Volume 7 Edition 7 Financial Care Services Newsletter
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Financial Care Services Newsletter by Christine Hopper
Independent aged care, lifestyle and financial advice for seniors
Volume 7 Edition 7 – 31 July 2017
Is that aged care resident’s Driver Licence still active?
Is that aged care resident’s Driver Licence still active and collecting demerit points? Or is that aged care resident’s Driver Licence number still actively being used to establish credit accounts with mobile phone companies?
Not everyone who interacts with the wider family of an aged care resident would have pure motives. Thus for some lead footed drivers access to an alternative Driver Licence number could allow them to transfer the demerit points and keep driving fast.
The other sad experience of people of all ages is ‘identity fraud’.
Really dishonest people use the name and Driver Licence number of someone else to establish credit accounts. When the true owner of Driver Licence number wants to use it for a proper purpose they could find their credit status severely impaired. The unidentified fraudulent user of their Driver Licence number might have incurred substantial debts.
Help is available for victims of identity fraud. Call IDCare on 1300 432 273 or get started at
IDCARE Australia & New Zealand’s National Identity & Cyber Support Service
Prevention is better than a cure. For your own protection, please keep your Driver Licence number very private. Store your Driver Licence away from prying eyes; yes even at home in your wallet, when ‘visitors’ come in.
When to surrender the Driver Licence
If granny can no longer drive then you could surrender that aged care resident’s Driver Licence. But make sure that you have visited Centrelink and ‘confirmed the identity’ of the Driver Licence holder before you surrender this valuable ‘identity document’.
If a family member has physical or mental impairments such that driving safely is beyond their current skills then you might need to prevent access to the driver’s seat. The gracious approach is a discussion and an offer of transport whenever needed.
If your family member does not respond well to reason then an external directive may be required. A local doctor could inform Vic Roads that his patient is no longer competent to drive. Vic Roads could then demand that the Driver Licence be surrendered.
The other more brutal approach is to ask your friendly local Police team to happen to meet the senior whilst driving near home. The Police officers can then have a chat about the desirability of stopping driving before a catastrophe occurs.
How to surrender the Driver Licence
The form for surrendering a Victorian Driver Licence is at Vic Roads.
The Power of Attorney can sign the form to surrender a Driver Licence. The Driver Licence of a deceased driver can be surrendered similarly.
You could attend a Vic Roads office to hand in the Driver Licence plastic card together with the signed form and show your Power of Attorney. Alternatively, you could mail them to Vic Roads together with a certified copy of your Power of Attorney or grant of Probate for a deceased driver.
Small increases in Centrelink Pension means testing allowances
Effective 1 July 2017, the allowable amounts of Income and Assets for the full rate of Age Pension were increased marginally. Pensioners can have an additional four dollars per person per fortnight before the Income Test bites.
Income Test Allowance Increase
A single person can now have $168 per fortnight of income before the income test bites. Once her income exceeds $1,782.60 per fortnight, $46,347 for 26 fortnights, the Income Test would cut-off her Age Pension.
A couple at Centrelink can now have a total joint income of $300 per fortnight before the Income Test bites. Once the combined total income of the couple exceeds $2,733.20 per fortnight, $71,063 for 26 fortnights, they would be cut-off from the Age Pension.
Asset Test Allowances also increased
A single Pensioner may have $456,750 of assets, or a home plus $253,750 of other assets, and not be impacted by the Assets Test. But if her assets amount to $726,000 or $523,000 plus her home, then the Asset Test would cut her off from the Age Pension.
A couple may have $583,500 of assets or a home plus $380,500 of other assets, before the Asset Test impacts their Age Pensions. Currently a Pensioner couple may have a $786,000 worth of assets in addition to their home and still be entitled to a part Age Pension and the Pensioner Concession Cards.
Read about the Income and Asset Test cut-offs for Age Pensions
Deeming rate changeover points increased
As from July 2017, for a single pensioner the deemed income from financial assets will be calculated as 1.75% pa on the first $50,200 of financial assets plus 3.25% pa of any balance above $50,200.
The deemed income of a couple from their combined financial assets will be calculated as 1.75% pa on the first $83,400 of financial assets plus 3.25% pa of any balance above $83,400.
How much Pension would I get?
The calculation of your Age Pension amount can be challenging. The easy route is to ask for the Age Pension Illustration Personal Data form as a checklist of essential data and then arrange for a ‘$99 Special Age Pension Illustration Short Consultation’ with Financial Care Services.
Financial Care Services offers Short Consultations for ‘personal factual financial information’ in the form of an Illustration of the amount of Centrelink Age Pension you could receive today provided that you satisfied the age and residency conditions for a Centrelink Age Pension. Contact Financial Care Services to obtain the Age Pension Illustration Personal Data form. You will also receive our Financial Services Guide that provides essential information about Financial Care Services.
Alternatively you could search through the Centrelink website for clues about Pension rates and means tests then do the sums yourself.
Consequential aged care means tested amount change
A small increase has applied to the income allowance in the calculation of the income component of the aged care means tested amount. This adjustment ensures that a full Age Pensioner would continue to have a nil ‘income component’ in the aged care means tested amount.
The system of fees and charges for residential aged care is complex. Aged care means tested care fees can amplify your cash flow challenges.
Help is available Christine at Financial Care Services advises client families about the costs of residential aged care and home care means tested fees.
The first step to the independent advice for aged care is to email Christine at for the Financial Care Services Aged Care Checklist to collate the data for independent financial advice before entering residential aged care. You will also receive the Financial Care Services Financial Services Guide that provides information about Financial Care Services.
Financial Care Services your independent financial adviser
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 offers two packages for seniors approaching retirement.
One option is the ‘$99 Special Age Pension Illustration Short Consultation’ providing personal factual financial information in the form of an Illustration of the amount of Centrelink Age Pension you could receive today provided that you satisfied the age and residency conditions for a Centrelink Age Pension.
The other option is a ‘Retirement Planning Consultation’ which includes consideration of your overall financial position and personal financial retirement planning. The ‘Retirement Planning Consultation’ includes an analysis of your financial situation and personal financial retirement planning advice.
Retirement Planning Consultations require more detailed personal and financial information to be provided by the client to allow for the potential implications of your health status, housing needs and any liabilities to be considered in addition to the structuring of your assets to generate “retirement income” including any Age Pension entitlements. Retirement Planning Consultations are charged at professional adviser hourly rate fees.
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 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 to 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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