Publication Date



This paper presents findings from a case study of individuals with multiple sclerosis examining their planning and preparation activities for their future independent living and long-term care needs. Data collected from a representative sample of National Multiple Sclerosis Society members in the greater metropolitan St. Louis and eastern Illinois area indicate significant differences in income, assets, education, health and functional limitation status between individuals living in rural versus urban areas. Additionally, findings show respondents with greater levels of education and assets, and those living in urban areas, are more likely to have saved for retirement, made legal preparations, or engaged in planning activities for future needs. Recommendations for asset building programs include incorporating education and training on planning for independent living and long-term care into financial planning curriculum, particularly for people with disabilities living in rural areas.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Putnam, M., & Tang, F. (2005). Asset-building programs for people with disabilities in rural areas: Including independent living and and long-term care planning education (CSD Working Paper No. 05-47). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


Wealth Building in Rural America Project


IDA, individual development account, Rural, state policy, disability, saving, asset accumulation