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"Will become a classic for families who have special needs children...There is no other resource book like it for parents."
Developed by two financial planning experts who also have family members with special needs, this one-of-a-kind book is an absolute must-have as parents and other caregivers plan for the lasting financial security of their families.
Transforming the financial planning presentations theyâ€™ve given to families across the country into a thorough, easy-to-read resource, the well-known authors give parents a chronological guide for each stage from birth to adulthood. Parents will get comprehensive advice and strategies on how to address
Included are all the tools families need to create an effective action plan for their finances: planning checklists and forms, a helpful glossary of financial terms, â€œplanning pointersâ€ that help readers remember key points, and extended case studies dramatizing other familiesâ€™ evolving challenges and solutions. Plus, the CD-ROM in the back of the book contains a helpful Financial Planning Timeline and a printable Letter of Intent that lets parents communicate key information, concerns, and desires to future caretakers.
A book parents will use for the rest of their lives, this guide is also a necessary addition to the reference library of every service provider.
The authors, both active in national parent and advocacy gorups, present financial planning information in chronological format. Besides financial support, the book looks into the emotional, family, legal and health aspects of planning, and incorporates valuable resources and practical solutions.
Excerpted from Chapter 1 of The Special Needs Planning Guide How to Prepare for Every Stage of Your Child's Life by John W. Nadworny, CFPÂ®, ChFC and Cynthia R. Haddad, CFP®
Copyright © 2007 by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
This book will serve as a guide to help your family plan for the future. Reading through it may relieve your anxieties about planning, or may raise your awareness about the need to plan. Because every family's specific situation is unique, it is not possible to find one single solution, one financial product, one legal document, or one residential model that fits the needs of every family. There are, however, some basic guidelines and rules that can be applied to form a basis for a planning strategy.
COMPARING TRADITIONAL FINANCIAL PLANNING WITH SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING
When we first began speaking to groups of families, we learned that we had to clarify the distinction between planning for the needs of families that had a member with special needs and the needs of the typical family. The basic needs of both special needs families and traditional families overlap at various stages. The baseline needs of purchasing a home, saving for college, retirement, and estate distribution are similar in both special needs planning and traditional planning. In addition to these needs, families with special needs face additional challenges. Clearly, it is not recommended for families with special needs to adhere to the motto of "I'm spending my kids' inheritance." Having a child with special needs requires that families plan for two generations, because the child with disabilities may need parents' financial assistance and support into and throughout adult life. This is a common thread throughout this book.
There are any number of resources in the media, books, magazines, and newsletters available to raise awareness and education for the financial and legal planning needs of traditional families. Traditional families can find an answer to a basic planning question by calling in to a talk radio host, writing a letter to the financial editor in the local paper, or attending public seminars and educational workshops. Information for families with special needs is not as easily accessible—nor are the answers families seek as generally applicable.
In order to illustrate the differences between traditional planning and special needs planning, we have developed a special needs planning timeline (see Figure 1). This timeline outlines the various planning stages, or planning pressure points, that families with children with disabilities need to consider. It demonstrates the differences between the traditional planning timeline and the special needs planning timeline. Keep in mind that families with special needs will want to consider all the aspects of the traditional family planning timeline; however, in addition they will need to incorporate all the points on the special needs planning timeline. These planning pressure points are stages that align with natural life transitions in families with children with disabilities. For a child with special needs, the planning pressure points indicate a change in services and/or benefits available. In addition, these are often the points in time when parents feel the pressure to begin planning. We identify these points as an indicator that action is needed, and these points highlight the unique planning differences in special needs planning. Each planning pressure point indicates some very specific planning considerations, which will be discussed in detail in later chapters. In later chapters, we provide strategies for the various stages of planning (pressure points) and discuss the Five Factors to consider for each stage, including family and support factors, emotional facto