In 2004, the US Congress officially recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month as a way to improve knowledge and understanding of financial concepts such as budgeting, debt, saving and investing. These are crucial concepts to learn, however, there is very little formal financial education for our children. According to the Council for Economic Education, only a third of states require high school students to take a personal financial class in order to graduate. So it is no surprise that one in five 15-year-olds in the US lack basic financial literacy in 2017 according to the Program for International Student Assessment.
This week on Andy's Inspired Money podcast, he spoke with Wendy Steele on the power of generosity and giving. Wendy is the founder and creator of Impact 100 which brings transformational grants to communities across the United States and Australia. Since its inception, Impact 100 has given away more than $45 million to worthy nonprofits.
This morning I received an email in my inbox from Kiva that reminded me today marks my 10th anniversary since joining the incredible microfinancing online platform. To celebrate, I made my 2500th loan which went to the Sreyhach's Group in Cambodia. Sreyhach makes a living cultivating rice and she does extra works as a farmer to support her family. In her village there is no reliable access to safe, clean drinking water. Having a water filter at home will help Sreyhach safeguard the health of her family, save money on medical expenses and save time collecting fuel and boiling water. We are truly blessed living in the US and it is hard to imagine living in Cambodia where you are lucky to make $1/day. In addition, imagine a life where you have no clean water. I dream of a day that everyone around the world has access to clean water and at least their basic needs met.
Almost 10 years ago in October 2007, I made my first loan on Kiva.org whose mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. My loan was to Mrs. Doung in Cambodia who needed $1,200 to purchase a motor-bike to transport her children to work. She was earning just $4.80/day in revenue and her husband was earnings $3.60/day. Such is life in the developing world and they were probably considered lucky earning more than $1/day;. In the end she made her payments on time and 20 months later, her loan was paid off in full. Since then I have made 2410 more loans in 79 countries around the world and I have enjoyed helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and help their families in the process. It is thrilling to know that Kiva just passed an unbelievable milestone -- Kiva lenders created over $1 billion in loans! I'm honored that I could be a part of it. Here are 5 reasons why I enjoy making loans on Kiva.
Every newborn baby should enter this world healthy. The March of Dimes is dedicated to doing their best to make sure that happens. That's why Runnymede Capital Management proudly served as a corporate sponsor of March of Dimes' March for Babies.Runnymede's Director of Research Chris Wang was honored to serve as the Chair for the Morris County walk held at Fairleigh Dickenson in Madison, NJ on April 30th and he looks forward to serving again in 2018. The Runnymede team walked with hundreds of other families in the community event which aimed to raise over $190,000.
Feeling a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge? It is still early yet this December so there's time for prepping, shopping, and holiday parties. And if you should find redemption after meeting the three Ghosts of Christmas, you may find yourself wanting to gift some of your appreciated stock to a qualified charity. If so, here's a quick article on valuing your charitable stock donation.
This weekend millions of people will gather around the United States and join together in the fight to end premature birth. The March for Babies is held yearly in over a thousand communities with the proceeds going to fund March of Dimes research to prevent premature births, birth defects and infant mortality.
This will be the 3rd year that my family participates in this wonderful event. Last year Runnymede was a top corporate fundraiser in Morris County and once again we are hoping to be a big contributor. If you would like to help with a donation, any amount would help the cause, even if only a dime.
Here are 3 reasons why I walk at the March for Babies:
Officially approved by Congress on December 18th, 2015, there will be no more waiting until the final weeks of December (or beyond) to see if Congress will extend the Qualified Charitable Distribution from IRAs. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 includes a provision to permanently extend the ability of individuals at least 70½ years of age to exclude from gross income qualified charitable distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) of up to $100,000 per taxpayer in any tax year.
#GivingTuesday refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and was a movement started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. This national day of giving was a response to the commercialization and consumerism that created Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday has seen significant growth since 2012. Last year, it brought in over $45 million, a 63% increase over 2013. While this is impressive growth, it is merely a rounding error in comparison to Black Friday and Cyber Monday which are expected to bring in $13 billion in sales in 2015. Let's help flip that script and raise more money for charities in 2015!
On December 16, 2015, there was an update to this post.
Before reading this, please reference the up-to-date information at:
Qualified Charitable Distribution from IRAs Permanently Extended
For those of you at least 70½ years old, you are probably very aware of minimum required distributions (MRDs) that you are required to withdraw every year from your retirement account(s). What you may not know is that The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enabled IRA owners, age 70½ or over, to directly transfer up to $100,000 per year tax-free to an eligible charity. This option could be used for distributions from IRAs, regardless of whether the owners itemize their deductions. Moreover, the transfer counts as your required minimum distribution (RMD) but does not boost your adjusted gross income. As of this writing, however, Congress has not passed legislation permitting tax-free transfers from IRAs to charity.
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