October 31, 2013

Vol 3 Ed 10

Vol 3 Ed 10

Volume 3 Edition 10 Newsletter

Online at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-3-ed-10/

Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 3 Edition 10 –31 October 2013


True or False –
“If you pay a higher Accommodation Bond you will get more Age Pension and pay less in Income Tested Fees”. 

The statement is generally ‘True’ but agreeing to a higher Accommodation Bond rarely in the best interests of the resident.

Paying a higher Accommodation Bond to get more Age Pension is like keeping cash under the mattress so that the tax man does not take part of your interest income.  The marginal income test rate at Centrelink is about 71% for an aged care resident on a part Age Pension.  The resident gets to keep the other 29% of the additional income from a deeming account.

Remember that an Accommodation Bond is an interest free loan to the aged care facility.  Thus lending more money to the aged care facility at zero interest means less money for the resident to invest at the bank.
Less money invested generates a lower deemed income at Centrelink.
A lower Income at Centrelink usually generates a higher Age Pension and a lower Income Tested Fee.
You can read more about how residents lose out by agreeing to a higher Accommodation Bond at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/christine-hopper-insights/agree-an-additional-amount-of-accommodation-bond/

“If you pay a higher Accommodation Bond then you will get more Age Pension and pay less in Income Tested Fees”.
This ‘advice’ is both misleading to the new resident and biased in favour of the aged care facility.  But this misleading ‘advice’ is frequently offered by the admissions managers of aged care facilities to families who dare to negotiate the Accommodation Bond amount.

There is a risk that the new resident might construe this statement as ‘financial advice’ regarding their personal situation.  Oops, only advisers licenced by ASIC are authorised to provide ‘financial advice’ to individuals.

Facility managers might check that their staff are not inadvertently giving ‘financial advice’ to incoming residents and their families.

Commonwealth means tested benefits are only for Senior Australian Residents with limited financial resources.

Some seniors are surprised to discover that Age Pensions are only available to long term Australian residents.  Read more about the Residency requirements for claiming the Age Pension and DSP at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/christine-hopper-insights/age-pension-as-an-australian-resident/

Your entitlement to the Pension Supplement could be suspended if your overseas adventures last more than six weeks.

Seniors can lose their entitlements to the Seniors Supplement for Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders if they are absent from Australia for a more than six weeks.
Your Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card could even be cancelled if you are away from Australia for an extended period.

When in Australia, Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card holders must have an ‘adjusted taxable income’ within the allowable range.  To calculate your ‘adjusted taxable income’ you must add back any ‘tax losses’ on investments and include any other income such as fringe benefits and foreign income that does not get reported on an Australian Income Tax Return.

Read more about ‘adjusted taxable income’ for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card at http://www.financialcareservices.com.au/christine-hopper-insights/commonwealth-seniors-health-care-card-income-test/

Spring cleaning the bathroom cupboard to reduce mishaps.

Spring is the time for looking into cupboards and clearing out excess stuff.  The bathroom cupboard looks so much neater when all of the tubes are together and the little bottles are lined up in a row.

Yes, it looks neater but not everyone reads the labels every time they grab an item from that bathroom cupboard.  Sadly I have met the lady who put whiteout in her eye instead of macular degeneration drops because someone had tidied for her.
Then another lass mistook eucalyptus oil for cough mixture late one night.
We might hope that some people would wash their mouths out but please do not leave the antiseptic cream alongside the toothpaste.


  • Put the toothpaste and mouth ulcer gel on a different shelf from all of the skin creams in regular use.
  • Isolate the eye drops for the vision impaired to a place easily accessible only to their owners.
  • All of the other tubes, little bottles and occasional use items could go into storage.
  • A steel toolbox with a combination lock makes a secure home for occasional use items that could endanger casual users.

If you would like further confidential, independent and professional advice about Centrelink, lifestyle or financial advice, please contact Christine Hopper (03) 9808 0338.


Financial Care Services

Christine Hopper

Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australian Financial Services Licence Number
299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/far.html)

Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is of a general nature only and does not constitute “financial advice”. You should obtain your own personal financial advice before investing any money or moving in to any retirement village, lifestyle community or aged care facility. Financial Care Services is licensed to provide financial advice to individual clients based on their personal situations.

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