Thinking about his financial future, 78-year-old accountant Yoichi Sumi was intrigued with the notion of investing in a charitable gift annuity, because he knew it would offer him a steady stream of income in retirement and also benefit the charity to which he was contributing. He researched several potential worthy causes, but after attending a few financial seminars offered by the Torrance Memorial Professional Advisory Council (PAC), he set up a meeting with Torrance Memorial’s Foundation office to explore giving options further.
“After meeting with Sandy VandenBerge (director of planned giving, Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation), I felt very comfortable. All of the computations she provided also added up,” he says, wearing his accounting hat.
Sumi, as his friends call him, decided to set up a deferred charitable gift annuity. Through this type of planned gift, the giver agrees to make a tax-deductible donation of cash, stocks or other assets to the Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation, which supports the continued growth and development of the medical center through fundraising. In return the giver receives a fixed amount each year for the rest of his/her life. The income payments can begin in the year of the gift or be deferred to a future year.
Although in good health, the long-time Gardena resident appreciates that his gift will contribute to sustaining quality health care in the South Bay through construction of the new Main Tower, among other services and programs. “The new Main Tower will benefit so many South Bay residents by offering the very latest technology and techniques to patients,” Sumi says. He frequently stops by the medical center to visit HealthLinks and often looks up information using the HealthLinks resource computer.
Sumi knows a little something about hospital fundraising. He worked in the accounting department of Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Foundation for 10 years.
Prior to that, his life’s journey has taken him across the state, as well as across the country. Originally from West Los Angeles, in 1942—when Sumi was just 7—his family had to quickly pack up and move to Manzanar, near Bishop, California. The relocation followed a presidential Executive Order 9066, which ordered the imprisonment of Japanese Americans to concentration camps during World War II.
Although the experience was tough on his parents and other adults, he recalls it was actually “fun” for himself and his two brothers and sister. “There was barbed wire around the property, but otherwise we could run free with no restrictions and no curfew,” he says.
After a year and a half in the camp, his family moved to Tulelake, California, near the Oregon/California border. They stayed there until 1945, when they returned to Southern California and settled in Sawtelle.
After high school Sumi served four years in the Navy, where he was stationed in Newport, Rhode Island, and then transferred to Pearl Harbor in 1959. After his Navy service he decided to study accounting at Woodbury University.
He eventually achieved his Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. In the early 1970s Sumi moved to Gardena, where he still lives, working in various accounting roles.
With his future in check, Sumi now has more time to spend pursuing hobbies, such as stamp collecting, which he started as a kid. “From the annuity, I receive a tax deduction and income, but also help to support the hospital’s operation,” he says. “Everyone wins.”