Saving for retirement, saving for your child’s education, and some life insurance to provide for your spouse or child if you were to die unexpectedly, are common goals through which most people plan ahead financially. But when you have a child with special needs, the concern are much higher and there are a number of additional factors to consider. Medication, physical therapy, Occupational therapy, special schooling, and sometimes even constant care for a child who has disabilities, are fears which revolves around your life.
Planning for future with a special needs child is very different from traditional financial planning. Unlike traditional planning where the planning is for own lifetime the planning in a family with special needs child revolves around two generations – for the child and for yoursleves.But most of the time child planning takes the center stage due to financial constraint families have and so other life goals like retirement or financial planning of other family members remain unaddressed. Also, there is a lack of information and dearth of advisors due to which families face lack of awareness and proper guidance. As a result a family with special needs child had to struggle to manage their finances and at times makes common mistakes like wrong investment avenue or making the special child nominee in financial assets, which jeopardizes the child future. Even with families who can leave a good legacy to their child, the special child future concern remains throughout the life.
Some of the common concerns related to special needs children are:
- What will happen to the child after the parents?
- How to provide for child long term care?
- Lack of government support?
- No provision of budgeting family expenses?
- Lack of awareness on investments?
- Appointing a guardian?
- Is writing a will sufficient to pass the legacy to the special child?
This and many more concern goes much beyond parents lives simply because the specially abled member needs support beyond their lifetime. Much of these concernsstem from financial limitations and so there is enough resistance done to bring family within the constraints. Hence all this and many other factors demands that families with special needs children plan ahead for their future so that the concern they are facing can be addressed initially in life and the family can prepare themselves with adequate provisions for contingencies.
A Financial Planning approach helps in addressing concerns related to money management. By quantifying needs of the special child and other members, one can plan for the rainy days and allocate savings more wisely and with discipline. With special needs child there are other legal and planning issues which can be addressed if one is able to manage finances more efficiently.