August 27, 2014

Vol 4 Ed 8

Volume 4 Edition 8 Newsletter

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FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors

Volume 4 Edition 8– 28 August 2014


Do you still stick postage stamps on picture postcards and handwritten letters to send to the people you love?

Perhaps you did not notice that the price of mailing an ordinary postage item increased early in 2014. Many seniors still use Australia Post to send birthday cards and letters written in real ink on paper. To keep our seniors in touch with family and friends, Australia Post is offering personal use postage stamps at the ‘old’ price via the MyPost Concession Account.

MyPost Concession Account is available to Australians who have a valid Commonwealth Government concession card for example, a Pension Concession Card or a Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card.

MyPost Concession Account provides ongoing benefits including a free booklet of five concession stamps upon registration and the ability to purchase up to 50 concession stamps per year plus concessions on Mail Hold and Mail Redirection services.

The easy way to start a MyPost Concession Account is to visit a Post Office, complete and sign the paper MyPost Concession Account Application form and show your Commonwealth Government concession card.

Finding the Centrelink benefit Information that you need

Centrelink publishes lots of information about the income support payments and concession cards administered by Centrelink. You may spend many happy hours reading the information about selected topics and clicking on the definitions to read more. But you still might not have discovered the item that answers your question.

If you are seeking plain information such as, “How would Centrelink adjust my Disability Support Pension if I inherited a million dollars?” then you could call the Centrelink Financial Information Service on 13 23 00.

The Centrelink Financial Information Service provides information only. The staff at the Centrelink Financial Information Service are not licensed to provide ‘financial advice’.

Thus the FIS officer could tell you how your Disability Support Pension would be cancelled if you received a lump sum inheritance of a million dollars and saved it all in your bank account. However the FIS officer is not permitted to give personal financial advice such as suggesting that you use part of your inheritance to buy a home, pay off your debts and/or make a large non-concessional contribution to your superannuation account.
The Centrelink Financial Information Service might suggest that you obtain personal financial advice about investing at least part of your inheritance.
Read more about Financial Information Service and personal financial advice.

Help is available.  Christine at Financial Care Services is licensed to provide personal financial advice to individuals.

Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to book an appointment to discuss your long term planning for when you no longer earn an income from work . 

Looking ahead to retirement

The Centrelink website shows that the full rate of Age Pension including the Supplements, is currently $842.80 per fortnight for a Single person and $635.30 per fortnight each for a couple. Thus the Age Pension alone provides for a frugal lifestyle for homeowners. An additional $80 per person per fortnight, $2,080 per year each, would allow for additional basic items.

But how much does it cost for a reasonable standard of living in retirement? ASFA undertakes a survey of what real retirees spend and then updates for price inflation. You can read about the components and costs of a  “modest lifestyle” and a “comfortable lifestyle” as the ASFA Retirement Standard

Your own spending pattern will be different from the ASFA Retirement Standard but the Retirement Standard is a good starting point for your planning.

If you are planning to retire this financial year then please be aware that the Centrelink treatment of income streams is changing on 1 January 2015.
Grandfathering could apply only to income streams started before 2015 by people who became Centrelink Pensioners before 2015. Now might be a good time to consider if retiring before 2015 is smart in your circumstances.

Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations to help you check your financial position against the means tests for an Age Pension or DSP.

If you think that you might be eligible for a part Pension you can call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to arrange a Short Consultation, 45 minutes in person or by telephone and/or email to discuss your position. Please ask for a special ‘short consultation’ when you book your appointment.

Christine at Financial Care Services also engages with clients approaching retirement to plan their retirement finances.

Call Christine on 03 9808 0338 to book an appointment to discuss your long term planning for when you no longer earn an income from work .

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
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at

Telephone – call +61 3 9808 0338
Email – contact
Address – mail or meet at 172 Warrigal Road, Camberwell Victoria 3124
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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.

© 2014 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.