Financial planning can be challenging when your wage-earning ability, business income or other sources of cash flow are interrupted, reduced or changed.
Tip: Whatever financial and investment plans you made, they must be revisited. A diagnosis of PD may change your income and expenses. Many people work part-time well into their retirement years. You may not be able to do so. You may have to cut back or even stop working before the retirement date you planned on. Whatever your financial status, even if you're wealthy and retired living on cash flow from your portfolio, your increased expenses resulting for PD (now or in the future) might change your financial picture. Even modest changes can have a significant impact over a 10 to 20+ year period of your life expectancy.
Tip: Develop a workable financial plan early and revisit and revise it annually. Taking a big picture and realistic approach, which you reassess as new information becomes available, will help you to move forward in spite of life's challenges.
Financial planning information and tools are widely available online. For example, the government's Medicare site contains a tool that can be useful in assessing your long term care needs.
Financial planning information and tools are available from leading financial planners and disability consulting services, such as Allsup.
For helpful tips, watch this presentation from the NPF 2008 Young Onset Parkinson Conference by Paul Gada, Personal Finance Director at Allsup: "Financial and Life Planning: Staying in Control."
Tip: While the abundant free or low-cost internet tools will be helpful, hire an independent financial adviser or CPA to review your calculations and assumptions if you are able to afford to. Many "canned" financial projection programs make assumptions that are too simple to give you the robust analysis you need to assure your financial security for decades into the future. Many generic programs and articles do not reflect the different financial conditions you may experience as a result of Parkinson's disease. If you gather relevant Parkinson's-specific information as to your anticipated disease course from your medical team and whatever financial analysis you have completed on your own, at minimum consider having a CPA or fee-only financial adviser review what you have done. That might be less costly than hiring someone to complete the analysis in its entirety. Gathering Parkinson's information (both general and specific to you) will also help the financial planner or CPA review and tailor their comments to you.
See National Association of Personal Financial Advisers (NAPFA) which is an industry trade organization for fee only financial advisers to locate a planner near you.
Also, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has a CPA Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Credential that can assure you of a CPA that has met additional requirements to provide financial planning services. The AICPA has extensive public financial resources.
Content for this section provided by Allsup, Inc. and Mark Rubin, J.D. and Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD.