Should Our Family Move to Improve Special Need Services?
We are considering moving our family to another school district in the hopes of improving the in-school experience and services for our daughter. What should we be considering? —James
As you know, moving your family is a big decision. It may change many aspects of your family life including the commute time for Mom and/or Dad, the circle of friends for your children, the school experience, and your financial situation. As you are making your decision, you should consider the following:
- Review your cash flow to determine the largest mortgage you can afford, and still be able to live in a way you would like.
- Have a real estate agent provide you an idea of the sales price of your house, so you know if you can pay off your current mortgage and use any remaining equity as a down payment on your next home.
- Research the real estate prices in the school district you are considering. Are you able to afford the pricing in that neighborhood for the size house that will accommodate your family?
- If your mortgage will be increasing due to an increase in housing prices, or if your property taxes will rise, please calculate the impact of having a higher mortgage payment on your future retirement, as well as your ability to financially provide for your daughter’s lifetime support needs.
Before finalizing your decision to move to attain the services you want for your daughter:
- Set an appointment with the school you expect to attend, and confirm the class and services your daughter will qualify to receive. It is important to know that your daughter will receive those services, especially if you are moving your family for that specific purpose.
- Contact a local support group to try and find parents of children who may be attending that school to ensure the services will meet your expectations.
- In some areas, the local autism society will be a good resource to help you learn about the school and its services.
It is certainly a big decision to move your family to improve your daughter’s educational experience, but it is not uncommon. I always suggest that you calculate the financial impact to your family in making a move, and at the same time weigh that against the intangibles of receiving improved services for your daughter and the impact that may have on her development. Good luck with your decision!!
For more information on how to prepare for the future, be sure to contact a financial advisor who specializes in serving families with special needs. A Special Needs Plan is driven by what they call Unleash L.I.F.E.™—L.I.F.E. meaning Lasting Independence For Everyone™. This is accomplished with education, action, and support in the creation, implementation, and continued monitoring of a specifically-designed lifelong and integrated plan for your family of parents, caregivers, your loved one with special needs, and their siblings.
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This article was featured in Issue 62 – Motherhood: An Enduring Love