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Understanding ABLE Accounts

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
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March 5, 2024 6:04 pm

Understanding ABLE Accounts

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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March 5, 2024 6:04 pm

Folks struggling to care for family members with serious disabilities have a powerful tool to help with expenses. It’s called the ABLE account—an acronym for Achieving a Better Life Experience. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will welcome Matt Syverson to share everything you need to know about ABLE accounts. Then Rob will answer your calls and financial questions. 

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Faith And Finance
Rob West
Faith And Finance
Rob West
Faith And Finance
Rob West
Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore

Folks struggling to care for family members with serious disabilities have a powerful tool to help with expenses.

I am Rob West. That tool is called the ABLE account, an acronym for Achieving a Better Life Experience. Matt Severson joins us today with everything you need to know about ABLE accounts. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7700.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Well, it's a pleasure to welcome Matt Severson to the program for the first time. Matt's a certified financial planner and a certified kingdom advisor in Overland Park, Kansas. He's also a specialist in helping families understand and set up ABLE accounts. Matt, great to have you with us. Thanks so much, Rob. It's an honor to be here and share this important information about ABLE accounts. Yeah, it is important and often, I think, misunderstood or even unknown.

So I'm looking forward to diving into this. These are similar, Matt, to 529 education savings accounts as far as contributions and taxes go, right? That's exactly right, Rob. In fact, in the early days, they were called 529-A plans.

And the A stands for ABLE, Achieving a Better Life Experience. But they're like a sister account that operates very similarly, but for different purposes. Yes. So explain that. What does that then mean to listeners in terms of how they work?

Sure. So if you have a child or an adult with permanent disabilities that has been on government assistance, you know that they are typically constrained to $2,000 worth of assets and get currently about $940 a month from the government through what's called supplemental security income. Well, for most of your listeners, it's hard to live on $943 a month and $2,000 of assets the rest of your life. So the ABLE account allows you to pay for anything that's needed for the person with disabilities, pretty much regardless of the need. So it's far expanded beyond education alone, which is the 529 plans are typically constrained to. Yeah. And basically this helps to fight against the way the financial system has been built with regard to people that have disabilities, right? Correct.

People with disabilities might be absolutely able to work and be an active participant in the community, yet they've been impoverished and have to virtually spend everything that comes in, which may or may not be for their benefit. So this provides, this opens up the door to be able to work and have a productive life if they're ABLE, using the ABLE account to put their excess income into, and others can support them through this without jeopardizing their monthly government income. Yeah.

Okay. So these are for folks on supplemental security income, as you said, around $900 a month and less than $2,000 in assets. So this does not affect that $2,000 asset limit. Now, how much can folks who are funding these accounts for a disabled person put in per year? Yeah.

Great question. So up to 18,000 per year is the new number. That's the amount that you can contribute to the account. It also happens to be the amount you can gift to anyone around you with no tax consequences. That's the annual gift tax exclusion amount. So that's the amount that whether it's grandma and grandpa contributing, whether it's the personal disabilities themselves, whether it's mom and dad, aunts and uncles, your 18,000 is the maximum that can be contributed to the account each year.

Okay. And then what about the cap for a lifetime? The cap for the lifetime, it's interesting. It coincides with the 529 plan limits that states impose, which could be 300 to 500,000 depending on your state. But the unique thing about the ABLE account, different from the 529 plans, is that you don't want to go past a total balance of 100,000. If you go past 100,000 in your balance, then SSI turns off temporarily until you rectify that situation. Spend it on something, go on a trip, whatever. Get it back under 100, then you can keep going with it.

So it might take several years to get to that spot depending on what you need it for. Yeah. Very good. Well, we're going to take a break.

When we come back, we're going to continue this conversation. We'll talk about who's eligible for an ABLE account. What are those qualified expenses you can use it on? And are there qualifications? And what about the states and how do they interact with the ABLE programs? Matt Severson with us today, a certified Kingdom advisor.

We're talking about ABLE accounts for those with disabilities. Following this interview, your questions today at 800-525-7000. Call right now, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Stay with us. We'll be right back. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal, or other professional who understands your specific situation. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West.

