Key Financial Concerns for Special Needs Kids (And How Life Insurance Can Help)
As a parent or guardian of a child with special needs, you have unique challenges that you’re dealing with, and it can seem overwhelming. You have to find the right schools, doctors, caretakers, and other professional services that will help give your child the best possible chance of living a long, happy life.
This also means that your child might outlive you, and that’s a scenario that most parents of special needs children don’t like to think about, and understandably so. But it’s a real possibility that is essential to plan for. You want what’s best for your child and you want to ensure their quality of life and quality of care, even after you’re gone.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the current cost of raising a child to age 18 is $240,000. That’s a lot of money! But if you have a child with special needs, that number can quadruple. A survey conducted by The Hartford revealed that out of 580 parents of children with special needs 23% said they spend at least $500 a month to address their child’s special needs. Although 60% of parents believe these costs will continue into adulthood, less than half of them have a plan to ensure these costs will be covered no matter what. 42% of parents with a financial plan are confident it will cover their child’s lifetime needs. The most common strategy for making these plans happen is life insurance.
Still, half of the parents with special needs children plan to leave money directly to their child and 58% name their child as a beneficiary, unaware that both actions could disqualify their child from receiving critical government benefits and services – a common misstep. Only a quarter of parents have established a “special needs trust” to provide for the supplemental needs and expenses of their child. Doing this would not disqualify them from receiving government benefits.
So where do you start? The most common questions that weigh heavily on the minds of parents with special needs children are:
What would happen if you passed away?
Who would care for your child?
How would their care be paid for?
What if you became disabled and couldn't work anymore?
When you retire, will you still have the income you need to support your child?
How do you ensure your special needs child is provided for financially while also taking care of your other children?
How can you make the most out of the resources that you have available to you?
Working with a special needs attorney to put the right type of trust in place for your child is essential. But you also need a way to fund that trust, which is where a life insurance professional gets involved. They will take the time to listen to all of your needs, concerns, and goals for your family and build a customized solution that works for you.
Life insurance is a powerful financial tool that is regularly used in the financial planning process for special needs children. There are certain types of life insurance products out there that are specifically built to resolve the needs and issues that families with special needs children have, and life insurance can address every question listed above.
Taking the time to plan ahead now, and answering certain questions is crucial and can give you the peace of mind to know that whether you are here or not, your child will be well taken care of. So where do you start? First, know that there are tools and resources available out there that can give you peace of mind to ensure your child will be taken care of. Second, reach out to a life insurance professional today and start having the conversation. They will walk you through the planning process and answer any questions you might have.
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Want to start the planning process for your special needs child?
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