Special Needs Financial Planning | Your Child is Born
Shepherd Financial Partners is an independent, full-service financial and wealth management practice. Our goal is to provide you with superior, comprehensive financial and wealth management services in the context of a personal, long-term commitment.
Shepherd Financial Partners is an independent, full-service financial and wealth management practice. Our goal is to provide you with superior, comprehensive financial and wealth management services in the context of a personal, long-term commitment.
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Your Child is Born

Your child is born!

 

Congratulations on the birth of your child!

 

You are beginning a new journey and will have a different set of challenges. The planning may be different, but there is a process to follow.

 

After many months of anticipation, the day has finally arrived and you are now parents of a wonderful baby.  Some parents may have known about their child’s special needs in advance, but regardless of how much advanced notice, we are never quite prepared.

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Just as every child is unique, the way each parent reacts to the situation will be different.  It is common for some parents to think about the immediate impact that having a child with disabilities will have on their lives.  In other cases, a parent will think about the long-term implications of the future.  We encourage you to live in the present and seek strategies to help plan for the future.

View "Basic Steps of Special Needs Financial Planning"

Yes, Please!

UNIQUE PLANNING REQUIREMENTS

  • Ask your pediatrician about Early Intervention services in your area.
  • Identify local support agencies that specialize in providing information and services for your child’s specific needs.
  • Do not assume that the Government will fully provide for your child’s lifetime needs. Find your voice for advocacy.
  • Maintain a balance in your overall planning to include the needs for other children as well as your own needs – both personal and financial.
  • Determine an adequate amount of life insurance needed in the event of a premature death of a caregiver.
  • Do NOT establish savings or investment accounts in your child’s name.  These include custodial accounts of Uniform Gifts to Minors Accounts (UGMA) or Uniform Transfer to Minors Accounts (UTMA) and possibly 529 college savings accounts.
  • Communicate your plans  with grandparents and others who may be involved in your child’s life personally and financially.

Special Needs Planning Story

INDIVIDUAL CASE STUDY

When my son James was born, we ere completely surprised that he had Down syndrome. In fact, the night before his birth, Susan had taught her last aerobic classes and had a pleasant evening out with her friends. James was born right on his due date, and his delivery was quick. As soon as James was given to Susan, she said, “This child has down syndrome ;there must be some mistake.”. Initially, Susan felt that it could not have been her baby. While in the birthing room, I was totally unaware as to what was happening other than something was bad. I was not tuned in to what Susan was actually saying but was responding to the serious looks on the physician and nurses faces. When the physician said she had some suspicions, I fainted from the shock of it all and had to be revived by the staff.

 

When I went home to care for our other two children, I stepped back into our “normal” life.  I remember, as clearly today as I did 16 years ago, my thoughts of how I was going to take care of our third child.  I thought about converting the barn in the back of our house to a home for him when he became an adult.  I went to the hospital library to research the subject of Down syndrome.  All that I found were old books on mongoloidism.  It was depressing to see the descriptions of the limited possibilities of his life.  I finally found a photo of a child with down syndrome that was dancing.  I made a copy of this photo and kept it on my desk to remind me to thing about the positives of what might be.

 

For Susan, it was different.  She wanted out and asked to go home with James immediately, but James needed to be checked out and of course they don’t let you just leave.  She remained in the hospital where the staff was indifferent.; they too, were at a loss for words.  Susan asked that her hospital door be closed, and the staff limited their contact with her.  Perhaps it made them feel more comfortable.  It is not that they were not caring; they just simply did not know what to say.  If only someone could have just said “congratulations”….thoughts from John.

READING ROOM

Below are a few articles relating to planning for your child at this stage.  For more information visit  WHAT WE’RE SAYING.

  • Fifteen Tips for Families of People with Autism

    Fifteen Tips for Families of People with Autism

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  • Interviewing a Caregiver- Advice from an Expert

    Interviewing a Caregiver- Advice from an Expert

    VIEW MORE
  • Special Needs Trusts: Questions and Answers

    Special Needs Trusts: Questions and Answers

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1 There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.

2   Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.