There are many things to think about when you or a loved one is transitioning…
Aged care is something that’s often left until the last minute both by the person who needs it and their loved ones. If anything, it only becomes a topic of conversation and concern when the person in question is unable to make decisions, laid out on a hospital bed. There’s actually plenty that can be done to address this if a decision is made to face it head on.
You Need to Plan Ahead
As previously mentioned, so many people have this misconception that aged care is best left for later on. Or until the very last minute. In truth, planning for aged care, retirement, and even finalising a last will and testament should be settled – the earlier, the better. The loved one can have a better sense of organisation and see what moving into an aged care facility may cost overall.
Planning ahead keeps a lot of the potential future stress out of the way. Aside from their will and testament, the loved one can also have a more firm say on the household’s future. It’s not the easiest decision (or a set of decisions), especially in rather sombre, grim situations.
It also gives the loved one and the family the opportunity to research what options are available at all levels of care. Would a low-maintenance villa with nursing support be sufficient? What are your choices if there is an injury or illness and high-level care is required? Plus your loved one will have time to properly assess where they would be happiest, for example, located in close proximity to a particular family member or in a familiar suburb.
Families have a tendency to just choose the home where the loved one had been residing for aged care to be paid for. It seems like common sense, but it can be avoided with proper planning well in advance. This is what makes aged care financial advice so vital when things aren’t urgent or dire just yet.
Centrelink will get involved when the home of a loved one is sold to pay for their aged care accommodation. It’s unavoidable, because if any money is left over, that’s an assessable asset. Some or even all of the remaining proceeds post-sales will likely end up with them. When a loved one has a significant amount of funds left in their bank account, Centrelink is more likely to enter the picture.
You Alone Can Do It, but You Can’t Do It Alone
There has to be a singular guiding voice that’s somewhat the ‘voice of reason’ through everything. Sometimes, families end up not really seeing eye to eye; sometimes, aged care facilities aren’t the best to talk to. It’s actually important to be able to have more than one guiding voice when it comes to arriving at the safest decision possible.
Consider putting together a group that involves the following: a solicitor who reads the fine print and handles negotiation, and professionals with the best aged care financial support possible. Moreover, there needs to be a professional source of expert financial advice for aged care.
Where to from here?
Aged care is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. Unfortunately, it’s often neglected until it’s far too late, such as when a loved one can no longer make their own decisions. Selling the home to pay for aged care is a common step people take, but in truth, things don’t have to go that route. It’s crucial to have the best possible financial advice for aged care and set things in order early on.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group, Coastal Advice Port Macquarie, and Sydney Wealth Advisers are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429