Life dealt Arjun a rough hand. Early in his life, he became a victim of an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Unable to walk, a wheelchair became his constant companion. Though he faced severe bouts of depression in the initial few years after the accident, he later became a fighter. Despite the sorry faces he encountered at every step of the way, he got himself an education, a higher education and is now working with an MNC and earning a six-figure salary. All this at the tender age of 24 years! He became financially independent. Do you know how you can too?
Here are the important steps creating a path to financial independence for a disabled person:
· Psychological strength
Mariyappan Thangavelu earned a Gold medal at the Rio Paralympics 2016 despite being disabled. It was because he did not consider his disability to be a hindrance. Neither should you. Accept who you are and only then can you take your first step towards financial independence. It can be hard to do this on your own, so be open about asking for help form family, friends or even a trained professional.
· Education is essential
Knowledge is power. And to acquire this knowledge and wisdom, you need the right education. So don't let your disability stop you from seeking admission in a primary, secondary or a higher educational institute. Learn and make yourself educated which would help you in getting employment.
· Be employed
Acquiring knowledge does not matter much unless you put it to good use and if you want to be financially free, you should seek fruitful employment. Create your Resume, post it online and look for jobs. There is no shortage of employment opportunities for the disabled. For instance, the Rehabilitation Aids Workshop by Women with Disabilities (RAWWD) is a workshop in Bangalore where disabled women manufacture prosthetic limbs and other aids. So, get a job and start earning. Remember, an idle mind is the devil's workshop.
· Save and invest
When you have a source of income, what follows next? Savings. Save at least 10-15% of your monthly income. Invest this money in different options. Start with bank deposits and Mutual Funds--they really are one of the easiest investment options. Later, approach a financial planner and build your portfolio of mutual funds, shares, insurance, gold, bank deposits, and bonds.
· Know the tax angle
Know the tax implication on your earnings and investments. After all, a tax is a surety in life. All you can do is benefit from the law and reduce your tax outgo. Invest up to Rs 2 lakh in the options available under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act like Equity Linked Savings Schemes and National Pension Scheme. And then move on to the other Section primarily designed for you—Section 80U of the Income Tax Act that allows disabled individuals an extra exemption of Rs 50,000 (in case of 40% to 79% disability) or Rs 1 lakh (in case of a disability of 80% and above) from the taxable income. These can save so much money that gets spent as tax.
The bottom line
Financial independence can be achieved by anyone and having a disability does not change this fact. Arjun chalked out his life plan and achieved financial independence quite early in life because he had the drive to learn and apply the lesson of financial stability. What is stopping you? The above points list the steps that can lead you to a path of financial independence. So, what are you waiting for?
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