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Planning for Retirement with a Special Needs Child

Planning for Retirement with a Special Needs Child

Troy Werner and his family

Written by Troy Werner

Troy Werner has been an indispensable asset to The Werner Law Firm since joining in 2009, providing exceptional legal service to its clients.

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POSTED ON: July 11, 2024

Planning for retirement when you have a child with special needs is difficult. However, you can overcome this challenge with thorough, strategic estate planning.

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy life after years of hard work. However, parents of children with special needs will need to handle this transition with care. By planning early, you can ensure your child’s long-term care and your own financial future.

Start Early and Plan Ahead

Beginning your retirement planning early is crucial. Likewise, this process should be an extension of your existing financial planning. Starting early allows you to anticipate state and federal benefits changes and adjust your strategies accordingly.

For instance, Medicaid waivers and other support systems can be unpredictable. Just because these benefits systems can supplement your needs today doesn’t mean they’ll be able to do so tomorrow. Flexible, far-sighted financial preparation can help you absorb changes in benefits programs.

What Conversations are Needed?

Open communication between both parents is vital. It’s common for parents to prioritize their child's needs over their own retirement savings. However, finding a balance is key. Both parents should be on the same page regarding their goals for retirement and their child’s future. Involving a financial planner and a special needs attorney can help align these goals and create a comprehensive plan.

Realistic Planning with Jeff and Emily’s Insights

Two professionals with Special Needs Alliance weighed in on planning for retirement with a special needs child. One, Jeff Yussman, emphasizes the importance of honest discussions about assets, liabilities, and the desired retirement lifestyle.

Another advisor, Emily Kile, highlights the need to leave an advocate for their child in advance. It may be smart to move a child with special needs to a future housing option while parents are still alive. This can reduce the pain and uncertainty of making such moves when the parents pass away.

Financial Preparation to Retire with a Special Needs Child

The first step is reviewing the titles on your accounts, beneficiary designations, and estate plans. Ensuring that the chosen trustees and agents align with the goals of your child with special needs is critical. You should consider the financial security available through life insurance policies, such as second-to-die life insurance.

How to Arrange Future Care for a Child with Special Needs?

Parents must also plan for the long-term care of their child with special needs. This includes preparing for the potential loss of private health insurance and understanding the longevity of their financial plans. It is important to have regular estate planning meetings that account for these factors.

How Can I Involve Family in Retirement Planning with a Special Needs Child?

While well-intentioned family members might offer to care for your child, their circumstances can change. Marriages, divorces, and other life events can impact their ability to provide consistent care. Plan for these variables to ensure your child’s stability.

Begin Your Retirement Plan Today

Planning for retirement when you have a child with special needs can be challenging. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Our firm focuses on all matters related to estate planning. Reach out today for a consultation. We’ll help you create a comprehensive plan to secure the financial futures of both you and your child with special needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Start Early: Begin planning for your retirement and your child’s future as soon as possible to anticipate and adapt to changes in benefits and needs.
  • Open Communication: Ensure that both parents are aligned on goals and involve professionals, like financial planners and special needs attorneys.
  • Financial Preparation: Review and update account titling and beneficiary designations and consider life insurance policies to secure your child’s future.
  • Long-term Care: Plan for your child’s long-term care, including potential loss of private health insurance and regular updates to your estate plan.
  • Involve Family Carefully: Consider the potential changes in family members’ circumstances and plan for your child’s stability accordingly.

If you want to set up an estate plan to ensure the welfare of your special needs loved ones, we are always happy to help.  Contact The Werner Law Firm today for a free consultation today. Our probate lawyers in Los Angeles can guide you through it.

If you have any questions, schedule a free appointment with us through our online appointment page.

You can also read reviews from some of the hundreds of clients we have helped over the years.

Reference: Special Needs Alliance (Oct. 7, 2022) "How to plan for retirement when you have a child with special needs

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