With me during this portion of the broadcast, my good friend, Matt Severson. Matt is a certified Kingdom advisor and a certified financial planner. He's out of Overland Park, Kansas, and he's really a specialist in helping families understand and set up ABLE accounts. Now, this may be a new idea for you today.

You may not be familiar with this term, achieving a better life experience, but it's a unique tool, a planning tool for families that have disabled children, but also for disabled adults, especially as the age of onset that qualifies you for a disability under ABLE increases. And we'll get to that in just a moment. Let me also mention today, we will be taking your calls on any financial topic, but Matt's going to stick around.

So if you have questions specifically on this topic of ABLE accounts, how they work, how they might fit in your situation, we'd love to hear from you. The number to call today is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. You can call right now. We'll get to those questions in just a bit. Matt, let's dive back into this. Give us a sense of who is eligible for these ABLE accounts.

Yeah, Rob. So this is for people that have a permanent disability with an age of onset before the age of 26. So it's for children, it's for adults of all ages, but the age of onset had to be before 26 under current law. Ironically, on January 1 of 2026, the age of onset jumps to 46, which you referenced just a bit ago. So there's going to be more room for people to use this account with that expanded age of onset. Yeah. And more confusion because we go from 26 in 2026 to 46, right? So if you can get that right, you're doing pretty well.

All right. What about eligibility of these funds? Give us an idea of what counts as a qualified disability expense. Yeah, I'll read you the formal definition. It's any expense related to the designated beneficiary, which is the person with disabilities we're trying to support, as a result of living a life with disabilities.

Any expense to help the beneficiary live their life with disabilities. It's very broad and you can use it for just about anything. Yeah, sounds like it. So break that down. I mean, you're saying just about anything. So it's the obvious items.

But, you know, give us a sense of maybe even some of the outliers that folks not may not be thinking about. Yeah, well, one, so food and clothing and education and travel and technology, those would be common things to do. But one nuance that the ABLE account offers folks that a common long standing approach, special needs trust shouldn't help with is for housing and food. Okay. So commonly, up until this point, people would have used special needs trust or supplemental care trust to provide for the person with disabilities. But expenses paid are those for housing and food actually count as income toward your SSI formula. So the ABLE account allows you to pay for food and housing without that extra problem. Okay. So that really opens up the doors for how people can pay for rent and, and just feed themselves each day without worrying about whether that's detracting from the SSI formula.

Yeah. And I think the big idea here is that these accounts alongside other tools can really be a great complement for somebody living with a disability. Now, Matt, not all states have active ABLE accounts. So what do I do if my state is one of those? Yeah, and there's only four states that don't have one yet. So the vast majority of the states do.

So that's the good news. It's okay if your state doesn't. You just pick your favorite one and jump on that plan based on the features that exist. The overarching rule is that you can only have one plan open at a time. Unlike your, the 529 plan for education accounts, you can have as many of those open by different people. But for ABLE, it just has to be one per beneficiary period. So where we, yeah. Does that help? Go ahead. Yeah, that's helpful.

Finish your thought there, though. Well, so then what we do is you can have two objective resources to figure out does my state have one and what are the features of it. You can go directly to your state treasurer's website to learn about their savings programs and ABLE specifically.

The other one that I'll reference is the ABLE National Resource Center or So it's a collection point for just about all the information you can think of surrounding ABLE accounts. And then it helps you drill into your specific state and all the features that exist. So each state had to adopt the rules to participate with this federal program and so they can have different laws and different nuances that other states don't. I can get into that today or another time as desired, but not every state is, their ABLE plan is not all built the same.

Yeah, let's talk about that, Matt. What might cause you to choose one state over another? Yeah, so and it comes down to your residency, so you got to be a little bit careful. But the idea is, like in Kansas, I love the Kansas plan.

I'm also a Kansas resident. So the really neat thing that the Kansas legislature did back in 2017, I believe, was they made it so that if there's money left over in this ABLE account, then it doesn't automatically become a Medicaid payback resource. So not to dive into that too much, but the point is, in most states, if there happens to be money left over in the ABLE account after the person with disabilities has passed away, technically that can be eligible for Medicaid payback.

