Financial Planner. Two Alumnae, Two Ways to Give. Gift planning newsletter from Cornell University Spring Penny Mills, MBA 82

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1 Financial Planner Gift planning newsletter from Cornell University Spring 2012 Two Alumnae, Two Ways to Give Both Penny Mills and Phyllis Blair have enjoyed influential and groundbreaking careers. Both women attribute their success in part to their Cornell educations. And both remain grateful for the financial support that made it possible for them to attend Cornell. But their approaches to philanthropy are different and represent two types of planned gifts. Penny Mills, MBA 82 In 1980, when Frank H. T. Rhodes was Cornell s relatively new president and the U.S. legislative branch was grappling with how to address drastically rising health-care costs, Penny Mills, MBA 82, entered Cornell s Sloan Program in Health Administration, which was then in the Johnson Graduate School of Management. The Sloanies were a tight group, Mills remembers fondly, and the identity we had was important, especially within a relatively large class of B-school students. continued on page 2 Phyllis Blair, BS 53 I came from a family that didn t have all that much money to send me to college, and thus I know the importance of receiving financial help, says Phyllis Blair, who followed her undergraduate education at Cornell with graduate school and a long, distinguished career as a professor at the University of California Berkeley. In 1992 she retired from a research and teaching career in oncology, immunology, and virology. She also discovered that her financial assets would allow her to both enjoy a second career and make a gift to Cornell. continued on page 3

2 Penny Mills, MBA 82 continued from cover One of the first of its kind in the United States, the Sloan Program offered a certificate and business degree to students committed to working in the health-care industry to advance the health and well-being of people and communities, as the program s current director, Will White, has put it. Thus armed with an excellent education specializing in the complex business of medicine, Mills went on to work in hospital management, consulting, and medical society management. Her medical society experience covered almost every angle, including strategic planning, publishing, marketing, and fundraising. Today she is executive vice president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Mills is also a board member of the alumni association for the Sloan Program, which is now part of the College of Human Ecology, offering both a Master of Health Administration degree and a dual-degree MHA/MBA with the business school. Mills spoke to current Sloan students this past January at a panel discussion in Washington, D.C. The topic was health reform and the Affordable Care Act. Mills expertise and passion for improving the American healthcare system impressed students. The passion of the speakers was not only apparent, said Rachna Badlani, who will graduate from the Sloan Program next year, but also contagious. Mills hopes her support for Cornell is contagious too. I was fortunate to receive a public-health service grant that helped to pay my tuition, Mills explains. And I never had to do anything in return for this gift. Philanthropy to the Sloan Program is a way to pay back. Plus, she adds, I want to continue to make the Sloan Program as vital as possible. To that end, Mills and her husband, Peter Carl Simpson, PhD 85, recently updated their will. We selected a handful of charities to include. My husband was willing to designate our Cornell bequest to Sloan because it has been such a professionally meaningful part of my life and my life is his life too. The couple s planned gift will support graduate students in the program, just as graduate student aid allowed Mills to attend more than 25 years ago. A.D. White overlooks Cornell s ever-changing landscape. 2

3 Phyllis Blair, BS 53 continued from cover Being able to go to the tuition-free Ag school was exceedingly important to me, providing me with a relatively inexpensive and splendid education, she says. But things have changed, and the cost of an education is much higher now. Blair recently established charitable gift annuities and before that a charitable remainder unitrust. Her gift will provide support for a win-win situation: Cornell wins, I win, and the next generation wins. And setting up a Cornell charitable remainder unitrust was absolutely the logical way to go, she says. I put my investments in a place where I know what will happen to them when I don t need them anymore, and in the interim I get an income. There is a certain security knowing that your A Cornell gift annuity has a tremendous advantage to me. At my age, to receive 7 or 8 percent is a remarkably good return. It s totally a win-win situation: Cornell wins, I win, and the next generation wins. graduate students, a designation Blair made because of the important foundation Cornell gave her for graduate-education success. A Cornell gift annuity has a tremendous advantage to me. At my age to receive 7 or 8 percent is a remarkably good return. It s totally money is in good hands, hands that will pay a lot of attention to good investments. Yes, I feel generous, but gift planning is also just perfect for my situation and for Cornell. Cornell is managing my money and making better decisions than I would be making if I handled my own accounts. Next Steps: Are you wondering what your best next step is? Maybe you d like to order our free booklets, Estate and Charitable Planning for Today s Woman and A Philanthropist s Guide to Federal Taxes 2012, or you d like to speak to us directly. Here are a few options: 1. Visit us online at 2. Download your free Wills Kit at 3. Return the reply card. 4. Call us at (800) us at 6. Join the Cayuga Society. 3

