Merrill Lynch has developed a financial calculator exclusively designed for families of children with special needs. This tool helps families structure their finances by factoring the costs of assistive equipment for homes, such as wheelchair ramps, roll-in showers, and adapted vehicles for transport. The calculator also considers a child’s ongoing needs, including replacement costs for equipment, physical therapy and even travel expenses for medical care.
The interactive calculator uses families’ anticipated income and expense information based on data that they gather ahead of time. There are helpful tips at the bottom of each screen to clarify the process. Three screens divide the calculator into annual income, monthly expenses, and summary of results sections.
The results project how much a family would have to save and invest in order to meet the demands of special needs expenses. Families can then print out the results and bring them to a financial advisor for further assistance in developing a strategy for planning.
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