Make plans today, and you’ll be solid tomorrow

What People with Disabilities Need to Know About Planning for Their Financial Future – by Ed Carter

Practical self-care is something that many people with all kinds of disabilities can strive toward if they are smart about their finances. Not only can having a disability reduce your earning potential as you age, it can also increase the amount of money you’ll need to spend on medical, nursing, and custodial care. Here are some things you need to know about planning for your financial future.

Income vs. expenses

First things first: Get a handle on your budgeting (present and future). It may sound reductive to boil it all down to money in and money out, but that’s a good place to start. Knowing how much your disability costs you can help you better plan for how to fill in the financial gaps. On average, people with disabilities spend £583 more per month than their non-disabled peers.

Income includes money made through employment, government benefits, disability benefits, pensions, investment payouts, etc. Expenses are tougher to calculate because they can change rapidly — especially in terms of medical needs. It is your task to anticipate — as much as you can — your future care needs. Will you eventually need in-home nursing care? Perhaps a wheelchair? Maybe surgeries? It could be something as simple as hearing aids. Find out what your insurance will cover and then figure out ways to supplement your income.

Know your supplemental income options

Your first step is to look at your Personal Independence Payments, which range from £23.20 to £148.85 per week. Other options include adding riders to your life insurance policy, purchasing supplemental long-term care insurance, and opening a savings account to offset medical expenses. You will also want to start saving with the sole purpose of using said funds for later life care. These should be a savings funds separate from your other savings accounts, like your emergency fund for instance.

Downsizing is an option

Downsizing is an option that many with disabilities consider when they begin to approach their golden years. By moving into a smaller home and paring down your many possessions, you can not only save on your monthly mortgage, utilities, and all other home-related expenses, you will also make your daily life less stressful and put less strain on your body.

Choosing to downsize can be an emotional experience, even if it helps you stay independent as you age. If you experience sadness and trepidation, know that it’s completely normal and you can cope with it.

You need to have “The Conversation”

What conversation? The Conversation — the one you may be putting off because it’s uncomfortable or you feel you’re burdening your family. It’s the one where you make known, in no uncertain terms, your choices about your own care. There may come a time when your health care and finances need attending to and you are unable to do it on your own, so your family must be 100 percent certain of your desires.

One final word about planning for your financial future: Do what you can now to minimize your financial burden later. Many things about your disability are out of your control, but eating right, staying fit, and keeping your stress levels and mental health in check are not. Remember that your financial future is only as insecure as you allow it to be now. Make plans today, and you’ll be solid tomorrow.

 

Guest Blog written for The Bendrigg Trust by Ed Carter of AbleFutures.org

Ed is a retired financial planner and has created the Able Futures website to provide helpful financial information to members of the disabled community.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

 

A tale of Bendy Pot

At Bendrigg we see the impact that a high-quality residential has on our clients every day. People discover what is truly within them – what depths of character, what powers of determination, what sense of joy. It is no exaggeration to say that for many visitors, a stay at Bendrigg can prove to be a life-changing experience for both participants and volunteers/carers/teachers alike! ‘When Joel got the Bends’ is a wonderful case study from Birmingham Phab Camps volunteer James about the importance of  perceptions and ultimately believing in yourself and others. Read the full story here.

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IMG_1355 Joel

Fundraising & Marketing Officer vacancy

Bendrigg Trust are looking for maternity cover for our Fundraising and Marketing Officer on a full time contract, although part time hours will be considered. The successful candidate will have experience working in the voluntary sector and the ability to successfully manage a varied workload whilst working under pressure to meet deadlines.
We expect the contract to commence on Monday 13th November for 7 months but length will be dependent on maternity cover required.
A full job description can be downloaded from the ‘Downloads’ page of our website.

For an application pack please email nick@bendrigg.org.uk

Maternity Cover
Salary: £25,000pa (pro-rata for part time)
Closing date: 5pm Friday 29th September
Interview date: Monday 9th October
Anticipated start date: Monday 13th November

How outdoor learning benefits people with disabilities

Ask any adult what their fondest memory of school is and most will come back with an exciting story about a residential trip; how they explored, played, took risks, tried new things and made new friends. At the time, you don’t realise how these experiences shape who you become later in life.

The Government are committed to making such opportunities available to everyone, no matter their background, ability or needs. In their recent white paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’, the Department for Education outlined the need for every child to have experiences that equip them with “the knowledge, skills, values, character traits and experiences that will help them to navigate a rapidly changing world with confidence”.

High-quality residentials play an important part in this aim with impacts being seen immediately. The research project, Learning Away, demonstrated the impact that residential learning can have on learner engagement, achievement and relationships. They found that “a residential learning experience provides opportunities and benefits/impacts that cannot be achieved in any other educational context”. These traits not only open doors to employment and social opportunities but underpin academic success, happiness and wellbeing.

It can be argued that these benefits are even more profound and life-changing for the 0.9million children (7%) in the UK who are disabled. High-quality residentials provide “opportunities for students with disabilities to be engaged in physical activities” which is greatly needed as 86% of families with disabled children go without leisure activities. Add to this the fact that 65% of families caring for disabled children report feeling isolated frequently or all of the time and the need for truly inclusive outdoor provision is clear.

Inspiration through adventure

“George” (a pseudonym) was one such student for whom a brilliant residential had a profoundly positive benefit. Therry, a teacher who frequently brought students on residential courses to Bendrigg Trust, tells his story:

The youngest student we ever had with the team was an 8 year old young man, George, with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and profound visual and auditory impairments. This was to be his first time away from his family and home. He blossomed with his responses and became so smiley and noisy (to the degree of cheeky!) showing us there were ways around, through and over the barriers we previously had believed to be there in the school environment.

Once free of his wheelchair and secure in his climbing gear, George felt his way carefully up the climbing wall requiring minimal support from Bendrigg staff but making his own choices, as his fingers and feet found bumps, hollows and things to push and pull on. He was able to fly along the zip wire with happy howls of delight and his eyes, which we understood to provide him with no vision, sparkled. We know that Bendrigg worked its magic in ways no one could have imagined and we are so grateful that George was able to have this experience. I wish it was possible to bottle this ‘Bendrigg magic’ from start to finish so everyone could see, and truly believe what each individual can achieve.

“George” may be a made-up name but his story is real.

Bendrigg Trust believes in the impact that high-quality residential courses can have for young people with a disability; combining activities that they never dreamt possible with a welcoming and inclusive home-from-home. From learning to make your own bed to taking your first journey in a canoe, Bendrigg believes in giving young people skills for life, an increased motivation and appetite for learning and broadening horizons, often opening up a whole new world of opportunity.

 

Do you have a story about the impact outdoor learning? Comment below and let us know!