New Book Provides Financial Guidance for Parents of a Mentally Ill Child

Author Allen Giese is a longtime financial advisor and father of a son with a mental illness.


PLANTATION, Florida—September 26, 2018—When a child is diagnosed with a mental illness, parents may feel like they’re sinking into financial quicksand. A new book, When Mental Illness Strikes: Crisis Intervention for the Financial Plan, strives to help parents avoid the quicksand, provide for their child, and safeguard their own future.

Allen Giese, ChFC®, CLU®, wrote the book based on his experiences, as well as the experiences of clients and other parents worried about the financial impact that a mental illness diagnosis would have.

“After my son was diagnosed, I quickly realized how few resources there were for parents in a similar position,” Giese said. “Parents who seek out a financial planner may not get much help, since so few planners have experience with the cascade of financial issues caused by a mental illness diagnosis.”

Giese has been a financial advisor since 1991 and is a founding partner of Northstar Financial Planners, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisory firm in Plantation, Florida. After his son’s diagnosis, Giese increasingly focused on helping families with special needs, particularly mental illness. After a cross-country biking trip to raise awareness and money for mental health organizations, Giese got the idea for a book to help parents find a path forward.

“I heard so many stories of confusion, frustration, and debt, and I knew I wanted to do something about it,” Giese said. “Given my financial planning expertise and personal experiences grappling with the issue, I knew I was in a good position to help other parents.”

Giese intends to empower parents in planning for not only their child’s future but their own as well. When Mental Illness Strikes describes how to create a systematic financial plan, how to invest efficiently, and how to avoid jeopardizing a child’s qualifications for SSI and health care.

The book is approximately 215 pages long and comprises nine chapters including:

  • Parenting the Mentally Ill in an Information Void

  • A Primer on Government Benefits: Social Security and Medicaid

  • ABLE Accounts

  • Special Needs Trusts

  • Taking Care of the Parent

“I’ve written the book to help parents understand the issues and guide them into making good decisions,” Giese said. “Coping with mental illness can be overwhelming—it’s my sincere desire to provide the insights that parents need to feel that they can and will be OK.”

 Learn more about When Mental Illness Strikes—and download an interview guide and head shots—on the media page. Giese is available for interviews, and his book can be purchased on Amazon.

About Allen Giese

Allen Giese, ChFC®, CLU®, is a founding partner and President of Northstar Financial Planners, Inc., a fee-only, independent Registered Investment Advisor in Plantation, Florida. A financial advisor since 1991, Giese provides comprehensive wealth management services for couples and individuals, particularly those coping with the financial impact of mental illness. He is committed to advocacy and is available for speaking engagements on personal finance and mental illness. For additional information, please visit the When Mental Illness Strikes webpage.