Summer Travel Plans? Check this list twice....

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

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For many families, summer includes going away on vacation. Before you travel, you should do 2 things:

  1. Review the Pre-Trip Checklist from Smarter Travel to be sure you address everyday tasks, secure your home and collect all of the information you might need while you are away. Download the Checklist here.
  2. Have a completed copy of pages 7-12 of your Letter of Intent outlining all of the information someone would need to know about your child with a disability in case of emergency and/or you are not available. You can access a fillable Letter of Intent here.

 

Happy and safe travels!

Tags: special needs Letter of Intent

Employment and more: Upcoming Presentations, May-July 2018

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, May 05, 2018 @ 08:03 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

It has been a very busy spring of presentations, webinars and panels.  If you have not had a chance to attend one of our recent presentations, take a look at what is ahead and join us!

Presentation calendar

 May 23rd Employment Presentation Flyer

 

Tags: special needs presentations

Appealing Financial Aid When You Have a Family Member with Special Needs

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Apr 28, 2018 @ 09:37 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

collegeThe FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) does not provide families with the opportunity to explain special circumstances affecting their family.

 To remedy this, Congress has delegated to the school’s financial aid administrators the authority to compensate for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis with adequate documentation.

 If you have a family member with special needs, you may qualify to appeal your financial aid by requesting a special circumstances review. Special circumstances include anything that has changed from one year to the next and anything that distinguishes the family from the typical family.

 How does a Special Circumstances Review work? The special circumstance review is based on strict guidelines and percentages that must be verified before figures can be manipulated. The Federal need analysis methodology assesses a portion of the family's discretionary income (money that is not required for basic living expenses). Expenses and income reductions that are caused by circumstances beyond the family's control do not represent discretionary spending and so can be used to justify professional judgment. The changes in the data elements on the FAFSA will then result in a new expected family contribution (EFC). This, in turn, may result in a new financial aid package.

 How to request a Special Circumstances Review:

Research/ask your college’s financial aid office about their process for a special circumstances review.

 In general, you will have to provide a letter (or fill out a form) explaining your appeal and provide documentation. The documentation should ideally include information about the financial impact of the special circumstances in addition to discussing the nature of the special circumstances.

 Each college’s financial aid office will make its own decision about the request for an adjustment. Some colleges may make an adjustment while others may not. Decisions made by a financial aid administrator at one college are not binding on financial aid administrators at other colleges. Even if the college allows an adjustment, the college may not be able to provide additional financial aid funds, but the financial aid administrator may be able to suggest other options.

 Adjustments apply only to a single award year. Financial aid administrators must review the special circumstances once a year to ensure that they still apply before making an adjustment.

 Good to Know: Financial aid administrators can also adjust the cost of attendance figures, not just the data elements on the FAFSA. For example, the financial aid administrator might increase the cost of attendance to include the cost of a computer, dependent care costs for a special-needs child or disability-related expenses. Financial aid administrators are more likely to adjust the cost of attendance when the student’s EFC is zero, since current financial aid formulas do not allow the EFC to go below zero. When a student’s EFC is already zero, increasing the cost of attendance is the only way to increase the student’s demonstrated financial need (and thus, the amount of financial aid).

Sources:

 https://fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1718/help/fahelp29a.htm

https://www.edvisors.com/fafsa/after-submitting/changes/adjustments-appeals/#special-circumstances

http://www.finaid.org/educators/pj/specialcircumstances.phtml

 https://www.collegechoice.net/admissions/the-fafsa-appeal/

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Tags: college financial aid

SSI,SSDI & More- Your Social Security Questions

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Apr 14, 2018 @ 07:30 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.
Social Security Benefits for People with Disabilities- April 26, 2018

 

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Some Facts and Figures:
 
56 million Americans, or 1-in-5, live with disabilities.
38 million disabled Americans, or 1-in-10, live with severe disabilities.
 
Payments are modest: 

As of December 2016, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,171.15. That’s barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the poverty level ($12,060 annually).

What is Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)?

Social Security disability is a social insurance program under which workers earn coverage for benefits, by working and paying Social Security taxes on their earnings. The program provides benefits to disabled workers and to their dependents. For those who can no longer work due to a disability, our disability program is there to replace some of their lost income.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes) to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

SSDI vs. SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance

Supplemental Security Income

Payments come from the Social Security trust funds and are based on a person’s earnings.

Payments come from the general treasury fund, NOT the Social Security trust funds. SSI payments are not based on a person’s earnings.

An insurance that workers earn by paying Social Security taxes on their wages.

A needs-based public assistance program that does not require a person to have work history.

