80% of Families Haven’t Done This VERY Important Thing… Has Yours?

The unfortunate reality is that only about 20 percent of families have a plan for their family’s future.

That means that 4 out of every 5 families in your parent support group do NOT have a plan for their child or their family.

4 out of 5! 

What about your family?

Are you part of the 20% who feel:

  • Prepared—because they have a comprehensive plan for their entire family’s abundant future?
  • Confident—because they know that their plan will allow their child to live a happy life and thrive?
  • Peace of mind—because they know that their plan will be successful, no matter what happens in the future?

Or are you part of the 80% who feel:

  • Worried about your child’s future?
  • Overwhelmed by the seemingly too complex and confusing planning process?
  • Concerned that you might not be able to afford all the resource to help your child truly thrive?
  • Stuck—because planning for your family’s future feels impossible because you barely have time to plan for today?

When it comes to having a plan for the future, being part of the majority isn’t a GOOD thing.

If you feel like you’re part of the 4 out of 5, I encourage you to keep reading…THIS POST IS FOR YOU.

How prepared is your family for the future?

Take our self-assessment to see where you’re already well planned and where your family has room to make improvements:

While you may not know me personally, I think you’ll find that my family experiences may be very similar to your own. Growing up with a sister with Down syndrome, our family had to plan differently. Daily activities, a dinner out, or a weekend getaway took more intentional planning for my family than other families. You understand these differences.

So of course, future planning conversations were also different—and often more difficult and complicated. There was just so much to think through and prepare for…

My family’s personal planning journey wasn’t easy.  It took a lot of effort and time. Often, no matter how much we knew we needed to create a plan for my sister and our family’s future, various obstacles and emotions stalled us and derailed our best efforts to plan.

So personally, given my own family’s experiences, I understand. Planning for the future isn’t easy.

Professionally—I talk to many families every day who struggle with the same types of emotions, obstacles, and road blocks throughout their planning journeys.

When I meet a family for the first time, I’m always curious about their past planning experiences. I want to understand how they define “success” for their family and their child with special needs. I want to know the challenges they are striving to overcome. And I seek to learn of any hurdles they are currently facing that are preventing them from planning for an abundant future for their entire family. 

After 10+ years of serving families, I’ve found that the following five common reasons explain why many families don’t have a plan for the future:

1. Negative Previous Experiences with Planning

  • All of my previous negative experiences with planning professionals have been terrible—the advisors and attorneys don’t listen to my concerns and only seem interested in their own agendas.
  • I don’t feel like there is anyone out there who really understands what my family is facing.
  • I don’t feel like any planning professional appreciates all of the complicated components of Special Needs Planning. 
  • I don’t know who I can trust to help me with the many important planning decisions that I know I need to make.
  • I’ve been trying to plan for years on my own because I don’t know who to turn to or if there’s anyone out there would could help me.

2. The Cost of Planning

  • It’s too expensive to hire planning professionals to help me so I’ve just been trying to create a plan on my own.
  • Planning for the future is only for the rich—it’s not for us—my family can’t afford to plan.
  • The fees that planning professionals charge exceed the amount of value we get from the services they provide.
  • I need to save every penny I can for my child’s future. It seems counterproductive to pay an advisor who’s just going to tell me that I need to save more money.

3. Information Overload When it Comes to Planning

  • There is just too much information out there about Special Needs Planning—where do I even begin to create my family’s plan?
  • I’ve read and been told a lot of conflicting recommendations about how to plan for my child with special needs. How I can I know what’s right for my family and our unique situation?
  • Everything I hear from advisors and read on the internet about Special Needs Planning seems so complex and confusing. I wish there was an EASY way to create a plan that actually worked for my family.
  • The planning professionals I’ve sat down with previously have only talked about insurance policies. There’s got to be more to planning than products, right? I really need someone who can show me the big picture and help me create a comprehensive plan that will work no matter what happens in the future.

4. Feeling Overwhelmed and Confused by the Planning Process

  • Special Needs Planning is just too complex and confusing for me to understand how all of the pieces fit together.
  • I want a step-by-step system that makes planning for my child—and my entire family—easy.
  • It would be great if there was a planning model or template that other families have successfully used to plan that I could have access to that would simplify my planning journey.
  • We feel like we are in this alone—we want a team so we feel supported and guided.
  • Because it seems so hard and daunting, I often let my emotions stop us in our planning process. 

5. Skeptical the Planning will actually HELP their Family

  • I really need a results-oriented process for my family.
  • Is planning for the future really necessary?
  • Will planning for the future actually make much of a different for my family?
  • Will we actually be and feel more prepared if we have a plan?
  • If I’m going to plan for the future, I need a proven system that defines success by my family’s standards and delivers results.

What about you?

Can you relate to any of those thoughts or feelings about Special Needs Planning?

All of these reasons for not planning came directly from the families I serve—who are very much like my own family. If I’m being honest, my own family struggled with many of these same thoughts and emotions as we attempted to plan for the future.

I keep coming back to this statistic:

80% of families don’t have a plan for their family’s future.

Being a Special Needs Planning consultant, I struggle with that reality. I believe so strongly that everyone needs to plan. I’ve seen first-hand the devastation that can occur when a family DOESN’T plan for the future.

Far too often, families share with me that their son or daughter—who phased out of the school system decades ago—has been sitting at home bored and depressed for years. They lack purpose and motivation. When their child was younger, planning for the future seemed so distant and not pressing that they could simply put it off until a later date… But then they blinked—and so much time had passed them by. Now they realize they should’ve planned sooner…

That’s a tough situation to hear about, for sure. Knowing that someone has spent years of their life without purpose or direction.

But the calls that I dread the most come from family members after an unplanned and unfortunate life event has happened. For example, a key caregiver, decision maker, or guardian has passed away. The family never discussed what to do when that happened. No one had any instructions for how to care for their loved one with special needs and there were no financial means to provide even the most basic life necessities. Now, in the midst of grief and uncertainty, these family members and/or friends were finally reaching out for help planning because they were scrambling to figure out how they could possibly provide the needed care and support for their loved one.

My family also struggled with planning. But we persevered and today my sister is thriving. She’s proud of how she’s able to positively impact the lives of others every day.

I’ve seen firsthand how planning can WORK.

It really can make a difference in our loved one’s quality of life.

My mission at ENABLE is to give hope to families that their children can live purposeful, fulfilled, and happy lives. Our team strives to provide families with peace of mind through planning—the clients we serve know that their entire family’s future is well planned for no matter what might happen in the future.

I know that every family wants that. You want that!

But I also understand that planning can seem overwhelming, frustrating, and confusing. It can be daunting to find someone you can trust who really understands your family’s unique needs.  That is why I created ENABLE.

Guided by an expert team of special needs planning consultants, our planning process makes it easy, efficient and affordable for families to overcome obstacles and plan for abundant futures for their entire family, including their loved ones with special needs.

Finally, there’s a way to:

  • Stop guessing about whether the plan you’re creating is right for your family.
  • Stop worrying about what would happen to your child if you were no longer around to love and care for them.
  • Stop wondering that you’re not doing everything in your power to give your child a great life.
  • Stop feeling like there’s no one out there who could possibly understand all the decisions you need to make.

At ENABLE, we understand you. Because we’ve been there, too.

We’re here and we’re ready to help, when you’re ready to start thinking about planning for the future.

To learn more, schedule a call with our team today!

Take our self-assessment to see where you’re already well planned and where your family has room to make improvements:

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