I know this same motivation drives many people with similar injuries. That’s why it’s important to work with clients to figure out which parts of their portfolio and assets they may want to protect. The traditional work of a wealth manager and legal professional in estate planning involves creating the legal structure through trusts or other mechanisms to help ensure your house or other beloved assets are set aside and ultimately inherited, rather than used to fund health-care costs.

Many people—and I include myself, pre-injury—don’t realize the money required to fuel recovery over many years and decades of life. Depending on the event, your income (and investable income) may be imperiled. There are also complex stipulations around what private insurance or government programs will or won’t fund, or the extent to which they will cover certain activities while you, yourself, can also pay for them out of pocket. The future gets expensive very quickly.

Wealth managers can work with a client’s other advisors on these issues, serving as a knowledge base. From there, we should be able to offer products and strategies that can help shape their investments accordingly.

Learning More

As difficult as it is to think about, we all need to engage with the possibility that tragedy can befall anyone. Earlier in my career I was certainly among the “glass half empty” types in our business; to some extent that can serve us well.

Today, I’m more of a “glass half full” kind of guy. I’m doing everything I can to make the best of my situation. I’m increasingly involved in the spinal cord injury community, both from a fundraising standpoint and in trying to help those who are struggling find hope and their way.

But I also see my occupation as a financial advisor as a way for me to help. I am in a unique position to help those with spinal cord injuries navigate all the financial complexities living with this sort of injury brings because I HAVE BEEN THERE.

Through my personal experience, I’ve learned a new, more open perspective on what is—and isn’t—given in life, and how our planning, our personal efforts, and ultimately help from others can meet what seem, in the moment, like unfathomable challenges.

Vin Crudo is a financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management—U.S.

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