Blog: Year-End Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding ABLE

December 4, 2018

It is almost the end of 2018! Before the year is over, and as you start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions over the next few weeks, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself in order to maximize your ABLE account now and in the future:

Maximize contributions:

  • Have I opened an ABLE account? Are there any cash assets that I should deposit before the end of 2018?
  • Do I have a plan to aggressively fund my ABLE account in 2019?
  • Have I reached my savings limit of $15,000, or if I work and do not have an employer-sponsored retirement account, have I saved up to an additional $12,060 from my earnings for a total of $27,060 for 2018?
  • Have I invited family and friends to contribute to my ABLE account for the holidays?
  • Is my employer interested in contributing to my ABLE account if I do not participate in the employer-matched retirement account?

Learn ABLE account management skills:

  • Have I reviewed the items listed in the Road Map to Independence?
  • Is there something more I can do to reach my financial goals for 2018?
  • Do I need to learn more about work supports that could help me increase my earnings and savings ability?
  • Would a Credit Counselor or a Financial Coach help me reach my goals of managing my money and saving for the future?
  • Have I reviewed and considered whether or not to re-balance my investment options in my ABLE account before the end of 2018?

Decide what qualified disability expenses (QDEs) ABLE funds will cover:

  • Will I save money by purchasing an item, like an efficient heat unit, now because I need warmth due to my disability?
  • Should I buy an item that will count as an Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE) under Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) now, or wait until I am earning more money?
  • Should I pay for 2018 out-of-pocket medical expenses before the end of the year?
  • If I work and have a tax liability, should I purchase something this month, in December 2018, that will qualify as a tax deduction or credit to lower my tax bill? Review Publication 907 (2017), Tax Highlights for Persons With Disabilities.
  • If I do not work at this time, should another person in my household consider paying for an item that I need instead of me using an ABLE disbursement? For example, if my mother pays for my attendant care so that she can work, could she list it as a tax-qualified expense when she files her income taxes? If I used my ABLE funds, she could not claim the tax credit and we would have to pool our money together for expenses.
  • Have I explored all the options which may pay for the item or service I need when I am deciding whether to use my ABLE contributions for a qualified disability expense disbursement?

Take the time to review the three areas above this month to make the most of your ABLE account in 2018 and to be set up to make the most of it next year in 2019. Financial awareness during this busy holiday season can provide you with the gift of financial wellness for years to come.

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