Jan Johnson found an easy way to save herself money while getting more people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds onto bikes, and she wants you to know about it.
Jan has been a Cascade member since 1976. She’s a dedicated ride leader with our Free Daily Rides program (and last year’s Ride Leader of the Year), and she shows up at Cascade’s office at least once a week to chat with staff and help out wherever she can.
“Cascade was advocating for bicyclists before we had bike lanes or the Burke-Gilman Trail, when there wasn’t any Lycra and everyone wore wool and rode 10-speed bikes,” she told me. “It’s definitely lived up to my expectations as an advocate for bicyclists, whether they’re families, commuters or people who want to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Jan will be turning 74 this year, which means – like everyone over the age of 70.5 – she’s required to withdraw a certain percentage from her IRAs (that’s “Individual Retirement Accounts,” for the uninitiated) every year, or she’ll face heavy penalties. These withdrawals, called “Required Minimum Distributions,” are taxed at a percentage that – like the withdrawal amounts themselves – increases each year as you grow older.
Thanks to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law by President Obama in January 2013, you can fill out a form with your financial institution or financial advisor and have those Required Minimum Distributions sent directly to the bank account of a non-profit organization of your choice. Even better, you won’t have to pay taxes on them. It’s called a “Charitable IRA Rollover Gift,” and the maximum donation amount is $100,000.
When Jan made this discovery, she headed right for her representative at Edward Jones, who told her, “Oh yes, we do that all the time.” She pulled out the form, which they filled out together. Within a couple of weeks, her donation had made its way to Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. Being a generous soul, she even added the amount she would have had to pay in taxes to her donation – which means she was able to give even more in support of an organization that’s near and dear to her heart.
“It was easy,” she said. “Much easier than I thought it would be.”
It may be easy, but it may not last for long. The law expires in December 2013, which means Charitable Rollover Gifts could be rolling away at the end of the year. If you’re over age 70, talk to your financial institution about giving a Charitable IRA Rollover Gift to Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation. You’ll save on taxes – and more importantly, you’ll join Jan in helping us create healthy, livable communities where bicycling is safe, convenient and fun.