Working with families coming to grips with the financial side of a move to residential aged care is our favourite job.
Years of listening to stories, working with numbers, and seeing the range of outcomes in how people interact with the "system" allows us to prepare concise and useful advice.
We work with our clients until they are satisfied they have the financial side of things covered. And often we have reasons to talk more in the future as situations change or simply to address confusion.
Simply put, we want you to have confidence you have made the best decision.
We also help with the paperwork.
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While the government offers support to older Australians in Aged Care, understanding and applying for help is confusing.
While you may not get to the bottom of all the detail, it is worth understanding how decisions around how you pay for care, and what you do with the former home can affect payments.
You may also be looking at a number of aged care providers. There are many reasons why one provider may be more suitable for your loved one.
Thankfully, comparing the costs is straightforward. We show you how to do it.
It takes as long as it takes
Sometimes the answer is simple, sometimes things change, sometimes more ideas come to the table. We work with you until things settle down, and because we have the numbers you can call in down the track to make sure you are on top of it.
What Our Clients Say
“In working with Brendan I had the confidence to back my decision. He really helped me to feel that I had this situation in hand.” John
“I felt I was driving Brendan mad with all my questions - however he had all the detail covered because he prepares the work himself” Brooke
“I felt I had the right advice, and the report to back it up, so I could easily explain the decisions made for mum to the rest of the family” Alison
Why choose us?
Aged care financial advice is easy to come by these days. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider Later Life Advice
The founder of Later Life Advice, Brendan Ryan, has been working in Aged Care advice for more than 10 years. All of our advice is prepared from our own modelling and technical analysis. We do not use third party groups, software or rely on product providers to do our work. This makes our advice quicker to prepare, and we can get to the bottom of your situation faster without having to defer to others for information.
Later Life Advice holds its own Australian Financial Services License. This means there are no ties to big banks or product providers. Also, we do not have any relationship with aged care providers referring us clients, nor product providers helping prepare advice. We act for our clients, and we do our own work.
Later Life Advice has a passion for understanding and helping with the challenges faced by people moving into residential aged care. This situation involves interaction with the government on a scale that most Australians will not see in their lifetime. Helping people at this stage is enormously satisfying for us. It is what we love to do.
Things you should know
After more than 10 years giving advice to aged care clients, here are some of the things worth knowing for the journey:
Don’t be intimidated by the paperwork
Nobody likes the forms, however the forms are not as bad as they seem. We have looked at the forms in depth and have ways of making the process easier. Remember that the form has to cover a whole lot of people in a range of situations. With any luck, whole sections of the form will not be relevant to your situation. Lock the doors. Put on music. Have a glass of wine ready.
Don’t expect the government calculator to cover all bases
One of our most popular blog posts has been about the government calculator on the myagedcare website. Simply put, the calculator falls down as it does not allow for changes in the story as money is paid as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit. It’s a story of a balance of factors and the calculator does not cut it.
Understand the means tested care fee
If you work out the annual cap on the means tested fee that applied to your situation, remember that it is a cap, and you should not expect to pay the annual rate as an equal amount each day. It might be the case that the daily Means Tested Fee is charged at a much higher rate than you expect - but only until the cap is reached.
Think about how long your loved one is in care before you get tangled up in anything
This may sound a bit direct, but consider the situation of your loved one before taking complicated steps to an outcome. Setting something up to optimise the aged care costs may be costly and inefficient if it is only for a short time.
Track the PBS scheme
A lot of the cost of pharmaceuticals will be borne by the resident. Make sure the facility is aware of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) status if there is scope for support in this area. Eligibility for the PBS could be a benefit of how you structure your aged care costs.
Be prepared to use extra carers
Sometimes the aged care fees are not the whole story. The use of extra carers will be at additional cost. Make room for that.
Don’t be afraid of the high RAD if you’ve got the money
If funds are available, consider paying for a room with a higher Refundable Accommodation Deposit (which is fully refundable). This could make sense for 2 reasons - firstly, losing interest on funds that would otherwise be held in the bank is not a big cost, as interest rates are low. Secondly, the means test outcome may improve, and result in an uplift in the age pension.
After everything - ask yourself if you want to be a landlord
The benefit of retaining the home has been curtailed by changes in means testing meaning that rental income will impact the age pension, and it is taxable. This means 2 things. Firstly, the financial benefit is not as good as it was. Secondly, there may not be a huge hurry to get the house rented. This is worth working out so you can be clear on how much of a hurry you are in to get this on track.
Don’t forget the Net Medical Expenses Tax Offset
While this offset is being phased out for everything else - it still applied for aged care costs. Make sure the accountant gets the detail.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
Consolidate accounts to make things easier to track. Also consider whether it is more tax effective, and easier in the management of the estate, to liquidate assets sooner rather than later.