At Aged Care Specialists Vic, we often have overwhelmed family members come to us and ask how to reduce aged care costs. In most cases, the way to reduce aged care costs is to ensure the person entering aged care has minimised their assets. This will ensure they are receiving the maximum benefits towards the cost of their care and also ensure they are receiving the maximum pension entitlement. There are ways you can reduce aged care costs and in most cases, this is by minimising your assessable assets.
What is an assessable asset?
Assets are looked at when working out eligibility for funding and pensions, all assets are included, including financial investments, however special rules can apply.
Financial investments include but not limited to:
- bank accounts
- term deposits
- cheque accounts
- friendly society bonds
- managed investments
- listed shares and securities
Other assets can include:
- household contents
- foreign assets
- investment properties
- special collections
- private trusts
- refundable deposits paid for accommodation in an aged care home.
Do I include the value of the family home as an asset?
Part of the value may be counted in your assets assessment, if you keep the home. A capped amount of $173075.20 (Oct 2021) or net market value if lower is included in the assets assessment. If you are a couple, each partner is considered to own half each, so half the capped value is counted as your asset. It would not be counted however, if your partner or dependent children are living there. You can view the latest amount here.
What strategies can be used to reduce assets?
Everyone’s situation is different, therefore at Aged Care Specialists Vic, we specialise in completing a customised plan for each clients circumstances, however the following are ways that can be considered, albeit may not apply to your circumstances.
- Paying a higher RAD
- Changing the way home contents are insured
- Gifting funds to family within Centrelink rules
- Purchasing a funeral bond
- Purchase a specialized annuity
When dealing with these circumstances, there is a lot involved and a lot to potentially lose if not done correctly. At Aged Care Specialists Vic, we ensure no stone is left unturned, and you will leave knowing all your options so you can make a sound, informed financial decision.