The idea of a scholarship fund first came to Bob Paulson more than 60 years ago, when he was graduating Detroit Lakes High School. Although he himself enjoyed all the advantages of living in a city, in his words, “Not a single rural kid from our school could afford to go to college.”
Inspired by his mother’s commitment to the community, and education, Bob put himself through college and devoted his life to teaching in rural high schools. He and his wife, June, also spent time renovating houses and running a small antique shop.
After retiring, Bob and June began spending winters in Arizona, where they collected antiques to bring back to their shop and started a new business. At a time when Arizona banks refused to finance houses for out-of-towners, the Paulsons offered mortgage financing to snowbirds like themselves. Both these enterprises brought the Paulsons to a point of financial security where they began thinking about making their long-time dream of a scholarship fund a reality.
In 1994, they created the Robert and June Paulson Scholarship Fund, which will receive $1 million under Bob’s will. “I never thought to do the scholarship anywhere else but The Minneapolis Foundation,” he says. Even in Detroit Lakes, they had heard about the Foundation’s work.
Recently, the Paulsons decided to advance their bequest and create the Robert and June Paulson Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust. The $1 million earmarked for the scholarship fund was transferred to the trust, for which the Foundation is trustee. Bob will receive a fixed annual income from the trust during his life. Upon his death, the trust will terminate and the assets will pass to the Robert and June Paulson Scholarship Fund. This future charitable gift not only provides the Paulsons with lifetime income, it also entitles them to an income tax charitable deduction in the year the trust is created. Bob and June have the best of both worlds: they continue to receive income from assets they had already benefit from a charitable deduction on their income tax return.
In Bob’s view, the annuity trust made “great financial sense given the Foundation’s longevity in the community and solid investment expertise.” As a result, years from now, rural young people from Detroit Lakes High School will have Bob’s longstanding dream to thank for their opportunity to go to college.