In the best interest of special needs children

The book explains in detail how to budget expenses for these children

If parents worry about providing for the best possible future for their children in terms of education and financial security, it is even more daunting to parents of children with special needs. Besides medical expenses, it is important to figure out how much to budget for other expenses for such children.

The book ‘financial planning for families having children with special needs’ by Jitendra Solanki gives detailed information on how to plan for the future of such children. The author has given real life examples of how some families coped in the situation.

Though certain points are repetitive in the book, it gives families a broad understanding of the basic financial requirements for the child. The pictorial/diagrammatic representation of the topics and use of simple language helps the readers. The book has covered several aspects, starting from birth till the child grows old, and for child-care even after the death of the parents.

Although the book is informative, details on how to save or invest in financial instruments such as mutual funds could have added value. It is absolutely important to invest prudently, if there is a child in the family that requires special needs.

The book can be recommended if the family is at a loss and is still adapting to the idea of a child with special needs.

Basics covered

The book is divided into six chapters; the first two give an overall picture of financial planning for special needs children. The other chapters provide comprehensive information on how to identify and estimate the financial needs of the child, significance of life insurance, provisions to be made for emergencies and availability of government support for these children.

Solanki has clearly brought out the hurdles the family of special needs child would face — emotional, denial, social, sibling issues and financial — and at what stages in life. For instance, the author has explained that parents have to spend understanding the disability of the child until he or she reaches the age of three or four, after which therapy sessions, medications, educations and other parts of a child growth cycle would start. At 15 or 16, the parents have to go through the process of identifying the attributes, that is, how to help in improving their child’s disability.

The author has also dedicated an entire chapter for understanding the special needs and planning for the child’s future. The book goes on to say that parents have to plan for two generations; a lifetime care for their child and for themselves, particularly retirement.

The retirement corpus should not only meet the family’s expenses but also the special needs of the child. A reader can gain insight on the difference between traditional planning and special needs’ planning and where the additional expenses and provisions have to be made by the parents.

In the form of tables, the book has explained the expenses that a family might incur with a special needs child. This will help the readers understand how much income is required to support the expenses as well as balance the other family needs.

Some of the important features of The Right of Persons With Disabilities Bill, 2016, has been stated in the book along with its benefits. It also gives a brief view of other schemes launched by the government for people with disabilities.

Comprehensive plan

Jitendra Solanki doesn’t stop with just what to plan for the special needs child; he has explained the financial process of planning in six steps.

One can gain knowledge on the significance of life, health and disability covers for a child with disability, and the choices available for the parents to invest. The checklist at the end of each investment option helps a reader make an informed decision on a child’s financial planning.

The book provides an insight on estate planning and how to create it. It also details the tools of estate planning such as will, trust, power of attorney, letter of intent, implementing the estate plan and the audit of the same. Similarly, with regard to trust and guardianship, the book gives a clear understanding on the nitty gritty involved. In other words, estate planning and tax planning not only benefit and secure the future of the child with special needs but also the parents, who can be rest assured as far as financials are concerned.

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