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"I Have Hundreds of Kids"

Howard R. Caretto

Member of the Prospect Park Y's Board of Managers since 1996, Howard R. Caretto tells the story of his ever-deepening involvement with the YMCA of Greater New York.

Attorney Howard Caretto acts as mentor and much more to Y youth

I was first affiliated with the Brooklyn Central Y, which is now the Dodge Y when I worked there as a day camp counselor. I was 17, and it was a great experience teaching children how to swim. There's nothing better than the Y in terms of providing a family atmosphere for the entire community.

My family is the Y. It provides a family atmosphere for the entire community, with a knowledgeable adult leading every program. The Y provides youth with a place to interact with peers and to make new and lifelong friends. I'm judging from the fact that I'm still in touch with many people from my own Y experience 40 years ago.

In addition to creating lifelong connections, the Y helps people grow up. Its diversity helps kids meet all kinds of people and try different things. You go as a kid or as a parent and see different generations intermingling. Wherever you go in the YMCA, all ages are participating.

Strong Kids Need Strong Mentors

As an adult, I continue to be involved at the Y. One of my most fulfilling roles was as a mentor to kids in Youth and Government program.

Mikhail Lindsay is one of the kids I have mentored of whom I am most proud. He won the Best Advocate Award for the entire state his first year in the program..

Mikhail is a remarkable young man. It's a genuine privilege to work with high-quality kids such as Mikhail, and to give them a little guidance.

Y programs like Youth & Government enhance kids' self-esteem. In such an elite program, the kids are pushed to work very hard. They always knew that I expected the best of them and they rose to the occasion and did a great job.

Mikhail, for instance, responded very well to the high expectations and enjoyed the program. He had the skills to improve with a little hard work,and I believe that taught him a life lessons - that if he has the skills and works hard he can accomplish great things.

Joining the Heritage Society

I have always wanted to support the Y because it is so dear to my heart. My family is the Y, and because my wife and I have no kids of our own, we hoped to one day contribute financially to the Y. I wanted to ensure that just as the Y was there for my friends and me, the Y would be there for future generations of kids.

With the Y's help, my dream of supporting future generations came true. My wife and I set up an annuity that generates income free of federal tax for us while we're alive, and later on the remainder of the principal will go to the Y. I just happened to have sold some real estate and needed to invest some money at a certain percentage rate, so to receive that income tax-free as long as we live was a benefit.

Our contribution is considered a charitable gift and offers us a deduction in addition to helping the Y. In addition to the tax benefits, we receive fixed payments based on our age.. We are able to enjoy the benefit of our assets while we're alive , and the Y knows it can count on our gift in the future.

We also made the gift because we have been very impressed with the leadership of Melvin Tse, Senior Executive Director of Operations, who oversees the Prospect Park, Park Slope Armory, Greenpoint and Flatbush YMCAs. He and Jack Lund, CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, show that the Y is being very well run. I get a good vibe from what I see because our assets are in good hands, and I'm happy to be part of that.

Learn more about gift and estate planning through the Heritage Society. Call Alexandra Blair at (860) 918-3534 or email him at

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the YMCA of Greater New York 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 the YMCA of Greater New York, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 5 West 63rd Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10023, 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 YMCA of Greater New York 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 YMCA of Greater New York 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 YMCA of Greater New York 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 YMCA of Greater New York where you agree to make a gift to YMCA of Greater New York 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.

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