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Workshop focuses on financial planning for families with special-needs members

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | March 14, 2019


A workshop addressing financial planning for families enrolled in the Exceptional Family Member Program is set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 28 at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Military & Family Readiness Center.

The second of six workshops scheduled this year for EFMP families, this informational session will cover unique financial planning needs and strategies for providing a lifetime of care for special-needs family members, and will also address finding a balance between the financial needs of the family and those of the special-needs family member.

“What I’ve learned is that there are a lot of parents who have to start considering how their special-needs family members will be cared for after they’re gone,” said Mike Bell, JBSA-Randolph M&FR EFMP coordinator/family support. “This is one of the topics they’ll learn about during the session.”


The workshop will be facilitated by representatives of a mutual life insurance and financial planning company that addresses the financial needs of families with special-needs members. “They are subject-matter experts who will be able to answer questions,” Bell said. “They will not be selling their services; they will only be providing information.”

Some other issues that may face EFMP families are finding and paying services that are not covered by TRICARE, having to travel long distances for services and paying for services if the military member separates before reaching the 20-year threshold for retirement.

Parents who are not able to attend the session in person will be able to participate through a webcast that is being offered in partnership with Military OneSource, Bell said.

“There may be spouses who are at home taking care of their children and are unable to come to the session,” he said. “If they’re interested, they can contact me and I will send them a link to the webcast. It will be just like being there sitting in the audience.”

The workshop will be especially beneficial to young families, Bell said.

If you are young, you have time to plan and put aside money for your family member’s needs in the future,” he said. “This workshop will provide you with tools to use.”

Four more EFMP workshops are planned this year: Special Needs Legal Information Briefing May 23; Social Security Retirement, Disability, Survivors and Medicare July 11; Special Education and Individualized Education Programs Sept. 5; and Secondary Dependency Determination Nov. 14.

“All of the workshops we are offering were suggested by our families,” Bell said. “We’re trying to re-energize the program and get more involvement. The more people we have at our classes or who watch the webcast, the more firepower we have to move on to bigger and better things.”

To register for the workshop or participate in the webcast, call 210-652-3100.