David Bernstein Takes Out SI’s First Annuity Contract
David Bernstein ’80, age 43, seems far too young to have taken out the school’s first-ever charitable gift annuity contract.
Charitable gift annuities usually appeal to people 65 and older who are tired of seeing their CDs languish below 2 percent and are pleased to parlay their age into a 7 percent, 8 percent or even higher payment rate.
Bernstein was able to get similar benefits by deferring his first payment until age 65.
The 22-year deferral provides him with future payments equal to 18.2 percent of his original contribution. “I did not think of this gift as a short-term sacrifice,” he said. “Instead, it was a long-term win-win situation for me and SI.”
Whether immediate or deferred, a gift annuity provides guaranteed fixed annual payments for life in return for a gift of cash, stock or real estate. The California Province of the Society of Jesus runs SI’s annuity program and guarantees the payments. Another benefit to a donor is that a portion of the annual payments are earned tax free.
“The paperwork took all of five minutes,” he added. “It was simple to do, easier than making an annual contribution.” He also got a charitable income tax deduction equal to nearly 40 percent of his gift.
But tax and income benefits were not David’s primary motive. “This year the school will celebrate its 150th anniversary and my classmates and I will celebrate our 25th reunion,” he said. “I wanted to do my part to help insure there will be at least another 25 years or, better yet, 150 years for SI to provide financial support to any qualified student who needs it.”
Bernstein, who is Vice President of Finance of Macromedia, a software development company based in San Francisco, credits SI for his introduction to what would become his professional life.
“The first time I took accounting was in a senior elective class taught by Mike Silvestri ’67 who now serves as SI’s business manager,” he said. He went on to graduate with a degree in accounting from SCU. He added that SI taught him to challenge himself to understand the world around him, to think critically and to act justly.
David is one of four Bernstein brothers to graduate from SI. His siblings include Mark ’75, John ’77 and Matthew ’81. His father, Dr. Joe Bernstein, served as the school’s team physician from 1971 through 2003, and his mother, Helen, was an SI regent and a strong advocate for the school’s becoming co-educational. Both parents received the school’s President’s Award, the highest honor SI bestows upon non alumni of the school.
David serves on SI’s planned giving committee, where he heard about the annuity program. He has affectionate ties to the school as well. “Fr. Harry Carlin, SJ, is near and dear to my family,” he said. He and his wife, Beth, have two sons, Jacob, 11, and Samuel Carlin Bernstein, 8.
SI is pleased to welcome David Bernstein as a member of its Carlin Society. For information on the Carlin Society, gift annuities and other giving strategies, call Vice President for Development Joseph Vollert at (415) 731-7500 ext. 319.