The World Turns: Embrace the Changes As They Come

This past Sunday I experienced an event that, on one hand, was like thousands before and thousands to come.

On the other hand, it was unique to me.

My eldest, also known throughout social media as The Boy, achieved an important milestone in a young man’s life. He graduated from college.

For him, it was a good day, as it was for his Mother and me. But it was poignant too. Amidst the smiles and pride, I recognized the moment not merely as that symbolic capstone of a parent’s “career” (providing one’s child with an education), but instead the metaphorical (and hopefully literal!) concept that he will soon be off my payroll.

Coincidentally, not less than 72 hours later, I received a call from a financial advisor who wanted me to know I had an expiring term life insurance policy. It was an extra policy I’d taken out over ten years previously when I was about to embark on an around-the-world trip that included diving with white sharks off the South African coast, and outdoor excursions in New Zealand involving rubber bands and bridges.

My wife, ever the prescient one, understood the ramifications of a galivanting husband frolicking in the waves with Jaws, and with a maternal practicality insisted I take out an additional policy before I departed.

That policy was now expiring, and with it came the marketing pitch for conversion to whole or universal life, and questions about what my longer-term priorities now were, especially since over a decade has passed.

When Everything Changes

And things are different. My wife and I are employed by different firms with different retirement plans. Health care policy and premiums are unrecognizable compared to those early years. Most importantly, my younger child, known as The Girl, only has three years left at university. She too, is soon headed for a change in status on the Bader payroll. All this has implications in whether to continue that life insurance policy – and raises questions about alternative uses for those monthly premiums.

The situation has, indeed, changed.

But that’s the point. Life has moved on, and my needs are different. The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, in the opening moments of his radio play, Under Milk Wood, uses the narrator, aka “First Voice”, to intone “Time passes. Listen. Time Passes.”

DonorsTrust represents the dichotomy of challenging change but encouraging adaptation. We hold principles built around donor intent, the ultimate idea in resisting the diversion and U-turns that line our paths. Much like the opening lines of one of the most important documents about human freedom, “we hold these truths to be self evident…”, Donors Trust maintains an unswerving commitment to preserve the philosophical consistency in one’s giving that reflects those timeless and self-evident truths.

Opportunities for Reflection – and Giving

At the same time, your situation changes. Your needs change. You have options open to you that you did not have previously. You are never too young, nor never too old, to pause and reflect what you want to accomplish this year, next year, and beyond the horizon.

Cash flow varies, investment opportunities are precisely that – opportunities with risk and reward. That second home no longer is able to house the sounds of younger voices on vacation as those younger voices are focused on homes of their own. Tuition obligations end and with that arise new opportunities to invest in oneself, or, more important, in others.

That’s where we come in. As an organization that supports a large and vibrant donor-advised-fund, we have at our disposal a variety of tools that can guide and assist you. As a boutique shop we can be personalized and creative in helping address complicated legal and business arrangements that, once untangled, offer charitable respite.

Change is good. It’s inevitable. The soap opera As The World Turns spun on its axis everyday for 54 years. Each spin brought a new drama, even though that axis remained constant.

We spin too. But we remain grounded. And we are always ready for a chat.


  • Lawson Bader

    Since 2015, Lawson Bader serves as president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund. Before coming to DonorsTrust, he amassed twenty years’ experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He began his career in DC in as special assistant at the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, then worked as a legislative analyst/paralegal with Pierson, Semmes & Finley, and managed government relations at SRI International. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and a current contributor to Kiplinger and member of the Forbes Nonprofit Council. He also serves on the governing boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, and Oakseed Ministries International. Lawson earned a BA in political science from Wheaton College (IL) and an MA in public policy from The Johns Hopkins University.

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