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Getting specialist financial advice on aged care can provide guidance in what might be quite a stressful time for some.  Our aim is to work out the best way to structure your finances and put you in the best position as the transition occurs.

There are two different types of aged care; home care and aged care facilities.  There are also different levels and packages with home care, depending on the level of care required.

Moving into an aged care facility requires some extra planning and speaking with a financial adviser can help.

Why should I seek a financial adviser who specialises in Aged Care?

It is important to seek financial advice on aged care with an adviser who is experienced in the aged care space, as it is a specialist area.  Not all financial advisers may have the necessary skills to ensure that the transition occurs with the right asset and income structure.  This is important to ensure Centrelink entitlements are maximised and aged care fees are minimised, where possible.

Some people automatically think that it is necessary to sell the family home to pay a bond.  However, sometimes that might not be possible or necessarily achieve the best result, especially if the spouse is not in need of aged care.

What are the fees involved with Aged Care homes?

There are up to three different kinds of fees that are required to be paid when entering an aged care facility.

The first fee that everyone pays is the basic daily fee, which is set at 85% of the single aged pension rate.

The second fee is the accommodation component. 

Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to pay a refundable accommodation contribution [RAC] or a daily accommodation payment [DAP] or a mixture of both, or a refundable accommodation deposit [RAD] or a daily accommodation payment [DAP] or a mixture of both.

Lastly, depending on your level of income and assets, you may be asked to pay a means tested care fee as well.  This has an annual cap of $27,532.59 and a lifetime cap of $66,078.28.

Centrelink does not count the RAC or RAD as an asset and it is not deemed for income purposes.  However, the aged care facility will account for it when calculating the costs mentioned above.

If you are a couple and one member goes into care while the other member stays in the family home, the house is not considered as an asset.

When is the best time to get financial advice on Aged Care?

Where possible, having the time and not making rushed decisions is paramount.  It’s important to understand the process and to be able to do some research into the different care facilities and their specific offerings before making your ultimate choice.

Affording the time to do this prior to having to make a decision means that you can make any necessary asset and income restructures before the transition into a facility to ensure the best fee outcome.