Gift to Stanford Medicine Leads to Retirement Security for Couple

Steve and Betty Salveter made a gift to Stanford that provided them enough income to move into a retirement home near Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

“There are a number of reasons I’m grateful to Stanford,” says Steve Salveter. The first occurred in 1987 when Mr. Salveter was taking a stress test at his doctor’s office. He felt a heaviness in his chest: he was having a heart attack.  He credits Stanford Hospital doctors with saving his life via quadruple bypass surgery.

After Mr. Salveter and his wife, Betty, retired, he started exploring a planned giving vehicle that could provide them with immediate tax advantages in addition to a stream of income for the remainder of their lifetimes.  This planned giving vehicle was called a charitable remainder unitrust (“CRUT”).  What Mr. Salveter learned surprised him.

Mr. Salveter is a thoughtful, logical man who is comfortable with financial analysis. “It defies logic that you can give away a third of a house and not lose money,” he says. 

At IBM for 30 years, he started working in a Midwestern sales office and then moved out to the Bay Area as a computer programmer.  Mrs. Salveter was a social worker who placed foster children and loved teaching children about natural history.  

Mr. and Mrs. Salveter funded a CRUT with a portion of their long-held primary residence.  Later, they sold their primary residence as individual owners and as trustees of the CRUT.  As a married couple selling their primary residence, the Salveters were able to exclude $500,000 of capital gain.  This, combined with the tax exempt status of the CRUT, allowed them to avoid immediate recognition of any capital gains taxes on the sale of their home. 

The proceeds from the portion that Mr. and Mrs. Salveter retained allowed the Salveters to move into a retirement home near their beloved Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve and the income stream helps to pay the monthly fees.  The Salveters were able to enjoy their retirement home together for quite a few years, but sadly, Betty passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2013, just two months short of the couple’s 50th anniversary.

While the Salveters did give up the right to the principal amount of the percentage of their residence that they donated to the CRUT managed by Stanford, they retained an income stream for life and received enough tax advantages to make this an attractive planned giving vehicle for the Salveters and Stanford. 

“In addition to the capital gains tax benefit, we also got a huge charitable income tax deduction spread over five years following the year of the gift, plus I continue to get an annual income stream,” Mr. Salveter says.

Mr. and Mrs. Salveter named Stanford Health Care, previously known as Stanford Hospital & Clinics, as the remainder beneficiary of their CRUT.   The future gift to the hospital is unrestricted so it will go where it is needed most. “Stanford Hospital knows better where they need the money than I do,” he says.

“I loved the hospital, but I also liked Stanford’s reputation for excellence in managing its investments,” he says. “The university’s planned giving officers were extremely helpful, so it made the process easier and more pleasant. I couldn’t afford not to create the trust.”

Mr. Salveter continues to volunteer for Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and hikes the hills surrounding his retirement home every day.

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