Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

#ABLEInAction: Oregon ABLE Savings Plan Opens Up New Opportunities for Participants

#ABLEInAction: Oregon ABLE Savings Plan Opens Up New Opportunities for Participants

 Content Editor

September 22, 2020

Image of Charlie

The Oregon ABLE Savings Plan helps people experiencing disabilities save for eligible expenses and for their future without compromising government benefits. That might sound simple enough, but the effects of the program are meaningful and profound not only for its participants, but also for their friends and families and for Oregon overall.

This past summer, our Oregon ABLE newsletter featured an inspiring story from Jeanne Magmer, who shared her family’s experience with the program. Read on, and check out the Oregon ABLE website for more details about how the program can help people save for a more secure future.

Meet Charlie Magmer, my grandson.

When Charlie was born, his grandfather and I started an Oregon College Savings Account for him and contributed to it every year until his senior year in high school.

Charlie was born with extremely low vision that kept him from being successful in school and after high school prevented him from enrolling in further education at a community college or in an apprenticeship training program.

As a result, he settled for minimum wage jobs he could get to on his bicycle and that did not require 20/20 vision. And, his College Savings account continued to grow with no opportunity for him to use it.

Then in 2019, thanks to a new technology, a low vision optical device made by Ocutech became available that would enable Charlie to see with 20/20 vision. Best of all, the device would enable him to get his driver’s license and perhaps become the welder he wanted to be.

The low vision optical device is expensive, and using it requires special driver’s instruction that is expensive too. If only we could access his college fund without penalties, we would have the money to pay for it all.

Enter Joy Sidman, my CPA. When she found out what the tax penalties would be for using the money from Charlie’s College Savings account, she searched for alternatives and found the Oregon ABLE Savings Plan, designed specifically to assist children/adults with disabilities. Charlie’s vision disability qualified. With an ABLE Savings account, we could transfer the full amount of Charlie’s College Savings account to an ABLE Savings account with no penalties.

Now Charlie has the low vision optical device and has completed the special driver’s education course. He is driving, with no restrictions, and can easily get to and do any job he can qualify for. And, if he decides to pursue further education, he can use his ABLE Savings account for that too.

– Jeanne Magmer

This is #ABLEInAction. Learn more about how Oregon ABLE is changing lives at And thank you, Ms. Magmer, for sharing your story!

Return to article selection