Life Planning 101
By Julie Min Chayet '91
Growing up as the child of psychiatrists, I have counseled people in need as second nature. Haverford reinforced this drive by instilling in me a responsibility to be a contributing member of society. Influenced by the deep sense of community grounded in Quaker values, I've built my career as a trust and estates attorney on my Haverford experience. As a trusted advisor, I help individuals and families protect their wealth using multigenerational planning techniques that rely on the principles of the duty of care and the duty of loyalty.
Clients often come to me after experiencing a major life event. I ask them about their priorities and goals, and their answers typically vary depending on what stage of life they're in at the time. The illustration on the next page ("Your Roadmap to Charitable Planning") is a guide to how life's milestones can influence your most important decisions. Here are some of the stops you can expect as you drive through this mini course in Life Planning 101:
- Stage I spans your 20s through your 40s. You are influenced most by friends and family, focused on your own needs and defining your identity. Your priorities change as you finish graduate school, start a family, buy a home and become financially independent.
- Stage II begins in your 50s and runs through your 60s. As you reflect on your academic and career highlights, you start thinking about retirement. Questions abound: How much money is really enough? When will I be ready to stop working? What are the best ways to establish a charitable legacy while protecting my family financially?
- Stage III covers your 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. Early in this stage you need to ensure that the estate plan you created ten or more years earlier remains viable for accomplishing your goals. It may be time to look for ways to preserve wealth while enjoying the fruits of your labor.
If you have planned properly, your later years will be rewarding. Your needs become simpler, and you have the security of knowing that you have taken care of the people and places you love.