3 Must-Have Money Moves for People With Disabilities

For those with disabilities, it is important to face your financial future with a plan. Guest author Ed Carter details three moves adults with disabilities should consider.


When you live with a disability, it can be daunting to face your financial future. After all, you want to be able to care for your family, budget for medical expenses, and ensure safe care when you need it. Texas Innovators presents some steps you can take toward planning for a better financial future, even while managing a disability.

Photo via Unsplash

Plan for the Unexpected

Purchasing life insurance can provide help for your family if the unthinkable happens. It is a chance to provide for them, and it will give you and yours peace of mind in the interim. Principle life insurance types include term, whole, universal, and return of premium life insurance, and all offer benefits to your loved ones if you pass away.

Life insurance aims to replace lost income from your work or benefits. It can also cover final expenses like funeral and medical bills. Navigating life insurance policies can be complicated, though.

You can use an online calculator to determine how much coverage you need. Then, you can compare plans and rates to find the best deal that works for your lifestyle and family. Note that you may also need to undergo some tests and a medical exam to confirm your health status.

Of course, life insurance only covers so much. Another smart backup plan is final expense insurance. Final expense insurance addresses any leftover medical bills or funeral costs. With this coverage, you can help protect your family’s finances as they won’t need to pay out of pocket. Instead of trying to come up with extra funds while grieving, they can rely on your insurance coverage to handle everything.

Set Aside Money (Smartly)

While many types of insurance address your loved ones’ finances after your passing, you should also think about your own financial solvency. Setting aside money via a 401K, if you work, or through a savings account is beneficial for your future.

But often, such funds are not enough. And depending on the interest rate your savings account is earning, it could take years to grow your funds. At the same time, many government benefits—such as supplemental security income—are calculated based on your income and assets.

If you have a large savings account, this could count against you for determination purposes with federal or state benefits. To avoid such complications, consider a special fund to pay for medical and personal care, such as an ABLE account. As USA Today explains, these special accounts allow for savings without jeopardizing government benefits.

Think About Housing Ahead of Time

You might feel content to rent a home, but owning property might be a smart decision for your future. First, many programs help people with disabilities or limited income (or both) get into homes more easily. Plus, depending on property values in your area—plus the mortgage terms and rates—you may pay less than monthly rental values for a home.

Once you own a home and continue making the payments, you build equity in the property. That means that later in life, you can borrow against the value of your home. Taking out a home equity loan allows you to pay for medical expenses and address other financial needs later in life, Paying for Senior Care notes. Then, you pay back the borrowed amount, protecting your home’s value.

If owning a home does not appeal to you, or if you already have a home but want to cut expenses, find an affordable and comfortable rental where you can stay indefinitely to ensure peace of mind about your living space. All apartment buildings are required to be ADA-compliant, but some offer more accessibility than others. When searching directory listings, you can filter for additional amenities like an elevator, hardwood floors, or a washer and dryer in the unit.

Figuring out your financial priorities can be overwhelming, but there are ways to protect your family and your finances. And they don’t have to involve exorbitant expenses or lots of stress. After all, the point of planning your financial future is that you have time to enjoy the present. Taking these steps can alleviate worry and help put you on the path toward financial solvency.


About Ed Carter

Ed is a guest author for Texas Innovators who specializes in financial literacy for adults with disabilities and parents raising children with disabilities.

Currently, Ed runs his own site called ablefutures.org which incorporates articles, blogs, resource links, and more information that is free to those with disabilities.

Over the years, I’ve worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes. About 10 years into my career, I saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities. Regardless of their nature or how long they’ve affected someone, physical and mental limitations often cause stress and confusion when it comes to financial planning. Many people are unaware of just how many options they have when it comes to financial assistance and planning, so it’s an honor to offer my experience and change people’s lives for the better.

Now that I’m retired, I’m committed to continuing my services, even though I work on a broader scale than when I was working 9 to 5. I now spend my free time writing financial literacy articles for people to share on their blogs, collecting resource links for people to share on their websites, and collaborating with like-minded folks who want to make a difference.

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