Many of our clients have accumulated significant assets over a lifetime of hard work and good fortune. More assets than they will need to see them through a secure retirement—even on our conservative economic assumptions. More than they’d like to leave to their children, who they hope will chart a self-reliant course through life. For many, it is an embarrassment of riches. As we discuss with clients the question of “what it’s all for”—the money, the work, the meaning of their lives—the question of charitable giving frequently arises.
More often than not, our clients are unsure whether, when, and how to share what they’ve earned, outside the confines of established family relationships. They express that it’s easier to figure out how to earn money, than how to give it away. Our Q3 letter seeks to address that uncertainty by suggesting a framework within which to establish charitable giving priorities and consider one’s options. We do so by addressing a set of rhetorical questions—and offering some possible answers.