[COFFEE] Investments and donations

My guess of what you want to describe is tithing, which is usually 10% (at the discretion of the donator). Some churches do good stuff in their neighborhood, it can be a legitimate way to donate. I’m actually quite amazed when I see our budgets around here to almost never see a line for charities.


I have to say that one aspect that I don’t like about this FIRE and investing thing is that I actually donate less money than I used to, just because I think of the opportunity cost all the time.
I recently just donated money to a charity that supports children affected by the war in Jemen, out of spite to myself, do something good for others.


This reminds me about the post about Effective Giving and FIRE I wanted to do for a while. There’s some potential conflict there but also a lot of mutual ideas.

I pay taxes. That’s enough charity :slight_smile:

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I stopped effective giving because I started investing every scrap of money I could. I almost only donate to charities anymore that do direct debit from my bank account.

Strange, I would have thought that you, of all people, would have enjoyed having a tax deductible targeted impact on society to help push it toward a “better” world according to your views. :wink:


Just dont forget to live. FIRE is not everything, at least in my eyes.


I usually don’t include donations in my budget because I treat it more like a deduction from my salary.

Right now I donate 500 chf per month to effective charities +10% of my bonus.

Due to a raise, I’ll increase my donation to 800 chf per month in 2022.

Due to my donation, I have prevented around 4 deaths of mostly children and increased the lifetime earings of children in low income countries by around 60’000 chf.


This is happening to me first this year (admittedly, it’s the first year where I have decent enough leeway to make it happen). My IPS includes a rule that 10% of my take home income gets dedicated to donations and I’m having trouble convincing me to up my current donations to meet that number, thinking it’s delaying FI, which I feel like I need (because of inadequate job conditions).

I’m working on acceptig that the point I should work on is my current work conditions and that my planed donations are not the problem. I’m not sure yet if I’ll reach that state of mind.

I like your approach to this (you’re actually very inspiring in that aspect). How do you plan to handle it after retirement?

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I’m not sure yet. I will probably treat my withdrawals as normal income and base my charitable giving based on that.

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I mean it’s not like there is an obligation to donate or whatever. Don’t want to attack anyone in here, but usually people just buy the feeling of doing something charitable… I never considered donating large sums of money and I don’t really se a purpose in doing so.
If at all, I’d like people I know and care about profiting from my “wealth” but not random people on the other side of the planet. I mean investing in VT which contains tabaco and weapon manufacturers to then donate a bit of money is almost schizophrenic imho :smiley:.

Donating to an effective charity has a measurable effect:

Believing that charitable giving can’t be effective seems like a cheap cop-out to not feel bad about the lack of personal charitable giving. It is a wrong belief.


I don’t disagree… However: There is no obligation to donate - one is not a better or worse person if he or she does it. That’s the whole point of charity imho.

Also I just see more value for me in helping selected people instead of giving money to someone random at least for now… Maybe this will change later in life, maybe not.

But I do not want to downplay the effects of charity as a whole. Just saying that a lot of people donate to feel better, not to help others. Also: I would see a huge inconsistency in my behavior, because I don’t invest in a sustainable way but donate to the rainforest f. e…

That’s why I decided for myself that I’ll not claim any moral high ground and just invest for the sake of money and freedom that comes with it.

There is no obligation to donate. However, I would argue that if one believes in morals, then being a better or worse person hangs on the effect we have on the world, which we can deem good, bad or neutral. Giving to charities is part of our impact. In my views (so abiding to my morals, which don’t bind anyone but myself), giving to charities or not, when one has the means to do so, does participate in making someone a better or worse person.

Which is a big part of why I don’t invest in VT (another big part is that I don’t want to concentrate General Assemblies’ voting power in the hands of a few investment companies and yet another one is that I don’t want my taxable money to have anything to do with the US). We don’t have to invest in companies with which mission statements we don’t agree. To the contrary, I consider it part of the job of an investor, which is proper allocation of capital, to invest according to their own world view. On the other hand, I do consider Nestlé investment worthy so not everybody would agree that my moral compass is set rightly.

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I guess paying 5 figures in taxes is more than enough charity then… Seriously… I don’t think that I am someone profiting from the tax system, which is fine so part of my money already gets distributed to a lot of people who aren’t as well of - just in a smaller context and without my active contribution.

Donating like 100 bucks a month and paying 4K in taxes is less charitable than just paying 10K in taxes f. e. (imho)
I just don’t think that not being charitable is something bad - it’s personal choice how one spends his hard earned and taxed money.


Part of my point is that what makes us better or worse people depends on our own value system so, if you abide to your own values and feel good with it, then everything is fine. We go to sleep with our own morals and our own sense of fullfilment and are our own metric.


I don’t think this example is very relevant for this board. I’d guess most of us do pay 10K+ in taxes, and someone paying 4K in taxes (with according earnings and wealth) giving 1.2K a year may be making a bigger sacrifice than one paying 10K in taxes. (Or it may not, personal situations and all that.)

10k in tax money will do less good than 1k in charitable giving.

You also personally benefit from the taxes you pay.

I highly doubt that

Well yeah… You also have benefits donating stuff - your own moral high ground and funny enough - tax deductions

10k in Switzerland will pay for a few months of education for someone.

1k donated to a charity is roughly worth 10-15 QALY.

10k in taxes doesn’t even play in the same ballpark as 1k donated to charity.

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It’s not really comparable though. 10k of taxes pay for a variety of things (quite a few of them being kinda required for society to function), it’s not like an extra 10k goes to education or something.
(But I suppose you could make a donation to the canton or city if you wanted to direct it to education specifically)

Anyway, I’m happy to do both (though I should increase charity, I currently mostly only use up my employer gift matching while my compensation has increased a lot especially due to employer share gains).