heavily on themes of mysticism, fate, and achieving one’s full potential. Examples: The Valkyries, Veronika Decides to Die and Eleven Minutes.
His wisdom on living a meaningful life has made Coelho one of today’s most widely read and quoted authors.
How We Change the World
Coelho’s quote about changing the world through example gets at a fundamental truth. While talk is easy, action is where the real influence lies.
Our opinions, while worthwhile, often do little to create tangible change. Voicing support for a cause is admirable, but the impact comes from taking concrete steps to advance that cause.
For philanthropy, this means moving beyond simply having an opinion on societal problems. Large-scale change comes from everyday people collectively choosing to contribute in meaningful ways.
Rather than waiting for governments or institutions to solve issues like poverty, hunger and homelessness, we have the power to be part of the solution. We do this by taking the initiative to give generously to charitable causes that resonate with us.
Charitable Giving Through Estate Planning
Charitable estate planning presents a highly effective way to put your values into practice. You can partner with causes you care deeply about long into the future.
The key is recognizing that the wealth many of us hold can accomplish two goals simultaneously. With proper planning, we can provide for our loved ones after our lifetime and make a difference for future generations through philanthropy. These two aims need not be mutually exclusive.
Strategies like charitable bequests empower us to designate part of our estate to the charities of our choice. For example, you may leave 10% of your assets to a social justice organization, animal welfare group or environmental charity.
Making charity part of your legacy is a powerful way to walk the talk regarding causes you care about. Your gifts can inspire others to also give generously in ways that move the needle on social change.
Life Insurance for Charitable Giving
Beyond simply designating a portion of your existing assets, specialized financial tools can further maximize your charitable impact. One powerful option is using life insurance to fund philanthropic gifts.
Rather than leaving a fixed dollar amount to charity from your estate, you can arrange for your chosen cause(s) to receive the payout from a life insurance policy with a growing death benefit.
The death benefit is often much larger than your premiums. The growth can enormously benefit the charities you wish to support.
Life insurance also helps guarantee your charitable wishes are fulfilled. Since the payout bypasses your estate, you avoid the costs of probate and potential issues like challenges to your Will that could put other bequests at risk.
Additionally, life insurance can allow you to replace assets going to charity. For example, let’s say you planned to leave 20% of your $1 million estate to a wildlife conservation group. That’s $200,000.
You could instead take out a $200,000 life insurance policy with that group as the beneficiary and replace your charitable gift for far less in premiums. This approach leaves more of your estate intact for your loved ones while still fulfilling your philanthropy.
Tax Benefits of Charitable Estate Donations
The Canadian tax system also provides financial incentives to encourage charitable giving. This includes tax relief on donations made as part of your estate plan.
Gifts to registered charities as part of your Will reduce the taxes owed by your estate. These donations are credited against income in your final tax return and your estate’s returns.
For example, let’s say you leave $50,000 to charity through your Will. That $50,000 donation reduces your income taxes owed at your highest marginal tax rate. It also reduces the taxes your estate pays.
Therefore, the net cost of the gift is much lower than the dollar amount donated to charity. This makes charitable giving a highly tax-effective component of estate planning for Canadians.
Make Your Mark Through Philanthropy
Paolo Coelho reminds us that our actions change the world most profoundly. The choices we make about sharing our wealth can leave a lasting mark.
Partnering with causes aligned with your values is a way to live out your ideals. You can make generosity part of your legacy, knowing your gifts will continue to create an impact beyond your lifetime.
Strategic charitable planning allows you to provide for your loved ones and contribute to your vision for a better world. Options like bequests and life insurance leverage your assets to maximize benefits for worthy causes.
The time to put these plans in motion is now. Reach out to your team at Taxevity Insurance for personalized guidance on charitable estate planning. We’re here to help you create a legacy of giving that fulfills your philanthropic goals.
Your example has the power to change lives. Let us walk with you on the journey to making that vision a reality. The world needs your generosity – now and in the years to come.