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  • Financial Planning: The Future Won’t Wait

    Posted on by Thomas Fetterman


    The funny thing about the future is that it has a knack for becoming the present. If you have yet to prepare your finances, there is no better time than today. This is especially true if you have a disability since you also likely have personal care expenses that can burden your budget. The good news is that you don’t need a significant chunk of money stashed away to begin your future planning endeavors. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.

    Look Into Life Insurance

    Regardless of what you might think, life insurance is not set aside only for those in perfect health. In fact, many insurance plans accept people with disabilities and those of advanced age. Term life is particularly affordable and comes in policy terms of between 10 and 30 years, meaning you can protect your family in case you suddenly take a turn for the worse. The most appealing aspect of term life insurance is that policy rates don’t increase until expiration; feasibly, you can enjoy the same low rates for 30 years. Before you buy life insurance, make sure to look online for the best rates and to determine the type of policy that is right for you. Long-term care insurance is another financial product you might consider, particularly if you believe it’s possible you’ll wind up needing the services of a nursing home later in life.

    Supplement Your Income

    Many people with disabilities struggle to find gainful employment. However, there are plenty of openings within companies who specifically seek to hire people with disabilities. If you have not already, check out abilityJOBS for listings from companies such as Bank of America, Deloitte, and Waste Management. If you find that your salary does not allow you to put additional funds back for the future, you may consider, like millions of other Americans, looking for a second or part-time job to supplement your income. Even if you can only make an extra $100 per month, that will act as a cushion to help down the road when and if you become unable to provide for yourself. Keep in mind that your income may affect any government benefits you receive.

    Invest Wisely and According to Your Goals

    Investing is another very smart strategy to help you stay afloat as you age. However, you cannot enter into the investment process blindly and should invest according to your goals. You also need to consider your personal risk tolerance.

    Set Financial Rules

    Regardless of your physical abilities, age, or bank account balance, setting rules for yourself now will lay a solid foundation for your future. You can easily get started by creating a priorities list of where your money needs to go. For example, your mortgage is a necessity, but a daily (and expensive) latte is not. Good Financial Cents’ Jeff Rose also suggests paying down high-interest debt and buying a home you can afford comfortably.

    Prepare Your Property

    Speaking of buying a home, you should look at your property as a long-term investment, but not just because of appreciation. Your home should be a reflection of you and should be tailored to your specific disabilities. When purchasing a house, look for one that incorporates elements of universal design. This will ensure you always have a home that fits your needs. As an added bonus, when it is time to sell, universal design for plans are almost always in demand.

    Having a disability does not mean you can’t plan for the future. Doing so now will reduce the chances that both yourself and your family will suffer if you are no longer able to provide.

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  • Parenting with a Disability

    Posted on by Thomas Fetterman

    Parenthood is an exciting adventure, but it’s not without its challenges. A new life is your responsibility, from making sure the baby’s needs are met, like food and comfort, to helping him or her reach certain developmental milestones that will build the foundation for a happy, healthy life. 

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  • Can We Please Kill Off Crutches?

    Posted on by Thomas Fetterman

    This Outside Magazine Podcast examines the limits of crutches with a guest appearance by me, Tom Fetterman (starting at 19:30).

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  • How to Use Crutches on Stairs

    Posted on by Thomas Fetterman

    • Approach the stairs and have your therapist stand by for safety until confident of abilities.
    • Keep crutches down on lower level and do not place upward on the steps. Push down hard on the crutches with your arms. This lifts the body upward.
    • Then, step up first with your strong leg to the first step....

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  • Shoulder Pain and Weakness

    Posted on by Thomas Fetterman

    Over the years I have been very active crutch user starting when I was eight years old. After college my wife and I bought and renovated pre-Civil War houses for 20 years and we did most of the work ourselves. I climbed scaffolding, did brick laying, installed roofs and roofing, built chimneys, and everything else. Then for adventure we traveled around the...

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