Video | Learn from special needs planning experts and peers

Video | Learn from special needs planning experts and peers

Watch the complete video below… A town hall Video discussion covering the most challenging issues facing families with loved ones with disabilities. Transitioning through life Preparing your family for the future Communicating your planning to those who will be involved Building community relationships Dr. Meghan Burke, University of Illinois Sibling of a brother with Down Syndrome Masters and Doctoral degrees in Special Education Board-Certified Behavior Analyst Nationally recognized expert in future planning and care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities Ann Sickon, Center for Independent Futures  Parent and sibling of ...

FREE National Parks pass for people with disabilities

FREE National Parks pass for people with disabilities

 Enjoy your summer with FREE National Park Passes People with disabilities are entitled to a free, lifetime, National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Access Pass to visit over 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country. Included are National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and other federal recreation lands. In order to obtain a pass, you must provide documentation that you have a permanent disability. The pass can be obtained on-site with proof of a disability and proof of U.S. residency. You can also complete the application online. A third option is to download the form and mail it. There is a $10 processing fee if the application is completed online o ...

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 2019-2020 school year approaches.         ...

Great News for Families in Illinois with Loved Ones with Special Needs!

Great News for Families in Illinois with Loved Ones with Special Needs!

ABLE accounts, which we have strongly recommended for several years, now have the additional benefit of providing an Illinois state income tax deduction for those who contribute to an Illinois ABLE Plan. We have been advocating for this tax deduction since the federal law creating ABLE accounts was passed in December of 2014. We are happy to see our efforts, and the voices of many other families, reflected in this new state income tax benefit. ...

I Still Wish You Did Not Have Down Syndrome

I Still Wish You Did Not Have Down Syndrome

From Randi Gillespie of Oak Wealth Advisors A few years back, I penned an article about my youngest child, Liam (then 7) and his older sister, Maddy (then 10) that ran in the Chicago Tribune Perspective Section. The heart of the article was that Maddy had Down syndrome and her younger brother, Liam, was angry that she had Down syndrome. He made it perfectly clear one morning by revealing to her, “I wish you did not have Down syndrome.” I chronicled their relationship and the events which led up to Liam’s honest yet painful words. I wrote that I expected that their relationship would evolve over time and that growing up with a sister who had a disability would not only positively sha ...

Making a Difference | Our Time With Jack

Making a Difference | Our Time With Jack

One of the core missions of Oak Wealth Advisors is to improve the lives of families with special needs members. That mission extends well beyond providing fiduciary financial services to our clients. It also includes giving national and local presentations to members of non-profit organizations, educating other financial advisors, and creating opportunities for individuals with special needs. In the spring of 2018, Jack Croley joined Oak Wealth Advisors as an intern. We met Jack through our relationship with the New Trier High School Transition Program. At our introductory meeting with Jack, which was structured as a hands-on interview, we quickly identified some of his strengths. He is d ...

Mental Health Challenges <br>Should Not Define An Individual’s Life

Mental Health Challenges
Should Not Define An Individual’s Life

Having a mental illness presents challenges in individuals’ lives, but it should not define their lives. The same could be said for other disabilities, yet mental illnesses have such a stigma around them. This stigma causes individuals to be fearful about opening up about their mental illness. This fear can cause the mental illness to define their lives. I remember vividly the first time I talked about my mental illness with people other than my family and my psychiatrist. The opportunity arose in my college financial counseling class. We were to present three items that held significant meaning to us to the class. At first, I was scared to death about sharing anything meaningful to the c ...

ABLE Accounts – Even Better in 2018

ABLE Accounts – Even Better in 2018

 As we start 2018, there are now 31 states offering ABLE accounts and 23 of them are accessible to residents of all states. While ABLE accounts have retained all of their initial benefits, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act added some additional features to the plans. The first enhancement is an increase in the amount of basic contributions that can be made.  In 2018, the amount that can be contributed to an individual’s ABLE account rises from $14,000 in 2017 to $15,000. A more significant addition to the ABLE program is the ability for an individual with an ABLE account who is working to deposit their earnings, up to the Federal Poverty Level which is currently $12,060, if they are not parti ...

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