Baby Boomer Boom – Time to Review Your Aged Care Plan
The combination of the ageing baby boomer generation and continual medical advancements increasing our life expectancy means that over the next 20 years the number of older Australians is expected to double. This will result in nearly four million Australians being over the age of 70.
This will also mean that more Australians will experience the need for aged care during their lives. Becoming reliant on others, requiring assistance with everyday activities and living is not a topic that many people are open to discussing as we are all wanting to live our later years with independence and dignity.
Given that there is often a lack of planning around the need for aged care, many older people, their family and loved ones tend to encounter the aged care system after a serious medical event or crisis triggers a change in circumstances. This may mean that returning home is no longer an option and a move to an aged care facility becomes a necessity.
This could mean that someone is facing the prospect of having to organise care for their spouse or life partner or adult children dealing with having to place their parents into care. Clearly, these will be extremely stressful and emotionally draining circumstances.
Dealing with complex financial issues at a time when your main concern is the health and welfare of someone you love can be both challenging and very time-consuming. Just getting a basic understanding of what forms you need, how to complete them correctly and where to send them can be a difficult path to navigate. This may well all be occurring in a time critical environment as a place within a suitable facility needs to be quickly organised and secured.
Aged care is a complex area that requires a sound understanding of how the rules interact with the broader tax and social security system. Attempting to gain an understanding of these rules, the different costs and fees involved, government funding available and the various options to finance the care required can become overwhelming.
Making decisions without a detailed knowledge of all available options can result in poor financial outcomes for both individuals and their families.
A financial adviser with experience and understanding of aged care can provide clarity and understanding around all your options and ensure that you are able to make informed decisions with confidence.
This will include explaining and discussing areas such as:
- What are the costs associated with aged care and how are these calculated?
- The different options available to meet both initial and ongoing aged care costs.
- Is the sale of the family home necessary and what are the time frames for this to occur?
- How will Centrelink (social security) benefits be impacted?
- Will any existing estate planning need to be adjusted?
Quality financial advice will assist to reduce stress, deliver improved financial outcomes and allow better family cohesion during difficult circumstances.
Overall the goal of an adviser will be to assist a family to focus on helping a loved one make a challenging transition with confidence and dignity.