They say that good things come to those who wait. John Gardner knows this from experience. He waited longer than most to marry, and he is patient and deliberate in his financial giving. John often tells the story of how he met his wife Jane — and how she was worth waiting for. He believed in the Monroe Doctrine of relationships, “no entangling engagements.” But, he says, “when I met my Jane, I was a confirmed bachelor. I warned her that marrying me would be a mistake, but, in spite of my warnings, she married me.” After they married, Jane embraced John’s obligations to his mother and disabled father, and she provided constant love and support throughout their many years together before her death in 1988.
In his early 80s, John, now in his early 90s, read about charitable gift annuities (“CGAs”) in newspapers and business magazines. After thorough research, he funded his first CGA, a gift that pays John a fixed percentage of income annually for the rest of his life. Since 1999, he has funded one new CGA annually and has established gift annuities with seven different charitable organizations, with multiple CGAs going to three of those organizations. One of those organizations is Catholic Charities.
John’s primary reason for establishing CGAs is to benefit charitable organizations like Catholic Charities, and he is particularly supportive of the work of Our Daily Bread Employment Center. John also cites a secondary reason for establishing a number of CGAs. Over time, he has realized the benefit of increasing his fixed income.
John lives at Oak Crest Village, a continuing care retirement community in Parkville. He knows that, if he should experience a serious physical problem and require long-term nursing care, the cost would be substantial. “By increasing my fixed income, it is possible to narrow the spread between my fixed income and the cost of care.” John hopes that this fixed income, in addition to some of his other savings, would cover long-term health care expenses for a few years if necessary. In the meantime, John does not need all of the fixed income from his CGAs now, so he waits patiently until he has accumulated enough extra income and then uses it to fund an additional gift annuity each year.
John has established these gift annuities in memory of his beloved wife Jane. “I am very grateful for everything she did. Over the years, we did everything together and said the rosary together every night. She was a very big part of my life all the way through.”
A simple “thank you” isn’t enough for John Gardner. John is grateful for the many blessings he has received throughout his life – parents he loved and admired, his beloved wife Jane, and the financial resources he has managed to save. And he shows his thanks by giving back.