Parents who have children with additional needs can have incredibly busy schedules, lots of time pressure, loads of appointments and very little downtime to think. As parents, we are trying to do the utmost best for all our children.
We are all vulnerable to making bad decisions or meeting people who may seem to have our best interest at heart only to find out later that they really only wanted to make commission/money off us. I believe parents of children with additional needs are even more susceptible to be sold financial products that aren’t really suitable by financial institutes, banks and financial advisors.
There are many reasons why parents can be vulnerable to bad advice.
Recently I meet a couple whose child was on a waiting list for a slot to get a heart operation and naturally they were so stressed about the whole event.
To me, this is when parents need to park big financial decisions until they are in the right headspace to think. This is when other advisors might see an easy sale and get parents to sign up to many different financial products.
What can we all do?
My first piece of advice is not to get advice until you are ready to spend a bit of time on the issues. Do your research, have notes and questions already printed out and have an understanding of what options are available to you before your potential meeting.
Don’t give in to pressure. If you feel pressure and feel unsure then this is your body telling you something you should listen to. Never meet someone and sign up there and then. Always take away any suggestions you receive and have a bit of thinking space so you can analyse the information.
If you find financial decisions difficult to understand then acknowledge this to yourself and look for help. You might have a family member or a friend you trust that can sit in on your meetings and maybe able to quickly assess the financial product to see it’s suitability for you and your family. They may also come up with questions you never thought of.
Finally, always remember that your advisor will rarely every have any training, experience or true understanding of what financial product you need to secure your families’ future. You have to become more financially educated so you can make the right decisions for your unique family future.