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Sources of Income and Savings - Saving and Investing

You have learned about important ways to spend money and budget. Now, you will learn ways to save and invest your money for the future! When you save money, you are putting money in an account to use later or for a big purchase. When you invest money, you put money into an account where it can make more money. Let’s learn about some of your options together!

Click here for your saving and investing tip sheet.

Savings Account

Remember, banks can help you set up a savings account. When you have money in a savings account, it can get interest. Interest is when the bank will give you money for putting your money in a savings account. It isn’t a lot of money, but it adds up the longer you have your money in the account.

There are several other options for you to save money. It is up to you to decide which account works best for you. Remember, if you receive government assistance there are limits to how much money you can save.

ABLE Account

An Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account is a great way to help you save money without losing your benefits from the government. An ABLE account is a special savings account that can be used for disability-related expenses.

ABLE United is in charge of setting up these accounts, under the Florida Prepaid College Board.

To be eligible for an ABLE account, you must have had your disability before the age of 26 and meet one of these requirements:

  • You receive government benefits in the form of Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance.
  • You have filed a certification of disability from your doctor which states that your disability causes severe limitations.

An ABLE account will allow you to save up to $15,000 per year or up to $100,000 in one account without losing your government benefits. The account will allow you to spend money on qualified disability expenses.

PASS Account

PASS stands for Plan to Achieve Self-Support. PASS Accounts are for people who receive money from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and can be set up by the Social Security Administration.

A PASS account allows you to save money for a goal that will help you go back to work. For example, you can save money to go back to school, to start a business, to buy the supplies or the services that you need to help you start working. Click here to learn more about PASS Accounts and how to apply.

Before you apply, start thinking about what kind of things you need to go back to work. This is your work goal. Some things you might need may be a computer or a cell phone. You can also pay for any job training or classes that you may need to start work. Make a list of everything that you need and how much it will cost. In order for your PASS account to be approved, you will need to complete your work goal. Click here to start working on the form today.

There are some important parts to your PASS application and your PASS work plan that you should remember. Click here to find out what you must have in your plan.

Individual Development Account

Next, there are Individual Development Accounts. In an Individual Development Account, the money that you put into the account is matched by an organization. This allows you to save money faster.

For example, if you put $10 into your Individual Development Account, an organization will also put $10 into your account.

Individual Development Accounts are usually used for three purposes:

  • Starting a business
  • Buying a home
  • Going back to school

An Individual Development Account helps you reach a certain goal. Some Individual Development Account participants choose one big savings goal; such as a home, but you can save for smaller goals such as textbooks and college tuition.

Not every state has an Individual Development Account program. Sometimes other organizations can help you set-up an Individual Development Account, like an organization called United Way. These are called program sponsors. A program sponsor provides classes on how to save money and training on how to budget your money.

Click here to locate a program in your area that provides people with Individual Development Accounts.

Special Needs Trusts

A trust is usually set up for you by a family member or someone that your family knows well. A trust helps your family members save money for you. This money can only be used at a certain time and sometimes it can only be used to buy certain things. Special needs trusts are also called supplemental needs trusts. By setting up a trust you can keep your own money and your government benefits. Trusts do cost money to set up.

Trusts are complicated and do require a lawyer or an advisor to set-up if you think that a trust is right for you. It is important to have a family member or friend help you with the process. When you hire a lawyer to help you, you can help decide which lawyer is right for you, by asking some of these questions:

  • What experience do you have working with special needs trusts?
  • How long have you done your job, helping people like me?
  • Do you understand all of the current rules for Social Security benefits and other state programs?

The Florida Bar keeps a list of lawyers who are registered to help with trusts. When you are looking for a lawyer to help you with a Special Needs Trust, it is important that they are Elder Law Certified.  Click here to find a lawyer that is Elder Law Certified near you.

When you set up a trust, here are a few words to remember:

  • Beneficiary: This can be you! The trust and the money in it is for you to use for something specific.
  • Trustee: This is a person that helps you with your money if you need it. This is someone that you and your family trust.

If you are interested in learning about the different special needs trusts, click here to visit our My Money Resource Section.