Ghanaian parents with children living with autism now know more about the investment options available for them to secure their wards future, thanks to a financial planning seminar by Alexis Miranda Foundation (AMF) and Databank.
The programme dubbed; Financial Seminar for Parents with Special Needs Children became possible when founder of AMF, Lynn Dadzie-Yeboah, a mother of a child with autism and a member of Autism Society of Ghana (ASOG), learnt that many parents in Ghana are very concerned about who will care for their children with Autism and how their children will be cared for when they are elderly or long gone.
Being an investment manager and financial planning professional herself, Mrs. Dadzie- Yeboah, decided to collaborate with a local investment firm (Databank) and legal experts (Exusia Law Consult and Demiederos and Associates) to provide a free seminar for parents.
She wanted parents to start thinking about financial security for their special needs children in order for them not to be a burden on the society when they, as parents, retire from active work or leave the surface of the earth.
“It is extremely important that parents of children with Autism take extra pain to plan for their children. Parents have to put the right structures in place to ensure that financially and legally, their dependents future is secure and that they are well taken care of”, she indicated.
AMF was established to help increase Autism awareness globally and to support families and providers of children with learning disabilities. AMF is committed to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families impacted by Autism and other disabilities. The goal of the foundation is to provide comprehensive professional services to children who are affected and help them reach their maximum potential and thrive in their communities. The organization helps families with advocacy, educational, therapeutic and recreational programs.
Mrs. Dadzie-Yeboah, in an interview with the media, explained that her Foundation believes in transforming communities by taking on small but sustainable projects with long term profits for the beneficiaries, hence the seminar.
She is of the hope that parents will see the need to put some money aside for their children or leave their children in a better positions they do not become a burden on the society after they have retired or left.
Databank’s financial experts, Gillian Hammah (Group Chief Marketing Officer) and Kojo Addae-Mensah (Group Chief Executive Officer) took parents through the investment solutions Databank has and the benefits one would derive from it should he or she decide to invest.
Lawyers, Mark Oquaye Junior and Nana Baffoe, emphasized the need to back all investments with proper legal documentation since it was a tool for reducing risk associated with leaving a child with one form of disability and how they will survive.
For a child with a disability, the duo intimated that a Will alone would not be ideal because the person will not be able to take care of the property unless someone is appointed in trust to help manage it.
They thus encouraged parents to always employ lawyers to draft the necessary documentation for them, saying it was necessary to use an institution or a professional to hold in thrust the resources in order to avoid controversies.
The lawyers maintained that parents choose a lawyer as Power of Attorney when it comes to paying inheritance tax because one could be exploited to his or her detriment if it goes otherwise.
They indicated that in the course that a lawyer or a professional squanders the inheritance, their association would deal with the person even before the police take over, hence their advice.
Kojo Addae-Mensah, Group, for his part said it was important that Ghanaians, especially parents with special needs children, should cultivate an unstoppable habit of investing for themselves and their children.
According to him, one should start investing no matter how small the person earns, adding that you do not need huge monies before you start thinking of investment.
Mr. Addae-Mensah pointed out that, Databank, since its establishment 26 years ago, has aimed at helping every Ghanaian to become financially independent. Therefore providing the expertise and the location to make the seminar possible was in line with their ambitions.
Judging from the number of parents who showed up at the financial planning seminar against the number of parents on a popular social media platform where information of the announcement was chiefly made, he bemoaned the reluctance of parents with children with autism to make their situation known.
“Therefore there is the need to find ways to make them leave their homes, bring the children along, give them the support system, because they are among the society and it is very important that we create the necessary institution and structures to support them”, the Group CEO stated.
Kojo Addae-Mensah admonished companies and the society to extend a helping hand to reducing the burden children with autism put on their parents.
Founder of Alexis Miranda Foundation, Lynn Dadzie-Yeboah presented a cheque of US$1, 000 out of a proposed $2,500 to the Autism Society of Ghana (ASOG). Lynn Dadzie- Yeboah said she would place the rest of the cash in a Databank investment account for the society as a way of encouraging them to start investing.
By Paa Kwesi Agyefi