"Deciding to give something back to Palmer College was not a difficult decision at all. Palmer was, after all, a significant contributor to my career," says Dr. Hill, Dav. '89. "Sure it takes a bit of business savvy, a few lessons learned from mistakes and a dash of luck too, but when I reflect back, it was always that love of chiropractic that kept me rooted that came from Palmer College."
Dr. Hill arrived at Palmer a wide-eyed, small town, Michigan farm girl whose undergraduate career was patched together from several majors. It wasn't only that she didn't know what she wanted to do, but also that she was interested in doing so many things. After a few days at Palmer and especially from listening to Dr. Strang's philosophy lectures, she had that "aha" moment and was hooked. It was just what she needed to channel her energy and quell any doubts. Since graduation, she has been practicing in Racine, Wisconsin for the past 25 years.
"For me, it was an easy decision to list Palmer as one of the beneficiaries on my retirement plan, Dr. Hill says. "It didn't take away from any of my current working capital and guaranteed Palmer's stake after I am no longer using it. Truly, you can designate any percentage you wish. I would also encourage my classmates and fellow alumni to do the same. It is my hope that my contribution can help provide that "aha" moment for other promising young chiropractic students. To Palmer, I apologize that you will have to wait a long time for your portion of my estate, but bigger slices come to those who wait."
Retirement funds make great charitable gifts, because family members (other than a surviving spouse) will have to pay taxes on monies they receive. Unspent retirement savings given to family members will be included in your estate and may be subject to estate tax, and family members will pay tax at their ordinary income rate resulting in very little of your remaining money actually going to your family.
A better solution would be to give your family assets that step-up in basis at death such as stock and real estate, which unlike your retirement assets, these assets may be received and sold by your family without paying any tax. If you are looking for ways to save on estate tax, your retirement assets actually make a better gift to charity, because Palmer College can receive the entire asset tax-free and use it to support our students.
Palmer College is more than happy to wait for legacy gifts, like Dr. Hill's, because they help secure the future of Palmer College and provide a true chiropractic education for our students. We are extremely grateful to our alumni and friends who have the vision and foresight to support the mission of Palmer College with legacy gifts.