Personal Giving Stories
Richard J. Eckhardt received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1961, after which he accepted an engineering position with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District in the Project Planning Division. In that position he coordinated flood control projects from the planning stage to completion with federal, state, and city agencies. He also prepared applications for federal funds to repair damage caused by floods, earthquakes, and fires.
He retired from Los Angeles County in April of 1978. After leaving the district, Mr. Eckhardt worked for FEMA as a disaster assistance employee, as needed, to prepare and review damage survey reports. He resigned from FEMA in 1995.
Richard Eckhardt met his wife, Sylvia Sathre, in Los Angeles, and they were married in 1967. They now reside in Fallbrook, California, and have one daughter, Sarah, a nurse, who lives nearby in Vista, California. The Eckhardts were fortunate to have invested wisely in real estate and as a result acquired an estate that allowed them to donate property to the University, thus sharing a part of their good fortune with the University in appreciation for the education Richard received.
The investment property they donated to a charitable remainder trust had increased in value many times over, thus creating a tremendous amount of capital gain. The ability to avoid a tax on their gain, plus receive 7% income from the trust for the remainder of both of their lives, made a great deal of sense to them. The gift also resulted in an immediate income-tax deduction, which will significantly reduce their tax bill over the next five or six years.
Finally, last but by no means least was the advantage of reducing the time and energy required to properly maintain their investment property. “The tax savings, along with the lifetime income we’ll receive, and the fact that we have one less property to worry about made this arrangement a very attractive way to give back to my alma mater,” concludes Mr. Eckhardt.
The U of I Foundation gift planning staff is pleased to answer your questions and offer assistance at any time. Please contact the Foundation to learn more.
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