Socially responsible ethical equity investments

Socially responsible ethical equity investment By Christine Hopper Socially responsible ethical equity investments are equity investments in businesses that that meet our definitions of “socially responsible” and “ethical”. Remember, an equity investment is like owning part of a business. To be comfortable with your equity investments you need to be comfortable with the type of Read more about Socially responsible ethical equity investments[…]

Equity investment

Equity investment By Christine Hopper Smart long term investors include equity investment as part of their asset portfolios. What is an equity investment An equity investment is an investment into a commercial enterprise. We expect an equity investment to generate a financial reward eventually. Shares in companies that are listed on a stock exchange are Read more about Equity investment[…]

Living in the community with assisted living SRS home care package

Living in the community with assisted living SRS home care package Living in the community with assisted living SRS home care package by Christine Hopper You can use a help to stay at home as an assisted living SRS home care package You can use a help to stay at home as an assisted living SRS home care package. The Read more about Living in the community with assisted living SRS home care package[…]

SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house

SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house by Christine Hopper Living in a SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house is an alternative to residential aged care. Each SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house is independently owned and operated. Accommodation and housekeeping in a SRS Supported Residential Read more about SRS Supported Residential Service private guest house[…]

Residential aged care subsidies

Residential aged care subsidies By Christine Hopper Residential aged care subsidies Residential aged care subsidies are paid to Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities to help with the costs of personal support and nursing care for residents. Residential aged care subsidies for real care costs Seniors are only allowed into Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities if Read more about Residential aged care subsidies[…]

Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2017

Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2017 By Christine Hopper The Pension Allowances are the starting points for the Income Test and Assets Test that can reduce the amount of DSP or Age Pension actually payable. Pension Allowance amounts increased slightly on 1 July 2017. This means that an Age Pensioner could have a little Read more about Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2017[…]

Means tested aged care fees

Means tested aged care fees Means tested aged care fees by Christine Hopper Australians pay means tested aged care fees as a contribution to the costs of their personal care and support. Means tested aged care fees apply to residents of Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities. Seniors and people with disabilities who live in the Read more about Means tested aged care fees[…]

Help to stay at home

Help to stay at home by Christine Hopper Help to stay at home Help to stay at home is fantastic if your spouse is with you and the domestic services are superb. Alas life can be lonely if you have help to stay at home but you are too frail to go out alone. So Read more about Help to stay at home[…]

Confirming identity at Centrelink

Confirming identity at Centrelink by Christine Hopper Confirming identity at Centrelink Without any fanfare Centrelink have tightened their process for confirming the identity of customers. Who is subject to the new ‘confirming  identity‘ process? The new confirming  identity at Centrelink process is applied to new Centrelink customers. Also and any existing Centrelink customers who change Read more about Confirming identity at Centrelink[…]

Disability Support and Age Pension Increases March 2017

Disability Support and Age Pension Increases March 2017   by Christine Hopper The Commonwealth granted Centrelink Disability Support and Age Pension increases on 20 March 2017.  DVA Pension and Income Support Supplement rates also increased from 20 March 2017. Disability Pensions and Age Pensions increases 20 March 2017 for Single Pensioners. The new maximum total payment Read more about Disability Support and Age Pension Increases March 2017[…]

Aged care residents renting former homes

Aged care residents renting former homes   by Christine Hopper Closing homeowner extension for aged care residents renting former homes Small changes in Social Security legislation impact new aged care residents renting former homes. The changes mean that as from 2017, new aged care residents renting former homes will have the net rental income counted Read more about Aged care residents renting former homes[…]

Pension Asset Test Exempt Assets

Pension Asset Test Exempt Assets by Christine Hopper Pension Asset Test Exempt Assets Your Pension Asset Test Exempt Assets are not counted in your Age Pension Assessable Assets. Remember, your Age Pension entitlement is reduced if your Age Pension Assessable Assets exceed the Asset Test Allowance. At Centrelink, Age Pension Assessable Assets include all that Read more about Pension Asset Test Exempt Assets[…]

