The aged care industry in Australia can be a complex and confusing system for many families and the need for qualified, specialist financial advice has never been more important.
Staff in aged care, as well as Financial Information Service (FIS) officers located at Centrelink branches, are not permitted to give financial advice and can only share general information to prospective residents and families. Therefore, it is essential to seek the services of a licensed, authorised financial adviser to provide any advice in writing.
There are many areas where financial advisers may be able to assist families with structuring their finances. These may include maximising opportunities with age pension benefits, maintaining or growing asset levels, minimising the means-tested care fee charges and reducing accommodation costs.
A well-structured plan will identify the best payment strategy for the resident and their family by understanding their needs and goals at the time of entering aged care. Even residents with reduced assets and income may benefit from the advice of advisers by maximising government support and minimising the daily accommodation contribution (DAC) and, in some cases, eliminating it altogether.
There are some families where the responsibility of funding aged care is given to one sibling in the role of enduring power of attorney (financial) or enduring guardian. This can be a daunting task for that individual, trying to ensure that the right decisions are being made on behalf of their parents and also for the extended family. Seeking specialist financial advice can ease that burden and make sure that all options have been explored and the best financial decisions are being followed.
Signature Care wants to ensure the best outcome for all of our residents and will encourage families to seek advice where they deem it necessary. Our client services managers will be happy to provide information and contact details on a few advisers that specialise in the aged care industry.