The disabled must also invest and have pension coverage

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Men on disability in Ghana at the Global Disability Summit.

THREE years ago I did a financial presentation for a group of people with disabilities. Some were in wheelchairs and one woman was diagnosed with brittle bone syndrome as a child, which impaired her physical mobility.

With her dogged determination she became a successful entrepreneur earning several streams of income. During the pandemic she recognised that there was likely to be a shortage of shopping bags locally. Shopping bags were then added to her product line. This woman and some others from the disability community have never been afraid to invest. Their disabilities did not rob them of the ability to work, save, invest and plan for their retirement. Some, who have put in hard work, are pleased with their lives and are looking forward to comfortable years in retirement. According to singer Stevie Wonder “just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision”.

Risk-takers

Members of the group are gainfully employed and confidently shared that they are risk-takers and were not averse to investing in the stock market for their long-term goals. They understood how the stock market works and attribute the performance of the stock market to the daily risks they face to provide a living for themselves and their families. Retirement planning was important to them; there was no dread of how they would cope in retirement without an income. They believe it was their responsibility to plan ahead for the years they are likely to spend in retirement as disabled individuals also desire peace of mind in retirement. No hand-outs are expected. It’s their belief that if life is hard now it would be harder in retirement as a disabled person without income. There has not been an instance where they lament investing or sought to abandon their saving and investment plans — even with the ongoing global financial crisis. They employed a diversification strategy. Recently, I was advised by the entrepreneur referred to above that she will be embarking on new ventures in 2023 in response to the needs of her community.

Pension plan

All disabled workers should ensure that they have pension coverage. Making regular contributions to an approved pension plan can secure retirement income for the future. The earlier contributions start, the longer a time the funds will have to be compounded.

Investing and life insurance

Many disabled persons are parents; some are also parents of special needs or disabled children. Saving and investing with regularity is key to securing their children’s financial future. The disabled community, however, faces hurdles in acquiring life insurance. Some members feel rejected as it can prove difficult to qualify for some types of life insurance. Other disabled people, at the same time, don’t believe they are suitable candidates for life insurance and see the application process as a deterrent. Having the discipline to save and invest long term, therefore, becomes imperative for some members of the disability community.

It’s crucial to have a financial plan in place. Financial literacy is also necessary. The guidance of a professional financial advisor will help to make planning easier. Long-term health care can prove costly and must be factored into any financial plan. Pay attention to your budget and monitor spending. Ensure funds earmarked for emergencies are invested in low-risk instruments. Know where your money goes. Identify short-term, medium, and long-term goals. Understand how social security benefits can work for you. As much as possible seek to acquire assets that will increase in value and also reduce debts. Passive investment income such as earnings from bonds, stocks, and real estate can be beneficial prior to and during retirement.

Readers, please remember that disability can happen to anyone at any time, therefore investing should be a lifelong endeavour for everyone. In addition, life insurance should be acquired early. It is said that life insurance “is just like an umbrella”, you never know when you will need it.

Grace G McLean is fnancial advisor at BPM Financial Limited. Contact: [email protected] or visit the website: www.bpmfinancial.com. She is also a podcaster for Living Above Self. E-mail her at [email protected]





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