Centrelink & Aged Care
Most of us understand the government provides various types of income support, such as Age Pension,s to assist Australians in meeting their income needs throughout retirement. In addition, benefits may also be available to assist with loss of income due to the inability to work as a result of short and long term disabilities as a result of sickness and accident.
However the rules around eligibility for benefits are complex and often require careful planning to ensure you receive your full entitlements.
Access to Centrelink can take on many forms and is not always just for those who have retired. For various reasons you may require or have loved one’s that require Centrelink assistance at some stage.Baby Bonus/Paid Parental Leave, Family Tax Benefit, Disability Support, Austudy, Newstart Allowance and Age Pension etc are all payments that we can provide advice on to ensure you receive your full entitlements.
In complex situations we are not only able to provide advice but also the completion of relevant documentation as well as accompany you on meetings with Centrelink.
It is now recognised that as individuals we are living longer due to advances in medical science as well as lifestyles which prior generations have not been able to enjoy.
Australians now recognise they are living longer in retirement and that as we age our circumstances change. These changes often involve our living arrangements. Not always by choice, mind you.
There is a great thought that we all start off our adult life in a small apartment/unit until we settle, then we move into a larger house that becomes the family home. Of course, there can be upgrades or lifestyle moves, but once we find the ideal home to raise our children we typically stay there.
We then think once the children leave the nest that we could downsize to something that is more manageable, particularly if we are not planning on spending all our time there!
It is often at some of the most difficult times that we encounter the need for assisted living, mostly for medical reasons and this can have a major impact on our living arrangements.
At this point we encounter the following questions:
- Can or should I stay in my home?
- If I do stay – what will the services I need cost? Can I afford these services?
- If I had to go into nursing care, what is involved and what does this cost?
- If I go into nursing care, what’s the difference between private care and government care?
- Can I afford to be in care and how will I pay for this?
- If there is no partner, should I keep the family home for the children?
You are dealing with these questions at a difficult and emotional time. Potentially, we are assisting family members with answering these questions on your behalf.
At SJButler we encourage clients to consider these questions before there is an urgent need for a decision. Again careful planning can ensure you are able to minimise the costs of entry into aged care as well as the ongoing daily care fees.
Most importantly you need to understand, as with all types of accommodation, these fees are negotiable.
Whatever your financial planning needs the most important outcome of the advice is that it should be appropriate in your personal situation.
You need to understand how and what you are paying for your advice. You also need to understand any circumstances which may influence the advice you are receiving in particular the way your adviser is being remunerated.
Shane Butler Financial Services Pty Ltd – Authorised Representatives of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at Level 6 161 Collins Street Melbourne 3000 and a member of the National Australia group of companies.