Bob Reeser holds a vibrant colored parrot while wearing a CSULA sweatshirt.

Bob Reeser | Donor

Free as a bird—an active retirement and giving back.

When he retired as associate dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Cal State L.A. after 23 years, Bob Reeser moved to Nipomo, CA, where he and his partner tend to scores of exotic birds on their breeding farm. This was the retirement he had always wanted.

When considering his retirement options, Bob wanted to stay active, live in a nice area and develop his passion for exotic birds. He also wanted to provide support for student scholarships at Cal State L.A. What he didn’t want was the 2 a.m. phone calls from tenants at his Santa Cruz rental house complaining that “the water heater had gone out.”

With the guidance of his financial advisor and Cal State L.A.’s estate planning specialist, Bob established a charitable remainder trust, which now pays him a guaranteed income for life.

This is how he did it. First, Bob transferred the property’s title to the charitable remainder trust. The trust (a tax-free entity) then sold the house and invested the proceeds to produce a lifetime income for Bob. Because the remainder value of the trust will go to benefit the Robert Reeser Endowed Scholarship Fund at Cal State L.A., Bob avoided paying capital gains tax, received a charitable tax deduction and increased his income for life.

With the additional income, Bob purchased life insurance to benefit his heirs. He has no regrets about putting his property in trust for student scholarships. Now, he lives a life of his choosing in his bucolic aviary, not far from the butterfly trees and “singing sand dunes” of Pismo Beach. He also has time to carry on his love of education through writing, and he hopes his scholarship recipients will one day read his articles on the web.