Financial Planning Tips When You Have a Disability
Everything you do today affects your financial future. When you have a disability, your decisions are even more crucial to your long-term livelihood. Fortunately, there are ways to plan ahead, even if you’re on a strict budget. From reaching for career advancement opportunities to buying the right insurance, the following information can help you build a solid foundation for yourself.
Having a disability often means that you have to work even harder to impress a potential employer with your talents. Although hiring decisions cannot be based whatsoever on your disability, human nature often makes it difficult to see beyond a person’s physical appearance. However, the amount of income you generate now directly impacts your stability down the road.
If you find yourself in a dead-end career, beef up your resume and make it known that you are looking. Likewise, if you enjoy your job but believe you are underpaid, discuss your concerns with your employer. If you are truly meeting — and exceeding — your job requirements, there is no shame in asking for a raise. According to Monster, this is something you can bring up during a performance review or in a one-on-one session with your boss. Every little bit helps, and any additional funds you intake can be put into savings.
Additionally, you should consider saving money early on for home modifications that you may need later in life due to the nature of your disability. For example, if you may need wheelchair access to your home, set aside money to widen doorways or build a wheelchair entrance ramp. If you save money early on, you avoid the risk of taking on debt because you don’t have enough money in savings to make the necessary modifications when you need them.
Insuring the Future
When you think about insurance, health and life are probably the two that come to mind. However, these are not your only options, and there are other affordable insurance policies that will benefit you greatly later in life. One of these is burial insurance. While technically a life insurance policy, Lincoln Heritage notes that burial insurance is typically much more cost-effective since it pays out less than a large life insurance policy. The biggest benefit of burial insurance is that it can help your loved ones fulfill your final wishes. So, talk to your insurance agent about what amount is right for you, especially if you anticipate that you will leave behind credit card debt or medical bills.
Another form of insurance that should not be overlooked if you have a physical or cognitive disability is long-term care insurance. The Parkinson’s Foundation explains, however, that not all policies are alike. Some will pay for care when you need occasional assistance at home while others may require greater medical needs before kicking in.
Investing Is Not Just for the Wealthy
It is one thing to work and save money and to have safeguards in place in case you wind up needing medical assistance. However, when you retire or are no longer able to work, you still have to live your life before these policies kick in, and you do not want to drain your savings if you can help it. That’s where investing offers the most benefits, particularly if you are still young (it is never too early to invest). Make a point to contribute to your employer’s 401(k) plan, if available. If you are a freelancer or own your own business, you can establish a SEP plan, which is essentially an IRA but is less complicated to establish. These plans are managed by an IRS custodian and can take the guesswork out of investing.
More than anything, make a point to become financially literate. Learn how to budget your money and how to make it grow. Unfortunately, there is no single set of rules that everyone can follow to put themselves on a track to financial wellness. It is up to you to know your worth today and to take steps to overcome your disability so that you can take care of yourself and your family no matter what bumps are on the road ahead.