It’s becoming an age of thoughtfulness, we now embrace our special needs community far more than ever in history, ok, yes, some people are terrible and biased against special needs people, but those are becoming fewer and fewer as information about our special needs abilities spread.
But let me be frank here. If my husband and I died tomorrow, there is no one – ever – that would love my daughter the way we do. They wouldn’t care for her as well as we do, they wouldn’t tap into her happiness and try to make her smile every day, as much as we do.
And does that break our hearts, to be honest it really doesn’t. We believe she will understand one day, that the way mum and dad love her is different from how others will love her. And she will adapt.
She will accept and embrace life in a new way.
But one thing we don’t think she will ever do, is manage her living arrangements, the way we could. Because she simply doesn’t have that ability. But she does have opinions, even at 7yo, which she is now, she will say if she likes a colour, or a dress. We often let her choose her dress, and she does.
With Liam, we can go shopping, he realises something “costs” something, so he will factor that into the bribe – “Mum can I have this plane, it’s only $19”. But Rosie will pick up the plane and say “Mum can I get this?”
The money thing, may gradually encroach on her mind, it may make more sense as she gets older, but I don’t see her getting a job, a mortgage, and an investment property to speak of.
So frankly, if we don’t take care of this for her, probably no one will.
I wrote extensively about this in my SPP book – which you can download a sample of HERE.
How can we plan for our kids, after we have gone, if they need our financial support for the rest of their life:
1/ Life Insurance (my top pick – but difficult if you are over 70, as most insurance won’t cover you when you are that old – and it gets very expensive as you get older too).
2/ Rental property income – great for drip income, but it locks up your cash in the property, and if it is untenanted it can become a burden.
3/ Bonds/Deposit in bank – also a great one, but can see the funds dwindle away very fast, and your life insurance would have to fund it in the first place.
Over here >> New Your Daily News stated:
“A study by The Hartford Financial Services Group found that some 62% have no long-term care plan for their special needs child. Around 58% planned to leave their money, home and assets to their child directly. Here are some tips for step by step for planning.
> Create a team of experts. That includes an attorney, doctor, accountant and government benefits specialist to help understand the ins and outs of Social Security, Medicaid and other programs.
> Create a letter of intent. A letter of intent is a written bio of the child’s history, medical needs, doctors, allergies, likes and dislikes. It also serves as a way to guide and direct the future trustee and guardian of your child.
> Create a will. A will gives direction to your child’s guardian and to courts on how assets should be moved and allocated.
> Create a Special Needs Trust (SNT). An SNT helps serve as a separate entity to the child to hold money that won’t disqualify a child from third party assistance programs.
> Create a plan for building assets.”
And don’t I love that article!!!
Their 4 points above surround very much what the Surrogate Parent Plan recommend, but remember the SPP goes further, it talks about who will take care of your child when you can’t, where they will live, how they will afford it, and the Special Needs Trust to be set up to protect the whole shebang!