A financial plan can significantly ease financial stress for the 56.7 million Americans who have a disability, according to a new report from BMO Wealth Institute.
The report reveals that, as the population ages, the percentage of Americans who will become disabled will rise. Currently, 70.5 percent of Americans 80 years old or older identify themselves as having a disability, with hearing loss, mobility issues and memory loss being among the most prevalent.
“Given that the chances of someone becoming disabled increase as one gets older, it’s important that individuals are aware of the potential challenges they can face,” says Stephen Williams, vice president, U.S. Financial Planning Strategy, BMO Private Bank. “Specifically, Americans should understand how disability can affect one’s personal and financial situation. Planning for the possibility of a disability should be a consideration in any financial plan to help safeguard individuals and their families from the unexpected.”
Williams adds that few Americans have factored in the financial repercussions that can arise from having a disability or caring for a family member who becomes disabled. The combination of reduced income and increased spending to cope with a disability can derail a financial plan. For example, a plan on track to last until at least the age of 90 could see all savings exhausted by the age of 77.