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Give Back What You Take Out – Paul Newman on Philanthropy

Category 3: Donate gifts

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”

Paul Newman

Paul Newman, an actor and philanthropist, made an insightful statement about giving back and positively impacting the world. Newman recognized that to live a meaningful life, we must care for each other and the planet that sustains us. Like a farmer tending the soil, we must replenish the resources we use during our lifetimes.

One powerful way we can do this is by making charitable donations through our Wills. By allocating part of our accumulated assets to philanthropic causes upon our passing, we continue making a difference in the world beyond our lifetimes. This act of generosity embodies Newman’s philosophy of slipping off the planet with the least fuss while giving back.

About Paul Newman, Generous Philanthropist and Activist

Paul Newman wore many hats during his 83 years of life. He was a successful actor, race car driver, entrepreneur, husband, and father. But one of his proudest roles was that of philanthropist. Throughout his career, Newman donated millions to charity and established the Newman’s Own food company, which gives 100% of profits to good causes.

Paul Newman’s Life:

  • Born in 1925 in Ohio, USA
  • Died in 2008 at age 83 of lung cancer
  • Married to actress Joanne Woodward for 50 years
  • Earned numerous acting awards, including an Oscar for Best Actor in The Color of Money (1986)
  • Launched food company Newman’s Own in 1982

Newman was deeply committed to making the world a better place. He supported organizations empowering children, assisting the sick, and promoting environmental stewardship. Some of his favoured causes included:

  • SeriousFun Children’s Network – Established by Newman in 1988, this charity operates camps for children with serious illnesses. The experiential programs help build skills and confidence.
  • Scott Newman Center – After losing his son Scott to a drug overdose in 1978, Newman founded this center to educate youth about substance abuse dangers.
  • Hole in the Wall Gang – Named after Newman’s film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, this camp serves children with life-threatening conditions. Activities help kids experience the joys of childhood.
  • Environmentalism – An early activist, Newman championed green causes like renewable energy and protecting ecosystems. He even campaigned against the Keystone Pipeline in 2007.

Newman believed in taking action to care for others and our shared planet. His outspoken advocacy and hands-on work with charities made a tangible impact on many lives.

Carrying on Paul Newman’s Philanthropic Legacy

Paul Newman was not content to merely make donations during his lifetime. He ensured his giving would continue by incorporating philanthropy into his estate plans.

After Newman’s death from cancer at age 83, his Will donated his entire ownership stake in Newman’s Own food company to charity. This gift was worth an estimated $120 million in 2008. Thanks to his vision, the company has given over $550 million to thousands of charities since 1982.

You, too, can carry on Newman’s legacy by:

  • Making a charitable gift in your Will – Designate part of your estate to your favourite cause through your Will.
  • Giving retirement assets – Name a charity as the beneficiary of your RRSPs or RRIFs to reduce taxes and maximize impact.
  • Donating life insurance – Purchase a new policy with a one-time premium or make a charity the beneficiary of coverage you already have.

A gift in your Will helps ensure your values continue inspiring good even after you’re gone.

Tax Rewards for Charitable Gifts in Your Will

Charitable gifts made through your Will provide credits that can significantly reduce your estate’s overall tax burden.

For example, a $50,000 gift could generate tax savings of $25,000, depending on the tax on your estate. You distribute more of your wealth to your causes and less to taxes. Your estate can carry forward any excess credits for up to 5 years.

With wise planning, you can often increase the size of your estate’s charitable gifts instead of reducing gifts to your heirs.

Cost-Effective Options for Funding Your Gift

Charitable giving should not compromise the well-being of your loved ones after you’re gone. Life insurance is an effective way to provide charitable gifts without reducing your estate for heirs.

Getting a new policy and naming a charity as owner/beneficiary lets you amplify your donation. 

Life insurance gifts are easy to arrange, flexible, and excluded from probate. Premiums may be treated as charitable gifts if the charity is the owner/beneficiary. Suitable life insurance lets you support your chosen cause while providing for your family.

We’re happy to help you develop a custom philanthropy plan that balances generosity with family security.

Take Inspiration from Paul Newman’s Legacy

Paul Newman showed the immense positive influence we can have by giving generously of ourselves, our time, and our resources. His words and deeds inspire us to lead lives that uplift and sustain others.

You can follow Newman’s lead. Like the farmer nourishing the soil, you can replenish the world with a thoughtful charitable gift from your estate.

The time to plant the seeds of your giving is now. Let’s discuss how to integrate charitable gifts into your estate plans. Together, we can develop a strategy to support your family’s future and your community’s long-term well-being.

Just as Newman’s gifts continue helping others long after his passing, your giving can have an enduring ripple effect.

Learn how the Will Power campaign helps you include a gift to charity in your Will and about the pros and cons of donating life insurance.

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