Friday, April 8, 2016

The Importance of Financial Literacy for Persons with Disabilities

Contributing Author: Gentle Heron

Consider these frightening facts about people with disabilities in the US:

  • 72% of individuals with disabilities are unemployed (Butterworth et al., 2011).
  • More than one-third of people living in poverty (39%) are individuals with disabilities (U.S. Census, 2010).
  • Overall, persons with disabilities are far more likely than nondisabled persons to live in poverty (26% compared to 9%) (National Organization on Disability & Harris, 2004).
  • Of employed young individuals with disabilities who are four years or less past high school, more than half (54%) earn less than $5,000 per year. And only 11% earn $25,000 or more per year. (Newman et al., 2009).

Those of us with disabilities have to think carefully about our financial situations. Even if we are not living in poverty, we can always benefit from stretching our dollars a bit more.

April is Financial Literacy Month. Virtual Ability celebrates in April by providing blog posts and tips related to various aspects of financial literacy.

Here’s a tip to start things off. Check out the Thirty Steps to Financial Wellness from Money Management International. Steps include organizing your financial information, identifying needs and wants, paying off debts and staying motivated, among other topics. There are plenty of free tools and informational e-books on the site to assist you.

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