Do I need to sell my home to afford Aged Care?
In short – maybe or maybe not. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone has a unique financial position, medical situation and emotional attachment towards their former home.
However, many of our clients tell us they have previously been given the impression they would have to sell their home to afford or access aged care. This is not necessarily the case.
Planning how you’ll afford Aged Care
It is important to be informed of ALL your options and understand the implications of selling or retaining your home BEFORE you make any decisions.
You need to consider a range of issues such as:
Cash flow impact for possible options
The impact on you or your partner’s Age Pension/Department of Veterans Affairs entitlements and access to any other entitlements
The ability and/or your willingness to rent
Estate planning implications
Effect on Aged Care fees – Upfront and Ongoing
Alternative funding options
Costs to maintain or sell
Sentimental attachment to the former home for you and the family
Assessments for owning or selling your home
Your home is assessed differently under Centrelink Age Pension rules and Aged Care Means-Tested Fee rules both when you enter care, after two years of being in care and on a quarterly Centrelink assessment basis.
It is imperative to seek advice to understand the impact of selling, retaining or renting your home, especially around the impact any decisions will have to your Aged Care entitlement or your Means Tested Fee.
Other factors that can impact the assessment
Your date of entry to permanent care determines how your home will be assessed. This is also the date that your assets are initially assessed and determines your upfront cost to enter care (Refundable Accommodation Payment or Contribution).
There have been numerous legislative changes since 2014. Your date of entry dictates the Social Security legislation, rules and concessional treatment that apply to your former home and entitlements.
Another factor that will impact the assessment which takes place at your date of entry, at the quarterly Means-Tested Fee assessments and when assessing any Centrelink entitlements, is whether you shared your former home with a spouse, defacto partner or carer.
These assessments cannot be undone. Without understanding the implications of each available option, you may inadvertently put yourself in a less than favourable position.
Our team of Aged Care specialists and financial advisers are here to help you with Aged Care planning
The Rethink Financial Planning team are here to help. We make the complex simple. We provide you with an understanding of the impact to your Age Pension entitlement, Means-Tested Fee and cash flow for your household based on your preferred decision and a selection of alternative options you may not have been aware of.
We care and respect that this is your decision, we’re here to support you through this process, and we can do it for you to allow you to focus on your family or health.
Contact us on 4962 4440 or you can fill out our Pre-appointment Questionnaire here and one of the team will be in touch.