Age Pension Assessable Assets

Age Pension Assessable Assets By Christine Hopper Your Age Pension entitlement is reduced if your Age Pension Assessable Assets exceed the Asset Test Allowance. At Centrelink, Age Pension Assessable Assets include all that you clearly own together with items that you own indirectly. The Age Pension Assets Test is changing from January 2017. Seniors losing Read more about Age Pension Assessable Assets[…]

My aged care independent financial advice

My aged care independent financial advice by Christine Hopper My aged care independent financial advice need My aged care independent financial advice need arose when my family tried to understand my potential aged care costs.  I need residential aged care before I have another nasty fall at home. Whilst I own my home, I have Read more about My aged care independent financial advice[…]

Aged care fee July 2016 change

Aged care fee July 2016 change by Christine Hopper Aged care fee July 2016 change An aged care fee July 2016 change occurred to reflect the annual “indexation” of Age Pension Allowances and the Commonwealth’s payment of aged care costs. Means tested aged care fee July 2016 change The Means tested Aged care fee July Read more about Aged care fee July 2016 change[…]

Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2016

Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2016   by Christine Hopper Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2016 The Pension Allowances are the starting points for the Income Test and Assets Test that can reduce the amount of DSP or Age Pension actually payable. Pension Allowance amounts increased slightly on 1 July 2016. Read more about Age Pension means test allowance increase July 2016[…]

Granny flat agreement

Granny flat agreement by Christine Hopper If Mum sells her home and lives with us do we need to have a formal granny flat agreement? If Mum sells her home and lives with us a written granny flat agreement could avoid misunderstandings later. Granny flat agreement ingoing payments specified in the granny flat agreement. If Read more about Granny flat agreement[…]

Low Means Aged Care Resident Accommodation Contribution

Low Means Aged Care Resident Accommodation Contribution by Christine Hopper Low Means Aged Care Resident Accommodation Contribution The Low Means aged care resident Accommodation Contribution applies to new residents who are assessed as Low Means on entry to Commonwealth regulated permanent residential aged care. A Low Means aged care resident can only be asked to Read more about Low Means Aged Care Resident Accommodation Contribution[…]

Disability Support Pension Eligibility

Social Security customer notification forms

Social Security customer notification forms   by Christine Hopper Social Security customer notification forms Social Security customer notifications are an essential part of the means testing system for income support benefits and health care cards. Centrelink administer the Australian Social Security arrangements. Centrelink pays income support and issues the associated health care concession caeds only Read more about Social Security customer notification forms[…]

Aged care means test rental income exemption closure

Aged care means test rental income exemption closure by Christine Hopper Aged care means test rental income exemption The aged care means test exemption has allowed for permanent residents of Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities to have the rental income from their former homes excluded from the Centrelink income tests. This exemption will continue to Read more about Aged care means test rental income exemption closure[…]

Commonwealth regulated aged care Means Tested Care fees

Commonwealth regulated aged care Means Tested Care fees by Christine Hopper All aged care residents pay a Basic Daily fee for housekeeping costs and most permanent residents are charged some accommodation costs. In addition, permanent aged care residents with significant levels of assets and/or income are expected to contribute to the costs of their personal Read more about Commonwealth regulated aged care Means Tested Care fees[…]

Aged Care fees increases 20 September 2015

Aged Care fees increases 20 September 2015   by Christine Hopper Basic Daily Aged Care fees increases 20 September 2015 All residents of Commonwealth regulated residential aged care are asked to pay a Basic Daily fee. You could think of the Basic Daily fee as covering the costs of running any home such as meals, laundry, Read more about Aged Care fees increases 20 September 2015[…]

Disability Support Pension Eligibility

Deemed financial income calculation

Deemed financial income calculation   by Christine Hopper Centrelink and DVA pension income tests use your deemed financial income rather than your actual income form financial assets. What is the formula for the deemed financial income calculation? Interest rates in the deemed financial income calculation Two interest rates are prescribed for the deemed financial income Read more about Deemed financial income calculation[…]

July 2015 changes in means tested aged care fees

July 2015 changes in means tested aged care fees by Christine Hopper Careful readers of aged care invoices could notice a small reduction in the means tested care fees from July 2015.  The July 2015 changes in means tested aged care fees reflect small increases in the Age Pension means test allowances. July 2015 changes Read more about July 2015 changes in means tested aged care fees[…]

