Financial Planning for T1D's?

OK, maybe this is an uncomfortable question, but hopefully it won’t be perceived as a “downer” one. I’m in my late 40’s, have been T1D since I was 16. I’ve always felt a little lost as to how to plan for the future financially. I have a 401K that I’ve contributed to over the years, but it’s pretty modest. I also keep a savings account that I never touch, and try to throw a couple hundred in every couple of months or so, as well as a modest amount of basic stocks. I’m a positive person who practices fairly good self-care, but I also understand the statistical realities of life expectancy for Type 1’s that have had it for decades. To be brutally honest, I can’t say I expect to live into my 80’s, you know? I’ll be very fortunate to still be healthy in my 70’s. So I’m trying to strategize where to put my money going forward in case I need to access some of it in 10-20 years for medical purposes, while minimizing tax penalties. Has anyone done any research into the best recommendations for people like us dealing with chronic conditions?

@Angivan, Have you thought about a Roth IRA? They’re a good idea in general, but depending on when you expect making withdrawals, it might not be quite as helpful in this situation. The Roth IRA is useful because it’s comprised of money that’s already been taxed - so when you withdraw it, you don’t have to pay taxes.

There is a penalty if you withdraw under any circumstances not deemed to be “Qualifying.” I can’t remember them all offhand, but I think a few of the qualifying events are disability, reaching age 59.5, or buying a home.

Thanks, I will check into that. I have an IRA but I don’t think it’s a Roth.

Roth IRAs are smart and you are wise to plan for the future. @angivan there’s no reason why that money can’t be used for your retirement instead of for your healthcare expenses from diabetes.

Diabetes used to mean you’d die young but that’s not the case anymore. Lots of folks now like long lives, complication-free with type 1. Google the Joslin 50 Year Medalist Study.

My biggest concern in getting older is healthcare. My mom turned 60 this year and her insurance company dropped her because of her lifelong medical issue. She’s otherwise in good health and is in limbo since Medicare doesn’t kick in for a few more years. She retired early but may return to work for the insurance.

Ideally I would love for it to be used for fun stuff! But the reality is I have a couple of beginning complications after 31 years of T1D, so I need to be prepared to have finances that can be accessed for medical situations if needed. Thanks for the recommendation, I will consult with my financial planner.