Couple Finds a Harmonious Partner for their Legacy
Noel Fulkerson knows a good partner when he finds one.
He married his wife Carolyn, just nine months after their first date.
“It was a very quick decision, but it was a good decision,” says Noel, who admires his wife’s ability to work behind the scenes to help people when she sees a need. “Carolyn’s a quiet giving person and a true partner.”
Carolyn, a retired process artist for Hallmark Cards, and Noel, a retired choir director for the Raytown School District and co-founder of the Kansas City Metro Men’s Chorus, share a passion for philanthropy. Over their 48-year marriage, they have invested in several local nonprofits that exemplify their devotion to service and music education.
In 2013, Noel and Carolyn joined the Heartland Legacy Society, including a gift to Truman Heartland in their estate plan. And in 2018, partnered with Truman Heartland to establish the Noel and Carolyn Fulkerson Student Benefit Fund.
“I’ve had an incredible life and opportunities,” says Noel. “Carolyn and I know that we didn’t make it to where we are by ourselves. We like the opportunity to help other people along and in a way that makes sense taxwise.”
At the advice of their financial advisor, Noel and Carolyn used their IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to establish the Student Benefit Fund at Truman Heartland. This field of interest fund benefits organizations like Music/Arts Institute (MAI), where Noel teaches voice lessons. This giving strategy allows the couple to fulfill their RMD and lower their taxable income, while providing support in the form of scholarships to students in need.
“I love teaching. It’s a blessing to get to know the stories of these kids. The benefit fund is a great way to help enhance their musical talents and to encourage confidence in themselves though the study of music. What could be better?”