Centrelink Pension Allowance Increase July 2015

Centrelink Pension Allowance Increase July 2015 by Christine Hopper The Centrelink Pension Allowances are the starting points for the Income Test and Assets Test that can reduce the amount of DSP or Age Pension actually payable. Centrelink Pension Allowance amounts increased on 1 July 2015. This means that a Centrelink Pensioner could have more Income and Read more about Centrelink Pension Allowance Increase July 2015[…]

Age Pensioner financial assets for income deeming

Age Pensioner financial assets for income deeming   by Christine Hopper Why define Centrelink Age Pensioner“financial assets”? Centrelink Age Pensioner Income Tests use the deemed financial income from your financial assets rather than your actual earnings from financial assets. Therefore, you need to identify your Centrelink Age Pensioner financial assets before you could calculate your deemed Read more about Age Pensioner financial assets for income deeming[…]

Granny flat arrangement ending

Granny flat arrangement ending   by Christine Hopper Granny flat arrangements At Centrelink, a granny flat arrangement provides for a senior person, the ‘granny flat resident’, to live for the remainder of her life in accommodation provided by the ‘granny flat host’. The granny flat resident usually contributes a lump sum ‘ingoing contribution’ towards the Read more about Granny flat arrangement ending[…]

Aged care means tested amount DVA compensation exemption

Aged care means tested amount DVA compensation exemption by Christine Hopper The aged care means tested amount DVA compensation exemption applies only to the veteran who suffered the injury or illness. Aged care means tested amount The Commonwealth regulates and subsidies the provision of formal aged care both in aged care facilities and ‘at home’. Read more about Aged care means tested amount DVA compensation exemption[…]

Negotiate aged care accommodation room prices

Negotiate aged care accommodation room prices By Christine Hopper Aged care facilities must publish the maximum price for each type of accommodation offered. Families then ask “Can we negotiate aged care accommodation room prices?” Yes, you can negotiate aged care accommodation room prices. But the aged care facility might not choose to negotiate aged care Read more about Negotiate aged care accommodation room prices[…]

Allocated pensions Centrelink account based income streams

Allocated pensions Centrelink account based income streams   by Christine Hopper Allocated pensions also known as Centrelink account based income streams Allocated pension accounts allow retirees to retain the advantages of a superannuation fund account whilst drawing out a personal pension. Allocated pension accounts are also known as allocated annuities and Centrelink account based income Read more about Allocated pensions Centrelink account based income streams[…]

Retirement reverse mortgage debt

Retirement reverse mortgage debt by Christine Hopper In retirement reverse mortgage debt can appear as the ‘solution’ to a pattern of spending more than your regular retirement income. On retirement from full time work we each need to develop a new pattern of spending time and money. Suddenly we might find that we have more Read more about Retirement reverse mortgage debt[…]

Disability Support Pension Eligibility

DVA Compensation Pension Income Support Supplement

DVA Compensation Pension Income Support Supplement   by Christine Hopper The Commonwealth pays DVA Compensation Pensions and the Income Support Supplement, ISS, to veterans who suffered health problems as a result of active service facing the enemy. The surviving spouses of veterans who died from war related causes are eligible for the DVA War Widow, Read more about DVA Compensation Pension Income Support Supplement[…]

Granny flat independent financial advice

Granny flat independent financial advice   by Christine Hopper A granny flat arrangement is an option for those who promised Mum that they would never put her into an old people’s home. But now that she is frail and confused she cannot stay on her own. Having Mum come to live with you long term Read more about Granny flat independent financial advice[…]

Aged care fee indexation increase

Aged care fee indexation increase   by Christine Hopper The Commonwealth sets the levels of residential and home aged care fees for aged care services eligible for Commonwealth subsidy. The Commonwealth allows for regular reviews and aged care fee indexation increases. An aged care fee indexation increase also applies to the annual and lifetime caps Read more about Aged care fee indexation increase[…]

Independent aged care financial advice

Independent aged care financial advice   by Christine Hopper Independent aged care financial advice is advice about the financial aspects of your specific situation. Professional financial advisers consider your particular situation and advise you on the financial implications of your options. An independent professional aged care financial adviser shows you the costs of your preferred Read more about Independent aged care financial advice[…]

