If you or your loved one has been living with a disability for any length of time, you probably already have a plan for making sure your day-to-day needs are met. However, do you know how you will handle the expenses of care later in life? If you don’t, it’s important to create a financial plan now to ensure that you can afford sufficient and safe care for the long term.
The biggest expense you are likely to face over the long term is healthcare. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to make sure you have the right coverage to get the care you need. Many adults who have a disability are eligible for Medicare, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused by the different options. If you have questions about what Medicare coverage you can receive in your state, take a look at this state-by-state guide, which can help you make sense of it all. Click on your state to access websites and contact info for in-state organizations that can provide you with the information and resources you need.
When it comes to long-term care, you will have additional expenses outside of medical needs. These are a few ways you can start saving money now and planning ahead to make sure you can afford to cover these expenses.
If you’re living on a fixed income, you may not feel like you can set anything aside for the future. To get started, a contributor to Disability Horizons recommends establishing a savings account by paying yourself. Whatever amount you can manage, set it up as an automatic transfer into a savings account that occurs each time you have money come in.
In the past, people with disabilities have had to worry about losing benefits if they saved money. A newer option called an ABLE account allows you to save money without being taxed on earnings and without losing essential government benefits.
The most advantageous tax savings will depend on your specific situation. For example, US News explains how some people with disabilities are better off opting for a higher standard deduction. You may also qualify for a Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. Use this guide for help or consult an accountant who can help ensure you’re taking full advantage of tax savings.
Many people with disabilities choose to set up a third-party trust, which allows family members to help supplement their income by contributing money over time. According to the New York Times, trusts are fairly flexible, and the money can be used however you need it.
Identity theft and scams can pose a serious threat to your financial future, and unfortunately, having a disability may raise the risk of your being targeted. Learn how you can protect yourself by safeguarding your identity. This should include protecting your Social Security number and all financial documents. Scammers will commonly use email, text, or phone calls to try to get your personal information, but banks and other legitimate institutions would never do this, so you should never respond to these requests.
Whether for yourself or a loved one who has a disability, one of the best things you can do is write out a plan for future care. This should include medical, social, and dietary needs, and a detailed account of the financial resources you have available for care. This written plan will help ensure you get the proper care if you’re ever unable to express your needs.
Living with a disability has its own unique financial challenges, and planning for future needs is one of those you shouldn’t ignore. The most important thing is to plan ahead now, and know that you aren’t alone. Take full advantage of these tips and resources that are designed exactly for someone in your situation to make planning for your financial future easier.