Oak Wealth Advisors Make It Better | Jan-Feb 2017

Oak Wealth Advisors Make It Better | Jan-Feb 2017

We were honored to be asked by Make It Better Magazine to provide advice about special needs financial planning. As nice as the opportunity was to share our knowledge, we were even more grateful to read about how our clients, who are featured in the article, feel we have improved their lives ...

ABLE ACT UPDATE 2017

ABLE ACT UPDATE 2017

 Over two years after the ABLE Act was passed, fewer than half of the fifty states are offering ABLE accounts. The good news is that the number is growing on a monthly basis. In January, a consortium of fourteen states has begun launching their plans. Among these states is Illinois. Please see the state graphic below for a view of the states that have open plans as of January 30, 2017. In the future, you can visit www.ablenrc.org to view an updated listing of states that have plans available. This website also offers a simple comparison tool that allows families to compare features of the various state plans. Thus far, we favor the TN plan which is available to non-residents. It has among ...

2017 Social Security Benefits Update

2017 Social Security Benefits Update

– Better than nothing, but just barely… Regardless of whom our next President is, for 2017, Social Security recipients will be getting a .3% increase in their monthly checks.  (That is less than one-third of one percent, not three percent.) Individuals receiving SSI benefits will receive $735/month up from $733 in 2016.  The amount of earnings an individual can make before reaching substantial gainful activity is being increased from $1,130/month to $1,170/month.  The earnings levels are slightly higher for the blind. While benefits will be rising by the smallest of margins, the amount of income subject to Social Security taxation is rising from $118,500 in 2016 to $127,200 in 2017 ...

2016 The Case For Inclusion Summary

2016 The Case For Inclusion Summary

 The following summary comes from United Cerebral Palsy and their annual study of the special needs programs and resources available across the country.  For more information and access to the entire study, visit http://cfi.ucp.org. The Case For Inclusion 2016 report is the broadest and most interesting national study of special needs services we have found. They have been publishing similar reports annually since 2006 and have implemented more thorough measures since 2014. The major areas of evaluation used to calculate the rankings include promoting independence, tracking community involvement and safety, keeping families together, promoting productivity, and reaching those in need of s ...

Back To School – For How Long?

Back To School – For How Long?

In the special needs community, the end of supports through the school district can be a frightening time for families. There is no consistent age at which services end among the various states. Oak Wealth Advisors has produced a first-of-its-kind chart that illustrates these ages. We hope that families and their advisors will benefit from the information. We wish everyone much success as the 2016-2017 school year begins. ...

Recommendations For More Successful I.E.P. Meetings

Recommendations For More Successful I.E.P. Meetings

 Our recommendations for having successful Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings:   Be Proactive.  Your role is equally important as the education professionals’.  You are an expert about your child.  You should advocate for the support your child needs. Prepare well in advance of the meeting. Prior to the I.E.P., send a letter including all the topics you want addressed in the meeting to the I.E.P. team. Follow up with a call to the case manager to ensure your issues will be on the agenda. Request documents to review prior to the meeting. Ask for all reports, evaluations, and proposed goals and objectives in writing. Parents need time to digest the informatio ...

ABLE Accounts—Now they exist!

ABLE Accounts—Now they exist!

As of June 1, 2016, Ohio is accepting applications for 529 ABLE Accounts.  As we had anticipated, they are the first state to offer the plans.  While being first is certainly an advantage for Ohio, it does not mean that their plan will be optimal for all individuals.  To their credit, Ohio has chosen to use low-cost Vanguard mutual funds as the investment options for their plan.  They have also simplified the investment selection process by only offering five choices. While residents of any state may opt to use the Ohio “STABLE” Account as their 529 ABLE Account, there will soon be other state options.  In reviewing the details of the Ohio plan, the fees charged for in-state resid ...

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