Not long after Shirley and Dennis Gillespie, of Rye, New Hampshire, retired, they started making some changes. After spending more than 20 years together in New Hampshire, they thought they’d give a winter a try in Arizona, where they had bought a vacation home several years prior. They acquired a new puppy, Colt, who has been a fun but challenging addition to the family. And, they began thinking seriously about estate planning.
With no children, the Gillespies wanted to ensure their hard-earned assets went to a good cause. Because Dennis had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s over six years ago, Shirley suggested and her husband agreed they look to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, as a potential “win-win for everyone,” they say.
As do many with Parkinson’s, Dennis actively researches his disease and finds the Foundation’s Web site a valuable resource. He says, “Michael J. Fox has good reason to make sure the dollars his Foundation raises are used wisely and efficiently. The Fox Foundation is right on the ball when it comes to funding Parkinson’s research.”
Like many retirees, the Gillespies had another concern: ensuring a guaranteed income throughout their retirement. They were interested in a charitable gift annuity, in which they would transfer assets to a charitable organization that, in turn, would annually pay them a fixed sum, depending on their age, throughout their lifetime. Upon connecting with the Foundation, Shirley says, “The staff was so helpful. We were amazed at how easy and fast it was to set it up.” They established a charitable gift annuity of $100,000.
Planning their estate isn’t the only proactive step Dennis and Shirley have taken. Exercising more regularly, they both enjoy walking and yoga, along with working out at the gym and partaking of the club’s many activities — all of which helps Dennis better manage his Parkinson’s. To accelerate research, Dennis is also interested in participating in a clinical study, which he discussed with his neurologist. He is using Fox Trial Finder, the Foundation’s clinical trial matching tool, to research trials that might be a good fit.
Say Dennis and Shirley, “However we can make sure the research is done on this disease — for us and for the future — we’ll do it.”
To learn more about estate planning to benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation, please call (800) 708-7644.