Aged care costs can be difficult to navigate if you have never experienced it before
A financial advisor can simplify the experience for you and also help you reach your personal goals
Financial services do have varying costs, however, if you are experiencing financial difficulties there are free financial counselling services
Dealing with complex financial issues at a time when your main concern is the health and welfare of loved ones can be challenging, not to mention time consuming and very confusing.
Just getting a basic understanding of what forms you need to complete, what information needs to go in them, when to complete them and where to send them can be a difficult path to navigate.
Your financials can get complicated when a move to care impacts on the pension you are paid by Centrelink. Plus you may have to consider other issues such as how to pay for any accommodation payment and whether to sell the family home or rent it out.
All this is at a time when your main concern is finding a suitable place for your loved one to receive the care they need.
As professionals in finance, financial advisors understand the rules and how to make it work for their clients and their individual circumstances.
A financial advisor can help you focus on the information and issues that are important to you and your specific financial situation. However, financing aged care can be a very complex issue, and different financial situations will require different strategies.
Taking into account all of your available financial assets, a financial advisor can take into consideration your family home, accommodation payments, care fees, and cash flow and investment plans, to put you in a better financial position than when you first met.
Financial advisors are legally required to leave you in a better position than when you first engaged them.
Additionally, if you don't have to deal with the financial aspect of aged care, you can then focus on finding the best aged care to suit you or your loved one.
Of course, everyone's personal circumstances are different, however, there are some areas in aged care that can be common for everyone. Including:
Strategies for funding accommodation payments
Financial modelling of multiple care options
Maximising Government pensions
Minimising your nursing home fees
Negotiating with aged care facilities
Reviewing and planning for any tax implications
While financial advisors are experts in finance, it doesn't necessarily mean they are able to deal or are knowledgeable in aged care related finance matters. So it is important to understand the capabilities of your financial advisor.
Before you engage the services of a financial advisor, here are some important questions you should ask:
What licenses, credentials or other certifications do they have?
Do they specialise in dealing with aged care financial issues?
What experience do they have in aged care finance?
Will they provide you with some sample plans?
How much do they charge?
Will they provide you with an outline of all your options?
Will they provide their advice in ‘plain English’?
Will their advice be in writing?
Will they deal with Department of Veterans’ Affairs or Centrelink on your behalf?
Is the service a once-off or an ongoing service?
Make sure your financial advisor is the right fit for you and fully understands your goals. Be open and transparent about your spending and available assets so the advisor can provide you the best advice possible.