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By Thomas Rindahl, CFP

Planning can be hard enough when you are just planning for yourself, let alone a possible multi-generational plan. What do I mean by this? Special needs planning. Roughly 20% of Americans have some sort of disability. In many cases, these disabilities may not stop the individual from having a long, happy, dynamic, and fulfilling life. But for others, they may never be independent.

Thomas Rindahl, PhD, MBA, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, LUTCF, BFATM, is a financial advisor in Tempe, AZ. Through comprehensive and holistic financial planning, he has helped his clients to navigate the twists and turns of life for over 20 years.

Thomas Rindahl

As parents of children with special needs, we are constantly facing the challenges and fears that our children will not have enough financial support; that they will not be independent; that they will need constant care and oversight; and we worry who will take care of our children when we are gone. As with any parent, we have hopes and dreams that our children will go off to lead amazing lives, but the costs associated with raising and caring for these children can tax our own personal and financial plans. We are facing concerns over increased debt loads, obligations to work later in life, and potentially never being able to retire (to name just a few).

It is not surprising that many special needs families have not engaged in any sort of planning. With shuttling the kids around to school, therapies, and other services coupled with juggling all of the demands of a typical life, who has the time? But this lack of planning is what will keep us shackled in fear.

It can seem overwhelming and daunting, but as the proverb goes, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” As parents, we need to address what our concerns are for ourselves and for our children even if it is only addressing them one at a time starting with the most pressing. Considering the many pitfalls that are out there when it comes to governmental support our children may be receiving, we need to assemble a team that is equipped and well versed in addressing these concerns from financial, legal, medical, caregiving, and advocacy perspectives.

Planning for families with special needs is holistic, comprehensive, and integrated. When coupled with a team who is qualified in special needs, life gets easier. That’s not to say the challenges go away, but we can take each step forward to address those challenges with confidence.

About the author: Thomas Rindahl

Thomas Rindahl, PhD, MBA, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, LUTCF, BFATM, is a financial advisor in Tempe, AZ. Through comprehensive and holistic financial planning, he has helped his clients to navigate the twists and turns of life for over 20 years.

Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through PFG Advisors. TruWest Wealth Management Services, TruWest® Credit Union, Securities America, and PFG Advisors are separate entities. Securities, insurance, and advisory offered through Securities America, PFG Advisors or their affiliates are: Not NCUA insured. No credit union guarantee. Not credit union deposits or obligations. May lose value.