Work “One More Year” – As A Gift To Charity?

Gift

I’ve always had this interesting thought about highly paid athletes that are financially independent and retire early from their careers: why don’t they work “one more year” and donate all of the money they earn their last season to charity? Wouldn’t that be a magnanimous gesture? Wouldn’t every fan and city they visited be excited by what the are doing?

Obviously some athletes’ careers end because they get injured or cut from the team (and can’t catch on with another).  But what about the really high profile ones that essentially do a “victory lap” like Derek Jeter or Mariana Rivera of the New York Yankees did recently?

Then I was thinking – shouldn’t I do the same thing? I’m a (relatively) high paid employee for Megacorp and my dear wife and I are financially independent at 48. Rather than retire early – how about working the next year and build a charitable nest egg to then give away in early retirement? (FIRE at Fifty).  It’s not like I’ve been injured or cut from the team.

We already give time & money to charity each year, so this would be an “extra” and give our early retirement a purpose – to give away the OMY treasure.  My last year will be an added year of service: both to the company and the causes that will benefit from the giving tree that we will grow.  Starting this April, we are going to challenge ourselves to save all of our paychecks (and bonuses) in a “One More Year Fund” for philanthropy in immediate retirement.

Anyone else thought of thought of this?  Anyone else already doing it?

Image Credit:  asenat29

31 thoughts on “Work “One More Year” – As A Gift To Charity?

  1. That sounds pretty cool. I am considering something similar: perhaps after becoming financially independent I would continue working for 16-20 hours per week (because my job is pretty cool) and I would donate my salary. However, I’m still years and years from being FI, so I don’t know how I’ll feel about this when that time arrives.

    Instead of donating to a charity immediately you could also keep it as a separate, invested stash, and donate 4% of it every year “for eternity”… Not sure what the best use of money would be…

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  2. I’m doing just this, but as a gift of time (and some donations.) I felt a call to help young people find work and left the corporate world to start a nonprofit called UpTurnships (www.UpTurnships.org)

    My work as Chair and CEO of UpTurnships is 100% volunteer. What a fulfilling way to spend my time and and use my skills built up after 30 years in business. We help first-generation college students see their potential and secure a job in their field at graduation. The team of other volunteers can’t be beat- best team experience ever! And payment comes in the form of young people being transformed… they get unstuck, move forward to new dreams with new skills and give back to the next class of ‘UpTurns.’ Just can’t be beat!

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    1. Julie – I will be excited to hear more & get involved! I’ve seen your posts on Facebook it looks very worthwhile.

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  3. MrFireStation, I just stumbled upon this post. It looks like ~1 year since you wrote it. LOVE IT! That’s such a fantastic gesture you and your wife have committed to. Very creative and inspirational. I look forward to reading more. 🙂 Any ideas how you’ll be distributing your philanthropy fund?

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    1. Thanks, Michael – it has been a year since we started this, and I am almost finished with my bonus comes next month. We had given a little of the money to my sons high school for some of the programs that he has been involved with over the last four years. Most of the money is just sitting in a money market account – awaiting my early retirement date next month. I wrote an update to this original post in December – you could look at that and see a little more of an update. Thanks for your kind words!

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  4. I have been profoundly influenced by this idea! I’m not in ‘the clear’ for retirement, as I still have younger children (read: proms, college, weddings, unexpectedness, etc). I deeply admire this principle, and am making plans for the day(s) where I may formally put it into practice.

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    1. Good to hear! It gave a lot of meaning to my last year of work and it has been fun to start investing / giving over the last year. I read recently that Presidents Hoover & Kennedy (both quite wealthy) did the same.

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