Planning matters

Your Last Minute Financial Gift Guide

It’s the week before Christmas and if you still have some shopping to do, don’t despair. We’re rewarding you for waiting to the last minute with ideas that simultaneously fulfill your gift giving obligation while encouraging financial responsibility. Plus, all our suggestions are an easy click away. Read on for details:

Savings Bonds

A classic gift for children or young adults, there are two primary savings bond options:

  • EE bonds earn a fixed rate of interest up to 30 years.
  • I bonds earn a fixed rate of interest—plus an additional inflation-adjusted rate—that is reinvested semiannually.

Gains from all savings bonds are exempt from state and local income taxes—and may be free from federal taxes when the bonds are used for qualified high-education expenses. Both EE and I bonds can be purchased online at www.treasurydirect.gov. Both you and your recipient will need a TreasuryDirect account. You’ll also need your recipient’s full name and social security number.

529 College Savings

A gift for both your children and grandchildren, this generous gift helps parents fund their child’s education and helps grandchildren graduate from college debt free. 529 College Savings plans provide federal tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals for qualified expenses. Residents are not limited to investing in their own state’s plan. Check out www.savingforcollege.com to shop for plans.

Kiva Gift Card

For the aspiring entrepreneurial, consider a microfinance loan at Kiva. With as little as $25, Kiva gives your recipient a chance to make a loan to people in more than 80 countries, so they can start businesses, go to school and improve life for their families. After the Kiva gift card is given, the recipient logs onto Kiva.org, and finds a cause they want to help fund. Read more at https://www.kiva.org/gifts/kiva-cards

Charitable Donations

Making a charitable donation in another person’s name is a great gift idea. Plus you can get a gift in the way of capturing the tax deduction. Make sure the charity is a qualified organization. A great place to research the thousands of charities out there is on https://www.charitynavigator.org/ Then, make sure you claim the deduction on your Schedule A come tax season.

Give the Gift of Reading

I can’t remember a holiday when a book wasn’t a gift underneath our family Christmas tree. And although I’m a fan of real books (no Kindle for me), gifting an e-book is simple. Just make sure you know the kind of e-reader device your recipient owns.

There is no shortage of great financial books on the market and Amazon reviews make it easy to find one that works for your recipient. Another option is a subscription to Wall Street Journal. The digital version is easy, but it feels so good to hold a real paper in your hands.

Regardless, as your financial planners we believe you can’t put a price on the gift of financial literacy! Happy financial gift giving!

Written By Rachel Gorretta