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Welcome Aboard, GFS!

Drumroll please... We’re thrilled to announce that Goodwin Financial Services (GFS) is joining Altus Financial, giving our clients access to even more market-leading wealth management expertise. GFS has forged a longstanding reputation as one of Sydney’s premi.....

Wealth, Aged Care - 5 min read

If aged care finances fill you with confusion and worry, you’re not alone. With strange terms like DAP and RAD and different categories of costs and fees, aged care can seem more like a puzzle to decipher than a milestone to plan for.

In this post, we’ve put together five signs you need aged care financial advice. If you relate to any of these, take the next step and give us a call to clarify your options.

 

1. When you have no clarity on aged care costs

Without a clear understanding of aged care costs, it’s nearly impossible to plan for the future. When you know what to expect, however, you can set goals, communicate your wishes to your loved ones and move forward with confidence. 

There are various fees involved in aged care, some of which will apply to you and some of which will not. Understanding these fees will help you to plan your finances more effectively: 

  • Basic Daily Fee: Everyone must pay this fee; it covers day-to-day living costs.
  • Means-Tested Care Fee: Not everyone pays this fee. Depending on your assets and income, you may be asked to contribute to your aged care costs.
  • Accommodation Costs: Set by the facilities, accommodation costs also depend on assets and income. The government sets rules regarding how much you can be charged for accommodation.
  • Fees for Additional Services: If you choose a higher standard of services or accommodations, you’ll need to pay additional fees.

Discussing your wishes and financial requirements with your preferred aged care facilities and with your wealth adviser will help you to know how much you’ll need to save for aged care.

 

2. When you're unsure of funding options available

It’s one thing to know how much you’ll need to save for aged care and it’s another thing to know where that money will come from. A good first step is to make an appointment with the Department of Human Services (DHS) for a formal income and assets assessment. The information from this meeting will help you to know how much assistance you’ll receive from the government regarding your basic daily fee and means-tested care fee. 

Then you’ll need to learn about other funding options available to you. Talk with your wealth adviser about how aged care will fit into your overall retirement and estate planning.

 

3. When you're unsure of how it will impact your larger financial plan

One of the most difficult aspects of planning for aged care is that it’s impossible to predict how long you’ll live or what kind of care you’ll need in your later years. Life expectancy in Australia is one of the most impressive in the world; in 2017 the average Australian could expect to live 84.4 years. But of course, you don’t know if you’ll be average.

 

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What kind of impact will aged care costs have on your larger financial plan? And how should you adjust your estate planning to manage these costs? These are important questions to ask, and the answers depend in large part on the unique characteristics of your personal financial plan, your families’ needs, and the assets available to you.

 

4. When you're not confident in preserving your wealth

Over your career, you’ve developed impressive skills and knowledge, but not everyone is confident when it comes to preserving their wealth. If you find yourself in this category, never fear. A knowledgeable wealth adviser can help you to evaluate your options, consider how each option will fit in with your overall financial plan and move forward with confidence.

 

5. When you're not sure where to start your aged care planning

Aged care planning can seem overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. Meet with one of our wealth advisers to overcome your fears and doubts, and face the future with confidence. You may be surprised to learn about the options available to you for funding your aged care, such as: 

  • Selling the family home
  • Selling down investments
  • Using a reverse mortgage or other equity release vehicles
  • Deduct the DAP from the RAD
  • Dividing the costs of aged care among family members.

Depending on the structure of your estate and the state of your finances, a combination of some of these strategies may work best for you.

Don’t spend another day worrying about your aged care; reach out to us at Altus and take the first steps toward securing your future. We’re here to help.

 

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