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Mike Miller of Allentown has been scaling back the number of hours he spends at his accounting firm in order to make the most of retirement. Wife Linda Miller gets to enjoy more leisure time with Mike as a result. The two are taking time out, though, to help ensure they can maintain their current lifestyle for many years to come. They also want to continue their support for the Jewish community in the Lehigh Valley. With both of these goals in mind, the Millers have set up a deferred charitable gift annuity.
When Mike's New York accounting firm asked him to open a branch office in Allentown in 1966, he says, "I was the office... then everything just mushroomed." Linda had grown up here and was glad to renew her involvement with Congregation Keneseth Israel and the JCC. Mike followed suit. He also put to good use for the Jewish Federation his growing professional experience in financial and estate planning.
The couple always wanted to be more charitable, but they had three daughters to see through college and into adulthood. Today, their daughters are married and settled.
When Mike was looking toward reducing his hours from full-time to "10 percent," the couple made a meaningful charitable gift to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. They did so at a time when such a gift would still have a significant positive impact on their income tax return.
As set out in a legal contract, the Federation will make a monthly payment to the Millers for the rest of their lives, with the first payment deferred to a time of the Millers' choosing. There is an assumption that about half of the donation may eventually be leftover, at which time it will be used to benefit specified local Jewish organizations with which the Millers have been involved over the years.
Mike likes the arrangement because, as he says, "This way you get a steady stream of income from a very reliable investment." As a board member on the Federation's investment and endowment committees, Mike is "very comfortable with the strategy and what's being accomplished."
For her part, Linda says, "I just feel so good that we've been able to benefit future generations."