Alabama State Treasurer John McMillan
Since 2017, the Enable Savings Plan Alabama has worked tirelessly to provide a robust and accessible savings tool for the Alabama disability community. This month, as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Plan, I commend the Enable Alabama team for the dedication and hard work that has underlined our continued success.
In honor of this anniversary, today’s blog features an overview of what makes Enable Alabama so valuable to our community. Read on for a list of the top four reasons to celebrate four years of Enable Alabama.
1. Access to resource-based benefits
Many individuals with disabilities rely on resource-based benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, which can require families to limit their savings in order to remain eligible. Enable Alabama helps empower families to save for disability-related expenses without having to worry about losing these benefits. Unlike funds in a checking or brokerage account, savings in an Enable Alabama account are an excluded resource for Medicaid, and balances of up to $100,000 are disregarded for purposes of determining eligibility to receive benefits under the Supplemental Security Income program.
2. Tax benefits
Enable Alabama provides valuable tax benefits for Account Owners. Account earnings grow state and federal income tax-deferred, meaning that the full earnings amount remains in the account and contributes to compounded growth, also known as “growth on growth.”
Withdrawals are also free from any tax burden as long as the funds are used for qualified disability expenses (QDE). The ABLE Act defines a QDE as an expense related to the disability of the Eligible Individual. This covers a wide range of categories, including medical expenses, education, service animals, housing, transportation, financial management and administrative services and basic living expenses. Click here to explore the full list of qualifying expenses.
3. Investment options
Enable Alabama offers five Investment Options so that Account Owners can tailor their savings strategy to their specific goals and circumstances. Account Owners can choose among Enable Alabama’s three Target-Risk Investment Options (Growth, Moderate, Conservative), the Bank Savings Investment Option and the Checking Investment Option. The latter two options are FDIC-insured.
Managing one’s savings is a personalized journey, depending on any number of individual financial factors. That means that the combination of Investment Options that works best for one Account Owner might be different from what works for others. The ability to tailor investing strategies to unique circumstances - and to change these strategies over time - makes Enable Alabama a strong and adaptable long-term savings partner.
4. Community engagement
At Enable Alabama we work to create an open, accessible and beneficial savings community. Through blog posts like this one, as well as the Enable Alabama Facebook page, we keep Account Owners up to date on any relevant Plan updates, offer tips to help get the most out of one’s account, and share information – financial, educational and more – that we know our community can use.
We also know that a rising tide lifts all ships. That’s why we make it a particular goal to collaborate with local organizations doing great things in the community, whether that be through sponsorships, collaborations, or spotlights on our blog or social media channels. There are so many ways to make a difference in the community, and Enable Alabama wants our Account Owners to have access to all of it.
Throughout these four years of growth and milestones, one of the cornerstones of Enable Alabama’s success has been our vibrant community of Account Owners, who give the Plan its heart and never miss an opportunity to spread the news about the benefits of Enable Alabama. Thank you!