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Advising clients on aged care options

Advising clients on aged care options

By Rachel Lane

Aged Persons 


Few stages in life are as complex and emotionally taxing for clients as aged care – whether they are seeking care for themselves or a loved one. The complexity is largely driven by the vast choices. While many people marry the words “aged care” with “nursing home” the fact is that more than 80% of aged care is delivered outside of an aged care facility.

Where will you live?

Staying in the family home is often the aim, particularly for couples who have different care needs or only one person requires care. For some staying in the family is not ideal either due to social isolation or an ability to access care or both.

Families play a key role in care, particularly where children move in with parents or vice versa – often creating what is known as a granny flat right. These arrangements can have enormous implications for everyone - emotionally and financially, impacting on pensions, tax, cash flow, the cost of aged care, estate planning.

Retirement communities are often viewed as an ideal solution – promoting social interaction and independence with help or care if needed. The complexities of the legal and financial arrangements here have been well publicised.

For those who choose to live in an aged care facility, the range and cost of accommodation and services can be surprising.

What care will you need?

The ability to access care and identifying the point that the client needs to move on are crucial –understanding the breaking point of a granny flat or retirement community arrangement can minimise disappointment and ensure the longer term ramifications are considered.

How much will it cost?

Accommodation costs often need to be factored in over the entire transaction ie. There is often an amount upfront, ongoing and when they leave.

The cost of living, including care is best dealt with through a budget that incorporates everyday expenses such as utilities, insurances, groceries and lump sum expenses like holidays. Of course the cost of care (which will depend on whether it’s private care, a home care package, residential aged care, or a combination) will also need to be included in this.

Once the client has identified where they want to live, what care they will need and how much it is going to cost the right advice will factor in the impact on pension entitlement and other government benefits, cash flow, tax, insurances and estate planning, helping them answer the biggest question, can they afford it?


By Rachel Lane, Principal, Aged Care Gurus

To hear more about the options available for ageing clients and you can properly advise them in this area don’t miss the LIV’s new, comprehensive workshop, Acting for Ageing Clients: Advising on Retirement Living and Residential Aged Care workshop on 4 March 2019. 


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