And most parents don't like that. But in Kansas, the legislature did away with that and said, hey, no, if the person dies and has a balance left over, then it can still be available for the family to have back as their designated beneficiary. Okay, very good. Yeah, so we got a question on that on another program, and he was just asking about how you handle beneficiary designations after the disabled person passes away, and basically that money can come out and be used for any purpose at that point?

Correct, yeah. And so we commonly talk about, make sure to use the ABLE account to handle funeral and burial arrangements and all the celebration of life issues surrounding that. They probably blessed gobs and gobs of people during their lives. So let's celebrate that life with ABLE resources. And then if they didn't have a Medicaid bill to pay back, then that can flow down to their next kin.

If they did, then according to your particular state, it's possible that Medicaid will want some of that back based on what could be owed. We're going to be cautioning you about that. Special Needs Trust don't have that same situation.

So that's a big differentiator to be aware of. Okay, but in Kansas, that's not an issue and go back to the family. Very good.

We've got just about 30 seconds till our next break. Matt, are you finding that this is an underutilized resource just in your typical planning with families that have disabled children or people in their lives? Yes, because the script for people with disabilities is, oh, don't give them any money. They can't have it in their name. So this unravels that script and says, hey, we can support them with this unique approach. And so let's create an account where grandma and grandpa can contribute, mom and dad, aunts and uncles, the business that they work for, all different things can support them along the way. That's fabulous. It's called an ABLE account.

It's similar to a 529, but specifically for families who have special needs children or even adults. Matt Severson here today. A quick break and back with your questions right after this.

Stick around. Helping you see God as your ultimate treasure and money, a tool to accomplish God's purposes. This is Faith and Finance Live on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today.

800-525-7000. We've been talking with Matt Severson, a certified Kingdom advisor and a certified financial planner about ABLE accounts. That stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience, a powerful tool that allows those with disabilities currently where the onset occurred at 26 or younger, although that will be going up in a few years to age 46. But helping them to have access to assets for any number of expenses and the uses of this is very liberal.

But where those assets don't affect the SSI income that would otherwise require you to have less than $2,000 in assets. So it's a very effective tool that lots of folks, parents, employers and others can contribute to so that folks with disabilities have access to additional funds to achieve a better life experience. So if you have a question today on ABLE accounts specifically, Matt Severson is here. He's a specialist in this area and we'd love to take those questions or other questions on anything financial. 800-525-7000. Nearly all the lines full, but I've got about two lines open so you can call right now. Let's dive in. We're going to begin today in Fort Lauderdale, WRMB. Hi Janice, go right ahead.

Rob and Matt, thank you so much. Matt, my question on the ABLE program. One of my friends was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before he was 26. He's now in his mid 40s and he's been working. Would he have to leave his job and try to get on SSI before this ABLE account could be utilized?

Great question, Janice. The one important thing to consider is you can have the ABLE account without having to be on SSI. So as long as he's had a permanent disability prior to age 26 in their current law, you can have the ABLE account. As long as the doctor can verify that, that's no problem.

They can exist separately from each other. And if he's able to work and isn't on SSI, that's okay. At the same time, he may not have as many requirements to shelter dollars in the ABLE account because he may not be under the $2,000 asset limit rule. You understand? Does that make sense, Janice? It does make sense a bit. Go ahead. I was just going to say, Matt, maybe explain that further on the $2,000 limit and how that relates here. Yeah. So the person you're referring to doesn't have a government-restricted $2,000 asset limit and they're working fine and they have statement accounts and there's no other restrictions.

Just keep going. They can add the ABLE account, but that's designed to help navigate SSI. So he's not on SSI, no problem. He can sell an ABLE account. It just may be not quite as necessary because he's got no formula.

He's having to work with it. Does that make sense? Very good. Thank you so much. Thank you.

Absolutely. And Janice, let me direct you to this website that Matt mentioned. It's ABLE NRC, would be a great resource to pass along to your friend. Thanks for being on the program today.

800-525-7000 is the number to call. Let's go to line 3. Bianca, go right ahead. Oh, hi. Thank you for taking my phone call.

I'm very grateful for that. I am listening to your program and right now it's the permanent disability. I don't have that, but five months ago I fell down and I broke my leg and I was not able to go back to work for obvious reasons. I got surgery.

