Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Prepare for the seasons of a lifetime

Jean Larsen

Legacy Endowment Community Foundation

I was reminded the other day how our lives can be viewed from the perspective of four seasons. As youngsters and teens, we are living our freshest and most “green” lives very much like a bountiful spring, growing ourselves in a hundred different ways all at once. When we have figured out who we are and what we want to accomplish, the summer season holds our adult years. By this season, we’ve settled into a lifestyle and our work earnings are dedicated to building a home life and family and becoming part of a larger community.

When we reach the fall season and we stretch into our middle age, it’s here that we usually reach the apex of our earnings and low and behold, we start saying, “how am I going to comfortably retire?” We can clearly see who is going to need extra care such as an aging parent, special needs child or close family member. We could be still paying off college bills – our own or our children’s – or be meeting unexpected financial or medical challenges.

Quite frankly, I consider this the set-up season to every individual’s last season, winter, where we must dedicate ourselves to thoughtful planning, not only for ourselves, but others. No one wants to be left out in the cold, so to speak.

Fortunately, and to my delightful discovery, so many individuals in Fallbrook, Bonsall, Rainbow and nearby regions are thoughtful planners. Names come to mind: Roy Ansell, Elizabeth Wilson, Jerry Kalman, Dr. John Gawley, Jon Frandell, Viola McDowell, James Hopson, Roberta Collister, Charles and Carole Mitchell and John and Vernice Deranian. These individuals not only planned for themselves and their families, but they also planned for beloved organizations and causes with great affection and consideration.

They started endowment funds at Legacy Endowment Community Foundation to make sure there was always an annual distribution of funding that would help uplift the lives of others. Names may lose some measure of identity as decades pass, but their good intentions to help others will never fade, long after the passing of their “winter” season.

This year, Legacy Endowment’s Grants Committee and Board of Directors released more than $562,000 in distributions because of individuals who took the time to arrange for charitable gift planning. Quite a few arranged for Charitable Remainder Trusts which paid them monthly income through their life’s winter season and also prearranged for the remainder of monies after they died to become permanent endowment funds. They used not their typical monthly income, but their assets to efficiently plan so contributions to their favorite charities would be ongoing in perpetuity.

We can see the seasons change each year, and every one of us passes through these seasons of change in our own lives. Doing good, changing the world, making a difference, these things can always be done. It’s just a matter of planning for the season.

Jean Larsen is executive director of Legacy Endowment Community Foundation. Legacy Endowment Community Foundation, located in Bonsall, is a nonprofit organization established in 1994. The foundation was established to serve donors, awards and grants and to provide community leadership for those living in the North County of San Diego. It is with a long-range vision that the foundation accepts contributions from individuals and organizations, stewards the funds in trusts and distributes them following the donor’s charitable intent.


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