The National MS Society offers free financial planning
Staying up late at night worrying about the bills, covering the mortgage, changing your job? We can help.
“We’ve enlisted over 600 financial advisors across the country to give free advice to Society members,” said Michael Elder, director of the Society’s Financial Education Partners Program (FEP), a collaboration between the National MS Society and the Society of Financial Service Professionals. “We offer financial education, literacy training and one-on-one consultations, much of it offered on the phone. People with MS are often presented with situations that seem overwhelming—financial matters may be one of them.”
The financial advisors working with the Society cover over 15 specialties—from retirement planning to health insurance to legal services. “These experts can help with employment issues, budgeting, and even health care,” Elder said. “Often more than one will work together to help a client.”
A common concern among people with MS is career transition. “Our clients want to know, ‘Can I leave my job? And can I afford to be retrained?’ You can find an advisor to help with the financial planning involved in that decision,” Elder said.
The program also addresses financial areas specific to women. “There is a high rate of divorce among people with MS,” he said. “Men are still more often the breadwinners. We wanted to address the money issues that arise for women out of that situation.” The FEP set up a free “Women with MS” financial workshop in Society chapters with the highest demand.
Elder stressed that the program always looks at the whole picture. “Sometimes people need the services of more than one expert,” he said. “Recently, to address the problems of a family facing foreclosure, the FEP put together a team including a planner, a real estate professional and a lawyer.”
In 2007, the National MS Society awarded the Society of Financial Service Professionals with the National Organization of the Year Award for their many hours of free service.
If you would like to arrange to speak with a financial planner, please call the chapter at 757-490-9627.
For more information, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions document.