It can be financially and emotionally difficult to plan for moving into aged care. When the time comes, you may find yourself being confronted with complex questions and decisions. From a financial perspective, consulting with an experienced specialist can help to ensure that the decisions you and your family make will be the right ones for your situation.
If you or someone you love is looking at making the move into aged care, take a read of our simple steps on where to start.
- Time to make a plan
Planning ahead can help to reduce stress and ensure everyone is on the same page. It helps to start with a family meeting to discuss options, preferences and concerns, as well as delegate roles and responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to have frank and open discussions during this time, it helps to shape an effective decision making process.
- Ability assessment
To help you decide on the level of assistance you require, the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) offer free assessments. This assessment will generally occur once a referral has been received from a General Practitioner.
- Searching for services
When searching for aged care services, first think about what criteria is important in deciding where to live. You should consider location, amenities, your health care needs and whether there is the option to have your partner live with you. Once you have shortlisted potential services, give them a call to arrange a time to visit. Always check the cost of accommodation fees to make sure it’s affordable for you. If you like a service, it’s most likely that you will need to go on a waiting list. You can put your name on more than one waiting list to increase your chances of finding a place more quickly.
- Understanding the costs
Working through the costs associated with aged care can be confusing and daunting. What you will pay is divided into contributions towards accommodation, care and additional services. These can vary enormously between facilities and from resident to resident. It is important that consideration is given to how your assets and income are structured as this can have a direct impact on the amount of fees that you will be asked to pay upon entry and in the future. Generally, the level of daily fees and accommodation payments can be negotiated with the aged care providers.
- Covering the costs
Before making the move into aged care, a complete review of your financial situation is a must do step to ensure you can create sufficient cash flow and maximise your estate. Many decisions will need to be made including, what to do with the family home, how pensions may be affected, investment options for surplus money, how to manage taxation implications and more.
- Estate Planning
If at anytime your circumstances change, it’s important to consider the impact this has on your estate plans. This includes your Will, investments and Enduring Power of Attorney.
When you accept a place in an aged care service you will be asked to sign a resident agreement. This will detail the services provided and fees payable but you have 28 days to decide how to pay for your accommodation. After this, you still have some time to rearrange your assets to make the payments. If you receive Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments, you must notify the change in living arrangements as well as any changes to your income or assets.
We know that conversations about aged care can be difficult for everyone involved and understand the challenges you are facing. We aim to work with you and your family to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Our experienced team can review your full financial situation and develop an appropriate strategy to help you make the decisions you are facing. For the best outcome, you should involve an advisor early.
For more information or to talk to one of our experienced Financial Planners, please contact us on (07) 4632 1966 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION | The information contained in this publication is based on the understanding that McConachie Stedman Financial Planning Pty Ltd ATF Duggan Street Management Trust ABN 27 334 897 940 (which is an authorised representative of Henderson Matusch Pty Ltd ABN 32 107 343 091 AFSL 274484) has of the current relevant Australian legislation. This information contains general information and may constitute general advice. Any advice in this communication has been prepared without taking account of individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as a substitute for financial or other specialist advice. Before making any decisions on the basis of this communication, you should consider the appropriateness of its content having regard to your particular investment objectives, financial situation or individual needs. We recommend that you see a registered tax agent or legal adviser prior to implementing any recommendations that you may make based on the information contained in this publication.