Expert financial advice imperative

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Expert financial advice imperative

The pathway into aged care is a complex and often stressful one. In many cases the need for residential aged care is due to a sudden health issue. At a time when your main concern is the health and welfare of loved ones you are faced with the complex financial issues of aged care. 

The financial aspects of aged care are complicated by the impact that a move to care has in terms of pension paid by Centrelink and the Department of Social Services. Just getting a basic understanding of what forms you need to complete, when to complete them and where to send them can be a difficult path to navigate.

You then need to consider important issues such as how to pay for any accommodation payment, whether to sell the family home or rent it out, how to maximise or keep the pension, all at a time when your main concern is finding a suitable place for your loved one to receive the care they need. At times like this, friends, family and neighbours are usually eager to offer their help and opinions, and to tell you how things worked in their situation.

All well meaning of course – they are just trying to help ease your burden at a complex time. However, the financial issues of aged care are complex and you need to obtain an accurate understanding of the facts as they apply to you and your unique needs. The best financial strategies and options will depend on your specific circumstances, objectives and situation.

Seeking professional financial advice from a specialist aged care financial adviser can cut through the vast amount of information that is available online, from friends, government departments and neighbours. Importantly, a financial adviser can focus on highlighting the information and issues that are important to you and your specific financial situation. Not all financial advisers are experienced in dealing with the financial complexity of entering aged care.

Some important questions you should ask before engaging the services of a financial adviser include:

  • Do they specialise in dealing with aged care financial issues?

  • What experience do they have in aged care finance?

  • Will they provide you with an outline of all your options?

  • Will they provide their advice in ‘plain English’?

  • Will their advice be in writing?

  • Will they deal with Department of Veterans’ Affairs or Centrelink on your behalf?

  • Is the service a once-off or an ongoing service?

  • What will their services cost?

Making a timely decision is important and often critical, but don’t be rushed into making any hasty financial decisions. The financial aspects of moving into aged care are certainly an important consideration but your focus should be on ensuring that you find a care provider that provides the care which is required to meet your loved one’s needs.

It is hard to provide a list of financial issues to consider as everyone’s situation is different. That is where the services of a specialist aged care financial adviser can help. They can make sure that all aspects of the financial situation are addressed – the family home, pensions, accommodation payments and care fees, cash flow and investment planning. You can concentrate on finding the best place for care.

Of course, seeking some professional advice before any significant health issues arise can help you prepare financially for any future move into residential care.


This article was originally published in the DPS Guide to Aged Care. Reproduced with permission of DPS Publishing.

Important note: This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person. 

Any information provided by DPS Publishing detailed above is separate and external to us and our Licensee, AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited. Neither we, nor AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited take any responsibility for their action or any service they provide.