The cost of aged care can create stress for families. Understanding how the cost relates to you or your loved ones’ personal situation can give you peace of mind.
There are many considerations for working out the right way to fund aged care. And it is important to get the key decisions right from the start to avoid heartache later.
In our experience, these are the 5 key questions that people need to work through and make an informed decision on.
Do we sell or keep the family home?
The family home is a valuable financial asset but also a source of great emotional attachment. Selling the home is a not a decision that should be taken lightly or without planning.
Consider that for aged care purposes, the family home is included in the assets test, although there can be exemptions.
What other assets do we keep or sell?
Decisions around what assets you keep or sell can have knock-on effects for government benefit entitlements and how to cover costs in the long term. You also need to consider things like capital gain tax implications and superannuation.
Any assets you have at your disposal can increase options but also means more decisions to work through.
How do we cover the ongoing costs?
It's vital to structure the costs so that you can cover the move into aged care in the short term and long term. You don't want to be forced into another move down the track that could be detrimental.
Most of the time it can be done, it’s just a matter of selling the right assets and ensuring that the facility you select is right for you and your budget.
How can we make the most of government assistance?
You need to think not only about covering your initial deposit but also around how you will pay the ongoing costs and the age pension could play an important role in that mix.
Changes to the asset test have created additional challenges and it’s important to consider the implications of rearranging assets and income for any Centrelink/DVA Pension benefits you might have available.
What do these decisions mean for estate planning?
After the costs of aged care are covered, there could also be considerations around estate planning. There are a number of complexities around estate planning so it's worth looking into how any wishes around this can be carried out.
How we can help
If you are thinking about a move into aged care, we can provide you with financial clarity so that you understand how the cost of aged care relates to your circumstances.
We can help you:
- identify the costs that will apply
- structure the costs so that aged care is affordable in the short and long term.
- help you decide what assets should be kept or sold, including the family home
- develop strategies to maximise any government benefits available, including the Age Pension, and
- talk through estate planning complexities.
Make an appointment for a consultation with an aged care specialist about the key decisions that lie ahead, the options available to you or your loved ones, and the cost of our advice.
The above is general information only. Financial planning advice is provided by First State Super Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 37 096 452 318, AFSL 240019.