Special Needs Planning
Planning for the journey you know today and preparing for the bumps in the road.
Special Needs Planning is planning for two generations; encompassing both your and your child's lifetime(s). Our approach is to break the planning process into three sequential components and then integrate these to form your Comprehensive Special Needs Financial Plan.
Maximizing personal resources and leveraging government benefits to provide the best possible life for your child.
Building a team to support your child when you can no longer provide the on-going care they need.
Some more about how we plan.
Here are the most common elements of a comprehensive special needs plan; one that considers your whole family's goals along with providing for the lifelong support of your child with a disability.
Basic steps of financial planning:
1. Identify and prioritize your goals. Start with your vision for your family today, and when you are gone.
2. List your resources and expenses, including personal net worth, income sources and earnings, and expenses. Include both parent’s and child’s income sources when looking at resources and consider the supplemental cash flow needs of the child with disabilities when planning expenses.
3. Identify gaps between both personal and governmental benefit resources and desired goals. Common gaps are often found in the event of a premature death and/or disability of a parent, or not having adequate savings to meet lifetime goals.
4. Identify strategies to fill the gaps. We define The Five Factors of Special Needs Financial Planning as Family and Support, Emotional, Financial, Legal and Government Benefits. These must all be considered to develop the most appropriate planning strategies.
5. Implement a coordinated plan of action based on priorities. A plan is only as good as its implementation. There is a process for every family to follow; the key is to take action.
6. Periodically review and monitor your plan. It is important to periodically review your plan, especially in advance of the planning pressure points identified on the Special Needs Planning timeline.
Our investment management process is designed to deliver meaningful, risk-adjusted returns aligned with your short-,medium-, and long-term goals. Read more →
It’s Complicated To Plan For Two Generations. Typically, retirement planning involves establishing a regular savings plan to make certain that there is sufficient money available to maintain a lifestyle to which you and your spouse have grown accustomed. In special needs planning, parents may have to delay their retirement date or make adjustments in their lifestyle, including the ability to travel or relocate, due to the needs of their child. Saving enough money to achieve retirement planning goals may be more challenging for families with special needs because one parent may need to remain at home with the child and forego access to employer- sponsored retirement plans and benefits.
There is a complex list of factors to consider when transitioning young adults with disabilities from the family home to independent living. We have put together a Housing Checklist.
Taxes can play a significant role in your comprehensive financial planning. There are four different life stages to consider in your tax planning:
- While you are working.
- While you are planning to retire.
- While you are living during retirement.
- When you die.
We instinctively want to protect family members and manage their risk.
What if I die too soon? What if I live too long? What if I become disabled along the way? How can I protect my family’s financial security in the event of my premature death or disability? Insurance can provide the protection from financial risks we cannot manage by savings alone.
Where are you on the Special Needs Planning Timeline?
Your child's age will provide a jumping off point for our planning. We created The Special Needs Planning Timeline to highlight the key planning pressure points in the life of your child.
How do I prioritize my goals?
We understand, from first-hand experience, that making decisions about how to balance planning for all the members of your family can be overwhelming and sometimes, paralyzing.
We approach Special Needs Financial Planning as a process, and a dynamic one at that. The goal is to create a plan that represents a starting point from which you will build a strong financial foundation for your family’s future.
How do I make decisions now when there are so many unknowns in the future?
As Certified Financial Planner Professionals™ and Investment Managers we will talk about your money. But first, we will spend time getting to know you, your unique situation, and your aspirations for the future. We will talk through the uncertainties of what lies ahead and the best strategies to address them.
Planning for more than the money.
We talk about the money but we know it takes more than money to plan for a full life for your child. It takes friendships, employment, housing, community and connection.