December 22, 2015

Vol 5 Ed 12

Volume 5 Edition 12 Financial Care Services Newsletter


Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 5 Edition 12 – 22 December 2015



As we celebrate the great gift of Christmas, you could be thinking of gift giving within your family. The good news is that you may give away as much as you choose whenever you choose. Then again you might choose to arrange your larger gifts after considering the impact of gifting on your potential Centrelink benefits and aged care costs.

Gifting a percentage share of the holiday home before you reach age 60 years would have the five year ‘excess gifting’ period expire before you attain your Age Pension Age. But as a family, you would need to be ready to pay the taxes and stamp duty arising from the transfer of ownership.

Remember that at Centrelink ‘gifting’ is the disposal or transfer of any asset for less than its market value. Read more about gifting at Centrelink and DVA

A New Year Resolution to transition your parents into a more supportive home.

How are the elders coping at home now? Are their outings focused on medical appointments with few social events? Is the fear of falling or a personal problem restricting their movement? Maybe it is time to start thinking about a more supported home environment for your senior family members.

Please take a moment during the family gatherings to consider the level of activity and involvement of the elders now compared with last year’s gathering.  Can granny still imagine new scenarios or does she only reminisce times past?  If anyone is noticeably frailer in body and/or less mentally agile then your New Year Resolution might be to assist them towards a more supported home environment.

But don’t wait until New Year to seek medical help if anyone is clearly unwell or dehydrated. Serious illness or injury warrants prompt attention even on a public holiday.

Aged care means test rental income exemption closure

The closure of the aged care means test rental income exemption does not impact permanent residents who entered Commonwealth regulated aged care before January 2016. An existing aged care resident may rent out her former home and continue to be treated as a ‘homeowner’ for pension means test purposes, and have the rent excluded from ‘income’ at Centrelink and DVA provided that some aged care accommodation costs are being paid via daily charges.

If you were planning to have a family member enter aged care and retain her current home as a rental property then you could sign up for her permanent care this month to benefit from the aged care means test rental income exemption. The new entrant could be absent from her new permanent placement on ‘social leave’ or in hospital on 31 December 2015 and still have the benefit of the aged care means test rental income exemption provided that her aged care contract is signed before January 2016.

From January 2016, a new aged care resident would have any rental income from her former home included in her income for the aged care means tested fee calculation. This change does not impact the Age Pension and DVA Service Pension or ISS provisions for aged care residents. Read more

Holiday opening

Financial Care Services will not be ‘closing for the holidays’ just not taking calls on Christmas Day. Our telephone message and email accounts will be checked regularly because we understand that seniors have challenges all through the year.
Christine will be available for consultations with families during January. Our aim is to call you back on the next working day if we do miss your call. You are welcome to contact Financial Care Services for help with financing any seniors in transition.

Thank you for your support in 2015. The team at Financial Care Services look forward to working with you in 2016.
We wish you all a peaceful and refreshing time this Christmas.

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, retirement lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper  or call 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
Authorised Representative Number
252529 (check this at

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.

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.

© 2015 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.