My leg is being repaired. I've been in physical therapy, but because they said I stopped working on my own, I was not able to qualify for unemployment. And I went to the Social Security to get SSI, but they said in order for me to get SSI, I had to be in here for a period of over 12 months. So all this time, I haven't get any help from anywhere. I did get foot stamps. That's it.

And I was drowning in death. And I was wondering if any other help I can get to pay for bills and car insurance and, you know, everything to survive. Sure. Yeah.

Matt, any thoughts on that? Well, first of all, Bianca, are you connected with a local church that might be able to step in and support or family temporarily? I do go to church and, you know, I haven't asked for help. They know because I still go to church. I mean, I broke my leg, but I'm able to walk now.

I go to church, but no one knows her, and I did not ask. Okay. Gotcha.

Yeah. Then if the employer didn't have a short-term disability or long-term disability program for you, then we just need to find other resources in your community to help you stretch things out to that 12 months where then you might be able to qualify for either SSI. Or if you have multiple quarters of working, you might become qualified for SSDI, which is Social Security Disability Income, which is another branch of the Social Security Administration, different from the ABLE account discussion.

But after a certain number of months, then you can possibly qualify for that if you're still having trouble. Very good. We appreciate your call today, Bianca. And listen, we'll ask the faith and finance community to be praying for you. I think Matt has a great idea. I mean, there could be local assistance programs while you're waiting for government assistance to kick in if possible. And then, of course, making this need known to your local church. That's where the body of Christ can rally around you. And perhaps that's an opportunity for you to look at and consider.

We're talking today with Matt Severson. We're taking your questions on ABLE accounts, but also on other topics financially today. When we come back, Dan in Ohio wants to talk about how he can use an ABLE account in his life and wants to know about some of the tax ramifications of that. We'll take Dan's question and perhaps your question as well on anything financial. You know, folks, as we think about using God's money, we realize that we're stewards. That's a high calling. So here on this program every day, we want to encourage you in that role, but also take you back to God's word and help you process money management through the lens of scripture. We know there's a lot there in God's word that can really help to inform the decisions we make every day as we make God our treasure and money a tool. We're back with your questions just around the corner. Stick around. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance live here on Moody Radio.

I'm Rob West. Hey, if you're looking for an advisor who can come alongside you and help to guide you in financial decision making at a professional level, we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation. These men and women have met high standards and character and competence and experience and have been trained to bring a biblical worldview of financial decision making. You can find a CKA in your area when you head to That's

Just click find a professional at the top of the page. We're joined today on the broadcast by Matt Severson, who happens to be one of those Certified Kingdom Advisors. He's out of Overland Park, Kansas, and he's sharing today about ABLE accounts, specifically those accounts that are geared toward providing for the expenses of those with disabilities.

Permanent disabilities onset prior to age 26, although that's going to be going up to age 46 in a couple of years. But a great tool that allows you to save up to $100,000 and not have that count toward the asset limit that would otherwise be in place for you to qualify for SSI, which a lot of folks in that particular situation rely on for their income. If you have a question on that or anything financial, we're taking those calls today at 800-525-7000. Let's go to Deerfield, Ohio. Dan, go right ahead. Yeah.

Hello, you guys. I've been listening here and you're talking about these ABLE accounts. Well, anyways, I have a couple of gentlemen, older men, middle aged men in Pennsylvania that I help with their finances and they are handicapped. And anyways, they receive Social Security disability and we do have a special needs trust in place. But at this time, they're required from what they inherited from their mom and dad, which passed away, to start taking out required minimum distributions starting this year.

And I was wondering if that would be something that we could put in an ABLE account and spend towards their needs, how that would work. Yeah. Thanks, Dan.

Matt, your thoughts? Yeah. So, Dan, if these gentlemen, they must have an inherited IRA where they're getting required minimum distributions from, and under their current arrangement with government benefits, do they have an asset limit restriction? Like they can't have any more than X amount in their personal name?

Well, probably. That's why we put, they inherited some money also and we put it in a trust. So this is, you know, they can take this out as they need certain things that are over and above their daily expenses.

