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The Globe and Mail: What to Consider When Developing a Financial Plan for Parents with Disabled Children

What to consider when developing a financial plan for parents with disabled children

In a recent article published in The Globe and Mail, Maili was asked for her insights on developing a financial plan for parents with disabled children.

Click here to find out what Maili had to say on the topic:


Maili Wong , senior wealth advisor and senior portfolio manager with The Wong Group at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc. in Vancouver, says parents sometimes delay consulting an advisor following a child’s diagnosis – perhaps because they want to keep it private, don’t want to acknowledge it, or don’t want to label the child. When they are ready to talk, she focuses on presenting opportunities.

“We try to help clients find a balance between what they’re feeling under the most difficult circumstances and the hope that comes with understanding that there are various programs and tax credits that can ease the financial strain,” Ms. Wong says.

Government supports include the disability tax credit, which opens the door to other disability support programs including the child disability benefit and registered disability savings plan (RDSP). An accumulated income payment from a registered education savings plan (RESP) can generally be transferred into an RDSP for the same child, with RESP contributions returned to the subscriber tax-free, and grants and bonds repaid to the government. On a parent’s or grandparent’s death, registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and registered retirement income fund (RRIF) savings can also be transferred into the RDSP of a financially dependent child or grandchild up to the RDSP lifetime contribution limit of $200,000.

Many costs associated with caring for children with disabilities are tax-deductible, Ms. Wong adds, including renovations to make a home more accessible, as well as caregiver, tutoring and medical expenses. There’s also the disability support deduction for costs that make it possible for a person with disabilities to attend school, including attendant care, note-taking services and electronic speech synthesizer expenses.

That said, while it may be tempting to jump right into a conversation about tax minimization strategies, Ms. Wong says advisors should take a step back and ask questions to get a complete picture of a family’s circumstances.

“Advisors can add the most value by seeking to understand what the situation looks like from an emotional, physical, psychological and financial perspective; then, secondarily, coming up with credible options to help provide the right solutions, tax credits, accounts and opportunities.”


If you have any questions about how this relates to you or your investment portfolio and financial plan, please give us a call at 778 655 2410 or email us at

Maili Wong, CFA, CFP, FEA
Senior Portfolio Manager & Senior Wealth Advisor

Wellington-Altus Private Wealth Inc.

Board Director

Wellington-Altus Financial Inc.

Maili Wong is a senior portfolio manager and senior wealth advisor at The Wong Group at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth and the Amazon best-selling author of ‘Smart Risk.’ She has over two decades of experience in the finance industry and was named a Top Wealth Advisor and one of the Best in Province in the 2022 rankings produced by The Globe and Mail and SHOOK Research.


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