It’s important to know that the Government may be able to help you with your finances in retirement. Every dollar you receive from the Age Pension or other Government benefit is a dollar that you don’t need to provide from your own savings. The options are worth investigating.
Topping up your retirement income with the Age Pension or other Government benefit or allowance can be a great way to help make your savings last longer. But it’s important to understand the rules associated with such benefits.
Your financial advisor can review your circumstances and current Centrelink entitlements to make sure you are receiving all of the government entitlements and benefits that you are eligible for.
It can be a confusing and emotional time considering placing yourself or a relative into residential aged care – but as with many of lives big decisions the best approach is to arm yourself with the facts and seek guidance from specialists.
Aged Care is a complex area that requires a solid understanding of how the rules interact with the broader tax and social security system. To add to the complexity the government has passed new legislation which will change the Aged Care frame work.
Mint Financial Solutions can assist you to:
4 Keys Areas to Aged Care Advice
1. Understand your options
Aged Care assessment from the nearest Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will assist with this.
2. Research aged care facilities
3. Work out the financials
The big financial issues for aged care are the facility’s accommodation and the means tested care fee, as well as managing cash flow. Getting it right so you maximise entitlements and minimise fees can be complicated.
4. Manage ongoing financial issues and obligations
Once in aged care, there are ongoing obligations that need to be considered, whilst also keeping up-to-date with government changes relating to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Aged care assessment
To enter government subsidised residential care you must first be assessed by an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). The assessment will also determine your eligibility for respite or a home care package.
Aged care facilities set the prices they charge for accommodation in different types of rooms. Together with a description of the key features of each different room type, the facility must publish those prices and show the payment options.
Residents have a choice as to how they pay for their accommodation – either as a lump sum called a Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD), a periodic payment called a Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP), or a combination of both.
Daily care fee
A fee paid by all residents and represents 85% of the full single age pension.
Means tested care fee
This means-tested fee captures both income and assets. For new residents, both their income and assets are used to determine a ‘relevant means-tested amount’. An annual cap of $25,000 (indexed) applies to the means-tested care fee to protect residents with higher than average care fees. A lifetime cap of $60,000 (indexed) protects all residents who receive care for a longer than average period of time.
Fees for extra or additional optional services
Additional fees may apply if you choose a higher standard of accommodation or additional services. These vary from home to home. Your aged care provider can give you details of these services, such as hairdressing and Foxtel, and the fees that apply.
Whether you want to understand aged care options for yourself or are enquiring on behalf of another, it will help to have financial information on hand so our advisers can understand your position and illustrate the strategies available to you, don’t worry if you don’t because our advisers can take you through the below checklist:
Aged care is a serious matter and finding the right care is something we all need to prepare for. These days most people want to live at home for as long as possible.
However, once you can no longer care for yourself at home, you will need to consider moving into an aged care facility. Securing a spot can take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will determine your eligibility for residential aged care. The exact cost depends on the extent of the service, the provider and your ability to pay.
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