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A Simple Way to Make a Lasting Difference

Bobbie Oltman

Bobbie Oltman's gift will ensure her support for Mount Mercy University continues for years to come.

Mount Mercy alumna Bobbie Oltman '94 is the shy, quiet type. She grew up in Anamosa, Iowa and has lived within a 30-mile radius of her hometown her entire life. When it came time for college, her heart was set on a small college where she had been offered a prestigious scholarship. However, when she received her financial aid package, she realized significant debt was on the horizon—even with the promised scholarship.

She reluctantly expanded her search and toured Mount Mercy as well as a public university. Bobbie was a straight A student in high school; her parents expected nothing less. But when she received a letter from Mount Mercy offering her a presidential scholarship, her parents were impressed. They quickly discovered it would cost significantly less to attend Mount Mercy than the other colleges and universities she was considering. Her decision was practical but also life-changing.

Bobbie flourished at Mount Mercy. A strong aptitude for math led her to pursue a major in math and minors in psychology and computer science. "Math isn't an extremely social major," Bobbie reflects, "and I rarely spoke up in class."

Fortunately, she was intrigued by professor Jim Grove and his round table discussions in her first collegiate English course. He challenged her–claiming there were no wrong answers in this environment. As a math major, her logic was very different from the others in the class. As the semester progressed, she gained confidence and found she enjoyed sharing her opinion with others who had a different point of view. Looking back, she believes this breakthrough helped prepare her to hold her own in life and at work.

She went on to take a J-term literature class on slavery and then an upper level English course as a non-English major. She found Mount Mercy to be a comfortable place to explore and stretch without jeopardizing her grade point average.

The college experience expanded her world and her gratitude runs deep. Bobbie managed to complete a Mount Mercy degree in 1994, accumulating only $5,900 in debt over four years. "I would not be thriving in a position where I get to be mentally creative, challenged and pushed beyond my expectations if not for Mount Mercy and the financial aid I received. My work has also given me opportunities to travel places I would not have pursued on my own," Bobbie readily acknowledges.

Once settled in her career, she began giving faithfully to the Mount Mercy annual fund knowing she wouldn't be where she is today without scholarships. As a product manager at GoDaddy, she is eligible for a corporate match that seamlessly doubles her annual gift.

She never really thought much about an estate plan until she began talking with a financial planner. Anticipating retirement at age 60, she was given a "to-do" list to complete. She hesitated when it came to drafting a will. Bobbie doesn't have any children and joked, "I can't leave it all to my dog!" She noticed a line about estate planning on a Mount Mercy pledge form and checked out the web site for more information. She always wanted to impact her alma mater so it made a lot of sense to name Mount Mercy as partial beneficiary of her 401k plan by simply filling out a form that is entirely separate from her will. As a nonprofit, Mount Mercy will pay no taxes on the IRA distribution upon Bobbie's death whereas family members would have to pay federal income tax on an IRA distribution.

With thoughtful planning, she is set to leave more tax-advantaged assets to her family allowing her to direct her hard-earned money toward her top priorities. An added bonus was seeing how pleased her family was when she told them of her plans to support Mount Mercy through her estate.

Life experiences have taught Bobbie not to take things for granted. Having an estate plan gives her a sense of peace and satisfaction. Have you avoided creating or updating your will? Take the first step today. Contact Lonna Drewelow at (319) 286-4408 or for information on how to put your plans in order and ensure your resources will continue to support your top priorities.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Mount Mercy University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Mount Mercy University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Cedar Rapids, IA, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Mount Mercy University or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mount Mercy University as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Mount Mercy University as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Mount Mercy University where you agree to make a gift to Mount Mercy University and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.