Easing the journey into aged care

Whether you’re considering options for yourself, or deciding how best to help someone close to you, a transition into aged care is an emotional and life changing process.

It’s a daunting move for anyone to make. On top of trying to figure out where to live and the costs involved, important decisions around your assets need to be made that can have a significant financial impact. Trying to navigate these issues at an already stressful time can be overwhelming.

While a financial adviser can’t remove the emotional aspect of the process, they can help guide you through some of the complex financial elements so you can make an informed decision.

Some of the issues your financial adviser can help with include:

Upfront costs

Your adviser can help figure out the most cost-effective way to pay accommodation costs. This could involve a lump sum payment, regular instalments or a combination of both.

Ongoing care costs

It’s possible to put strategies in place to minimise the ongoing care fees payable. A well-executed plan may result in a higher Age Pension and lower aged care costs.

Keeping or selling the family home?

Your financial adviser can help you understand the options you have regarding the family home. If kept, they can determine the best way to structure the accommodation payment to meet your goals. If sold, they can help with the best way to invest the proceeds and get the balance right between generating an income, maximising the Age Pension and minimising aged care costs.

Maximising cash flow

It’s important to understand how the Income and Assets Tests apply, as the way income, assets and investments are structured will impact eligibility for social security benefits and aged care costs. Investments such as annuities may be able to provide additional cash flow benefits. Your adviser can determine a strategy, depending on the circumstances, to maximise these benefits.

Estate planning

Your financial adviser can help identify what assets can be included in the estate and look at investment options that can help provide control over estate planning outcomes.

Tax considerations

An overall financial review can help identify the tax consequences of different investments and the tax offsets that may be available, including the low income, seniors and net medical expense offsets.
Financial advisers are well positioned to support clients and their families through this stage of retirement, taking some of the financial stress out of the situation and making a difficult journey a little easier.

Source: Challenger

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