From Financial Chaos to Philanthropic Clarity: The Legacy of Sue and Paul Slater

by Amanda Thomas, MS, CFP®, Director of Philanthropic Strategy
April 18, 2024
From Financial Chaos to Philanthropic Clarity The Legacy of Sue and Paul Slater

When Sue Slater, aided by children Scott and Sara, sought out Mission Wealth’s expertise, her goal was clear: to transform her financial complexities into a more streamlined and simplified financial plan and align this plan to be a powerful force for good in her communities. This article shares her story, from financial confusion to a lasting legacy of giving, guided by her son Scott Slater, and our Director of Philanthropic Strategy and Sue’s then Wealth Advisor, Amanda Thomas.

Unraveling Complexity to Craft a Legacy

Sue Slater with her children, Scott and Sara.

Sue Slater with her children, Scott and Sara.

After the passing of her beloved husband Paul in 2015, Sue Slater found herself managing a bewildering array of financial accounts and obligations. Determined to see his spirit of generosity continue, she turned to Mission Wealth, drawn by our reputation for empowering women investors during life transitions through tailored financial advice.

Amanda understood the essence of Sue’s aspirations and the complexity of her financial landscape. “Sue was a giving person and tended to give small amounts to multiple charities, yet we had conversations about wanting to make a more meaningful impact in her hometown of Bronxville, NY,” Amanda recalls. “She had over 20-something individual investment accounts and also needed clarity on what she could afford to give while maintaining her lifestyle.”

Strategic Philanthropy in Action

Under Mission Wealth’s guidance and the input of Sue’s son, Scott, her financial situation was streamlined into an organized, strategic philanthropic plan. Originally, Sue’s wish was to leave money in her late husband’s name, but after she passed, as a legacy gift. This charitable giving initiative evolved into a plan while she was living, and involved setting up a donor-advised fund, which not only simplified her giving but also optimized her tax position, maximizing the impact of her donations.

Paul and Sue Slater married in April 1951 at the Reformed Church of Bronxville.

Paul and Sue Slater married in April 1951 at the Reformed Church of Bronxville.

The first of a few transformative gifts Sue made was in 2019 to the couple’s childhood and family church, the Reformed Church of Bronxville. Paul was a longtime Sunday school teacher as well as a community leader, Mayor, and member of the Consistory, and Sue was a lifelong volunteer for the Sunday school and nursery, so this seemed a great fit for the family’s first philanthropic project. Sue’s generosity funded the renovation of the church’s youth suite, now renamed the C. Paul Slater & Susan Stone Slater Student Ministries Center.

This new center included updated facilities and dedicated spaces for youth education and fellowship, reflecting the couple’s deep commitment to nurturing future generations. The center was completed during the pandemic in 2020, and since reopening the church has seen a huge uptick of student involvement in the youth programs at the center and it has become accessible to the nearby junior and high school students.

This project encouraged others to give at the church as well, and Sue was determined to continue her renewed confidence in charitable giving initiatives. Sue also funded a renovation project of the nursing and youth rooms at the Albany Vermont United Methodist Church, a small church in a small northern Vermont community, and the El Montecito Presbyterian Church renovation of two bathrooms as part of a larger basement remodel.

The Impact of Thoughtful Giving

Sue faithfully tuned into the church’s live broadcasts every Sunday at her retirement home in Montecito, CA.

Sue faithfully tuned into the church’s live broadcasts every Sunday at her retirement home in Montecito, CA.

Scott Slater reflects on his mother’s philanthropic journey: “The work with Mission Wealth transformed not just Mom’s finances but her entire outlook on what she could accomplish. Seeing the real-life impact of her contributions has been incredibly fulfilling for her and our family.”

The Slaters’ story is a powerful reminder of how structured financial planning can extend beyond individual benefit to community transformation.

In January 2024, shortly after her 95th birthday, Sue Slater peacefully left this earth with her family by her side. The legacy of Sue and Paul will live on, influencing countless lives through initiatives that promote education and fellowship.

How You Can Create Your Legacy 

For those inspired by Sue’s story, consider how structured philanthropic planning can benefit your financial goals and community. Starting with a complimentary discovery call, our wealth advisors at Mission Wealth can help delineate your philanthropic objectives and implement tax-efficient strategies like donor-advised funds. This approach not only provides immediate tax benefits but also allows you to support the causes you care about most over time.

In celebrating Sue and Paul Slater’s life and legacy, we recognize the profound influence that thoughtful planning can have. It’s not just about creating wealth but about making a difference. At Mission Wealth, we’re committed to helping our clients explore how their financial resources can do just that. Join us to start your journey towards impactful giving.


Testimonial and Endorsements Disclosure: This story was provided and approved by a current client of the firm. No compensation was provided directly or indirectly and no material conflicts of interest exist.

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