How Someone with a Disability Can Plan Now to Make Long-Term Care Fit Your Financial Picture

For today’s guest post, please welcome Ed Carter, a retired financial planner who uses his expertise to help people with disabilities plan their futures.

It’s an unfortunate reality that many adults with disabilities are faced with financial challenges. According to a report from the National Disability Institute, adults with disabilities are three times more likely than others to have trouble paying medical bills, and 55% of individuals with disabilities do not have savings to cover a financial emergency. These concerns are troubling at any age, but when you think about paying for care later in life, financial planning takes on a new meaning. This is why it’s so important to make a financial plan now to safeguard your future.

It's important for individuals who have a disability to plan financially for their long-term care. Here are three steps to take in planning for the future.

Make Sure You’re Covered

If you haven’t done so recently, start by reviewing benefits you may be eligible for, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and more. You may be surprised by the types of services you can access, such as housing assistance and special savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. Make sure you’re also taking advantage of all tax benefits that you’re eligible for.

Along with meeting these needs, it’s also a good idea to think about life insurance. While other forms of insurance are there to protect you, life insurance is there to protect your family. No one wants to think about the possibility of passing away unexpectedly, but if that were to happen, the last thing you want is for your family to face financial hardship as a result.

Don’t let fear, especially fear of the blood test, keep you from giving your family the protection of life insurance. When you apply for life insurance, the blood test is simply an assessment of your health that helps companies determine the best rate for your policy. The test shows any indications of health problems, such as high blood pressure, an unhealthy BMI, and high cholesterol. They also look for signs of illegal drugs, nicotine, or tobacco. All of this information forms a picture that, for healthier individuals, can make you eligible for a lower premium.

Anticipate Long-Term Care Needs

It’s only natural to focus mainly on your current financial situation, especially when bills need to be paid. However, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about your long-term financial needs too, especially when it comes to paying for care. The best place to start is to research your options and think about what type of care you want later in life. Do you want to stay where you are, with in-home aid, or would you prefer assisted living?

With an idea of your options, you can start forming a plan for how to pay for care. Some people choose to buy long-term care insurance, but this may not be the best option for someone with a disability. This is because long-term care insurance is typically more expensive for anyone who already has health concerns, which could include many types of disabilities.

The good news is that the high cost of long-term care insurance has given rise to other solutions that help you pay for care. One option is to add a rider to your life insurance policy that gives you access to benefits as a way of paying for care. Another option for homeowners is to use the equity you’ve built in your home over the years.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

One way to lower the cost of care is to delay the need for it. Of course, you can’t avoid aging, but taking care of yourself can help you age healthier. Even if you have some challenges, there are online guides and professionals who can help! For example, Newz Hook explains how wheelchair users can live healthier by working with a personal trainer to get physically fit.

A healthy lifestyle won’t eliminate the financial issues that come with aging, but it can delay the need for higher levels of care. Even when long-term care seems far in the future, planning for it starts with everyday decisions you make now. This is how you stay on track financially while making sure the care you need stays within reach.

Image courtesy of klimkin on Pixabay (with changes)

2 Comments

  1. Louise

    Thank you for your observations, Ed, and thank you for hosting this guest post, Gary. The world has changed greatly for the better for people with disabilities in recent years, and there are more support programs, benefits, and advocacy groups than ever. (My observation is from having an adult family member on the autism spectrum).
    Advances in health care also connect all parts of mental and physical health in new ways, so the whole person is addressed. It is wonderful to plan for a long life!
    One might also consider looking at the advocacy groups for the particular situations and supporting their efforts. Some are directed at scientific/medical research and treatments, and some lobby the government for rights and benefits.

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