5 Reasons to Be Stingy

5 Reasons to Be Stingy

by Bill High

Five reasons to be stingy? I know this blog is supposed to be about generosity. But, hey, let’s face it, there really are some good reasons to be stingy.

George and Mary (not their real names) are 75, high school sweethearts, married 50 years and hard workers. They began years ago buying real estate and renting it out. The business evolved into shopping centers and hotels. Their net worth is right about $20 million.

At 75, however, they are starting to slow down and their health isn’t what it used to be. Their children and grandchildren are scattered in different parts of the country. They’d like to see the kids more, but one piece of property requires constant attention to be profitable. That property is wearing them out.  They were referred to me because a friend encouraged them to donate this profitable but energy-sapping property.

My ensuing conversation with them produced the following 5 Reasons to Be Stingy:

  • Reason 1:  The proverbial “in just a few more years” things will slow down and I’ll be where I want to be financially, then I will give.
  • Reason 2:  I can’t donate this property because I want to sell it and (you guessed it) turn around and buy more property.
  • Reason 3:  I can’t donate this property because no one else can run it like I can.  Translate:  I like the control.  I want control.
  • Reason 4:  Even though I’ve got plenty to live on, you just never know if you’ll need the $2 million that you might get from the sale of the property.  Translate:  if you don’t know your finish lines, you’ll never donate.
  • Reason 5:  The kids and grandkids should come see them anyway.

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Published August 18, 2010

Topics: Generosity

Charitable GivingGenerosity

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