What Is Special Needs Planning? With Hannah Magrum, ChSNC®

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[135] – Special needs planning is financial planning for individuals with disabilities and health concerns who have to navigate very complex systems, but not many people understand it well.

While you may not personally need this type of planning, please forward the episode to someone who may benefit. 

Also, there’s a great discussion about what you can do to be mindful of other’s need for accommodations and how she has used her personal experiences to become a guide for others going through their own disability journey. Whether your family needs “special needs planning” or not, this is a great listen.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Hannah Magrum, ChSNC® about special needs planning and how it differs from typical financial planning. Hannah dives into what special needs planning is and how it differs from typical financial planning. She talks about the different services and supports available within the education system that applies to financial planning, the difficulties some families face, and her top tips for families who are uncomfortable navigating the school system.

Hannah discusses:

  • Why it’s important to work with someone who specializes in your specific financial needs
  • How you can provide accommodations and be more understanding and supportive of those who need them
  • How the different services and supports within the education system apply to financial planning
  • Why some families find it difficult to accept the name of the disabilities given to their child in an IEP
  • Three critical tips for families who feel uncomfortable navigating the school system
  • And more

What Special Needs Planning Is

Special needs planning is financial planning that focuses on individuals with disabilities and health concerns who have to navigate complex systems that people don’t generally understand.

This specific type of planning is taking all those complex systems and understanding how they are interwoven into the rest of someone’s financial plan.

Work With Someone Who Specializes In What You Need

There are a variety of different specialties in financial planning. 

Working with someone who specializes in your specific financial needs is important. For example, our specialty is around retirement planning, and Hannah Magrum’s specialty is in special needs planning.

If you or a loved one has any special needs or a disability, then special needs planning would better cater to their financial planning needs.

How You Can Provide Accommodations

A big part of special needs planning is accommodating people’s needs.

Even outside of a place of business, we can be supportive and understanding by accommodating people’s needs.

Just ask them if they may need any accommodations. It’s best to never assume that someone does or doesn’t need help because not everyone’s disability is visible, and not everyone with a disability needs the same accommodations. 

Everyone is different, so you can be supportive by asking everyone about accommodations and offering them when needed.

Disability Support Within The Education System And Financial Planning

The supports offered to people with disabilities apply to financial planning because those supports or services often come with a cost.

For example, the support that is offered in the education system to people with disabilities through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) can save them money because the school system covers the costs.

A special needs planner like Hannah is able to identify whether the school system should provide support, and help families seek said support by knowing how to ask for them.

Navigating The School System

Navigating the school system and attending IEP meetings can be challenging when a child has a disability.

Hannah Magrum has 3 critical tips for families going into one of those meetings or who feel uncomfortable navigating the school system.

Tip one is to bring someone with you. Whether it’s a professional advocate or a family member, having their emotional support can be really beneficial.

The second tip is a reminder that you don’t need to sign anything in that meeting. You absolutely have the right to take that draft paperwork home with you and take the time that you need to make sure that you feel comfortable signing it.

The last tip is that if you make a request during that meeting that is then declined, request a response from the school district explaining their reasoning for declining the request. This means the school must document the no and the reason for the no. That gives you the information you need to know whether or not you need to go down the path of turning that no into a yes, or for some families, having that documentation is enough for them and now they know the reason behind it.


To learn more about special needs planning, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or our guest, Hannah Magrum, using the contact information provided below!

Please be advised that any references made to Judy Heumann in the podcast were recorded prior to her untimely passing and were made with the utmost respect and admiration for her work. We can honor her legacy by continuing to fight for disability rights and accessibility for all.


Connect With Hannah Magrum:

Connect With Jeremy Keil:

About Our Guest:

As a Chartered Special Needs Consultant, Hannah Magrum focuses her practice around serving individuals and their loved ones with disabilities, health concerns, transitional and complex resource planning. Hannah brings a unique perspective not only as a parent to a child with multiple medical complexities but as an adult with a mobility disability. She understands the complexities that such planning can entail. She is also passionate about serving her community. Hannah is currently a Board member on Integrated Community Solutions, Head Chair of Kids First Medina, founder of SKM, Head Chair of Accessible to Everyone and Founder of HKMagrum Consulting.



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