Pays benefits to disabled individuals who are unable to work, regardless of their income and resources.

Pays disabled individuals who are unable to work AND have limited income and resources.

Benefits for workers and for adults disabled since childhood. Must meet insured status requirements.

Benefits for children and adults in financial need. Must have limited income and limited resources.

 
Contact Alex to learn more.
 
 

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning

What to Know about Mental Health Law and Substance Abuse

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Mar 17, 2018 @ 08:08 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.
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Additional Presentations regarding Mental Health Concerns:
 
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February 28: An Insider's View of the Dept of Mental Health

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Feb 10, 2018 @ 08:21 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

 

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Tags: special needs presentations

For Grandparents: Save for Retirement and Grandchildren’s Education

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Jan 13, 2018 @ 07:36 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.


pexels-photo-355948.jpegA Roth IRA may be an option for grandparents to consider when saving for retirement and while also saving for their grandchildren’s education. The Roth IRA allows account owners to save with tax-free growth* and with the added flexibility to allocate and use the funds when they choose and for any purpose.

What is a Roth IRA:

 A Roth IRA is a retirement account funded with after-tax dollars. The contributions generally are not tax deductible but when you start withdrawing funds, qualified distributions are tax-free.

 Defining characteristics of a Roth IRA:

  • The money invested in a Roth grows tax-free*.
  • Contributions can continue to be made once the taxpayer is past the age of 70½, as long as he or she has earned income, which may be basically defined as W2 income.
  • Eligibility for a Roth account depends on taxable income.       Generally, in 2018 you are eligible if :
  • you are a couple filing jointly and your MAGI (modified adjusted gross income) is less than $189,000.
  • you file as an individual and your MAGI is $133,000.
  • Contribution amounts: In 2018 an individual may make an annual contribution of up to $5,500 to a Roth IRA. Individuals who are age 50 and older by the end of the year for which the contribution applies can make additional catch-up contributions (up to $1,000 in 2018). An individual may also establish a Roth IRA for their spouse with little or no income.
  • The taxpayer can maintain the Roth IRA indefinitely; there is no required minimum distribution (RMD) during the account holder's lifetime.

* Withdrawals from the account may be tax-free, as long as they are considered qualified. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax.

Case Study

John and Alice (fictional names) are grandparents of 2 grandchildren, one of whom has special needs.  John and Alice have $10, 000/year to contribute toward their retirement savings should an emergency or unforeseen need arise. They also want the opportunity to put these funds toward the goal of funding their grandchildren’s educational expenses and don’t want to miss this opportunity to save for them should the unforeseen or emergency never happen.

 Their first thought was to establish a 529 plan & ABLE account for each of their grandchildren. However, while John and Alice feel saving for college is an important goal toward which they want to contribute, they need and want flexibility and control over these funds. Their grandchildren may opt not go to college or John and Alice may have an unforeseen need come along for which they would use this savings. 

In meeting with John and Alice and discussing this goal, we suggested another alternative: establishing and funding a Roth IRA. This alternative is open to John and Alice as they both have earned income, file taxes jointly and do not exceed the $189,000 combined household maximum income threshold for Roth IRA contributions. There is no age limitation on opening or contributing to a Roth IRA.

The benefits of saving the $10,000/year in a Roth IRA are tax-free growth, with no limitations on use of funds or withdrawal rules( with exceptions noted above- see *).  John and Alice may each contribute up to $5500/ year to a Roth IRA. Today they feel as though they can afford to give their grandchildren money for their futures, but ideally John and Alice would like the option to have the money available to them if there was an unforeseen need. Should they have additional grandchildren, having the money in the Roth IRA can make it easier to distribute the money amongst all grandchildren.

 Potential drawbacks to using this approach might occur if the funds were left in the account and John and Alice required nursing care. This savings would be considered in their assets and also, should they pass away, this account would be included as a part of their estate assets. To control disposition of the assets upon their death, they may designate their children or grandchildren as beneficiaries of the account.

When making the decision of how best to save for your grandchild’s future, recognize that every family’s situation is different and that will have an impact on the final decision regarding the best savings option to consider.    

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended to be a substitute for individualized tax advice. There is no assurance that the techniques and strategies discussed are suitable for all individuals or will yield positive outcomes. Please consult tax advisor regarding your specific situation.The Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Future tax law can change at any time and may impact the benefits of Roth IRAs. Their tax treatment may change. The experiences described here may not be representative of any future experience of our clients, nor considered a recommendation of the advisor’s services or abilities or indicate a favorable client experience. Individual results will vary.

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Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, financial planning, planning for college

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