Manufactured housing retirement lifestyle communities

Manufactured housing retirement lifestyle communities by Christine Hopper Manufactured housing is housing that is manufactured and then parked where the owner has chosen to live. Seniors gather in manufactured housing lifestyle communities that appear like any other retirement village lifestyle communities. What does manufactured housing look like Manufactured housing is like a transportable building. Manufactured Read more about Manufactured housing retirement lifestyle communities[…]

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[…]

Retirement village entry independent financial advice

Retirement village entry independent financial advice By Christine Hopper Why retirement village entry independent financial advice Wise seniors buy retirement village entry independent financial advice as part of their consideration of moving into a retirement lifestyle community village. Buying into a retirement lifestyle community village involves buying the right to occupy a residence and participate Read more about Retirement village entry independent financial advice[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Granny flat housing payments

Granny flat housing payments   by Christine Hopper Granny flat housing payments, if Mum sells her home and lives with us, can she pay us? If Mum sells her home and lives with us then we could be considered to have entered a ‘granny flat arrangement’. Special rules apply to Pensioners who live in granny Read more about Granny flat housing payments[…]

If Mum lives with us does she keep her Pension as a Granny flat Pensioner

If Mum lives with us does she keep her Pension as a Granny flat Pensioner ? by Christine Hopper Sue asks, “If Mum lives with us does she keep her Pension, can she continue as a Granny flat Pensioner ?” Many years ago Sue promised Dad that they would never put Mum into an “old Read more about If Mum lives with us does she keep her Pension as a Granny flat Pensioner[…]

Lifestyle community accommodation

Lifestyle community accommodation by Christine Hopper Retirees are choosing to live in lifestyle community accommodation rather than stay on in the family home. But what type of housing is available in a lifestyle community. Lifestyle community accommodation includes any separate ‘community’ of individual independent living residences. Older lifestyle communities were known as retirement villages with Read more about Lifestyle community accommodation[…]

MyPost Concession Postage

MyPost Concession Postage by Christine Hopper In January, 2016 Australia Post increased postage prices except for the MyPost Concession Postage customers.  At the same time, the delivery schedule for the new “regular” service became at least one business day slower than the 2015 standard delivery schedule. Yes your letter could go as fast as the Read more about MyPost Concession Postage[…]

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Income Test

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card   by Christine Hopper Benefits of Commonwealth Seniors Health Card The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides discounts on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines. Holders of the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card are entitled to the Pensioner Concession rate of charges for PBS medications and the Concession levels of Medicare Safety Net. Read more about Commonwealth Seniors Health Card[…]

Lifestyle community retirement village costs

Lifestyle community retirement village costs by Christine Hopper Lifestyle community retirement village costs Moving to a lifestyle community retirement village is an opportunity for a new lifestyle. But what are the actual Lifestyle community retirement village costs. Every lifestyle community retirement village costs are specific to that facility. You expect your chosen lifestyle community retirement Read more about Lifestyle community retirement village costs[…]

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[…]

Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme

Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme

Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme   by Christine Hopper Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme The Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme is available to part Pensioners whose Pension amounts are reduced on account of either the Asset Test or the Income Test but not both. Permanent Australian residents who have attained Age Pension Age but are excluded from the Read more about Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme[…]

Seniors rental housing

Seniors rental housing By Christine Hopper On retirement affordable seniors rental housing could be hard to find. Who is looking for seniors rental housing After retirement, private sector tenants might not be able to afford the rent for the home they had leased for many years. The rent required for a nice home unit in Read more about Seniors rental housing[…]

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[…]

Centrelink Pension Loans Scheme

Pensioner Homeowner principal residence exemption

Pensioner Homeowner principal residence exemption   by Christine Hopper Pensioner Homeowner principal residence exemption for one land Title The DVA and Centrelink homeowner principal residence exemption applies only to your principal residence and the first two hectares of land covered by the single land Title that your home is on. For pension assessment purposes, your assets include real Read more about Pensioner Homeowner principal residence exemption[…]

