At some stage parents must realise that their children with special needs and their own personal financial situation are tied together. By parents building their own financial security first, they will also help to create a much brighter future for all.

How parents can achieve this is by taking small steps in their personal finances so they become more financial secure. This will give them the financial resource to better support their child in having a decent standard of living.


One big step parents can take is setting up a Special Needs Saving Plan


Special Needs Saving Plans are a must for parents who want to build future financial security. A Special Needs Saving Plan can pay for future professional fees, unforeseen medical expenses, therapies and improve your child’s quality of life.

I know that saving in today’s climate is extremely difficult. Every day, parents are faced with the additional financial pressures of paying for things such as therapies, medication and medical devices. Added to this are regular bills such as mortgages, loans and household expenses. However, with a bit of planning all parents can set up a Special Needs Saving Plan.

The three key steps to successful building up a Special Needs Saving Plan are;

  1. Habit of Saving – All parents have to get in to the habit of saving even if it is only €10 a week. I recommend setting aside a proportion of the Domiciliary Care Allowance each month and diverting it in to a separate account.
  1. Naming your Child – If you name your child on any saving plan then this potential will cause issues. If your child grows up to be reliant on a state payment such as disability allowance then having money in their name can jeopardise their future entitlements. If your child has an intellectual disability then they can run in to additional issues when trying to get access to their money later in life.
  1. Risky Investment – I nearly always find that parents don’t realise the risk attached to investing their money. All investment products come with a warning “You may get back less than you put in.” There is a reason for this and unfortunate hundreds of families have found this out over the last few years. Before ever handing your money over to a Bank or Financial Advisor you first have to understand the underlying risk involved and read the small print. Look out for hidden charges such as management fees, government levies, taxes and penalties.

Regular savings will lead to more financial security and will create a brighter financial future for all the family. Take action today by looking at your bank accounts and seeing what is an affordable level of savings that you can put away for the future.

Allan Matthew Cuthbert t/a Financial Wellbeing is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland to advice on Mortgage,Savings, Life and Pension products