Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wanted: Finance Guru For The Disabled

Photo of an open hand with an illustrated green dollar sign above it
Danielle Kurtzleben, - February 25, 2015

(Note: This article isnt about making money as a blogger, its about a more general strategy for handling money, saving, and investing).

I am tempted to say that personal finance advice like this is irrelevant to most disabled people, especially those of us who are unemployed, underemployed, and rely on benefits for a significant portion of our incomes. Still, a lot of what the man says about frugality is applicable to us, maybe even more than to higher income folks.

Are there any good, level-headed personal finance gurus out there who have done the research to figure out ways to do more than survive financially, for disabled people with low incomes, benefits rules to follow, unreliable capacity to ramp up work as needed, and fixed disability-related expenses? Are there any geniuses out there who have solved the puzzle of how to get ahead when you are disabled?

Without digging too deeply, it seems to me the biggest barrier we face is the disincentive to invest and build wealth. I think a lot of us could do so modestly, slowly, partially by cutting back on comfort products like this guy suggests, if it wasncounterproductive to invest at all. The ABLE Act is the best attempt so far to remove that particular glass ceiling, but a lot of people wont be able to use it because of the age when their disabilities set in. And in any case, its more of a workaround, not a direct change in benefit programs asset limits.

Surely there must be someone out there who could come up with a better system for handling money than most of us use. This guys retired. Why doesnt he take a few months … just out of curiosity … to see what he can adapt for us? Or, maybe the wisdom likes scattered among all of us. Maybe if we share our individual “one weird tricks” we might come up with something.