Sights on Your Future Looking Hazy? The Future Planning Tool for People With Disabilities Can Help

Federal Minister Candice Bergen announces funding for Future Planning Tool
Federal Minister Candice Bergen announces funding for Future Planning Tool

For over 25 years, PLAN has been providing peace of mind for people with disabilities and those who care for them. As a family-lead organization, our members have become experts in developing lifelong personal networks of support and friendship around their relatives with a disability. We have learned the ins and outs on how to plan for a safe and secure future—including how to write Wills, use trusts, open RDSPs, consider home options, navigate disability benefits and so much more.

Through all this, PLAN families have also learned that disability planning is complicated. It can be a challenge to keep track of all the various resources, opportunities, rules and actions necessary to plan for, and safeguard, the future of a loved one with a disability. The day-to-day demands of life make it difficult for many caregivers to find the time to develop a clear and manageable planning strategy. What’s more, the many different elements in any disability plan have a direct affect on the other parts. A simple unexpected inheritance, for example, can compromise a dependent individual’s income and assistance programs. Decisions we make to try and build a safe and secure future for anyone with a disability, such as writing a Will, need to be made with all the parts in mind.

Our best-selling book, Safe and Secure, addresses these challenges head on. The plain-language material and worksheets keep families from getting stuck in the web of options, opportunities, decisions and potential mistakes.

Building on the success of this book and all our hard work, PLAN is partnering with Prosper Canada to develop the online Future Planning Tool. We recently partnered with Prosper to build a new and improved RDSP Calculator.

The Future Planning Tool will be a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use mechanism that holds information on all disability-planning options. Online and interactive, the tool will help families, individuals and caregivers develop and follow through on a specific future plan based on individual needs, interests, resources and goals.

Your future plan might envision savings of $500,000 in an RDSP, an independent living situation and going out to movies with friends every Tuesday. Whatever it is, the Future Planning Tool will empower families and people with disabilities to dream big, and know just what to do to achieve those dreams.

More on the Future Planning Tool. It will:

  • Simplify and clarify complex disability planning terms, options and procedures. Investments, taxes and legal information will finally make sense!
  • Steer you away from potential pitfalls. It will make sure you get the maximum benefits you are entitled to and avoid claw-backs.
  • Show you only the options that you need to care about. People over 60 cannot open an RDSP, so the planning tool will not put the RDSP on their list.
  • Provide recommendations to further resources and professionals who can help. You will save a lot of time and heartache if the lawyer who does your Will truly knows the disability benefit rules in your province. Not very many do!
  • Help you figure out what you want in life. Do you want to travel? Own your own home? The tool will help you determine your goals and dreams.
  • Produce your own To Do list. You will get a manageable, step-by-step plan that you can follow. It will help you finish all the things you have been putting off.
  • Help you and your loved ones achieve your goals and live your dreams!

Through generous funding from the federal government, this tool will be built over the next few years. We invite you to stay tuned to PLAN’s electronic newsletters as we announce advancements in the tool’s development and release.