The Special Needs Planning Guide: How to Prepare for Every Stage in Your Child's Life / Edition 1

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Overview

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 they’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

  • financial factors—including mortgages and other expenses, insurance policies, investments, and savings
  • legal factors—such as conducting estate planning, weighing guardianship with less restrictive alternatives, and creating a Special Needs Trust to ensure a child's future
  • government factors—identifying and supplementing government benefits, such as residential services, supported employment, and respite care
  • family and support factors—such as the family’s values, the parents’ careers, sibling considerations, and contributions of extended family members
  • emotional factors—such as dealing with both positive and negative feelings, staying connected with others, and using strong emotions to fuel advocacy

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, “planning pointers” that help readers remember key points, and extended case studies dramatizing other families’ 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.

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Editorial Reviews

Dee Lee

"Will become a classic for families who have special needs children...There is no other resource book like it for parents."
Secretary, Board of Directors, The Arc of The United States - William A. Catelli
"Excellent...simply written and understandable, yet concise enough to serve as a road map that will assist families of persons with special needs to navigate the highway of life from childhood to adullthood."
former member, The President's Committee For People With Intellectual Disabilities - James T. Brett
"A must-have reference. . . will serve as a great tool to help families navigate through the many challenges, while giving them thoughtful and practical solutions."
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Senior Associate in Medicine, Childrens Hospital Boston - Allen C. Crocker
"A treasure chest of information . . . held together with family values that close gaps and lead to goals."
Vice Chairman, Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic - Marvin Natowicz
"An extremely valuable resource for both families and professionals who seek to provide for the current and future care and quality of life of an individual with special needs."
about.com Parenting Special Needs (5-star review)
"Planning for the legal and financial needs of even a 'normal' family can be overwhelming, but add a child with special needs to the equation and the degree of difficulty soars. Authors Nadworny and Haddad have family members with disabilities, so they know the problems firsthand -- and try to guide you gently away from them in a calm, compassionate, and only mildly panic-inducing guide."
QUEST
Full text

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.

Wicked Local Belmont
"The first of its kind…Provides a clear roadmap and set of guidelines to demystify the challenges of planning for individuals with disabilities, and their families."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557668028
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 310
  • Sales rank: 654,839
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

As a result of her own experience with an adult brother with special needs, Cynthia has dedicated her financial planning practice to helping other families address their unique financial planning needs. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for The Arc of Massachusetts and serves on the subcommittee for the upcoming capital campaign. She was honored to co-chair, along with her husband Mark, the 50th anniversary gala celebration for The Arc of Massachusetts in September 2005.

She is a contributing author to A Special Needs Planning Guide for Families (Jewish Family & Children's Service, n.d.), a collaborative publication between colleagues to aid families with special needs in the planning process.

Cynthia has served on the Central Middlesex Area Advisory Board for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation and was a member of the committee for residential quality control. She is past chair of the Family-to-Family steering committee and has served as an advisor to the MARC Trust, Inc. (currently Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of Massachusetts, Inc.).

Cynthia has earned a bachelor of arts in finance and economics from Simmons College in Boston. Cynthia lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their children, Anthony and Lydia.

As a parent and professional, John has served on the Governor's Commission on Mental Retardation for three terms. He is currently the chair of the subcommittee on transitioning to adult services. He helped draft the Qualified Disabilities Savings Program proposal that has recently been submitted to President George W. Bush by the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. In his second term on the Governor's Commission, John was the co-chair of the subcommittee on developing an overall plan for private-public housing partnerships between families and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation. He also served on the Family-to-Family Advisory Board. John is a past member of the Board of Directors of The Arc of East Middlesex.

John and his wife, Susan, received Distinguished Citizen Awards from The Arc of Massachusetts in 1995 and 1999. They are an active family in Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change. John completed the Ironman USA Triathlon in 1999 to raise funds to help endow the Family-to-Family project, which was established to address Massachusetts's waiting list for residential services.

John has earned a master of business administration from Babson College, a master of science from Bentley College, and a bachelor of science from Bridgewater State College. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and their children, Alexandria, Bennett, and James.

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Read an Excerpt

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, CFP®, 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

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Table of Contents


Contents of the Accompanying CD-ROM
About the Authors
Foreword
Marty Wyngaarden Krauss
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
  1. The Special Needs Planning Timeline
  2. An Overview of Special Needs Planning
  3. Practical Steps in the Planning Process
  4. The Five Factors to Consider in Special Needs Planning
  5. Planning for Stage I-Child's Birth to Age 3
  6. Planning for Stage II-Child's Ages 3-15
  7. Planning for Stage III-Child's Ages 16-21
  8. Planning for Stage IV-Children Age 22 and Beyond
  9. Important Special Needs Planning Tools and Terminology
Bibliography
Glossary
Appendix: Letter of Intent
Index
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