What are the key financial concerns of parents with kids who have special needs?

When it comes to raising a child with special needs, thoughtful planning is essential.

As a parent or guardian of a child with special needs, you understand the unique challenges that come with caring for someone with a disability. You, like any parent, want what's best for your child, but you'll have certain concerns that may feel overwhelming: What would happen if you passed away? Who would care for your child? What if you became disabled and couldn’t work? When you retire, will you still be able to support your child?

Taking time to consider these questions now may help alleviate worries in the future, and we’re here to help. Life insurance is a financial tool that can help bring you peace of mind. For parents with kids who have special needs, it can help to:

  • Provide a child with day-to-day care.
  • Fund a special needs trust, which can provide for a child's future without rendering your child ineligible for government benefits.
  • Pay for a caregiver, if your child needs care.

How much life insurance will you need?

To answer this question, you'll need to calculate your child’s expenses carefully and consider his or her future living expenses. Keep in mind, these include:

  • Food.
  • Housing.
  • Medical care.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • A full-time or part-time caregiver.
  • Schooling.
  • Therapy.
  • Transportation.

You’ll also want to factor in what your entire family needs today and what it will need in the future, as well as whatever debt you may need to assume to cover to cover these needs. Estimating debt now will help prevent your family from having to delve into emergency funds to cover predictable needs.

Keep in mind that your permanent life insurance policy may be eligible for dividends, which could help pay your premiums. In addition, you may be able to borrow against the cash value of your policy. (Note that dividends are not guaranteed and borrowing cash value from your policy requires the payment of loan interest and will reduce your cash value and death benefit.)

Where to begin?

Try some of our planning tools, including the life insurance calculator, which can help you calculate your needs. Also, learn more about the different types of policies available.

The best way to get information and find solutions, however, is to speak with your New York Life agent. If you don't have an agent yet, we'll help you find one in your community. Simply use the “Consult an Agent” form on the page, and an agent in your community will contact you at your convenience.

Neither New York Life Insurance Company nor its agents provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your own tax or legal advisor to find out whether the general concepts discussed above apply to your personal circumstances.

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