Yeah. So using the RMD to fund an ABLE account could be a thing that would be helpful for them, especially if there's a Social Security formula that doesn't like the trust paying for housing and food. That'd be a clear trigger that, oh, let's do the ABLE account with some of those RMD dollars to be able to help with housing and food a little bit differently than you've done before. Could be a possibility for them. Very good. Dan, I think this is a tool they could look into.

And again, as a part of the overall planning, perhaps this is one of those vehicles that could make a lot of sense alongside everything else that they're doing. Thanks for your call, sir. To New Hampshire. Hi, Cindy. How can we help you? Yes, hi. I'm sorry, my mobility service dog is training in the background.

Hopefully he won't be too bad. So yeah, it's a very, very confusing system here in New Hampshire. And I only listened on the way home in the middle of it. So there's SSI and there's SSDI. And sometimes you can get both.

And I've been told different things in New Hampshire. Yes, my son will qualify because he switched from SSI after so many years of working. He's on SSDI.

He's on the spectrum. And so he doesn't work full time and he's getting the SSDI, but they're rejecting him for SSI. Someone said that he would qualify as long as we keep his account under 2000. And once you're on SSDI, it doesn't matter how much you have an account.

But we got penalized and owed $7,000 at one point. So it's a crazy system. Yes.

Yeah. It sounds like because he was working, that helped him qualify to get SSDI, which is the next step up from SSI. So now you're no longer on SSI, correct?

He isn't. But I've been told that if he's not getting the full amount that is eligible for whatever reason, then SSI might pick him up for the rest of that. I was told that to apply for that or whatever. And then the next time I talked to someone, every time you talk to someone different, you get a different answer. It's very frustrating.

And they're like, oh, no, he can't get that. So I was wondering if you know how to clarify that for me. Well, so the key thing is with SSI, you're going to have that $2,000 account balance limit. So don't subject him to that if you are currently operating without that restriction.

You follow me? Right. So I was trying to keep them below $2,000. But then when he's on SSDI, they're like, well, it doesn't matter. But if we try to get him SSI, it will. But now I'm still told he can't get both.

So it's very confusing. So the ABLE account might be the secret weapon for you to use to be able to store dollars in there in case he does qualify for some level of SSI alongside of SSDI. I'll let your state and Social Security Administration figure that out for you. But if there becomes an asset restriction, then the ABLE account is the perfect account to blend in for him to put excess dollars each month above the $2,000 so that he doesn't disconnect his SSI benefit. Yeah, very good, Cindy.

I think this could be a great tool for you. Matt, just to follow up on that, where is it possible to have both? What would be a scenario where you could have SSDI and SSI? Yeah, I haven't heard of both.

I'm sure it exists. But typically, you get SSDI because you have so many quarters of active employment. And so then, basically, your Social Security benefit at retirement turns on early if you qualify.

SSI is designed for those with little to no income, little to no resources, and or a disability. Yeah, very good. That's helpful. Quickly to Indiana before our next break.

Nathan, go ahead, sir. Yes. We have a daughter that has special needs. She's already receiving SSI, and we have already set up a special needs trust for her. If we were to do the ABLE account, I guess the question is with respect to both the trust and the ABLE account. What happens when she passes away? Does it go back to Social Security? Any assets that are left there?

Yeah, great question. Sorry, Rob. No, you're good.

Go ahead, Matt. Yeah, so it depends on your state. Which state are you in? Which state do you live in? We're in Indiana.

Indiana, okay. So you'd have to ask your state treasurer's office or call the ABLE account in Indiana and say, is there a Medicaid payback provision for the Indiana plan? They might have one that whatever Medicaid was owed upon her passing, that they'd request that back from the ABLE account. Or they might have a Medicaid payback waiver like we do in Kansas. It just depends on what your legislature put together for that particular system in your state.

Very good. And Matt, regardless of whether there is or there isn't, once Medicaid is paid back, if there is, then that money has a named beneficiary in both cases. Is that right? Well, because Medicaid wants a first step, they oftentimes don't let you put a beneficiary directly on the account.

