Dr. William "Bill" Becher '50 RE and his wife, Helen, know more than just a little about the benefits of a charitable gift annuity. During the summer of 2005, Bill, a retired professor and former chair of the electrical engineering department at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and his wife were looking at how they might best make a significant charitable gift to the University. The Bechers were intrigued with the benefits offered by using a charitable gift annuity that would allow them to make a gift that would leave a lasting legacy to the University and provide them an annual payment during their lives. They funded their charitable gift annuity with appreciated securities, and at the same time created the documents for a future-funded William and Helen Becher Endowed Engineering Scholarship for students.
The endowment itself will be created with the remaining principal left in the annuity fund following their passing. They received very nice tax benefits and achieved a lifelong desire to give something back to the University. The Bechers are well satisfied with annual annuity payments of 6.4 percent on the original contribution, and find the annual tax statements sent to them very helpful. Bill has even mentioned he might have been better off converting more of his appreciated assets to the annuity had he known the market would crash in 2008.