Introducing Commonwealth regulated residential aged care

Introducing residential aged care by Christine Hopper Commonwealth regulated Residential aged care is available for people who need personal support and/or nursing care irrespective of their financial resources. The Commonwealth is the ‘gatekeeper’ for who is allowed into potentially subsidised aged care. The Commonwealth also pays a substantial subsidy for aged care residents who cannot Read more about Introducing Commonwealth regulated residential aged care[…]

Aged care daily care fee means tested amount

Aged care daily care fee means tested amount by Christine Hopper Aged care daily care fee means tested amount applies from July 2014 From July 2014, a new entrant to residential aged care is charged a Daily Care Fee based on her Means Tested Amount. The July 2014 Aged care daily care fee Means Tested Amount Read more about Aged care daily care fee means tested amount[…]

SMSF member enters permanent residential aged care

SMSF member enters permanent residential aged care by Christine Hopper When an SMSF member enters permanent residential aged care he is unlikely to have the ongoing mental capacity and physical strength to continue managing his financial affairs. Once mental capacity is lost his Attorney, or Court appointed Administrator, would become responsible for his financial affairs. Read more about SMSF member enters permanent residential aged care[…]

Financial year end gifting

Financial year end gifting By Christine Hopper Gifting can be a pleasure for both the donor and the gift recipient. Gifts generally reduce the asset base of the donor. Some gifts also reduce the ‘assets’ of a Centrelink or DVA Pensioner. The ATO allows for gifts to some charitable causes to be deducted from your Read more about Financial year end gifting[…]

July 2014 aged care accommodation contributions for pensioners

July 2014 aged care accommodation contributions for pensioners by Christine Hopper As from July 2014 the aged care accommodation contributions for pensioners with few assets will be assessed differently. The current system makes a once only determination of each resident’s eligibility for accommodation subsidy at the date of entry. Starting July 2014 the aged care Read more about July 2014 aged care accommodation contributions for pensioners[…]

July 2014 Aged Care charging system

July 2014 Aged Care charging system   by Christine Hopper Would my mother pay more for aged care if she defers entering permanent care until July 2014? The Commonwealth has legislated for a new package of resident fees and charges for residential aged care for new entrants after June 2014. The July 2014 aged care Read more about July 2014 Aged Care charging system[…]

July 2014 Means Tested Daily Care Fees for Commonwealth regulated residential aged care

New July 2014 Means Tested Daily Care Fees for Commonwealth regulated residential aged care   By Christine Hopper The Commonwealth aged care reform package, Living Longer Living Better, introduces a new style of means tested daily care fee from July 2014. All residents of Commonwealth regulated residential aged care facilities will continue to pay the Read more about July 2014 Means Tested Daily Care Fees for Commonwealth regulated residential aged care[…]

Injury Compensation Payments impact Centrelink Benefits

Injury Compensation Payments impact Centrelink Benefits by Christine Hopper Any Injury Compensation Payments you receive could impact your Centrelink Benefits. Centrelink, DVA and Medicare can require you to pay back their costs as part of your personal injury claim. The Compensation Recovery Team at Centrelink can help calculate the actual impact on your personal situation. Read more about Injury Compensation Payments impact Centrelink Benefits[…]

July 2014 New Residents Aged Care Accommodation Charges

July 2014 New Residents Aged Care Accommodation Charges   by Christine Hopper The system for determining new residents’ aged care accommodation charges will be different for new permanent residents from 1 July 2014. The changes do not impact on the aged care Accommodation Charges and Accommodation Bond agreements of permanent residents as at 30 June Read more about July 2014 New Residents Aged Care Accommodation Charges[…]

Aged Care Asset Assessment Home Exemption

Aged Care Asset Assessment Home Exemption   by Christine Hopper Multi-generational households often ask if the Aged Care Asset Assessment has a home exemption. Families may be aware that the amount of Accommodation Bond, or Accommodation Charge, required of a permanent resident of Commonwealth regulated aged care facility depends on the amount of the new Read more about Aged Care Asset Assessment Home Exemption[…]

