As parents, we want our homes to be an oasis from the world. Before bringing a new baby into our homes, much time is spent lovingly preparing each space to be safe and warm, and we look forward to our children growing into adults there. But what happens when our home is no longer safe

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in Financial Planning by Rachel Andersen

A guide to housing assistance, what autism housing grants and programs are out there, and how families can get support services for their loved ones. Today, I want to talk to you about a way to plan for the not too distant future of our children with autism. Specifically, housing assistance, what autism housing grants

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in Financial Planning by Rachel Andersen

Financial planner Ryan Platt builds on his advice for parents confused about applying for Guardianship for young adults. In the last issue, I began answering questions about Guardianship. A guardian is someone who is legally responsible for the care of another person. As a parent of a child with a diagnosis, it means you stay

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

If you have questions pertaining to guardianship, this article will guide you along. What is Guardianship? Guardianship needs to be considered in two scenarios: 1. When the parents die 2. While the parents are still alive First scenario: when the parents die Let’s consider the scenario of parents passing away when the child still needs

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

Parents of children with autism are inundated with questions while trying to provide the best care for their children. Many options exist for therapies, advocation, medical assistance, physicians, and the list goes on. Knowing which options will be best for their autistic children, and if they will have the financial resources to pay for them,

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in Financial Planning by Rachel Andersen

An attempt to answer parents’ ongoing questions about government benefits for their children on the spectrum. “Government benefits” is such a broad term. These benefits can vary from individual to individual, but some tend to be universal for most individuals with an Intellectual and Developmental Disability.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are two such

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

Q: My child is only 14 years old, but I already realize he will not be able to live with me forever. How do I plan for his future housing options? A: I commend you on thinking about where your child may live in the future. We still find that 70% of adults with intellectual

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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

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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

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

As a Certified Financial Planner and Charted Special Needs Consultant, one thing I am constantly hearing from parents and young adults of all backgrounds is the lack of financial literacy being taught to young people. I find this to be true with all young adults, and we find it even less emphasized for children on

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in Financial Planning by Andrew Komarow, CFA

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

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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

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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

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

How to apply for autism grants Applying for grants can seem like a daunting process. Don’t let paperwork, reference letters, and the waiting game discourage you from filling out an application. As an increasing volume of research on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is published, public awareness is rising, and services—including grants—are more readily available than

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in Financial Planning by Katherine G. Hobbs, AA

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

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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

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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

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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

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

If you are the parent, caregiver or representative of a child younger than 18 who has disabilities, there are many possible government benefits that you and they could be eligible to receive.  In addition, an adult who became disabled in childhood prior to age 22 might also be eligible for benefits as well. Supplemental Security

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in Financial Planning by Bret Colson

I was so proud when one of my recently-graduated students with autism got a job at his family-run jewelry store.  When I visited him there, he was the only one working, and a few customers were browsing. I was interested in purchasing a necklace, so he took out a few large trays of jewelry which

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in Financial Planning by Karen Kabaki-Sisto, MS, CCC-SLP

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

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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:

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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. 

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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

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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

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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

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