Like most things in life, when it comes to aged care some forward planning helps.
The process of admission into nursing homes is different for everyone. In many cases, mum or dad’s health deteriorates slowly over a long period of time and families have plenty of warning to get prepared and seek information. Our free guide to aged care finances is a useful resource for long and medium-term aged care planning.
Other families however are overwhelmed by a sudden and unexpected change in the health or condition of their loved one. This event can require urgent action that leaves them struggling to deal with the very real challenges of formal entry into a residential aged care facility.
Wherever possible you should plan for aged care, but here are 5 times when you may need financial advice too:
1. An accommodation bond is payable.
If an aged care bond, or what will soon be known as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), is payable then you may need help. There are multiple ways to pay an accommodation bond. A specialist age care financial adviser can help structure the best way to fund your bond.
2. You can’t or don’t want to sell the family home.
Maybe one parent has gone into care, and the other one remains in the house? Or mum or dad just can’t bear the thought of selling the home to pay for the bond. In these cases other options may be available to pay for nursing home fees and charges. A financial adviser can show you how.
3. High asset values.
If your parents have significant assets or a valuable family home you should strongly consider seeking financial advice. You could be at risk of losing entitlements or paying extra charges such as an additional income tested fee (soon to be known as a means tested fee).
4. Receiving an aged pension
New aged care residents who receive a full or part pension may be at risk of pension reduction if their aged care finances are not handled correctly. In addition, it may be possible to structure payment of bonds and charges so that additional or new aged care pension is paid, where none was previously. Only a financial planner can advise you on this – Centrelink Financial Information Service (FIS) officers are a great source of information on pensions however they are not licensed to provide you with full financial advice.
5. New legislation and rule changes.
From 1 July 2014 the aged care system in Australia will radically change with the introduction of the Living Better, Living Longer reforms. Are you ready? The financial planning industry predicts widespread confusion when these changes come into effect so you may wish to get advice NOW.
It is also highly likely that aged care costs will be higher for many people after the changes come into effect, so those who have a parent considering entering a facility in the next 6 months should consider admission before 30 June 2014 under the current regime.
We are able to assist your family work out the costs of entering care. We are currently providing out clients with financial modelling of the costs of entering an aged care facility Pre and Post 1 July 2014 if requested.
Hope this helps. As always, feel free to call us for a chat on 1300 659 677.