So they let it go through the Medicaid system first, and then it comes back to the family. Got it. Yeah, very good. Next of kin. Okay, excellent. Nathan, thanks for your call, sir. All right, we're up against our last break. We'll take that and then back with our final segment of your questions today. This is Faith and Finance Live on Moody Radio, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. We'll be right back. Stick around. Hey, great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. With me today on the broadcast, Matt Severson, CKA and CFP from Overland Park, Kansas. So we've been talking about ABLE accounts today specifically and how you can use these underutilized tools as a part of your overall plan for those with special needs, with disabilities, to be able to allow them to save or you to save for them in such a way that it doesn't impact their eligibility for SSI. Let's go back to the phones. Dameka is in Akron, Ohio, and has a son with a spinal cord spinal cord injury who is receiving SSI. Dameka, go ahead.

Hi, I just have a brief question. The whole process was very, just very hard to get through SSI. And he had basically just one-on-one, you know, basically with someone, I just felt like as his mother and him being younger, like just 22, 23, I just felt like I wish that I could be there more to ask more questions about it. But by him being young, he didn't get a letter saying, hey, that he was approved for SSI. It was no, just usually I thought, you know, that you would get a statement or something saying, hey, this is the amount that you're approved for.

My son never got that. Next thing I know that he's getting like 600-some bucks in his account, and this is just the second month. He got approved last month finally. The accident was actually in August, in a car accident, and he had a spinal injury from the car accident. So my question is, should he have applied for SSD, SS, you know, Social Security Disability, or was he right applying for Social Security?

Yeah, Matt? So because he's, first of all, I'm sorry that your son had that accident. I'm sure that's been very taxing on your family, and I'm sorry that he's dealing with that.

So that's my first comment. Second is, it sounds like because of his age, he may not have paid in very much to the Social Security system to receive much in the way of SSDI. I'm not sure, but SSI might be very appropriate for him. It sounds like he's getting about 600-some per month. Is that correct?

Yes. Now, he's a homeowner as well. Before all of this, he bought a home at 22, and he's been a year in his home. But, of course, the accident happened back in August. So I just thought that would go into play too. Does that count with him being a homeowner, you know, as far as payment or no?

Yes, yes. So now you have an asset that's worth more than $2,000. So there are ways you need to work with a special needs attorney that would help him reorient his financial life to be in a special needs trust arrangement for the things that he owned prior to the disability.

So you're going to need some professionals around you there in Ohio that can put that together so that he has the right accounts in place and the home is owned by the right place, or maybe he doesn't need the home anymore and we're going to sell it. Well, the sale proceeds need to go into a special bucket so that you don't unintentionally disconnect some of his government benefits. Is that making sense? Yes. So with him owning a home and no longer, you know, he can't work, Social Security does not help. Like that wouldn't bring his amount up more than $600 or no? No.

In fact, the most he would get if he's on SSI is $943. That's the most. So it wouldn't be much more if it were. Okay. I just wanted to know of that because, of course, this is something new to us. You know, he's 23.

We never, you know, have the, you know, we didn't, you know, we didn't think we would be here. But, you know, I just wanted to know what's there. That's why I was calling.

I'm sort of like at a desperate, you know, I was wondering if he's eligible for more. But thank you for that information so far as the home and getting a lawyer. I really appreciate it. Damika, do you have a case manager for him that can help you navigate your county's system to provide resources for people with disabilities? Do you have someone you can count on for that?

I do. Unfortunately, the person that's assigned, he's overloaded so far every time he tells us he's the only one working. So it's really, we are like, it's hard, it has been very hard on, I'm being honest with you, I had to call the state representative just to get SSI to help us out. Like we kept calling, trying to get it going, and he's just now getting approved. So I'll let you know how bad, you know, of course we've been trying at this for the longest.

And we're just now getting approved last month. So everything, from what they said that he's behind and he's the only one working. So I don't know what to do from here, to be honest.

Yes, yeah. I'm so sorry that you're dealing with that, it sounds very frustrating. So I would, that's where, in the county or the metropolitan area you're in, if you could track down an attorney that specializes in helping people with disabilities, they might be able to structure something for him that would allow you to keep getting as much government benefit as possible, but not losing the house necessarily. So there's a lot of hoops you've got to jump through. It's very complicated for people with disabilities, and you're experiencing that already. And there's not a lot of help out there, so I'm so sorry. I think that's my best advice to get to that professional.

