FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS OF LIVING WITH A DISABILITY
This is a guest article written by Ed Carter, retired financial planner who specializes in helping individuals and families with disabilities. For more information visit his website at https://ablefutures.org/.
How to Prepare for the Future When You're Living with a Disability
Making a plan for the future can be daunting, especially when it comes to preparing yourself financially. When you’re living with a disability, it’s essential to think about where you might be in five or 10 years. What will your needs be? Is your home safe and comfortable? Even if you’re in good health now, a disability may change over time and might require different medical care, which can be costly. You may need long-term care or help from an assisted living facility during your senior years, and those things require careful planning.
So, take a look at your current financial health and spending habits in order to get an idea of where you might start saving for the future. Don’t only think about your own finances, but also consider your loved ones and their security as well, as they may be responsible for helping to pay for medical bills or your final arrangements down the road.
Keep reading for tips on how you can prepare for the future when you’re living with a disability.
Prepare for Your Family’s Needs
It’s something few of us want to think about, but making final arrangements can be extremely helpful for the people we leave behind. Planning out your last wishes with your loved ones will give both of you peace of mind and allow you to provide for them in the event of your death. Burial insurance is a great way to get started, but it’s important to think about what your needs will be in order to make sure you have enough coverage; for instance, it can help pay for outstanding medical bills so your family members won’t be left with that burden.
Downsizing can be extremely beneficial for both seniors and individuals with disabilities because it takes a lot of the work of owning a home out of the equation and provides for better safety. Your current living situation may be fine for now, but if you look into the future a bit, can you see any possible downsides? For example, do you have stairs that will make mobility harder or an outdated bathroom that might lead to a fall? Modifications are possible, but these can be costly. Moving to a smaller home will save you money and will help prevent safety issues so you can remain in your own home for as long as possible during your senior years.
Learn All You Can About Your Insurance Policy
Many individuals who are living with a disability are eligible for Medicare regardless of their age, but it’s important to get familiar with your policy to find out exactly what is covered. If you have private insurance, read up and figure out what your copay will be in the event of hospitalization or long-term care down the road. Most health insurance policies will only cover a short stay in a facility, but you may qualify for home healthcare services.
Create a Budget You Can Stick To
Creating a budget that will be easy to maintain is essential, as it will help to carry you through over time. So, sit down and take a look at your spending and, if possible, make a few minor cuts to get a feel for your budget before you make any big decisions. It’s also a good idea to start a savings account if you don’t already have one. If you’re a homeowner, having a separate account just for home repairs and emergencies isn’t a bad idea either.
Preparing for the future can be a harsh wakeup call, so make sure you take care of yourself and keep your physical and mental health in mind at all times. Talk to your loved ones, and keep communication open so they’re well aware of your needs — both present and future.