Managing Home Care Fees
The wave of older Australians will continue to grow over the coming decades. As such, we can no longer afford to ignore the issues around aged care, with over 1 million retirees already accessing aged care services in Australia.
Planning ahead can help to demystify aged care and reduce stress levels. With awareness and pre-planning, you can maintain control, choice, and access the financial resources to pay for care and minimise stress on you and your family.
As we get older, we may need help with our daily living activities. Asking for help does not mean you will have to move out of your home.
Many older Australians prefer to age at home rather than move into residential care.
Home care can help maintain your independence for longer. The support needed to stay at home can be provided by your spouse, family or friends. Alternatively, a home care service (privately funded or government subsidised) can provide support to reduce the burden on your spouse or family and allow you to continue to receive the care you need in your own home.
For some people, moving into residential care where you can be supported 24 hours a day might be a more suitable option.
However, the important thing to realise is that you have choices.
You also need to understand what fees are payable and whether you have an opportunity to reduce the amount you pay for this help. This is where advice is essential.
What does care cost?
You or your loved one who requires assistance needs to be approved by an Aged Care Assessment Team / Service before you can apply for a subsidised home care package.
You can find more information on the assessment process at www.myagedcare.gov.au.
The fees for home care are in two components:
A basic fee paid by all care recipients
An income-tested fee paid by care recipients who receive a part Centrelink/Veterans’ Affairs pension or are self-funded
Reducing home care fees
When calculating the fees, assessable income includes payments received using Centrelink income test rules. For example, cash, term deposits and shares will be assessed.
If you can structure your investments in a way that reduces assessable income, this may reduce the fees you will be asked to pay. But it is always important to review your entire situation to ensure that sufficient cash flow can be generated and determine the impact on your net wealth.
Before making any changes or financial decisions, talk to us to help develop a strategy to potentially reduce fees and fully understand the implications for cash flow, Centrelink or other concession cards, aged care fees, taxation and estate planning. Professional advice can help you make an informed decision about your future.
Any information contained in this article is general information and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article was correct as of 28/11/2021.
Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523 trading as Infocus Financial Advice and Infocus Money Management.