When to start an aged care conversation

By Cutcher & Neale Accounting and Financial Services - February 22, 2021

No-one likes to talk about getting old. But at what age should you start thinking about your aged care requirements?

The answer is simple: any age! This is regardless of whether you are in your early retirement years or well into retirement.

If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, starting the conversation with them while they are still healthy is also sensible. They might not be thrilled that you’re raising the subject but it gives your parents an opportunity to think about what is important to them and give you some instructions, so you have something to guide you if you need to make choices for them in the future.

Don’t accidentally fall into either of these traps:

  1. Leaving it too late to have the conversation - once Mum or Dad can’t return home from the hospital, you’re in crisis mode. This is not the best time to be making life-changing decisions for anyone.
  2. Thinking it will never happen - unfortunately the statistics say otherwise. On average, we can expect to live 17-25% of our retirement with a profound disability that may threaten our ability to live independently without care support. With those odds, you at least want to have a quality conversation about the options for aged care and importantly, how you would pay for it.

Where to get help

Making an informed decision about aged care is incredibly important. Making the wrong decision can have far-reaching consequences for the whole family. When aged care decisions go badly, the stress can lead to family conflicts.

The first place to start is reviewing your current financial position. The Cutcher & Neale Aged Care team can then model various scenarios and forecast cash flow and net asset positions considering initial and ongoing aged care fees.

These scenarios illustrate the consequences of key decisions such as what to do with the family home, how to fund initial and ongoing fees and what effect each has on government entitlements such as the Age Pension.

Aged care is a complex and constantly changing area. Getting good quality advice at the right time is key - don’t cause extra stress by wondering if you’ve made the right decision.

 

The team at Cutcher & Neale are here to help, please get in touch if you would like further assistance.

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