How planned gifts are allowing one couple to invest in a cause that's close to their hearts 

Last year, Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care joined together to create Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit health system in the country. Your generosity will continue to make health care more accessible and compassionate for each person we serve. Here, we’re sharing stories about people, just like you, who are making a difference.

For Jim and Elizabeth Roghair, giving has been a way of life. They met in the 1960s while Jim was a student at Princeton Seminary and Elizabeth’s father was a staff member, but went in different directions until nearly 30 years later. When both were widowed, they found each other and married. They moved to Chicago for Elizabeth to pursue a new business opportunity, while Jim served in a number of interim ministry positions. Elizabeth soon found her calling as a philanthropic advisor. She became the lead gift planner at cultural, health and educational institutions, and a leader in the local planned giving professional community. Retiring to Santa Fe, New Mexico, they share their expertise as volunteers and enjoy world travel.

The Roghairs support multiple charities through planned gifts arranged in the course of their own retirement planning. Although Elizabeth had gained extensive professional knowledge of this form of giving, she learned the most about the planning process going through it herself. 

“Sorting out the philanthropic and financial motives for myself prepared me to understand what it would feel like for others undergoing the same experience,” explained Elizabeth.

The Adult Down Syndrome Center, a one-of-a-kind comprehensive health center for teens and adults with Down syndrome and their families, has been the recipient of Elizabeth’s professional expertise as well as her philanthropic investment. While working for Advocate Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth guided parents of patients of the Center to support the Center’s endowment through their estate plans. Impressed by the mission of the Center and the passion of those parents, she and Jim decided to make the Center the beneficiary of three kinds of planned gifts.

First, Elizabeth made the Center, rather than her heirs, a partial remainder beneficiary of her IRA. She realized that making her charitable bequests through an IRA is especially tax-savvy, since 100 percent of her gift could be used for her charitable purpose. If the remainder were to go to heirs, a large portion would be lost to taxes.

Next, she took advantage of the charitable IRA rollover to make a current gift. She instructed her IRA custodian to send a portion of her required minimum distribution directly to the Center. No tax was due on this withdrawal from her IRA, because it was going directly to charity. Ever since Jim and Elizabeth each attained the age of 70½ they have been using this planning technique to make their annual gifts.

Finally,  Jim and Elizabeth established a charitable gift annuity to benefit the Center.  In their way of thinking, a charitable gift annuity fits nicely into the fixed income segment of their asset portfolio. Their gift annuity will pay them annual income at an attractive rate for the rest of their lives, after which the Center will have the use of the rest of their gift. To add to the benefits, they donated appreciated stock to fund the annuity. Besides getting an immediate charitable income tax deduction, they will enjoy yearly payments, part of which will be tax-free. Not only that, but they will avoid capital gains tax on a significant portion of the stock gift, deferring the rest over their remaining lifetimes.

The Roghairs’ planned gifts demonstrate their desire for a long-term relationship with the Adult Down Syndrome Center. Knowing their gifts will be available to support the Center down the road helps its leaders plan with confidence for its future. We are so grateful for the thoughtful generosity of Elizabeth and Jim Roghair.

If you'd like more information on how to make a planned gift, please contact John Holmberg at 630-929-6945 or

Elizabeth and Jim Roghair

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