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[…]

Centrelink Financial Information Service

Centrelink Financial Information Service   by Christine Hopper The Centrelink Financial Information Service provides information about Centrelink benefits to customers and potential customers. Generic Financial Information is provided in Centrelink booklets and at Centrelink Financial Information Service seminars. You can ask specific questions by telephoning the Centrelink Financial Information Service and speaking with an officer. Read more about Centrelink Financial Information Service[…]

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[…]

Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia

Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia

Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia   by Christine Hopper Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia do not all continue to receive their pensions.  Some Age Pensions are cancelled and others are reduced after six months absence from Australia. Remember that Age Pensions are provided to Australian residents who are in constrained financial circumstances. You must be Read more about Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia[…]

Age Pensioners permanently departing Australia

Centrelink Benefits for Seniors Absent from Australia

Centrelink Benefits for Seniors Absent from Australia   by Christine Hopper Centrelink administers the Social Security benefit arrangements for Australian residents in constrained financial circumstances. Centrelink benefits continue for seniors absent from Australia temporarily but with some exceptions. Therefore you need to check your Centrelink entitlements as part of your travel plans. If you are Read more about Centrelink Benefits for Seniors Absent from Australia[…]

Centrelink early retirement benefits

If I retire now could I get any Centrelink early retirement benefits? by Christine Hopper Your eligibility for Centrelink early retirement benefits depends on your age, your personal circumstances and your financial resources and other assets. Remember Centrelink administers the Social Security Act which is about providing support to long term Australian residents in constrained Read more about Centrelink early retirement benefits[…]

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[…]

Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card Income Test

Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card Income Test by Christine Hopper Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card is available to Australian residents who have attained Age Pension Age but do not qualify for an Age Pension. Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card Benefits The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card provides the same Medicare and PBS pharmacy concessions as Read more about Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card Income Test[…]

Age Pension as an Australian Resident

Age Pension as an Australian Resident by Christine Hopper Claiming an Age Pension as an Australian resident The Australian Social Security laws provide Age Pensions for Australian residents. To be eligible for an Age Pension from Centrelink you must be an Australian resident and actually be in Australia on the day that you lodge your Read more about Age Pension as an Australian Resident[…]

Life Expectancy How long will I live?

Life Expectancy How long will I live? by Christine Hopper If I want to save enough for a comfortable retirement then I want to know for what period would I live in retirement. So what is my life expectancy or how long will I live?  The life expectancy number is an estimate of my future lifespan.  The Read more about Life Expectancy How long will I live?[…]

Age Pension Age Increases

Social Security Age Pension Age Increases   By Christine Hopper To qualify for the Australian Age Pension applicants must have attained their Age Pension Age.  The Age Pension Age for men has been age 65 years since the Age Pension started early last century. The Age Pension Age for women has now increased to be the same as Read more about Age Pension Age Increases[…]

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[…]

Home in Retirement

Home in Retirement

A place to call home in retirement   By Christine Hopper Many long term renters delay retiring from full time paid work.  How could I afford to continue paying my rent without a regular full-time wage?  The unspoken fear could be, “I might be without a home in retirement”. The good news is that you Read more about Home in Retirement[…]

Commissions on financial products

Commissions on financial products By Christine Hopper In the beginning the commissions on financial products were not disclosed to the customer. Long ago financial products were sold to consumers.  A glossy brochure illustrated the great features of the product and the small print mentioned the fees and charges. The insurance salesman offered ‘unit linked’ investment contracts Read more about Commissions on financial products[…]

Personal Circumstances at Centrelink or DVA

Personal Circumstances at Centrelink or DVA   by Christine Hopper The amounts of income support benefits available from Centrelink or DVA, depend on your Personal Circumstances at Centrelink or DVA.  So what are “Personal Circumstances” at Centrelink and DVA? Your Personal Circumstances at Centrelink, or DVA, is based on your relationship with the people that you Read more about Personal Circumstances at Centrelink or DVA[…]

