Overcoming Planning Procrastination

By Steve Rhatigan, Principal & Founder, Archer Consulting Group

Overcoming Planning Procrastination “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.”

This simple statement exposes the obstacles to effective planning when a person with special needs is involved. The reality of the lives of those charged with the care of a child or sibling with a disabling condition is best described as a “daily marathon”, essentially head down and running flat out forward. It allows little time for anything but the tasks at hand and no time for reflection or preparation.

This is not a favorable environment for planning for the future. But plan they must, for the other reality of life is that we all face a future that has a beginning and, most assuredly, an end. And that’s where our journey begins; at the end. [Read more…]

A Well-Built Special Needs Plan Starts With a Skilled Architect

By Steve Rhatigan, Principal, Archer Consulting Group  

“Success in Life comes not from holding a good hand, but playing a poor hand well.” Warren G. Lester

“What will become of my special needs child when I am no longer there to take care of them?”  The answer depends on the quality of the estate and financial plan created to address that reality; and, the quality of the plan depends greatly on the planner and their experience in this very complex specialty.  [Read more…]

Mistakes and Life

By Steve Rhatigan, Principal, The Archer Consulting Group

You may think I’m getting lazy since this will be the second newsletter that reproduces an article from another source.  Possible, but not likely. I’m sending this one because I think it’s significant and enlightening, plus being relevant to several current issues we are dealing with at Archer on behalf of clients’.

As Mr. Norton indicates, mistakes will occur and usually at the worst possible time.  It’s one thing to make a wrong turn on the way to an appointment and quite another to underestimate the importance of some type of formal communication from a disability related governmental agency. You can probably see where I’m going with this but I’ll spell it out for you; every time an agency decides to write you a letter – pay close attention to its contents.  Most of the following 10 types of mistakes are relevant to my advice and we repeatedly deal with the fallout from one or more of them, and usually in full panic mode. [Read more…]

Taking Care of the Money

By Steve Rhatigan, Principal, The Archer Consulting Group

Steve_RhatiganFor many years, Archer Consulting has strongly advocated the use of Professional Trust Management in coordination with the naming of a Trust Advisor as the optimal financial management model for a Special Needs Trust. Fortunately, we have about an 85% success rate.

The following article, from one of the top legal firms in the nation, should give that 85% a better sense of safety; and, the other 15%, something to chew on. [Read more…]

What is in a Name?

By Steve Rhatigan, Principal, The Archer Consulting Group

SteveYou can call me peculiar but I’m weary of the term “Special Needs” being used to define everything we do.  Then why continue to use this unfortunate name; simple… business.  If our trade were footwear, how many units might we sell in this day and time if the name we used was “Cobbler”?

The process of developing a name for a brand, product or service is often heavily influenced by marketing research so as to be appealing and marketable.  The brand name is often a buzzword or pseudo word, such as Kodak or Xerox.  However, that is not the genesis of “Special Needs”.  Its origins are to be found in the legal profession with many negative consequences as the outcome.   [Read more…]

Our Daughter, the Mathematical Poet in Space!

By: Lynette Guinn, Mother and Client

Under the best of circumstances parenting is hard.  I mean H-A-R-D hard!  We entered parenthood with all the preparation and planning of, well, most new parents.  We began parenting our daughter, Kayleigh with a peppy optimism that got us through middle of the night feedings, colic, and sleep deprivation.  We had big dreams for her.  Would she be a poet, an astronaut, or a mathematician? Perhaps she would live her life as a mathematical poet in space!  Anything seemed possible.  [Read more…]