"Carle has been very good to us," Sandy Reifsteck states as a matter of fact. And her husband, Ernie Rueter, agrees wholeheartedly.
Sandy spent more than 28 years working at Carle, mostly in administration for Carle Clinic, before retiring in 1998. And Ernie received three pacemakers under the watchful eyes of Carle providers.
Sandy and Ernie have always been generous supporters to Carle through employee giving and more recently a gift to the New Heights Campaign. Including Carle in their estate plan was a logical "next step." So, when they learned about an opportunity to support Carle and at the same time diversify some of their retirement income for tax reasons, Sandy and Ernie jumped.
A charitable gift allowed the couple to create a deferred gift annuity that names The Carle Development Foundation as the beneficiary. In return for their gift, Sandy and Ernie will receive fixed annual payments for life, with payments commencing at a future date of their choosing.
A deferred gift annuity allows Sandy and Ernie to claim a higher tax deduction now, while they are still earning income, and receive higher annuity payments in the future when they decide to stop working and need the additional income.
"This seemed to be one way we could be good to Carle and secure an additional source of retirement income," Sandy explains, noting that they directed their gift to Palliative Care at Carle and the Community Parish Nurse Program. Their generosity ensures there will be resources for these two programs in the years to come.
Through Sandy's most recent work with the Institute for Healthcare Communication, she and Ernie have gained a greater appreciation for giving patients options when a cure is no longer possible. Carle's Palliative Care team does just that by evaluating the patients' desires and helping with pain relief and symptom management.
One year before her retirement, Sandy started the Community Parish Nurse Program by training the first class of 20 nurses from churches in the Champaign-Urbana community. Later, she hired Faith Roberts, who in the last 10 years has developed the program into the largest in the country.
"We hope that we have made a difference at Carle, especially in the area of patient care," Sandy concludes.