Aged Care Regulation changes 1 July 2014

Aged Care Regulation changes 1 July 2014 by Christine Hopper The Commonwealth Aged Care Regulation changes impacting on new residents come into effect on 1 July 2014.  Last year the Commonwealth parliament passed the Aged Care (Living Longer Living Better) Bill 2013. The new legislation changes the administration and financing system for both residential aged Read more about Aged Care Regulation changes 1 July 2014[…]

Net assets for aged care entry

Net assets for aged care entry by Christine Hopper The amount that a new entrant to Commonwealth regulated residential aged care could be asked to pay for aged care Accommodation is based on the ‘net assets’ of the new resident. So how is the amount of net assets for aged care entry calculated for permanent Read more about Net assets for aged care entry[…]

Centrelink Adult Carer Payment

Centrelink Adult Carer Payment by Christine Hopper Early retire and get a Centrelink Adult Carer Payment as a full time carer When an elderly parent needs more support and care than a quick visit after work, you might be thinking to early retire to be full time carer. But what Centrelink adult Carer Payment income could Read more about Centrelink Adult Carer Payment[…]

Centrelink Gifting

Centrelink Gifting by Christine Hopper At Centrelink gifting is transferring assets to another person or entity for less than the market value. Centrelink expects its Age Pensioner and DSP customers to report any substantial gifts of money or assets. What is a gift at Centrelink? The simple example of Centrelink gifting is the fifty dollar Read more about Centrelink Gifting[…]

Private company and family trusts in Pension means tests

Private company and family trusts in Pension means tests

Private company and family trusts in Pension means tests by Christine Hopper The inclusion of private company and family trusts in Pension means tests surprises many seniors.  Small businesses and farmers often own their business assets and investments within a private company or family trust structure. Ownership of the shares in the private company could Read more about Private company and family trusts in Pension means tests[…]

Entering Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident

Entering Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident by Christine Hopper Each Supported Resident of a Commonwealth regulated aged care facility attracts an Accommodation subsidy from the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth has a ‘budgeted amount’ to spend on these Accommodation subsided rather than an unlimited supply of cash. Therefore, the Commonwealth endeavours to spread its Read more about Entering Commonwealth regulated aged care as a Supported Resident[…]

Agree an additional amount of Accommodation Bond?

Agree an additional amount of Accommodation Bond? by Christine Hopper Aged care managers strongly advise entrants to agree an additional amount of Accommodation Bond Admission managers at aged care facilities frequently advise potential residents that “if you pay a higher Accommodation Bond then you will get more Age Pension and eliminate the Income Tested Fee”. Read more about Agree an additional amount of Accommodation Bond?[…]

Aged care residents enrolled to vote

Aged care residents enrolled to vote by Christine Hopper Help is available for aged care residents enrolled to vote when their minds are still strong but their bodies are frail. Aged care residents enrolled to vote are expected to cast their votes at the Federal election. To simplify life, temporary mobile polling stations visit many aged Read more about Aged care residents enrolled to vote[…]

Accommodation Bonds for Residential Aged Care

Accommodation Bonds for Residential Aged Care

Accommodation Bonds for Residential Aged Care By Christine Hopper New entrants to requiring ‘low care’ or ‘extra service high care’ may be asked for Accommodation Bonds for residential aged care.  The Accommodation Bonds for residential aged care are like interest free loans to the operator of the residential aged care facilities. How much is the Read more about Accommodation Bonds for Residential Aged Care[…]

Granny flats for Pensioners

Granny flats for Pensioners – Centrelink and DVA and granny flats By Christine Hopper When families provide granny flats for Pensioners then Centrelink, or DVA, become very interested in the ‘pensioner granny.’  A new pension means test assessment happens when an Age Pensioner, Disability Pensioner, DVA Service Pensioner or War Widow moves into a granny flat Read more about Granny flats for Pensioners[…]

Residential aged care costs – an illustration

Residential aged care costs by Christine Hopper Families new to residential aged care can be confused by the web of fees and charges for residential aged care. Accommodation charges are fixed on entry but daily care fees change regularly. Below is an “illustration” of the fees and charges that could apply to new entrants to Read more about Residential aged care costs – an illustration[…]

