Ben asks: “I would like to open an ABLE account for my son (who just got a job and has been accumulating money that is getting close to the $2,000 asset limit) before his benefits are suspended. Can I still open one if my state does not have one yet?”
Ben, you ask a very good question. It is a question we have been fielding from many families. In the original ABLE legislation that was passed in December 2014, you were only allowed to open an ABLE account in the state of your residence; however, at the end of 2015, the legislation was adjusted to allow individuals to use ABLE accounts from any state regardless of your state of residence. This means the short answer to your question is YES!!
As of August 2016, there are four states who have active ABLE accounts. The four states are Ohio, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Florida. Florida is the only state [of these four] that does not allow non-Florida residents to access their states ABLE account. This means your son has three state ABLE account plans to choose from as he, and you, decide which plan best suits his needs.
The ABLE accounts that are currently available have commonalities as well as differences. For instance, all three have investments for you to choose, which are all fairly low-cost. Tennessee’s plan allows you a bit more customization on your investments, while Nebraska and Ohio have prepared portfolio models. We discovered that all of them are moving toward having check-writing capabilities and a debit card system. The websites for all three states are easy to navigate and it is fairly simple to set up an account as you walk through the online prompts.
It is exciting to know that individuals like your son now have another savings option to choose from and no longer have to live with the constant worry of exceeding the $2,000 asset limit (as long as an ABLE Account is opened and they transfer money into those accounts before their other accounts add up to $2,000 or more).
Please feel free to visit the resource page of our website for a downloadable PDF document on the available ABLE accounts, http://www.aspecialneedsplan.com/resources.
For more information on how to prepare for the future, be sure to contact a financial advisor who specializes in serving families with special needs. A Special Needs Plan is driven by what they call Unleash L.I.F.E.™- L.I.F.E. meaning Lasting Independence For Everyone™. This is accomplished with education, action, and support in the creation, implementation, and continued monitoring of a specifically-designed lifelong and integrated plan for your family: parents, caregivers, your loved one with special needs, and their siblings.
6000 Fairview Road, Suite 400
Charlotte, NC 28210
This article was featured in Issue 53 – Working Toward The Future