As caregivers we take on so many roles, including therapist, doctor, advocate, and let’s not forget…parent. Also taking on the role of financial planner can be daunting and easy to put off. Like me, you might be tempted to wait to see how things look a few years down the road, so you can plan based on what developmental and health level your child is at. But also like me, you might be paralyzed by the mountain of information you need to learn, and the hefty decisions you will need to make, in order to properly support your child’s future.
But it’s important to educate yourself about the options you have to make for your child, and start putting a plan in place. You never know what the future will hold.
Starting now will help alleviate stress levels that you may not realize are weighing you down, like a homework assignment you’ve put off, but will eventually have to complete. You are not alone in this feeling. I want to validate your experience and let you know, even just taking one step towards planning and educating yourself will help to propel you forward. Here are three actions you can take to start the process:
- Schedule it on your calendar: Scheduling yourself a one-hour block during the day will give you a concrete time to address planning, which will relieve the pressure of knowing you have to do something, but don’t know when.
- Start small: Don’t tackle the whole task at once. Give yourself time to look through resources and educate yourself, without overwhelming yourself. Small bits of information are easier to digest and remember, than large chunks.
- Talk to someone knowledgeable: Find a forum or a fellow parent that has been through the process. You might even want to consult a professional. Most disability attorneys will be able to explain the basics and start you on the right path. Once you talk to a person that is very knowledgeable, you will feel more at ease. You will be able to better understand the decisions you will have to make, and the small next steps in the planning process. Don’t let the unknown get in the way of taking action.
To get you started on your path to educating yourself and for planning your child’s future, here’s a checklist and resources you can access now, to help jumpstart the process. Just remember, small steps can get you all the way there. You got this!
Jumpstart the Process : Checklists and Resources
ABLE Account Information
In-depth Planning Handbook
SPECIAL NEEDS ALLIANCE
Special Needs Trust
ABLE account vs Special Needs Trust - How to choose
Finding a Financial Planner
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Corey Briskey, MPH is a mom of two wonderful children, one of which is medically complex and has disabilities. Corey is a writer, blogger, and a neurodiversity-affirming advocate for children with disabilities and their families. Corey has written a memoir, not yet published, centered around raising a child with disabilities, among the crushing pressures of society. She has a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The College at Brockport. You can follow Corey on Instagram (@coreybriskey) or view her website and subscribe to her blog at coreybriskey.com
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