if aged care is confusing get advice
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If aged care is confusing – get advice

Many people think they can’t afford to get aged care advice, but the reality is you probably can’t afford not to get advice.

RADs, DAPs, MPIRs, MTAs and ACATs !! These are just a few of the acronyms you will face when navigating aged care decisions. It might even feel like you’ve landed in a foreign country where you don’t understand the language or the rules.

Navigating your way through aged care and the jargon is not easy. Frustration, confusion and anxiety are feelings you are likely to experience, especially if you have arrived at this point with little preparation.

Some tasks are just too complex and too important to do on your own.

That’s where we can help. You don’t have to make these decisions or interpret the language on your own. We have the experience and expertise to help you make well-informed aged care decisions. We can show you how you can afford the care you need and understand how it all works – saving you time, stress and money. 

Avoiding mistakes is a good reason to seek advice. Four key mistakes we often see people make when they don’t get advice include:

  • Selling the home without understanding the consequences
  • Being afraid to pay a lump sum (refundable accommodation deposit – RAD)
  • Not generating enough cashflow
  • Providing the wrong information to Services Australia and paying too much in fees.

Financial advice is important, but not all advice is good advice. Sometimes things can go wrong. To ensure you are protected, is important to get advice from someone who has experience and education, is licensed under an Australian Financial Advice Licence (AFSL) and is listed on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register. If something does go wrong, you then have access to dispute resolution processes and professional indemnity insurance.

Advice should focus on more than just the costs on date of entry into care. You want the advice to also forecast how your finances will be affected over time, to make sure you don’t run out of money or make bad decisions. Examples of advice gone bad, include:

  • If keeping the home, not understanding how the age pension changes after two years.
  • Structuring finances to qualify as a low-means resident, without realising this may make it harder to find a place with some aged care providers.
  • A person may gain comfort that the home is exempt if an eligible carer continues to live there, but what seems like an affordable option could soon be a financial disaster if the carer loses income support and this was not anticipated.
  • One child in a family uses their own money to help a parent pay the lump sum Refundable Accommodation Deposit/Contribution, and only too late realises that this resulted in higher aged care fees and an estate dispute when they want to recover the money.

Our advice follows a logical process: consider the financial situation when you first move into care, what will change after that move, what the situation will look like after two years, and what to expect when the estate needs to be finalised. This helps to anticipate future changes and mitigate problems as much as possible.

When aged care decisions go badly, the mistakes can be costly both financially and emotionally.  Let us take away some of the stress – we are licensed financial advisers and have the experience and qualifications to help you make well-informed aged care decisions.

Reach out to our specialist aged care advice team to book a meeting to discuss your aged care needs here.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This document has been prepared by Aged Care Steps Pty Limited, ABN 42 156 656 843 AFSL 486723, based on our understanding of the relevant legislation at the time of writing. While every care has been taken, Aged Care Steps Pty Limited makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. The information is of a general nature only and has been prepared without consideration of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions, you should consider the appropriateness for your personal investment objectives, financial situation or individual needs. We recommend you see a financial adviser, registered tax agent or legal adviser before making any decisions based on this information. Current as at 1 May 2024.

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