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Charitable Gift Annuities Create Future Support for Stanford

Jon and Carol Hoffmann’s Gifts Will Help Fund Medical Research

Hoffman Donors

With a long career as an aerospace engineer, Mr. Jon Hoffmann could write the book on how to think expansively, and how exploratory research changes over time.

He observed the testing of the first scale model of the space shuttle, beginning with a research stint at NASA-Ames that included a fellowship in mechanical engineering at Stanford. Then, as a professor in aircraft education for more than three decades at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, he taught the principles of aerodynamic design, instrumentation, and experimental techniques.

When it came time to retire in 2002, Mr. Hoffmann was equally exacting and forward-thinking as he began his estate planning process. He discovered a planned giving vehicle called a charitable gift annuity that allowed him and his wife, Carol—who also retired the same year from her teaching career—to obtain a charitable income tax deduction, and receive a secure income stream for the rest of their lives.

“I’m aware of Stanford’s reputation and the work it does in medicine. Carol and I feel that we’re putting the money where we want it to go. We feel very good about these gifts, and they are a stable investment, too,” Mr. Hoffmann says. “We got a nice tax deduction, and with a gift of cash, a good portion of our income stream is tax-free. Those are two very good attributes. We’d rather give money to Stanford than to the IRS.”

Over the years, the Hoffmanns have chosen to establish several charitable gift annuities to receive fixed, stable income payments. Through this planned giving vehicle, the couple will also support research in an area they care deeply about—medicine.

“We have all been affected by illness and disease, and medicine needs further research to improve people’s lives,” says Mr. Hoffmann. “I look back at the first statin drug that came out in 1978. My dad died in 1978 from heart disease. Perhaps if he would have had statin drugs, he would have lived longer and had a better quality of life.”

Because of his experience in a fast-moving, innovative field that has expanded from aeronautics to astronautics, Mr. Hoffmann is also keenly aware of how medicine is changing every day. He and Carol wanted to structure their gifts to Stanford Medicine to be broad-based, flexible, and most usable in the future. When the Hoffmanns pass away, the funds will go to the highest priority or greatest need in medical research at that time.

“We want the money to go to the School of Medicine and have the dean of the school decide at that time where it should go, because as we all know, things change,” he says.

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