Mary Anne Ehlert gained experience in special-needs financial planning long before she made a career in the field.

Ehlert, a seasoned financial adviser with her own Chicago-based firm, grew up with a sister who suffered from severe cerebral palsy. She not only helped out with the day-to-day care needs for Marcia, but also came to understand how disabled people like her sister might be put in precarious financial situations because of bad planning.

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