Volume 6 Edition 6 Financial Care Services Newsletter
FINANCIAL CARE SERVICES NEWSLETTER
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 6 Edition 6 – 30 June 2016
Last day for this gifting year
A Pensioner may give away as much as she likes whenever she likes but Centrelink will treat some gifted amounts as ‘excess gifts’.
‘Excess gifts’ are any amounts gifted that are in excess of $10,000, ten thousand dollars, in any financial year and /or in excess of $30,000, thirty thousand dollars, over the five year period ending on the date of that last gift payment.
A senior would stay within the allowable gifting amounts by gifting $6,000 every year on her birthday or by gifting $10,000 on her next three birthdays then nothing in the following two years.
Remember at Centrelink, ‘gifting’ includes selling an item for less than its market value, transferring ownership for nil consideration and ‘forgiving’ a debt that someone owes the senior.
Leaving a granny flat arrangement within five years could result in your ‘ingoing payment’ counting as a ‘gift’.
The amount of any ‘excess gifts’ is treated as a ‘financial asset’ of the senior for five years after the gift was made. The ‘excess gift’ expires after five years.
In practice, Centrelink, or DVA, include the amount of any ‘excess gifts’ in your ‘financial assets’ for the purposes of calculating your deemed financial income and assessable asset amounts for the Age or Service Pension Income and Asset Tests and the Aged Care Means Tested Amount.
Gifting on 30 June 2016 counts for the 2015/6 financial year. A new financial year with its own gifting allowance starts on 1 July 2016.
Read more about Gifting
Did Mum vote early?
Before you take a senior to vote on Saturday maybe you could check that she has not already early voted in this election.
A physically frail senior might have voted early using a Postal Vote or visited an Early Voting Centre accompanied by a carer. The carer is allowed to vote early whilst attending with a physically challenged elector: an incentive to take your family member to a wheelchair accessible polling place on a quiet sunny day.
Mobile polling facilities visit many aged care facilities and retirement villages so that frail seniors are not waiting in outdoor queues or tripping over steps in unfamiliar public places.
The mobile polling place would only have been set up for just one hour once, at that aged care facility or retirement community so you might not realise that your senior family member voted last week in the peace of her community centre.
Aged care ‘budget cuts’
The noise about aged care budget cuts might reflect the tightening of the ACFI scale. The ACFI includes the assessment criteria for an aged care provider to claim a Commonwealth contribution towards the costs of providing personal support and nursing care to residents of Commonwealth regulated aged care homes and home care package recipients. Thus the tightening of the ACFI scale could result in care payments to the aged care provider not increasing in line with the increasing staff time needed to care for their residents.
Wealthy aged care residents who are paying the full costs of their personal support and nursing care could find that their ’care fees’ are not increasing as fast as their needs for nursing and support from their carers.
Aged care residents with care fees capped at their Means Tested Care Fee amount would not be impacted by the adjustments to the ACFI scale. But all means tested care fees are reviewed whenever the resident’s financial position changes or the Centrelink means test Allowances change.
Help with understanding aged care costs is available.
Christine at Financial Care Services understands the Centrelink system for assessing means tested aged care fees and Pensions. Christine at Financial Care Services works with families to clarify the costs for their family member to enter residential aged care.
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.
Financial Care Services Pty Ltd
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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299570 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/flb.html)
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252529 (check this at www.search.asic.gov.au/fsr/far.html)
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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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