4 Wealth and Responsibility There s no question about it: Women have become a major force in the changing financial world. And with ownership of assets comes attendant responsibilities: We encourage you to recognize the importance of planning for the future especially for the future of your loved ones by reviewing your estate plan as set forth in your will. Conserving and using wealth to secure maximum benefits during life. Arranging the orderly distribution of assets according to personal objectives. Creating plans to minimize estate taxes and settlement costs. Ensuring that sufficient cash and other liquid assets will be available to pay estate taxes and settlement costs. Even if a woman no longer feels the need to depend on others, she must plan her estate not only to ensure her own financial security and that of children or other family members, but also to ensure the proper distribution of her assets to family members, friends, and charitable organizations. If you have not signed a will, you should know that the state in which you live provides a formula by which your assets will be distributed to your heirs. That formula may not be in the best interests of your heirs or in accordance with your wishes. It may subject your estate to needless taxes. If you have made a will, you should review it periodically in light of your changing circumstances as well as changes made in federal estate-tax laws. We discuss the effects of some of these tax laws on your estate elsewhere in this issue. While planning for the distribution of your estate need not be a burdensome or morbid task, failure to plan as many have learned the hard way continued on page 5 Your gift ensures Ezra s vision and enduring legacy. 4

5 Future Cornellians are counting on your support. Wealth and Responsibility continued from page 4 can lead to unnecessary negative consequences: distribution of assets to unintended beneficiaries, excessive and unnecessary tax liabilities, and forced sale of assets at sacrifice prices to raise funds to pay inheritance taxes and other estate liabilities. There are sophisticated planning instruments to protect you against such potential hazards. The first step, whether you are married or single, is to review your current asset picture and establish both short- and long-term goals. Then you will want to engage competent financial and legal counsel to explore the opportunities available to you. Federal Estate Tax Modified The gradual phase-out of the federal estate tax that began in 2001 was modified and extended by Congress late in The amount that is exempt from tax is now $5,120,000 per person, and the top tax rate has been reduced to 35%. In addition to increasing the exemption amount, the new law generally allows any unused exemption amount at the death of the first spouse to be used by the surviving spouse and added to his or her own exemption. This increase in the exemption amount and the portability of any unused exemption between spouses should eliminate the threat of federal estate taxes for all but the wealthiest Americans. However, unless Congress acts again these changes are set to expire at the end of 2012, so it is important to get in touch with your legal and financial advisors to explore how these changes will impact your financial, estate, and philanthropic plans. The information contained herein is offered for general informational and educational purposes. The figures cited in the examples and illustrations are accurate at the time of writing and are based on federal law as well as IRS discount rates that change monthly. State law may affect the results illustrated. You should seek the advice of an attorney for applicability to your own situation. Copyright Pentera, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5

6 Financial Planner Gift planning newsletter from Cornell University Spring 2012 You don t have to be wealthy to make a significant impact! Creating or updating your will keeps you in control. Get your free Wills Kit today! To learn how you can create a meaningful legacy that doesn t cost you anything in your lifetime, call (800) or visit this Web page to download your free copy. INSIDE THIS ISSUE Spring 2012 Two Alumnae, Two Ways to Give... 1 Wealth and Responsibility... 4 Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning 130 East Seneca Street, Suite 400 Ithaca, NY Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Cornell University

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