parents planning retirement with disabled childParents of children who have disabilities are faced with numerous challenges as they prepare for their future and that of their child.  A concern these parents must address is how to prepare for their own retirement while ensuring their child will also have what they need in the future.  There are some options for these families which can help to ensure that everyone has a secure future.

First and foremost, it is important for parents to understand social security disability, social security, and the Medicaid program benefits which their child is either the recipient of or will be the recipient of in the future.  Knowing how this benefit structure works for their child, will allow parents to understand what resources are available to their child. It is also important to find out if the child qualifies for additional Social Security benefits through the parents’ employment records.  In some cases, a child may qualify for up to half of a parent’s retirement benefit.

Another aspect to understand it how giving your assets may affect your child’s eligibility for benefits. Fortunately, there is an option which allows you to use your resources for your child’s care.  A Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience (MiABLE) account is a tax-free savings account which allows individuals with significant disabilities to save up to $100,000.00 without impacting their SSI and Medicaid as well as other assistance programs. Also, the account holder can have $14,000.00 per year added to their account without their other benefits being affected.

You may also plan for your child by setting up a Special Needs Trust.  By creating this kind of trust, parents can create a funding source for their child’s care.  If carefully planned and funded, this resource can continue to provide for your child well into their future.  Additionally, you can purchase a life insurance policy with your child named the beneficiary.

Planning for yourself will involve creating a budget for your child’s care as well as determining your future income and requirements.  While many believe their costs will go down during retirement, when you are caring for your adult child with a disability at home, your expenses may not decline significantly.  From there, it would be prudent to meet with a qualified financial planner to get advice on how best to structure investments and prepare for your retirement.

Ideally, with measures in place to provide for your child and careful planning concerning retirement and assets, parents of children with disabilities may be in a position to retire knowing that their child is well provided for in the future.   To plan, it is important to consult an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about how to help special needs families meet these challenges.  Our office has experienced attorneys who can help you examine your options and plan for the future of your family.  Please contact us if we may be of assistance.

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