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Families With Special Needs Children Need Special Financial Strategies

ST. PAUL, Minn., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 15 percent of Americans over the age of five have some sort of disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Parents with special needs children know they need to create a long-term strategy to provide care for those children after the parents are gone, but less than 20 percent have done so (1). Research shows that 85 percent turn to their doctors for financial advice, indicating parents may not know where to turn for help with financial issues (2).

Securian Financial Group offers a guide that helps families start the planning process.

"We understand that every family's situation is unique," said Tom Barntsen, market development specialist, Securian Financial Group. "Our guide, Exceptional Plans for Extraordinary People, will not answer every question every family might have. But it will help them understand the types of decisions they need to make."

Pat Rinaudo, a financial advisor with Mid Atlantic Resource Group in Wall, NJ, has a son with Down Syndrome and draws from his own experience to help families understand the process of ensuring proper care for the special needs child after the parents are gone. He works closely with attorneys, Social Security representatives and his own team of advisors to put together financial presentations for as many as 10 to 15 families at a time.

Rinaudo says some of the challenges these families face include:

  • Providing resources for a lifetime of care. Parents and guardians must financially prepare for the rest of their own lives and the life of their dependent with special needs.
  • Confusing eligibility requirements for public benefits. Without proper preparation, government benefits could be reduced or stopped.
  • Defining future care and lifestyle. Parents need to designate someone to fulfill caretaking responsibilities when they die, and clearly define the lifestyle they want for the child throughout the child's life.
  • Avoiding mistakes. Because of the variety of public and private programs available and the number of professionals and family members who eventually are involved, it is easy to overlook aspects of the planning process

"We want to bring together the professionals who work with the families of special needs children - doctors, dentists, and social security experts - so they have a full understanding of what they need," says Rinaudo.

Securian's guide for families with special needs children, Exceptional Plans for Extraordinary People, is available from any advisor in the Securian Financial Network. An interactive map at the Securian site shows where they are located.

Securian Financial Group helps provide financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, retirement products and services, and investments. Affiliates include Minnesota Life Insurance Co., Advantus Capital Management, and Allied Solutions, LLC. Securian has nearly $780 billion of life insurance in force, $25 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2009 and a nationwide work force of 3,600 employees. Securian serves more than 9,000,000 individuals in the U.S.

The Securian Financial Network is a nationwide network of financial service firms and financial specialists. It is the marketing name for the sales and distribution arm of Securian Financial Group, Inc., its subsidiaries and affiliates, including Minnesota Life Insurance Company.

(1) "Future Planning," Autism Society of America, January 2008

(2) Met Life - "The Torn Security Blanket: Children With Special Needs and the Planning Gap," April 2005

SOURCE Securian Financial Group, Inc.
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