Julie Oh Ybarra ’90

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Julie Oh YbarraJoo-Yun "Julie" Oh Ybarra ’90 believes that it's never too early to start planning for retirement. She's also a fan of win-win situations; that is, why not plan in a way that can benefit both you and your alma mater? 

Ybarra earned an M.B.A. from Columbia University and currently works for IBM as a financial analyst. She and her husband live in Greenwich, Connecticut, with their three young children. Ybarra had included Mount Holyoke in her estate planning but also was inspired to make a more immediate gift after reading an article about Jane Zimmy '74, a respected friend. 

"She had established a deferred gift annuity, a highly vetted and recommended tool for retirement income. That appeals to me as someone who is fiscally conservative," said Ybarra. "I could set one up through an outside broker or, like Jane, I could do it through Mount Holyoke, which helps out Mount Holyoke. Their rates are competitive. It just makes sense." 

Ybarra admits that her own competitive streak also was a motivating factor in making the gift. As her twentieth reunion approached, she became aware that the class of 1990 was not going to make its goal for a reunion gift. "Each year, I usually give $100 but I really wanted us to surpass our goal at the twentieth. Knowing that I could designate the gift portion of the annuity to the Mount Holyoke Fund inspired me to get it in place." 

As for why she believes in supporting Mount Holyoke, Ybarra says the impetus is somewhat selfish. Given that Mount Holyoke holds a prominent spot on her résumé, she has a vested interest in its success. In addition, she believes that Mount Holyoke is a valuable place for young women. "It's also a place that thinks outside the box in terms of admission. That matters to me," she added. 

Ybarra encourages other young alumnae to start planning ahead and to make Mount Holyoke part of that process. "I was the youngest alumna to approach the Advancement Office about a deferred gift annuity but they got right on board and made it easy," she said. "Now I have the satisfaction of knowing that I'm providing for my future while benefitting my college."