Absolutely. And Demika, let me just help you get to that person. So if you reach out to a certified Kingdom advisor there in Akron, and then you could just ask for a referral to a special needs attorney. This will be a type of attorney that deals with the states, but specifically around special needs.

Because you want somebody, as Matt said, given the complexity, that's really skilled and has some expertise in this area, to help you navigate the system and then, of course, set up the legal tools, as Matt mentioned, that could, you know, such as the special needs trust that could be the recipient of the assets, either the home or the proceeds from the home, so that that can be structured in the way to maximize those government benefits, but retain those assets for his ongoing care and needs in the future. So just head to our website,, and click on Find a CKA, and then you could ask any one of those men or women for a referral to a Godly special needs attorney. Thank you so much for your call. Again, we're so sorry to hear about your son's accident and hope we could be of help to you today. God bless you. Let's head to Spring Grove, Illinois.

Hi, Sherry. How can we help? Good.

I just have a question. My husband recently passed away and was always a very good steward of our finances, and so I don't have any house payment, I don't have any bills, but I have a very large sum of money that has come to me after his death. Everything else we had prior to his death has been invested, but I don't know what to do, and I heard your conversation about annuities yesterday and don't know if I should be investing in annuities or take that money and split it up. He did all the financing, so I don't know what to do with it.

Okay. Well, first of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's passing. You know, it's encouraging, Sherry, to hear that he's providing for you even after his death because you all were such great stewards, and that's, I think, the fruit of being well planned.

None of us know when the Lord is going to call us home, and I realize this is a large burden that's now been placed on you as he was giving primary oversight to the finances. You know, I think having an advisor who could journey with you, somebody who really understands your faith and understands God's word, but also could bring really skilled counsel in helping you think through this large sum of money that's coming your way, being able to protect that, but also invest it in a way that makes sense so that it could continue to grow, offset the effects of inflation, but provide for you alongside Social Security and anything else you'll have coming your way, perhaps down the road. Annuities are not my first choice.

I mean, there are a place for them in some cases for folks that want to transfer risk away from the markets, but I think for most folks, being able to just save and invest in a way that you can match the risk tolerance and the needs aligned with your values to the investment strategy, I think will just make the most sense, giving you still access to the money as you need it over time, perhaps even in larger chunks if you have certain needs now or in the future, and not putting that in an insurance product, which creates a lot of complexity, can restrict access to the money and limit even the upside potential on just even the investments. I think that's something you could talk through with an advisor. Do you all have a financial advisor that you used as a couple? We had two different ones. One was through Schwab and another one was through JP Morgan, but he had left me a note in our folder that if anything happens to me, you need to talk to somebody different. We need to diversify, and I don't know what that really means except to add another person to the layer because we have so much invested in those other two that he knew when this was coming that I needed to talk to somebody else, so I'd be happy to talk to another person.

Yeah, I think that would be good, and I'm not opposed. I mean, I certainly understand the note that was there, and I don't know the full rationale for what he was thinking, but I'm not opposed to you having one trusted advisor who's really walking alongside you, meeting that sounding board and wise counsel, overseeing the investment strategy that could be among multiple managers, whether those are mutual funds or separate accounts, not to get technical, but I think having one trusted advisor that can journey with you and help you coordinate both the tax side, the estate side, your budget and your spending and lifestyle expenses, but also your investment strategy for this wealth that you're stewarding, and that's where I think a certified kingdom advisor could be very helpful. You could head to our website at That's Right there at the top of the page, Sherry, it'll say find a professional. You can put in your zip code.

I would interview two or three CKAs in your area, and just find someone that you feel like is the best fit, that you have a good rapport with. They're going to ask you a lot of questions and just get to know you and what this next season of life is going to look like and then help you make those decisions. I also want to send you a book just as our gift to you.

It's a book called Wise Women Managing Money that was written by Miriam Neff, who as a widow found herself in a situation similar to yours and wrote this as an encouragement and a helpful guide for you around this area of money management. So stay on the line. We'll get your information and get that right out to you. May the Lord bless you. Matt, thanks for being with us today. Faith in Finance Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. So thankful for my team today.

Dan Anderson, Amy Rios, and Taylor Stanrich. Couldn't do it without them. We'll see you next time. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-05 23:25:09 / 2024-03-05 23:41:23 / 16

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