When you have disabilities, finances can be a concern, especially if you require ongoing care and treatment, or if you have a condition with the potential to worsen or require additional degrees of assistance in the future. Putting together a financial strategy can help ensure you have the means to care for yourself as necessary. Here is some advice from True Wealth Design about handling your finances.
Create A Budget
Living within your means is important, and creating a household budget is the first step in making that happen. Your budget should include allocations for necessities, like housing, utilities, food, medical care, and transportation.
You should also track non-essentials that you can cut back on if necessary. This might include cable subscriptions, entertainment, or luxury items. While it’s important for quality of life to have a healthy balance, knowing where your money goes will help you make educated spending decisions, as well as help you identify where you can pare back if finances become tight.
Implement A Saving Strategy
Your budget should include a savings component to ensure you have the financial resources in the event an unexpected expense arises, or you face an emergency need. According to Netspend, you should aim to be saving 20% of your income, though you may not be able to start out saving that much. If you are concerned your current line of work doesn’t allow you to have a good degree of financial stability, consider changing jobs or going back to school to learn a new skill that has higher earning potential.
You might also consider side hustles to earn extra cash. Many online or remote work options are beneficial to those with mobility disabilities. Consider business ideas out there for sources of income in your spare time. The Job Accommodation Network may also be helpful to consider options.
Utilize Available Assistance
Take advantage of whatever type of social services assistance you qualify for. This might include specialized equipment, in-home services, physical therapy, medication, or transportation. You may be able to access services through local, state, or federal agencies that assist those with disabilities.
The National Council on Disability is a wealth of resources for matters related to accessibility, housing, education, and affordable services. The Americans With Disabilities Act also provides access to a wide range of resources and can intervene and make recommendations if you feel discriminated against. The Social Security Administration can issue directions on applying for benefits from a variety of supportive programs.
Consider Refinancing Your House
Refinancing your home can potentially allow you to reduce your interest rate and your monthly mortgage payment. If you have enough equity, you may also have an opportunity to cash out some of it in the process. This can allow you to make upgrades or improvements to your home. This can be especially helpful if you need to retrofit your house to better accommodate your disability.
Speak to a reputable lender to see if this option is right for you. You’ll need to have a solid credit score and an appropriate debt-to-income ratio to qualify for the best refi rates. Request a free copy of your credit report and check it for any inaccuracies.
Make Plans For Long Term Care
If you have a progressive disability that has the potential to eventually impact your ability to care for yourself, you’re wise to start planning for your long-term care needs. Perhaps you will need a live-in caregiver or a nursing aide. Maybe you plan to live with friends or family. If you will need assisted living and skilled nursing care, the price tag can be steep, so you’ll want to proactively plan for this now. Many facilities employ knowledgeable social workers who can help you evaluate your options and make the best choices.
Living with a disability can have many challenges and securing the finances necessary to care for yourself can be stressful. However, being prepared can help lessen the stress and allow you to live a fulfilling life.
At True Wealth Design, our goal is simple: Help our clients live better lives with help from smarter financial planning. With our uncommon and deep expertise in retirement, tax, and investment planning, we provide complete integration of your financial life, giving you the clarity and confidence to pursue your dreams while protecting your family’s future.
For more information, please visit our website or contact us today!