Simoné and Alex Gonzalez '90: Young Alumni Include Augsburg in Their Financial Plan

Simoné and Alex Gonzalez '90

Simoné and Alex Gonzalez '90

Alex Gonzalez '90 has had the opportunity to consider the impact of planned giving from multiple perspectives. As a financial consultant at Thrivent Financial and partner of the Stonebridge Group in Bloomington, he understands how planned giving can make good financial sense for some of his clients. As an Augsburg Regent, past member of the Alumni Board, and a community volunteer, he appreciates how critical philanthropy is to an organization's vitality. Perhaps most importantly, though, as an Augsburg benefactor, Alex knows that it just-plain feels good to support something that's important to you.

In addition to current gifts for Augsburg, Alex and his wife Simoné have named the College as the secondary beneficiary of their estate. If something happens to both of them, a portion of their estate would come to Augsburg. "We're relatively young still," explains Alex. Their estate plans are a way to start creating a legacy at Augsburg.

More Than a Game

Alex says he owes some of his success in life to football because it was the game (and his interest in studying business) that brought him to Augsburg. "It was a great fit for me," says Alex, who received the Paul Dahlen Memorial Scholarship award for athletics and academics.

"Augsburg was pivotal for me," he explains. "It's a big part of who I am and what my family is." He not only found Simoné at Augsburg, he found his faith. He became part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and enjoyed attending chapel. "The fact that faith was integrated into the student experience was wonderful," says Alex, remembering prayers before every football game. "We weren't praying for victory, but for fellowship." Still, he remembers feeling pretty good when the Auggies beat Bethel in his senior year. He remains a member of the A-Club and has developed life-long friendships with former teammates.

Finding his Vocation

After graduation, Alex landed a job in office furniture sales. He was good at it, but he felt like he was just collecting a paycheck. "I really didn't have a sense of meaning." He began searching for his true vocation and a way to make a greater impact. He found his path as a financial consultant with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, which he joined in 2003. "I'm making a difference in people's lives; helping them with their financial goals; protecting them with various insurance products; helping them invest; and helping them enjoy some of their blessings."

Thrivent helps Alex support organizations that are important to him by matching employees' philanthropic gifts. In 2014, the company recognized him as Volunteer of the Year for his work with Volunteers Enlisted to Help People (VEAP) in Bloomington. "It's neighbors helping neighbors," explains Alex. The company further recognized his service with a $5,000 gift to VEAP, and fellow financial consultants gathered at the 2014 Peak Performers National Conference contributed another $33,000 to the organization. Presenting Alex with the award, Chris Larson, managing partner of Thrivent's Central Minnesota region, said, "Alex's dedication to his members and our community is an inspiration for us all. […] This award is well deserved for his generosity and active mission to live out his faith and serve those less fortunate." Alex also served on the board of La Oportunidad for several years.


Alex, Simoné, and their three children (ages 13, 17 and 20) live in Bloomington, where Alex is a volunteer youth football coach and the family is active in St. Stephen Lutheran Church. He is a past president and current member of the Church Council, a youth leader, and a member of the church's Legacy Committee, which works to build the church's endowment.

"I know that planned giving is important, both from working with clients and the church endowment fund, and I try to walk the talk," says Alex of his own planned giving. "It doesn't really matter where the decimal point is," says Alex. "It's a concept that whatever blessing I have, I'd like to share it. That's a really powerful thing."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Augsburg 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 Augsburg University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2211 Riverside Ave., CB 142, Minneapolis, MN 55454, 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 Augsburg 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 Augsburg 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 Augsburg 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 Augsburg University where you agree to make a gift to Augsburg 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.

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