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Special Needs/ Retirement Planning

Your Retirement Portfolio

Special Needs Planning can feel overwhelming to think about for families. As parents, you are your child's biggest hero and advocate!  We are here to provide you with resources to help guide you with all your planning needs.  We want to be your financial advocate and guide, sitting on your side of the table as you plan for your future and that of your loved one.  We offer guidance with a variety financial resources and tools.  Resources to connect with on a variety of issues that affect families with special needs, how to incorporate government benefits in special needs planning, and educational webinars to provide information on issues like Conservatorship and Special Needs Trusts and  ABLE Accounts.   

Why you may want to use a Special Needs Trust


To help you get started, here is a Checklist of some ideas and things to plan for:

Special Needs Planning Checklist 2.pdf

Some Resources in our area: 

Special Needs Community Resources.pdf

Reserve your spot at our next webinar:


What you should plan

When you are in the process of planning the best place to start is by figuring out what exactly you should be planning. This all depends on where you are in your retirement planning. It will also change based on various life changes.

  • At the beginning of your journey, your financial planner can begin by just helping you with budgeting and advising. The best way to start your journey is to see where you are at the moment and see where you want to be, and what you want for your loved one(s).
  • If you already have a budget that you are comfortable with then the next stage is to look into various investment options and tools that can help you achieve the level of independence and care that you want for your loved one with a disability. This can really help you extend the money you have already started saving up on where to put the money you are making.
  • You also should be planning for risk management, which are protection plans that you can set up to preserve your money. This includes life insurance and asset protection.
  • Another thing you can do is minimize your tax burden.  At George Wealth Management we can work with your tax preparer or CPA, even refer you to one if you don't have one already.
  • Estate Planning is another thing that you should look into planning. Not only is it a will but it also makes sure that you get to choose who gets your property when you pass away without dis-inheriting your child with special needs.
  • If you own a business or are thinking of starting one, retirement plans for your employees. No matter the size of your business we can work with you on the best plan types for your needs.

The facts around retirement

There are many things that people might not know surrounding retirement. Here is a list of facts around retirement that you might not be aware of but are great to know about. 

What is the ideal age to plan for retirement

The ideal age to plan for retirement is yesterday. But since most of us are not in a position financially to do this let's look at what others think about the age of retirement. Some say you should never retire, as long as you are physically able.  It is ideal to always have something to occupy your time to keep you moving and motivated. There are people who retire from one job only to start another. The goal you want to get to is the ability to get to a place in your financial journey where you are able to make a decision you want without worrying about your finances. In other words, a place where you do not have to work for money but rather can work at a place that makes you happy, even if it does not pay well or is a volunteer situation.

How much do you want to save for your retirement plan

This will all depend on what you want your lifestyle to look like after you retire. For example, when it comes to housing, do you want to live a modest life in a small seaside cottage, or sail around the Caribbean islands on a yacht? What level of care will be needed for your child? Will you be able to access government benefits to help with the cost of caring for your loved one with special needs? Not only do you need to think about these things but also you need to have a good saving that can cover any emergencies that might arise.

What does your best retirement plan look like

This is obviously different for each person but important to figure out. Everyone's best plan for when they retire depends on their individual wants and needs. That is why a financial planner can really help with your financial planning and portfolio management. They can come at the process objectively and in a way that is going to focus on the best benefits for you and your situation. Overall your best retirement plan will look like comfort and security. It is a plan that allows you to focus on the things you want in life, before and during retirement, without your finances getting in the way.

Where are you planning on living?

This can really change your process based on your plan. There is always a risk that your plan may change by the time your retirement comes around. This is another reason a financial planner is so important. They consistently check in with you throughout your financial journey to make sure you are on track and limit your risk. Where you are planning on living during your retirement is a step you might not be at but one that you want to start thinking about sooner than you think. Some of the questions you might want to start thinking about in relation to your retirement housing are: Do you plan on living with family? Do you want to move to a retirement community? Do you want to live in a different country?

What are your plans for your child with special needs?

What are your hopes for your child with special needs- will they live with you through your retirement years, will they be able to live independently, in an assisted living situation, or another scenario?  

How much does a financial manager help cost?

This is all down to what services you want and how much you have in assets. The cost is also based on where you are in your life. People just starting out planning do not need as much management but more guidance. As you get further along your journey have more assets that need to be managed and a larger portfolio. You can find the various plans and their cost here.

How you should plan your retirement

There are an infinite amount of retirement plan options and there are not many bad options. The only thing you need to know about how you should plan for retirement is that you should plan smart. This means not taking anything too lightly and getting help where you need it. There should not be too much guessing or hoping when it comes to your portfolio. Make sure you are getting help where you need it and are understanding all your options, in retirement and investing. You should be planning to be retired with a comfortable amount in a place where you can maintain your current lifestyle, and that your loved one with special needs, if not more.

