Andrew is a financial planner who opened the firm, Planning Across the Spectrum, to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) become financially independent. As an ASD/special needs advocate, Andrew researches and recommends ABLE accounts to families planning for their financial future.
Andrew Komarow is 30-years old, a husband, a father of a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, a dog owner, and a financial planner whose firm focuses on helping individuals across the Autism Spectrum and others with disabilities to become financially independent. As an ASD/Special Needs Advocate, and ABLE account owner himself, Andrew incorporates researching and recommending ABLE accounts into his work with families who are planning for their financial future.
“I was an Ambassador for ABLE accounts before becoming an official one with ABLE National Resource Center in 2020”, says Andrew. He shares that he has seen situations in his work that he still can’t believe where parents and families are planning on disinheriting a child with a disability to safeguard their means-tested benefits. In both his advocacy with Autism Speaks and in his financially planning work, Andrew advises those families about the benefits of ABLE.
As a working professional, Andrew’s wife, Jessica, daughter, Emma, and dog, Bentley, depend on him to take care of the family’s finances. Andrew incorporated his ABLE account into his financial plan. Not being on means-tested benefits, Andrew sees others like himself – working individuals with disabilities who have families to support and who also are not on means-tested benefits – who are still ABLE eligible and have qualified disability expenses. He knows that many of these individuals are not taking advantage of the opportunity that an ABLE account offers. They, too, could benefit from opening an ABLE account and utilizing the tax advantages associated with it just like he is.
“My one piece of advice when someone is eligible for an ABLE account is to tell them to ‘Just Do It,’ just get started. I see so many people who are hesitating to open an account because they think they need to know all the ins and outs. If you or your family member are eligible for an ABLE account, you can and will benefit from opening an ABLE account.”
It is especially noteworthy that Andrew is such a strong advocate for ABLE accounts since he lives in Connecticut, which is one of the few states that has not yet established an ABLE program. As a result, Andrew opened his ABLE account with the Massachusetts Attainable Savings Plan, one of the many state ABLE programs available to out-of-state residents. And he has been active in lobbying for Connecticut to open their ABLE program.
When asked, “Why are you so passionate about ABLE?” Andrew responds, “I’d hate to have someone not open an ABLE account because they didn’t know about it, didn’t understand it, or they compared ALL the programs and ALL the fees and got lost. It’s important not to get lost in all of that. ABLE NRC has tools to help you navigate all of that (e.g., The Getting Started “Roadmap to Enrollment” Tool). If you know opening an ABLE account makes sense, and that it will make you better off than you were before, the answer to that is going to be YES with any of the ABLE programs. Just get started. Changes could always be made in the future.”
Check out the additional tips that Andrew shared from his unique perspective as both a financial planner, ABLE account owner, and as a co-presenter on ABLE NRC’s February 2020 “ABLE, The IRS and Tax Advantages.” Andrew presented alongside Don Dill with the IRS, Laurie Schaller with National Disability Institute, Joie Hill with SSA, and Miranda Kennedy with ABLE National Resource Center. Visit ABLE NRC webinars for more information.