Life is changing for our family, and — like it or not — we have to face the realities of our oldest child becoming an adult this year. My son is a 17-year-old high school student with autism. And wow, where did the years go? I keep thinking about Toy Story 3 when Andy goes off to college. I cried like a baby at the end of that movie and promptly made my kids swear to never grow up. Guess what, it didn’t work and they are growing up more every day. In fact, Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Jesse, and Mr. Potato Head have long been collecting dust but I can’t find it in me to get rid of them.
This transitional period in our family’s life started with our special-needs child approaching age 18, which prompted the review of much, much more. Man, I wish life had an instruction manual! First we had to review his financial future, his educational and work goals, guardianship, and more because his special-needs services change this summer when he turns 18. This led my husband and me to review our will, estate-planning documents, and all of our finances.
As I talk to others about this transitional time in our lives, I see their wheels turning. They are thinking, “Are there things I should be thinking about or planning?” “Do I need to think about kids going off to college or aging parents that might need care?” and “Should I throw away these green plastic army men or will the kids want them again some day?”
We are all well aware that there is no manual for transitioning through life stages, but knowing how to use your resources can help. And, just like in Toy Story when Rex relied on his friends to change the channel on the TV remote, finding a banker and financial advisor— as well as other professionals such as lawyers and tax advisors — you can trust and rely on is key.
There is never a wrong time to review financial plans, wills, trusts or other estate planning. First Business can help. We offer financial planning, business and personal account reviews, retirement planning, business succession planning, and much more. Visit our website for details.
I am happy I have these professionals in place to assist us; it will be hard enough just packing up Woody and Buzz Lightyear and donating them to the local daycare (sniff, sniff).