Future Financial Planning for People with Disabilities, What's Working and What's Not

The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities, The University of Delaware 2021

Planning for one's financial future is integral for the wellbeing and security of people with disabilities.

Future Financial Planning for People with Disabilities

Today, many people with disabilities are living longer and striving to enjoy productive, self-directed lives, making the need for future financial planning more critical than ever before.

However, most adults with disabilities do not have a plan in place to secure their future financial wellbeing due to numerous personal, systemic, and societal barriers.

To address this discrepancy, the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities received funding from the May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust to investigate the current state of future financial planning by exploring the literature and services available; and conducting a research study to reveal challenges, facilitators, and perspectives of people with disabilities, their families, and experts in the disabilities, legal, and financial planning fields.

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Recommendations Framework

A Recommendations Framework was developed based on this project with the aim of informing and guiding the standards, practices, and accessibility of family future and financial planning and support services for people with disabilities. The framework suggests structures for beneficiary-centered best practices in supporting family future financial planning, a repository that provides up-to-date resources and information on future planning for families and providers, an oversight entity to offer guidance to families and providers uphold best practices in the field, and sustainable funding for such an entity’s ongoing advocacy of national quality standards.

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Investigating the Impact of Covid-19 on Future Financial Planning for People with Disabilities

Future Financial Planning for People with Disabilities

People with disabilities in the U.S. have historically been underemployed and underpaid, limiting their ability to save for their futures. The National Leadership Consortium interviewed 40 adults and family members of people with disabilities to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the spending and saving habits of people with disabilities and how it affected their future financial planning. Findings showed that the pandemic intensified existing economic standings, with some facing more systemic and personal barriers that negatively impacted their ability to engage in future financial planning, while others were afforded more time and money to plan for their futures. Recommendations for government entities and the financial, legal, and disabilities fields are presented.