Supported Residential Service or SRS

Supported Residential Service or SRS Private Aged Care Homes By Christine Hopper What is Supported Residential Service or SRS? A Supported Residential Service or SRS, is like a guest house or private hotel, offering short or long term accommodation, all meals in a dining room and communal activities together with some personal support. Each Supported Residential Service or Read more about Supported Residential Service or SRS[…]

Residential aged care for seniors in new relationships

The complexities of aged care accommodation costs for Couples at Centrelink who met later in life By Christine Hopper James and Jenny exchanged the family home for a modest new townhouse near their adult children.  James had only recently retired and when Jenny died suddenly. After a few years of living alone, James embarked on Read more about Residential aged care for seniors in new relationships[…]

Annuities – Income Streams

Annuities – Income Streams By Christine Hopper Long ago annuities were purchased by healthy, wealthy seniors as a means of converting lump sums into extended lifetime income streams.  These folk were paid annuities as income streams.  Annuities are now being marketed to retirees, so what is an annuity and why would I buy one? The purchase of an annuity Read more about Annuities – Income Streams[…]

Assessed Assets on entry to Permanent Residential Aged Care

Assessed Assets on entering permanent residential aged care By Christine Hopper The amount of your Assessed Assets on entry to Permanent Residential Aged Care impacts on your potential costs of living in care.  Your Assessed Asset amount determines the maximum amount that you could be asked to contribute towards the cost of your accommodation in Read more about Assessed Assets on entry to Permanent Residential Aged Care[…]

Take advantage of travel concessions to go out and about in winter

Take advantage of travel concessions to go out and about in winter By Christine Hopper In the cooler darker months you could 1.    Escape by travelling north and repeatedly alert friends to the warmth and beauty of Queensland 2.    Hibernate and refuse to interact socially with anyone        (OK for one day only, then move Read more about Take advantage of travel concessions to go out and about in winter[…]

Advance Funding of Funerals encouraged at Centrelink

Advance Funding of Funerals encouraged at Centrelink By Christine Hopper Advance Funding of Funerals is encouraged at Centrelink and DVA.  Advance funding of funerals could mean a prepaid funeral or funeral bonds. Centrelink and DVAtreat prepaid funerals as ‘exempt assets’ for pension means testing purposes. Thus prepaid funerals are not counted for the Age Pension Read more about Advance Funding of Funerals encouraged at Centrelink[…]

Accommodation Costs for new High Care residents

Accommodation Costs for direct entrants to Residential Aged Care in standard nursing homes By Christine Hopper Standard nursing homes levy a daily Accommodation Charge Standard nursing homes may ask new entrants to aged care for a daily Accommodation Charge.  You cannot be asked for a lump sum payment, or Accommodation Bond, for a standard nursing Read more about Accommodation Costs for new High Care residents[…]

Advance funding of your funeral

Advance funding of your funeral Alas each of us will die eventually.  A healthy lifestyle and advanced medical care might prolong life but the day will come eventually when our mortal bodies are worn out and just stop functioning. Is a funeral essential? Australian law requires that ‘human remains’ be treated with dignity.  Thus your Read more about Advance funding of your funeral[…]

Finding a good aged care home

Finding a good aged care home by Christine Hopper Now that we have the ACAS Assessment how do we find a good aged care place for our family member? Before you start contacting aged care facilities, try to clarify the ‘what’ and ‘where’ of your ideal facility. Finding a good aged care home- what is Read more about Finding a good aged care home[…]

When should seniors move home?

When should seniors move home? by Christine Hopper When should seniors move home? The time when seniors should move home is clear to the sellers of seniors lifestyle communities. Wisdom is recognising that the family home might soon be inappropriate for your needs and having the courage to sell up and buy into ‘seniors friendly’ accommodation.  But what Read more about When should seniors move home?[…]

Is it time to move into aged care?

Do my parents need to go into aged care?

How well were the older generation coping at the family New Year gatherings?  Did Dad seem overwhelmed by a houseful of youngsters? Was grandma looking frailer than last year? Maybe someone needs regular support with housework and the activities of daily living.  Welcome to the world of aged care. If your loved one is ageing Read more about Do my parents need to go into aged care?[…]