MassMutual Center for Special Needs at The American College provides tailored resources for financial professionals working with special needs families & caregivers
Springfield, Mass., July 16, 2015 – To meet the unique financial demands of special needs families and caregivers, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) has partnered with the American College to found the MassMutual Center for Special Needs in Bryn Mawr, Pa. The $2.5 million investment by MassMutual establishes the first academic center of its kind, serving as a national leader in preparing financial services professionals to help advocate for and secure the future of individuals with special needs and their families.
Among the Hispanic population alone, over one-third of households report having at least one caretaker, according to 2008 research from Caregiving.org, and 84 percent of Hispanics who are providing care believe their role is an expectation within their upbringing.
The Easter Seals Many faces of Caregiving Study sponsored by MassMutual and conducted by Impulse Research Corp. shows the state of caregiving in the United States is changing. Today’s caretakers are young, and 90 percent are unpaid, according to those surveyed. Seventy-six percent have concerns about becoming a caregiver, including financial impact and increased anxiety. They are not trained professionals; many live in multigenerational households. Over three-quarters provide care to a parent, child, spouse or grandparent.
“MassMutual is committed to providing caregivers essential resources to become confident in their financial futures,” said Joanne Gruszkos, director of MassMutual’s SpecialCareSM program. “Caregivers are responsible not only for their own future, but also for their dependent’s financial future.”
For the past ten years, MassMutual’s SpecialCareSM Program has helped families develop life-care plans* for their loved ones with special needs. MassMutual’s SpecialCare Planning Teams have built Community Resource Networks across the country to provide families with financial education and a network of care providers specializing in everything from educational seminars on life-care planning to horseback riding therapy. In May, MassMutual also received the Team Hoyt Award from Easter Seals for its efforts to empower individuals with disabilities.
MassMutual offers the following tips for new caregivers:
- A team approach – Seek trusted advisors who have the special needs experience and are willing to guide you through the important financial decisions that affect your entire family.
- A caregiver and a letter of intent – Identify the person who will care for your loved one and draft a letter of intent that will serve as a guide for that person to provide care, support and other assistance after you are gone.
- Long-term expenses – Plan ahead for expenses such as housing, education, work opportunities and daily transportation when determining your loved one’s lifetime financial needs.
- Availability of government benefits – Research the benefits that are provided by the federal government for families affected by special needs. You may qualify for assistance.
- A will in place – Make sure you have beneficiary arrangements and a current will that align with your other planning strategies.
To learn more about MassMutual’s commitment to the special needs market and U.S. Hispanics, visit massmutual.com/specialcare and massmutual.com/latino. Contact a local financial professional** for more personalized information to create a stronger plan to address the future financial needs of you and your family.
*A Life Care Plan is a coordinated program of future care planning, financial and legal strategies for people with disabilities and their families. A Life Care Plan continually changes throughout an individual’s lifetime and is provided by a team that may include a legal and tax advisor, as well as an insurance and investment professional.
**No one professional can provide everything a family needs. An integrated team comprised of an attorney, CPA and others, such as social workers and caregivers, in addition to a financial professional who specializes in working with special needs, all working together is the best way to serve the client. We recommend working with professionals who are qualified, experienced and involved in the area of special needs.
- # # # -
The Easter Seals Many faces of Caregiving Study was sponsored by MassMutual and conducted by Impulse Research Corp. The survey was conducted January 2015 online with a random sample of 1043 men and women ages 25-49. The overall sampling error rate for this survey os +/-3% at the 95% level of confidence.
Founded in 1851, MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. The company has a long history of financial strength and strong performance, and although dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has paid dividends to eligible participating policyowners consistently since the 1860s. With whole life insurance as its foundation, MassMutual provides products to help meet the financial needs of clients, such as life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, retirement/401(k) plan services, and annuities. In addition, the company’s strong and growing network of financial professionals helps clients make good financial decisions for the long-term.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing name for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) and its affiliated companies and sales representatives. MassMutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and its major affiliates include: Babson Capital Management LLC; Baring Asset Management Limited; Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC; The First Mercantile Trust Company; MassMutual International LLC; MML Investors Services, LLC, Member FINRA and SIPC; OppenheimerFunds, Inc.; and The MassMutual Trust Company, FSB.