Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Journey of Hope, Support, and Impact

By: W. Kirk Taylor, CFP®

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 1 out of 6 deaths [1]. Unfortunately, and like many of us, I have personally lost friends, family, and clients to various types of cancer over the years.

My first memory of death as a child, was that of my mother’s mother, who died of breast cancer when I was 12 years old. Just last week, a friend finally succumbed to his long battle with brain cancer. Fortunately, though, I also know more than a few cancer survivors. So, not all is lost and the fight to end our battle with cancer gains momentum every day!

While the last day of October is best known as Halloween… the evening when the little one’s go door-to-door saying “trick or treat”, at Kirk Capital Advisors we’re closing out the month not just with tricks but also with treats, as we take this opportunity to reflect on one of our firms core values – Connection.

Our team members greatly value the interpersonal relationships, connections, and close bonds we have formed with the families we serve. These relationships often span multiple decades, encompassing fond memories of milestone birthdays, high school and college graduations, weddings, and the births of children and grandchildren. Regrettably, they also entail the somber experience of losing family members.

The interactions and connections we’ve established with clients over the years inform many of our firm’s and personal core values, and philanthropic principles are integral to them. We firmly believe that we can ‘do well by doing good’, and thus, we proudly support charitable giving among our staff by matching their contributions to the causes they are most passionate about [2].

In this commentary, we’d like to shine a light on breast cancer, while simultaneously highlighting the financial benefits of supporting qualified 501c3 charities. In our book, it’s perfectly fine if doing well is a financial byproduct of doing good.

October, known for its captivating autumn colors, also heralds Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This global movement, originating in the 1980s through a partnership between the American Cancer Society and AstraZeneca, highlights the significance of early detection, patient support, and the pursuit of a cure for breast cancer.

Breast cancer remains a formidable challenge, with an estimated 43,700 deaths expected in the United States in 2023 [3]. Incidence rates continue to rise due to factors like weight and reproductive trends, underscoring the need for support.

To contribute to the fight against cancer, many people support charities like the American Cancer Society. Donations not only help the cause but can also provide tax benefits. By donating to IRS-recognized nonprofits, you may be able to reduce your taxable income leading to significant savings.

To claim a charitable deduction, you typically need to itemize your deductions and keep records of your donations. Different types of donations, including cash, property, and appreciated assets, can provide tax benefits but the benefit varies based on the type of contribution. A Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) is a tax-efficient strategy for retirees to support their causes, while allowing them to exclude their RMDs from their taxable income.

Cryptocurrency and stock donations offer tax advantages as well, and most well-established nonprofits accept these securities in lieu of cash donations. Employers may offer gift-matching programs, thereby increasing the impact of your donation.

Of course, charitable giving towards breast cancer extends beyond monetary donations and can include participation in events, volunteering, and raising awareness by wearing pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In this month of reflection and awareness, we invite you to join us in making a difference. Whether it’s supporting cancer research, lending a helping hand to those in need, or simply spreading the word about the importance of early detection and patient support, your actions can have a profound impact. Together, we can transform Breast Cancer Awareness Month into a catalyst for positive change. Let’s not only think about how we can do good but take concrete steps to make a real difference in the lives of those affected by cancer and other causes close to your heart. It’s time to turn our hopes into actions, our support into solutions, and our awareness into meaningful change.

Footnotes:

[1] Cancer, World Health Organization, 2022 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer

[2] Contributions must be made to a qualified 501c3 charity. We match a maximum of $1,000 per employee.

[3] Our work improves lives, American Cancer Society, 2023 https://raiseyourway.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.page&id=1007

3 Market Insights for Investors in Q2 2024

Here are three insights to help investors navigate this quarter, focusing on positive fundamentals and long-term rewards over short-term uncertainty and negative headlines. Read more here…

How Presidential Elections Affect the Stock Market

In this week’s Commentary, we provide investors with some historical insights and perspective on how the economy performs, and how the stock market responds to presidential elections, as well as shifts in the balance of power in Congress. Read more here…

Chasing Sunshine: A Guide to Thawing Out Winter Blues

As the cold winter months approach, many individuals find solace in planning escapes to warmer destinations. However, it is important to remember that the allure of escaping the cold comes with its own set of financial considerations. Therefore, here are some key points to keep in mind when budgeting for winter travel and how to safeguard your financial assets during your getaway. Read more here…