A Gift of Life Insurance
John '61 and Mary Simko '64 experienced Augustana from different parts of campus: He was an athlete. She was a musician.
Based on their experiences, the couple knew they wanted to support Augustana music and athletics and worked with the Sioux Falls Area Foundation to make that support possible. After Mary died in 2012, John realized he could support most of their charitable giving in his lifetime. So he's using the money from his wife's life insurance policy to support two causes that were close to Mary's heart – their church and Augustana music.
Now, a $4,000 to $6,000 annual scholarship will benefit a junior or senior member of the Augustana Choir. In addition, a $4,000 fellowship will be split among four Augustana students in a string quartet of the First Lutheran Church Orchestra. John hopes the College can use the money to recruit talented student musicians.
Their gifts will support the work of Dr. Paul Nesheim, Augustana Choir conductor, in a couple of ways. Dr. Nesheim will not only pick the Augustana Choir scholarship recipient but also will write an original song for the First Lutheran Church Women's Choir, commissioned by John and Mary Simko through their gift to First Lutheran Church.
The Simko family also opened some of Mary's memorial fund to co-sponsor Augustana Christmas Vespers in 2012.
John said he and his wife didn't have much wealth in their estate, but Mary's life insurance policy allowed them to give more than they thought they could.
John: We didn't have money at all to speak of, yet $8,000 to $10,000 a year will go to Augie students from now on.
His advice to others considering planned giving: Do what moves you.
John: Augie was always close to our hearts for a lot of reasons. We knew we wanted to do something for Augie, but we didn't have an estate worth a hill of beans. You can maximize your gift using insurance even if you don't have significant amounts of money yourself. Using insurance, you can leave a significant gift.
Did you know that you can designate your life insurance policy to Augustana today and receive a charitable income tax deduction? You can then make deductible contributions to the College each year which we may use to pay the premiums. We benefit from the proceeds of your policy.
You also can designate Augustana College as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. You will continue to own and can make use of the policy during your lifetime. The policy will be included in your taxable estate when you pass away, but your estate will benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction for the value of the gift to us.
If you have any questions about making your gift of life insurance, please click here to send us an email with your questions or comments.