Articles Tagged with Special Needs

MP900409255“We’re not surprised by the fact that people don’t know a lot about retirement income planning,” says David Littell, program director at the American College. “I was surprised at how badly they did.”

Could you pass a retirement literacy test? Apparently, 80 percent of Americans surveyed did not.

These Americans were polled on 38 retirement literacy questions on basics like Social Security, life expectancy, IRAs, life insurance and investments, and the mechanics of bonds. Sadly, only 20 percent were given passing grades, the college said. This isn't the first survey to raise concerns about Americans’ retirement readiness. In an article titled Americans fail in retirement literacy,“ The (Palm Springs, CA) Desert Sunnoted similar shortcomings in a 2011 report.

MP900448491Medical research confirms one of the first things people have trouble with in the very early stages of dementia is managing personal finances. This means people can make very expensive financial mistakes, often before anyone notices there is a problem. I have seen this happen, and it is heartbreaking.

You never know what the future holds, so early planning for late-in-life health issues is essential.

For instance, you may notice that a loved one seems more disorganized than usual. Bills may pile up. The loved one may have difficulty remembering names and fumble for the right words. See a doctor if there are concerns. Alzheimer's Disease and most forms of dementia are progressive. This means it will get worse over a few years.

Family letter blocksNew studies are providing more current cost estimates. “What we found was shocking,” Mandell said. “This is a huge hit on families.”

The costs to care for a child with special needs is on the rise, as reported in a new study in the medical journal JAMA Pediatric. The study found that the total lifetime cost of supporting an individual with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is $1.4 million in the U.S.—with an added intellectual disability, the total rises to $2.4 million. Reuters recently reported on this study and its findings in an article titled "Raising an Autistic Child: Coping With the Costs."

These costs typically include an ongoing mix of special education programs, medical care, and lost wages as many parents of autistic children reduce their work hours or even quit their jobs to help their child full-time. The organization Autism Speaks estimates that it now takes roughly $60,000 annually to support someone with an ASD. Such costs can be so prohibitive that many affected families will move to states that offer a better collection of services.

MP900383004Planning for a special needs beneficiary can be incredibly complex, so it’s generally best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney in your state who specializes in this area.

Estate planning helps to ensure our loved ones will be taken care of when we are no longer here. These plans are done with great care and consideration.  Furthermore, our loved ones with special needs will require some extra special planning to make sure their needs are met.

Special planning is, of course, very much tied to the needs of your child with special needs and to the needs of the rest of your family. As you might imagine, such planning entails important tools, rules and guides. To get started, consider a recent article in The Slott Report titled “3 Tips When Planning for a Special Needs Child.

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