Written by Ed Carter
Financial planning is crucial for people who are living with disabilities, but what, exactly, should you be planning for? That’s a question many people, regardless of whether they live with disabilities, struggle to answer. Sure, it helps to come up with a financial plan for common goals, such as buying a new home or sending your children to college, but could it also help to plan for the future of your health and wellness costs? The answer to that is a definite “yes.” Here are some additional questions that can help you do so.
Could You Be Saving More on Your Current Healthcare Costs?
Healthcare costs tend to put a dent in most people’s budgets. If you are living with a disability, though, you may have some additional options to bring those costs down. This is especially true if you are under the age of 65, as you may qualify for Medicare. You can sign up for Medicare, if you’re eligible, 24 months after receiving Social Security disability benefits, unless you have a qualifying medical condition that eliminates the two-year waiting period. You can apply for Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, which offers more benefits. If you get your insurance via the Marketplace, another source of low-cost health coverage, it also helps to know what insurers must cover.
Will You Need to Make Accessibility Changes to Your Home?
For those living with disabilities, as well as family caretakers, accessibility modifications can make life more manageable. As time goes on, you may need to widen doorways, install safety features in bathrooms, or take on more involved remodeling projects, all of which can drain your finances if you’re not fully prepared. You can plan ahead for these modifications, as well as other financial matters, by tapping into the ABLE National Resource Center and its wealth of planning tools, but you may also be able to use benefits and grants to cover modification costs. If you are a senior living with a disability, investing in aging-in-place upgrades, such as enhanced lighting and non-slip flooring, can protect your family’s ability to provide care as well.
Will Your Loved Ones Be Able to Cover Long-Term Care Costs?
If you have not considered this question, you’re not alone. Many adults fail to plan appropriately for the eventuality of long-term care, which leaves family members grasping for ways to cover the costs of care. According to a recent long-term care survey, however, seven out of every 10 adults will need some variation of long-term care as they age. This means you should plan to cover those expenses in your future if you truly want to protect your loved ones. One way you can plan ahead for long-term care needs is to invest in a long-term care insurance plan. Just make sure you are aware of how coverage and premiums work for long-term care insurance, so you know whether adding coverage makes sense for you.
Could Your Family Sustain Financial Stability If You Pass Away?
It’s understandable why people avoid asking this question. Including your death in your overall financial plan, however, is one of the most important steps you can take to protect the financial stability of your loved ones. That’s because, by planning, you can look into things like burial/funeral insurance coverage, which can help surviving family members cover leftover expenses, like medical bills and funeral costs. Just be sure to research average funeral costs before purchasing a plan so you will know how much coverage you need. You should also research the level of life insurance that would be needed to keep your family’s finances afloat, and be aware of the potential hurdles you could face to get coverage with a disability.
Running through these questions and the applicable answers can feel stressful. What makes it even more stressful, though, is worrying about whether your family will be able to afford essential care. So, for the sake of your loved ones and your own peace of mind, take the necessary steps to plan for your financial future.