Volume 5 Edition 11 Financial Care Services Newsletter
FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 5 Edition 11 –30 November 2015
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
Self funded retirees might envy their Age Pensioner neighbours who get their medications at concession rates. Australian residents who have attained Age Pension Age but are ineligible for any Pension might be eligible for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card provides the same Commonwealth concessions on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme “PBS” medications as the Pensioner Concession Card.
The income limit for the CSHC was increased slightly in September 2015 but the definition of ‘income’ for a CSHC has changed. If you have reached age 65 years but not qualified for a means tested Pension then check out the CSHC criteria. Read more about CSHC
If you suddenly became incapacitated could your Attorney discover your financial position?
A wise senior appoints an Enduring Power of Attorney who could manage her financial and Centrelink matters when she become mentally incapacitated. But would her Attorney have easy access to her financial records.
Many couples have shared the responsibilities of life. For example, one spouse has become an expert cook and the other has managed their finances. These arrangements can work well whilst both partners are healthy. But as soon as one partner withdraws from active duty, the healthy survivor and/or Attorney must pick up the other partner’s former duties. Cooking for one classes are offered to seniors when the expert cook leaves the household partnership.
Alas managing household finances is a more private and personal challenge. The challenge is much harder if the finance manager partner keeps their joint finances on a password protected spreadsheet or other computer package.
Hint Ensure that your spouse and Attorney, know how to access your financial records. Yes, that means recording your login and any passwords for your computer files in a secure place, maybe with the Power of Attorney document.
SMSF for mature aged seniors
The ongoing administration and investment aspects of a self-managed superannuation fund could provide a fascinating activity for a retired executive. When the mental faculties decline, maybe only slowly or perhaps suddenly after a stroke, serious challenges arise regarding management of the SMSF.
If every member of the SMSF is a trustee and every trustee is a member then the incapacity of one member impacts the SMSF irrespective of whether that member was the silent partner or the driving force of the investment strategy.
The Attorney for an incapacitated SMSF member must be fully trained and active within one month of becoming a ‘trustee’. If you are a mature aged senior managing an SMSF that could become a burden to your Attorney then perhaps you could consider moving to another superannuation fund whilst you still have the capacity to make decisions.
Hint Ensure that your Attorney knows that you are a member of an SMSF and where to find the SMSF documents.
Means tested care fees for aged care
The aged care sector has had a year of experience and refinements to the July 2014 system of means tested care fees for aged care.
New entrants to residential aged care are now ‘encouraged’ to submit the application for an Asset and Income Assessment fast. An interim rate of Means Tested Care fee is billed for new a resident until the correct rate is confirmed. This initial interim rate could be around $210 per day; any excess means tested fee would be refunded once the appropriate rate of means tested care fee is advised by Centrelink.
Financial Care Services assists clients with understanding the fees and payment options for residential aged care and completing the Centrelink forms. Contact Christine to make an appointment for confidential advice about financing aged care.
The application form for an Asset and Income Assessment offers the option of detailing the new resident’s Income and Asset position or just ticking a box that the new resident is a Centrelink or DVA Pensioner whose financial records are complete and correct.
Ticking the box could be fine when a diligent record-keeper has a sudden illness. But if you have just taken over as the financial administrator for a frail or demented person there is a significant risk that the Centrelink records are seriously out of date.
Hint Immediate discovery of the aged care entrant’s true financial position on your appointment as financial administrator and prompt updating of Centrelink/DVA records could reduce the potential for challenges later.
Read more about the Annual and Lifetime Caps on means tested aged care fees.
Help is available. Financial Care Services assists clients to understand the costs of residential aged care and complete the Centrelink forms.
Financial Care Services is an independent financial advisory service specialising in seniors in transition to new accommodation and lifestyles plus Centrelink Pensions.
Financial Care Services core value in financial advice is to assist with your money plan in the responsible management of your assets to generate the cash flow needed for your lifetime planning.
To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about aged care, lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper or call 03 9808 0338.
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
Email – contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
All eligibility for Commonwealth benefits will be determined by Centrelink or DVA, based on your personal position as documented and the legislation and Regulations in force at that time.
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