November 29, 2016

Vol 6 Ed 11

Volume 6 Edition 11 Financial Care Services Newsletter

Online at Permalink: http://financialcareservices.com.au/newsletters/vol-6-ed-11/

Financial Care Services Newsletter by Christine Hopper
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors

Volume 6 Edition 11 – 30 November 2016

Why apply for an Age Pension in December 2016 just to be ineligible under the January 2017 Asset Test

If your Age Pension is cancelled on 1 January 2017 because of the new Asset Test cut-off levels then you could expect a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and a Low Income Health Card for life without further means testing.

The Age Pension Asset Test is changing on 1 January 2017. As from January 2017, the cut-off asset levels for non-homeowners will be $715,330 for a single person and $906,330 of combined assets for a couple. The cut-off levels for Age Pensioners who own their homes will be $515,630 of additional assets for a single and $775,330 of combined additional assets for a couple.

Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations for ‘personal financial factual information’ to help you check your financial position against the means tests for an Age Pension, DSP or a Carer Payment.

You can start the Short ‘personal financial factual information’ Consultation by emailing for the Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide and Age Pension Data form.
The fee for a Short Consultation 45 minutes in person or by telephone and/or email for ‘personal financial factual information’ is $99.

Aged care entry this summer for respite or permanent

You might consider immediate entry to residential aged care before New Year. One reason for considering aged care entry is to allow the carer some ‘respite’. If the carer has a couple of weeks of holiday then she might be ready and willing to undertake another spell of carer duty.

Another reason for entering Commonwealth regulated aged care before January 2017 relates to the 2016 Budget changes to the Centrelink treatment of the resident’s former home. The little phrases in the Budget about closing the home leasing advantages for new entrants to permanent care was not big news in the media.

These small changes in the legislation mean that as from January 2017, the former homes of new entrants to permanent Commonwealth regulated residential aged care would be treated as investment properties two years after the last of the aged care resident, their spouse or another protected person vacated the home. Also, the net rental income from leasing the former home will be counted as “income” at Centrelink for both Age Pension and aged care means testing purposes.

For a single pensioner who had been living alone, her home would be included in her “assets” at Centrelink at its market value once she had been away for 730 nights. Also the net rental from leasing her former home would be counted as “income” at Centrelink immediately the home was leased.

Therefore, if you are thinking about permanent aged care entry and the family want to retain the home then permanent entry  before 31 December 2016 could be financially preferable to waiting until January 2017.

Immediate entry to permanent residential aged care in December 2016 would allow for long term “homeowner” status while the former home is rented.

Read more about these changes to leasing the former home

Costs of residential aged care for our family member

The families of new entrants to permanent residential aged care face a complex array of fees and charges. Whilst the basic daily fee is a flat rate for all residents, the personal support and nursing care fees are means tested. Aged care accommodation costs are often negotiable. Commercial aged care accommodation room prices might be more flexible in December when demand for places is lower.

Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services understands the DVA Pensions and Centrelink assessment of the means tested amount for aged care both home care and residential aged care.

A consultation with Financial Care Services helps you understand your potential aged care costs together with the DVA and Centrelink implications of rearranging your assets, leasing or selling the former home.

Financial Care Services welcomes clients from Melbourne and beyond.

Contact Christine to receive a Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide and Aged Care Data Checklist. Then call her on 03 9808 0338 to make an appointment for a consultation.

Assistance with completing the Commonwealth aged care means testing forms is available to clients of Financial Care Services.

Respite care as an introduction to residential aged care

Respite care could be a good introduction to residential aged care for a frail senior. She might be fine at home with the family calling in at least once each day. But eventually the younger generation would need a holiday from caring duty before they too need full time care.

Respite care provides a real taste of life in that aged care facility. Some seniors so enjoy the company and security of residential care that they want to stay permanently. Other seniors appreciate that their daughter needed a relaxing holiday but they will want to go back home as soon as practical.

Respite could be in a Commonwealth regulated aged care facility

A senior with an ACAS that allows for “Respite care” could pre-book a fortnight stay in a Commonwealth regulated aged care facility.
Most Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities charge just the Basic Fee, currently $48.44 per day for Respite Care. The Respite resident could be required to pay any Extra Service fee, Club Fee or Amenities Charge to cover the additional costs of superior meals and service levels. The Commonwealth pays for the accommodation and personal support and nursing care costs for Respite residents.
Seniors without an ACAS for Respite Care could enjoy a short stay in a private guest house for seniors .

Respite could be in a privately operated guest house for seniors

Some seniors who are not “old” might be reluctant to holiday in formal aged care. Specialist private guest houses for seniors cater for less physically agile seniors as permanent or short term guests.

In Victoria, these private guest houses for seniors are regulated as Supported Residential Services “SRS”.

Each SRS sets its own weekly fees for full board and personal assistance. The SRS determines the level of personal assistance to be offered. Some SRS cater for the mentally good but physically slowing whilst other SRS resemble aged care facilities.

No need for an ACAS assessment or Centrelink paperwork for your holiday at the SRS of your choice. DVA might help with the costs of a SRS respite stay for a veteran or War Widow.

Continuing the respite stay into permanent SRS living could suit a self-funded retiree or part Age Pensioner. Before you sign up for permanent SRS living, ensure that your family member can afford the fees.

Help is available. Christine at Financial Care Services understands the DVA and Centrelink Pensions.

A consultation with Financial Care Services helps you understand your potential SRS costs together with the DVA and Centrelink implications of rearranging your assets, leasing or selling the former home.

Financial Care Services welcomes clients from Melbourne and beyond.
Contact Christine to receive a Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide and Aged Care Data Checklist. Then call her on 03 9808 0338 to make an appointment for a consultation.

Contact Christine at Financial Care Services to arrange for a aged care entry consultation. You will receive the Financial Care Services’ Financial Services Guide and the Financial Care Services Aged Care Checklist form.

Financial Care Services is an independent financial advisory service specialising in retirees of modest means and aged care entrants. Our core values of working with clients in their lifetime financial planning supports claiming DVA and Centrelink entitlements.

Financial Care Services charges fees based on the work involved in advising you about pensions and aged care financial solutions and arranging your investments.

To make an appointment for confidential, independent and professional advice about aged care, retirement lifestyle or financial issues please contact Christine Hopper  or call +61 3 9808 0338.

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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
Email – contact info@financialcareservices.com.au
Address – mail or meet at 2B Thomas Street, 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.

© 2016 Financial Care Services Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.