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Creating a legacy that lasts

A Thrivent client finds new ways to share her time, talents and treasures with her family and community.

Melanie Knoepfle (left) helps Angie Biester (right) be generous with her money.
Lindsay Thomson/Inspired By Soul Photography

If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?

Angie Biester didn’t miss a beat when Thrivent Financial Advisor Melanie Knoepfle asked her that question in one of their first meetings back in 2018. “This may sound crazy, but I really want to do philanthropy,” Angie told her.

She wanted to give money away to people and causes she cared about.

“Angie thought she had to have Bill Gates’ money to be able to do that,” Knoepfle says. “I assured her she didn’t.”

Angie lives in Columbus, Nebraska, where she works for the USDA Farm Loan Program. She also owns a 400-acre farm in Clay County, Nebraska, which she and her husband ran together until his death in 2010. Today, she has a crop share lease with two area farmers, which enables them to split the expenses and production of farming. Through this arrangement and investments that had appreciated in value, she was ready to make an impact on the causes and people she cared about.

Knoepfle, who first met Angie at a Habitat for Humanity build, helped her client develop a philanthropy strategy including resources from Thrivent. It enables Angie to support several groups, including Youth and Families for Christ, the Columbus High School band and middle school music program, the high school journalism program, Trinity Lutheran Church, Western Illinois University (girls’ volleyball gear), and the Platte Valley Literacy Association.

“It’s one of the most fabulous things I’ve ever been involved in,” Angie says.

She loves to lead Thrivent Action Teams, too. It’s often while serving others that Angie discovers new opportunities. For example, while leading a Thrivent Action Team to provide refreshments at the Friends of Music concert, Angie learned the high school band needed instruments. While talking to her piano teacher, she found there was a need for keyboards at the middle school. She provided instruments to both.

“Just a little bit made a huge difference for these kids,” Angie says. “I just hope they get as much out of music as I did in high school. It gave me so much confidence in my life.”

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Nieces | Angie’s Story | Follow Your Heart with Thrivent

Angie’s generosity extends to her family, too. She loves her two nieces and wanted to help provide for their future. With Knoepfle’s guidance, Angie implemented a gifting strategy that allowed her to follow her heart.

Angie is grateful she met Knoepfle. The two have become more than client and financial advisor; they’ve become friends and exercise buddies.

“I’m just so fortunate that Thrivent gave me the opportunity,” Angie says, “to really make my dream come true.”

The client’s experience may or may not be the same as other clients.

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You should never purchase or keep insurance or annuity products to be eligible for nonguaranteed membership benefits. You should only purchase and keep insurance and annuity products that best meet the financial security needs of you and your family. Consider the cost, features, and benefits of specific insurance and/or annuity products.