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Children with special needs face uncertain financial future

(ARA) - Many parents may be putting their children with disabilities at risk without even knowing it. Because families are so overwhelmed with the daily demands of childcare, they fail to plan for the financial future of their children.

"We have found more people than you can imagine struggling with this issue and calling us for help," says Bill Dougherty, assistant vice president of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). "And with nearly 5 million children with disabilities in America, the need is growing significantly."

The specialized financial planning these families need is so complicated, critical and in such great demand, companies like MassMutual have developed programs and expertise to address this growing issue.

"Families have literally lost tens of thousands of dollars because they didn't know how to make a plan," says Dougherty.

"Medical technology has made Herculean strides in helping children with special needs live longer, more productive lives. But by doing so, we have created a significant need - these children are outliving their parents and if families don't plan, then everyone could suffer, especially siblings who may be left caring for their brothers and sisters," he says.

Ann and David MacLaren of Fortville, Ind. have four children, three with special needs. They worked with specially trained Special Care Planners to develop a plan, and will rely on whole life insurance to fund a Supplemental Special Needs Trust that will pay for the care of their children.

"Term life insurance doesn't last forever the way whole life does," says David. "And the last couple of years have taught us you can't rely on the stock market for your enduring needs. We want to ensure our children have access to financial resources that are stable and will build over the long run to fund the trust."

"We feel a tremendous amount of confidence and relief now that we have our plan in place," says Ann. "We have planned for who will care for our children, and how that care will be paid for."

MassMutual has put hundreds of its agents nationwide through rigorous educational and training programs at The American College in Bryn Mar, Penn. Financial services professionals are fully trained in the financial, legal and emotional issues and work with special needs families through the company's SpecialCare program.

A SpecialCare program gives special needs families access to information, specialists, financial products and services that can help improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and special needs.

A specialized team that includes an attorney, certified public accountant, social workers and caregivers is an indispensable part of planning for families who have children with disabilities. A Special Care Planner can help bring this team together in a way that makes sense for special needs families.

For more information about MassMutual's SpecialCare program visit MassMutual's SpecialCare resource center at www.massmutual.com/specialcare.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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