Age Pensioner Work Bonus in Centrelink Income Test

Age Pensioner Work Bonus in Centrelink Income Test by Christine Hopper The Age Pensioner Work Bonus in the Centrelink Income Test is to encourage Age Pensioners to continue their links to the paid workforce. The advantage of the Age Pensioner Work Bonus is that the first $250 per fortnight of income from employment is not counted Read more about Age Pensioner Work Bonus in Centrelink Income Test[…]

Disability Support Pension

Disability Support Pension by Christine Hopper Centrelink pay the Disability Support Pension to Australian residents whose disabilities prevent them from earning. Eligibility for Disability Support Pension The Disability Support Pension is available to Australian residents who have attained age 16 years but not their Age Pension Age. A Disability Support Pensioner normally transfers to the Age Read more about Disability Support Pension[…]

Age Pension for only one partner in a couple

Can I get an Age Pension when I turn 65 even if my partner is much younger and/or still working? by Christine Hopper You can apply for an Age Pension when you have attained age 65 years. The Centrelink rules allow for an Age Pension for only one partner in a couple when the other partner Read more about Age Pension for only one partner in a couple[…]

Retail Interest Rates

Retail Interest Rates for consumers or when is a ‘good deal’ too good to be true By Christine Hopper Retail interest rates represent the rate of interest that an individual lender expects to be paid for a loan.  Bank interest on ‘at call’ accounts could be between nil for a cheque account and 4.5% per annum on the top Read more about Retail Interest Rates[…]

Pensioner Rent Assistance

Pensioner Rent Assistance Pensioner Rent Assistance is available to Centrelink Age and Disability Support Pensioners. DVA pays Rent Assistance to eligible Service Pensioners.  DVA also pays Rent Assistance to those veteran Disability Pensioners and War Widow Pensioners who are also recipients of the Income Support Supplement. To be eligible for Pensioner Rent Assistance you must Read more about Pensioner Rent Assistance[…]

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[…]

Homeowner at Centrelink and DVA

Homeowner at Centrelink and DVA By Christine Hopper Avid readers of Commonwealth Pension means testing charts notice that the Asset Test Allowances have different amounts for ‘homeowners’ and ‘non-homeowners’.  So who is a homeowner at Centrelink and DVA? Homeowner Suburban Examples Mary still owns the family home situated well inside a standard block in suburbia.  Read more about Homeowner at Centrelink and DVA[…]

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[…]

Pensions for Australian Veterans

Service Pensions for Australian Veterans By Christine Hopper Veterans who actively served in roles where they were exposed to danger from the enemy in World War II or later conflicts, can apply to the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs (“DVA”) for a Service Pension. The Service Pension is of equivalent amount and subject to the Read more about Pensions for Australian Veterans[…]

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[…]

Low Income Health Care Card

Early Retirees seeking help with Health Care Costs By Christine Hopper The Commonwealth ‘Low Income Health Care Card’ provides access to the Concession Rates for PBS prescriptions and Commonwealth funded bulk billing medical services similar to those available to Age Pensioners.  Some State government and utility providers also offer concessions and/or discounts to holders of Read more about Low Income Health Care Card[…]

Full Centrelink Pension for legally blind residents

Full Centrelink Pension for legally blind residents By Christine Hopper Centrelink pay the full Age or Disability Support Pension to residents who are ‘legally blind’.  So who is legally blind and not just vision impaired? When we hear that someone is ‘blind’ we sometimes assume that the person has no vision.  Sadly some people have Read more about Full Centrelink Pension for legally blind residents[…]

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 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[…]

Buying into seniors paradise, but at what price?

Buying into seniors paradise, but at what price? Signing up for your dream home in a retirement lifestyle community village means agreeing to buy a bundle of services in exchange for a package of fees and charges. You maybe enthralled by the offer of fully maintained recreational facilities: your own gym and swimming pool, a Read more about Buying into seniors paradise, but at what price?[…]

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?[…]