The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused hardships in many areas of society, and the disability community is no different. As with many other businesses, the shutdowns and social distancing have highlighted the financial razor’s edge many service providers live on. In a survey of 191 organizations conducted by ANCOR, a trade group representing disability service

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

The ABLE account is a state-run savings program for eligible people with disabilities in the United States. It continues to be an area many families have questions about, in terms of its set up and how to effectively use it. We have compiled multiple questions over the years regarding these accounts and we feel our

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: I am thinking about purchasing income-producing real estate to be owned by my son’s special needs trust to provide an additional income stream to support his lifetime needs. What do I need to consider? Real estate is certainly an option to provide income within the trust to then provide for your son’s lifetime support

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: We are stuck. Our planning has been stopped in its tracks because my husband and I cannot decide on the next caregiver, the next Guardian for our 14-year old son with autism. What can we do? The selection of next caregiver and future Guardian is many times the most difficult decision parents have to

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

The outbreak of COVID-19 has shone a light on many areas of our society where planning was inadequate or non-existent to handle such an epidemic. This is certainly true for Home and Community-based services provided to individuals with disabilities. These Home and Community-based services are essential in order to keep people with a diagnosis in

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

The COVID-19 global pandemic seems to have caught our world by surprise. Our world leaders, businesses, financial markets, local communities, schools, and hospitals were all caught off guard by the swiftness of the spread of this virus. It is clear that, as a society, we’re not prepared to handle such a pandemic. Our hospitals did

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

My 30-year old brother, Edward, has autism. He lives with my parents, and they are not in the best of health. I am 45 years old, and I have two other siblings. We all have families and are all concerned about what will happen when my brother is no longer able to live with my

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: My son is 17.5 years old and we are not sure if we should move forward with Guardianship. Do you have any advice on how to make that decision? For some families the question of attaining Guardianship for their child with autism at age 18 is an easy one, simply based on their child’s

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: “We have been saving for our son, who has Autism, in a 529 college plan since he was born. He is now 16 years old, and it appears as though he will not have the ability to attend college and use that money. He is our youngest child, and all of our other children

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: “I created a Special Needs Trust several years ago, but now my son has an ABLE account. Do I still need a Special Needs Trust?” I have been asked this question quite often since the ABLE accounts were passed into law and became available. The quick answer is, “Absolutely, you still need a Special

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Let’s first define “why” you would want either type of account. One of the main reasons families create a Special Needs Trust and open an ABLE account is because these are the only two accounts in which your child with autism can have money in excess of $2,000 and still qualify for government benefits such

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Could you describe the changes in the ABLE account rules that were brought about by the new federal tax legislation? As most of you know, the ABLE Act was passed back at the end of 2014 and paved the way for individuals diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26 to save money without

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question:  “We have three children, and only one of our children has autism. How do we know the amount of money we need to provide for each of our children?” It is very common to feel uneasy about determining the amount of money that your child with autism may need for a lifetime of support

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: “My husband and I have been researching special needs trust, and we have realized there are multiple types. Would you mind describing the types of special needs trusts that exist and the reasons for each? Answer: You are correct. Special Needs Trust is a broad term that can comprise various types of trusts.  We

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question:  It is the beginning of a new year, I want to start saving for my child’s future, and I heard quite a bit about the ABLE Accounts.  Is an ABLE a good account to begin saving in for my child’s future? — Abigail Saving for your child’s future is a great step in helping

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: “I am in the military and heard there is a new benefit for military retirees that can help my child with autism.  Is this true?  If so, what is it?” – Jerry The simple answer to your question is YES.  For those individuals who have served our country for their career in one of

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

rQuestion: “My father is going through early onset Alzheimer’s and I am watching the financial and emotional stress it is taking on him and my mother.  I can only imagine if that happened to my wife and I while we trying to care for our son with autism.  What can we do? — Rick Answer:

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Retirement planning is an important area of an individual’s and a family’s life.  Proper planning will allow for a better life and one that is usually more enjoyable.  For most folks in the United States, retirement planning includes saving as much money as they can in their 401(k) and maximizing their monthly social security payment. 

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: “As 2016 begins, I am thinking again about planning for my son and his future with special needs.  He is 14 years old, and at this time we are not sure how much support he will need in the future.  His mother and I feel so overwhelmed, but we just don’t know where to

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Tom asks, “I know there was a question regarding guardianship in a prior issue.  Based upon the questions that were posed in your answer, I am not sure if my daughter will need guardianship, but she may still need some protection.  Are there any alternatives to guardianship?” Tom, thank you for your question.  Your question

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC

Question: I have a Special Needs Trust for my son; however, I am not funding it at this time.  I just have not been able to find the extra money in our budget to fund the special needs trust, especially after we save for our own retirement.  What is the best way to fund a

in Financial Planning by Ryan Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC