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November 20, 2016

The Giving Season: Make Smart and Effective Charitable Donations This Holiday Season.

   The holidays are a popular time for charitable donations.  With so many charities to choose from, it's more important than ever to ensure that your donation is well spent.  Here are six tips that can help you make smart and effective charitable donations.

1.  Choose your charities wisely.
Choosing worthy organizations that support the causes you care about can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be time-consuming.  There are several well-

       As a Registered Investment Advisor, Just Plans Etc. has a fiduciary duty to protect the interests of each of the firm's clients and to place the client's interests first and foremost in every situation.

This includes providing full and fair disclosure of all relevant facts and any potential or actual conflicts of interest, a duty of loyalty and good faith, providing recommendations that are suitable, and seeking best execution of client transactions.

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  • How much you can afford to give to the charity.  Stick to your giving goals and only give what you can afford.  Legitimate fundraisers will not try to pressure you and will be happy to send information that can help you make an informed decision regarding your donation.

2. Remember the importance of record keeping.
If you itemize when you file your taxes, you




known organizations that rate and review charities, as well as provide useful tips and information on how to donate and choose a charity.  To get started, here are some things to consider:

  • How the charity plans to use your gift.  Contact the charity by phone or go online to find information about the charity's mission, accomplishments, financial status, and future growth.

  • How much the charity spends on administrative costs.  If a charity has higher-than-average administrative costs, it may be spending less on programs and services than it should.  This could also be a sign that the charity is in serious financial trouble.  In addition, if a charity uses for-profit telemarketers, then it may get very little of the money it raises, so ask how much of your donation the charity will actually receive.

  • The legitimacy of the charity.  Take the time to check out the charity before you donate.  Ask for identification when approached by a solicitor, and never give out your Social Security number, credit card number, bank account number, account password, or personal information over the phone or in response to an e-mail you didn't initiate.


can deduct donations you've made to a tax-qualified charity - however, you must provide proper documentation of your donation to the IRS.  Keep copies of cancelled checks, bank statements, credit card statements, or receipts showing the charity's name, date of your donation, and contribution amount.  For donations or contributions of $250 or more, you'll need a detailed written acknowledgment from the charity.  For more information and a list of specific record-keeping requirements, see IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.



Why Use An Advisor?

     Because some people don't have the time, interest, or ability to do it themselves.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the multitude of alternatives one is confronted.  If not at age 30, then certainly by age 60, the #1 concern is having an adequate retirement income. Retirement income can only be provided by setting money aside ahead of time and investing it wisely.

We work with you to identify and quantify your objectives.  Once personal and financial information has been gathered, goals are established and constraints identified.  It is important that expectations be realistic. Investments are based on what is needed to reach your goals, taking into consideration your ability to tolerate market volatility.

When we manage your investments, the accounts are 100% discretionary. We may allocate portfolio assets to stocks, exchange traded and traditional mutual funds, separate accounts, CDs and Treasuries. Monthly statements are provided by the custodian. We provide quarterly performance reports and are available for personal reviews.



     In 1982 Just Plans was formed to provide investments for retirement plans, and to provide financial counseling to business owners and retirement plan participants.

In 1991 Just Plans shifted from a commission based firm to one based on a fee. Initially, clients okayed each trade; now trades are made at our discretion. Initially we exclusively used no load mutual funds held at Charles Schwab & Co; now we use all types of investments, but focus on individual stocks, exchange traded and traditional mutual funds.


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