5 ways generosity is good for you

Have you ever pulled up to a Starbucks drive-through window, prepared to pay for your coffee, only to have the barista tell you those magic words – “It’s already paid for”?
Your day just got a little bit brighter.
Know what feels even better?  When you pay for someone else’s coffee. 
Giving isn’t just good for the recipient.  It’s good for the giver, too!
There’s something about generosity, about giving to others that makes us feel like we’re on top of the world.  Whether our gift is a widow’s mite or a billionaire’s bounty, giving makes us all feel good.
There are many ways generosity is good for you, whether you’re volunteering your time or donating your money.  Here are our top five.


5 ways generosity is good for you


1. It makes you happier.  That warm glow that you feel when you do something nice for someone is actually backed by science.  Research shows that when people give to others (people, charities, causes, etc.), feel-good endorphins are released in the brain, creating a “helper’s high.”  Not surprisingly, generosity is also linked to increased self-esteem and satisfaction in life.  To do something good that goes beyond yourself – well, that’s pretty awesome.


2.  It makes you healthier.  Studies show that people who give live longer.  They feel less stress, have lower blood pressure and a greater sense of purpose, all which lead to increased longevity.


3.  It allows you to make a difference in someone’s life.  You have the power to change someone’s life for the better.  Now, that’s heady stuff.  The bedrock of generosity is the conviction that someone or something beyond yourself, matters greatly. What’s important to you?  Are there people, organizations or causes that you care deeply about?  Giving is a tangible way to express your values and link arms with people and purposes you want to stand behind.


4.  It creates connection.  When you give to someone or something, a bond is forged.  If you weren’t attached to this person or thing before, you are now.  You feel invested because you ARE invested.  Giving is the “Miracle-Gro”™ that builds relationships, nurturing a spirit of cooperation and trust.


5.  It may bring a tax benefit. If you are giving more than the standard tax deduction amount, and to a charity approved by the IRS, most likely your gift will be tax deductible.  If you are an investor age 70.5 or older, every year you can gift up to $100,000 of charitable distributions from your IRAs, without having to count them as taxable, ordinary income.

Such gifts are called, “Qualified Charitable Distributions” (QCDs).  They allow you to gift directly from your IRA to a charity, without having to include the distribution as part of your taxable income.  Some of you are fortunate and do not need the annual IRS-required distributions from your tax-deferred accounts (“required minimum distributions,” or “RMDs”). If that’s the case, this may be your golden opportunity to exercise generosity – and save on taxes.


Generosity is a win-win for all.  As you consider a spending plan for next year (you do have one, right?), ask yourself:  What if generosity is part of my plan?

Consider the possibilities.  We don’t think you’ll regret it.


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