(This is a sponsored blog post written by me on behalf of ABLEnow. All opinions are my own.)
I remember dreading the long drive to my monthly Partners in Policymaking course. My son Anderson, who has Down syndrome, had just turned one and although I was taking the course to learn tools that would better his future—the weekend dedicated to “Transitioning” seemed too far off.
The first thing the speaker said was, “When do you start planning for your child’s future after high school?” The room was silent. “Now. You start planning now.”
That day a paradigm shift happened. I realized our attitude, our language, and our decisions in regards to Anderson, needed to be with his future in mind. We envision a life for our son where he will have meaningful relationships, independence and a job he finds fulfilling.
We need to take steps now to give him the best chance for this life as possible. One step we’ve already taken in planning ahead is setting up an ABLEnow account.
For too long, parents of children with disabilities (and people with disabilities themselves) could not save for the future without fear of losing their public benefits. Advocates and disability organizations fought hard to change this, resulting in the federal ABLE Act and new ABLEnow program.
ABLEnow allows parents to save for their children with disabilities in an affordable, tax-advantaged account that won’t risk affecting benefits like Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income down the line.
Because my husband is active duty military, we incur little to no expense in regards to Anderson’s disability. However, this is not the case for many families who have children with disabilities. An ABLEnow account allows parents to pay for certain disability expenses now, as well as invest in the future.
If your state does not have its own ABLE program, there’s no need to wait to open an account. ABLEnow is a national program, allowing you to open an account from any state. Here’s another great thing about an ABLEnow account—anyone can contribute. That means grandparents, or other relatives can make their own contributions to your child’s account in addition to your own savings.
Being a writer-type, dealing with financial aspects of our family is not a task I enjoy and often defer to my husband. However, opening an ABLEnow was easy even for me. From start to finish the process took 20 minutes. It takes 20 minutes to take a step towards planning your child’s future with a little less fear and much more certainty.
I’m so thankful for the advocates and parents who have gone before me and paved the path to make ABLEnow accounts possible.
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This is a sponsored blog post written by me on behalf of ABLEnow. All opinions are my own.