How other people are planning for retirement

You might be asking yourself: How do I measure up? The average age to retire is around 62. So there is a good chance that you have not reached that point yet. What about other aspects of the average retirement portfolio? Too often the average person is not planning for retirement in the way they should because they see it as something that is far off and they don't know or understand what they could be doing right now to prepare. The good news is, if you are reading this you are already ahead of others because you are actively looking at options and seeing where you measure up.

How early should you start planning to retire?

You might be ahead of the average person on your retirement plans. However, that shouldn't stop you from getting a head start on your planning. The more time you put into seeing what other people are doing with their portfolios the easier it is to see where you want to be and how you want to plan. The earlier you begin to start your plan the easier retiring will be. A good early retirement planning age is as early as possible.  It is never too early to start saving for retirement. Overall there is no such thing as too early to start being a contributor to your plan and no matter where you are in your process we have a program that may help you out.

Will I be able to maintain my current pre-retirement lifestyle in retirement?

This is a very important question to ask yourself. If you are wanting to maintain your current lifestyle you need to take into account your current spending vs savings. You might need to adjust your spending now to ensure that you have enough to live the same or better during retirement. To do this you need to have a combination of savings and investments in your retirement portfolio. You may also need to look at using tools to help you strategize for the lifestyle you want for your child with a disability, and leveraging government benefits on their behalf.  It is very possible to maintain your current lifestyle, especially if you plan now and work with someone to help lay out everything you want and need to do.

When you should plan for retirement

You want to look into gaining as many assets and investments as you can in a reasonable time frame. This way your plans for retirement do not depend on money or health concerns that may push your retirement up. This is a great question to go over with a financial planner who can give you tailored and unbiased opinions and options that work best for your retirement plan and situation.

Different Types of retirement plans

There are several different ways to earn income and plan for retirement. There are Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Roth IRAs, 401(k) Plans, SIMPLE IRA Plans, SEP Plans, Payroll Deduction IRAs, Profit-Sharing Plans (PSPs), Defined Benefit Plans, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), 457 Plans. There are a lot of options and these don't even cover investment options, which is why having someone like a George Wealth Management professional can really come in handy. If you want to know more about each plan and which one (or multiple) would be best for your situation there is a great list here.  There are also tools to provide for your loved one with special needs without having to "dis-inherit" them.  These tools are a Special Needs Trust or an ABLE Account.

Retirement Calculator

There are several calculators that give you a rough outline of where you are compared to where you want to be. You can find some good options here and here. These both give great suggestions. To put those into action, even if they seem to like extreme goals talking to a professional can help those goals become realities.

Why you should plan to retire

No one knows what the future is going to look like. You might think you have a lot of time left or a good amount saved up but there are always unexpected risks that no one can predict and that can come up any year. The more plans you have in place before you retire the more at ease you will be when an unexpected bump in the road comes up. You want your portfolio and estate protected as much as possible. At George Wealth Management we also want to make sure that the work we are doing with you is not going to be greatly affected by life's surprises. This way, when any issues arise you have someone by your side working with you to get back on track.

The benefits of starting now on retirement

The earlier you start planning, or even thinking, about what you want your retirement to look like the easier it will be when it actually comes time to retire. Even if there are aspects of your portfolio that you know might change, such as children, your tax rate changing, or a marriage, its better to begin your plan where you are and then adapt it as those things come up. You will be much better prepared for those things if you already have in place set security for your future. You can never start too early on your retirement plan. Even if you just want to focus on other financial aspects that will help you feel more prepared for the uncertain. Not only can you get started on preparing for retirement by saving and budgeting but also through wisely invested stocks and investments. At George Wealth Management a financial planner is there to help guide you through and give you a comprehensive understanding of your options and give you holistic financial solutions. 

What you should do right now

Decide what you want to begin planning. Reach out and get help by contacting one of our financial planners at  George Wealth Management. This ensures that you will be on the right track for your current situation and can get the best retirement plan in place for your situation. There is never a wrong time to consult and see what you can be doing to work towards the financial confidence that a retirement plan and portfolio can bring. If you are worried that you do not have time to sit down with a financial planner there are things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. You can compile a list of your assets, liabilities, net worth, and working or liquid capital so that the advisor can get a fuller picture of where you are at in your retirement planning. If you run into issues on any of those financial aspects the planner is right there to help you better understand what they mean for you.

Contact our office for more information or to set up a meeting: