Financial Planning Tips for People with Disabilities

Financial Planning Tips for People with Disabilities

Do you feel prepared to meet your financial goals?  If you live with a disability, you might be focusing on things like being able to afford care in your later years.  It’s impossible to know what the future holds, but with a bit of planning, you can set yourself up for whatever comes your way.

Tackle the worst-case scenario

None of us likes to think about it, but eventually, you will pass on.  By establishing certain financially oriented plans in advance, you can save yourself and your family a great deal of stress during an emotionally challenging time. 

For instance, a life insurance policy can help your loved ones avoid financial hardship, as they can use the funds to pay for things like lost income and burial expenses.  It’s also a way to help cover any lingering medical expenses or other debts.  Consider exploring term life insurance policies so coverage is in place, just in case. 

Cover medical expenses

As the CDC points out, people living with disabilities need access to appropriate healthcare just like everyone else does, and insurance helps pay for your healthcare needs.  While health insurance can help you thrive and live a full life, there are sometimes barriers to receiving care. 

If you or your spouse works, you might have insurance through an employer.  If not, you still have options.  As an example, many people are surprised to learn they might qualify for Medicare, even though they have not yet reached the age of 65.  Some people qualify based on their Social Security disability status. Talk to an insurance provider to find out more about eligibility. If you are eligible for Medicare, just be aware that Medicare does not cover long-term care costs. To cover these costs you may need to purchase long-term care insurance.

If you do not qualify for coverage through Medicare and are not receiving coverage through your employer, your private insurance options will be based on things like where you live, your income, and the cause of your disability. 

Sometimes there are low-cost, government-based insurance options for people with specific health conditions, such as HIV, cervical cancer, or tuberculosis.  You can find out more through your state’s health department

Another option is to enroll in insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Note you cannot be denied coverage if you choose insurance through the Marketplace

Do some goal setting 

Healthcare is just one aspect of routine expenses that are part of life.  It’s important to have a realistic idea of all of your expenses, and set up a budget to ensure you’re covered from day to day.  Natalie Bacon explains a budget is also your key to laying plans for future financial goals, such as saving toward retirement, children’s college funds, and so on.  It’s how you can prioritize where your money goes so you can achieve your goals. For example, if you’re looking to buy a home one day, you should know precisely what you can afford so you can begin planning for that goal.

With that in mind, total your monthly income, and then list your fixed expenses.  Once that is complete, make a list of your priorities and goals.  Include things like building an emergency fund, a fund for health-related expenses, retirement, etc.  Then, list your discretionary expenses.  This should include things like eating out, entertainment, and clothing.  Finally, subtract your expenses from your income.  Your goal is a zero balance.  If you have extra, add it to savings or put it toward debts.  If you have a negative number, you need to adjust your spending until you break even. 

Stay on track

Be sure to track your routine income and spending, and keep within the budget you created.  Having a realistic picture of where your money goes will help you stay the course so you can reach those future goals, for the sake of your health, your home, and your family.

With a few basics in place, you can set yourself up for financial peace of mind.  Plan for the worst-case scenario, have health insurance in place, and establish a budget so you can achieve all you dream of and handle bumps in the road.  With proper planning, you can be ready for whatever comes your way.