The long-term financial and retirement goals of special needs families should be as achievable as those of any other family. And they are, but only if you have the right financial plan – meaning a plan that understands and prepares you for the many unique challenges faced by special needs families. In other words, it means a financial plan that also includes and incorporates a special needs Funding Strategy.
At All Needs Planning, we will do a full funding assessment for the cost of care of your special needs child. This funding assessment will make sure you know the paid – and unpaid – supports that your special needs loved one receives – and give you a number for their monthly, annual, and lifetime estimated cost of care.
We will also do a full risk analysis to help you prepare for every possible situation, including what happens if there is a loss of income in the family or if the primary earner dies prematurely. Your funding strategy is part of the broader financial plan we help you create to ensure you can achieve your retirement goals and a secure future for your whole family. We’ll help you answer your most important funding and financial questions, such as:
- How much will it cost to care for your special needs loved one?
- How much will you need for retirement?
- Do you have other goals that will need additional funding?
- Are there gaps?
- Are you tax efficient?
- Are you using the appropriate financial tools for your financial situation?
After a full analysis of your current situation and future funding needs, the risks you may face, and the strategies you currently have in place, we make a detailed recommendation of what you need to meet your family’s goals and needs. From ABLE accounts to medical deductions to employee benefits, our plans are comprehensive, detailed, and unique to special needs families. And we don’t stop at the recommendation. Once we agree on the path forward, we implement, monitor, and continue to strategize.
The Income Model
We believe it is especially important for special needs families to have a financial/retirement strategy that makes asset protection its top priority. After all, life is stressful enough. You don’t need constant worries about the financial markets adding to that stress. Rather, you need a financial plan designed to keep you confidently moving toward your goals regardless of market conditions. In our experience, that means an investment strategy geared toward retirement income rather than portfolio growth. This strategy serves the dual purpose of protecting the principal for your special needs loved one(s).
Although most investors have been led to believe “growth” and “return” mean the same thing, it isn’t true. Total return is really a sum of two things: income and growth, as shown in the formula: TR=I+G. While growth is measured in capital appreciation, income is generated through interest and dividends. In our experience, the safest way to ensure financial stability in the years leading up to and throughout retirement is to have a strategy that generates reliable income.
In addition, because investing for income is more strategic than more conventional growth-based financial strategies, it is much better suited to address the many varied and often complex needs and challenges of special needs families. This includes challenges related to:
- Maximizing the value of your Social Security benefits and Medicare.
- Minimizing your tax burden.
- Estate Planning and Distribution.
- Remainder Interest.
In short, investing for income is a more holistic approach to financial planning that can effectively incorporate a sound Funding Strategy and better address all your financial needs. That’s why we are proud partners with the Income Specialists at Sound Income Strategies, and dedicated to working with them to help every family we serve achieve their goals with confidence and peace of mind!