On today’s Thrive For[e]ward podcast, we are going to address special needs planning. We talk about what do we do from a full financial planning standpoint: investment planning, income planning, tax planning, and general concepts to consider. As always, these are educational tools and resources we make available in order for you to begin the conversation.
If you have a special needs child or have a loved one with special needs, there are special considerations that you want to make sure that you put into place.
For instance, did you know that on average caregivers spend 13 days each month on tasks such as shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and giving medication? And an additional, six days per month on feeding, dressing, grooming, walking, bathing, and assistance toileting? That doesn’t even include the 13 hours per month they spend researching care services or information on disease, coordinating physician visits, or managing financial matters. (Source: Gallup-Healthways (2011) and Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index)
What if something happened to you? How will these aspects be managed, when the time comes that you unable to take them on? Secondly, from a financial perspective, what are the wishes you have for your children? What level of independence might they be able to have or need down the road? And how can you ensure it is provided for them?
Your financial advisor is going to help you understand what the overall goals are: What do you want the picture to look like? From there, planning to make sure that you are saving enough to be able to help care for your child for as long as you want to financially provide for them.
From a legal standpoint: estate planning is an important topic. There are many additional strategies that come into play, from guardianship to special needs trusts. Again, each person’s scenario is different.
The last piece that I want to make sure that we touch on is from an financial planning standpoint is – communication: always loop in your financial advisor. Make sure that they are aware that you have a special needs family member, whether it be a child or grandchild, and that they’re helping direct you in the right way with the right type of investments. There are investments that could produce income that could be taxable, if not placed in the right type of legal ownership.
If your child is a beneficiary on an asset and you haven’t changed it, you want to make sure you do that. There are also other investment vehicles out there through the ABLE Act, the 529 ABLE account has been established where you can add $15,000 into an account for a special needs child every year. Make sure that you work with your financial planner and your tax professional to understand how you can benefit from providing some of these tools and resources for your family.
These are just a few areas that we have touched upon today, but I invite you to visit the resources below. Additionally, we at Forethought Planning are here to assist and ensure you have the right partners with you on your journey, whatever that might be.
Feel free to schedule an appointment to our complimentary 30 min Wealth Assessment session to learn more about how we incorporate these strategies and others to assist you through the financial planning process.
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