December 21, 2016

Vol 6 Ed 12

Volume 6 Edition 12 Financial Care Services Newsletter

Online at Permalink:

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

Volume 6 Edition 12 – 21 December 2016

Thank you for your support in 2016. The team at Financial Care Services look forward to working with you in 2017.
May this holiday season be a joyous and safe celebration for you and your family.


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.

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? Is the fear of falling or a personal problem restricting their movement?

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. 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.

The cost of residential aged care has many parts. Centrelink assess the means tested care fee, the family negotiate the amount of Accommodation Room Price but the Daily fee is set by the Commonwealth. Centrelink also adjust the Age Pension payment if you rearrange an aged care resident’s assets.

Before you agree a substantial, and possibly unaffordable, Accommodation Room Price for your family member consult Financial Care Services. Christine at Financial Care Services can help you understand financing residential aged care for your family members. Contact Christine now for the Financial Care Services’ Financial Services Guide and the Financial Care Services Aged Care Checklist.

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

Holiday Respite Care

If the elders are relying on your almost daily visits then what happens when you need a holiday. Respite care for the frail seniors can provide them with a comfortable place and caring staff while you have a real holiday. Check the senior’s ACAS to ensure that Respite Care is allowed. Then book ahead for a fortnight of holiday respite for the carer.

Respite care in Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities is charged at the Basic Daily Fee, currently $48.44 per day. Extra Service fees and Amenity fees may be charged for Respite stays in aged care facilities of a markedly superior standard. Asking about additional fees at the time of booking respite care could avoid a financial surprise on your return.

Respite stays can also be arranged for private aged persons accommodation, called Supported Residential Service (“SRS”) in Victoria. Each SRS sets its own fee levels and the extent of any personal support offered to residents. Maybe a weekly charge of in the order of $900 for private respite care would unsurprising in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

A New Year with New Rules at Centrelink

January 2017 is the start of the new Asset Test rules for Disability Support Pensions, Service Pensions, the DVA ISS and Age Pensions. Most Pensioners would not be impacted by the Asset Test change.

For the more wealthy Pensioners, the Asset Test change means the end of their means tested Pensions or ISS. New Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards are expected to be in the mail to these exiting Pensioners. You could avoid an interesting discussion at the pharmacy in early January, by having your PBS prescriptions filled in December 2016.

Also closing for January 2017, is the generous Centrelink treatment for rental of former homes of aged care residents. Only seniors who were permanent residents of Commonwealth regulated aged care facilities on 31 December 2016 could retain their former homes as rental properties and maintain the Homeowner status long term.

Holiday period opening

Financial Care Services will not be ‘closing for the holidays’ just not taking calls on public holidays. Our telephone message and email accounts will be checked regularly because we understand that seniors have challenges all through the year. Our aim is to call you back on the next working day if we do miss your call.

Christine will be available for consultations with families during January.

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.


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 to 172 Warrigal Road, Camberwell Victoria 3124
Website – visit
LinkedIn – connect
LinkedIn Company – follow
LinkedIn Group – join
Facebook Page – like
Twitter Feed – follow
Past newsletters – see
Newsletter – subscribe

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.