Do I Need To Sell The Family Home To Go Into Aged Care?

Each person has their own circumstances, you may be in a position where you are weighing up if you need to sell the family home to afford aged care costs, specifically the RAD. With so many variables and a lot to consider, there is no simple answer, however providing specific financial advice for aged care is what we do. 

What is the RAD?

The RAD (Refundable Accomodation Deposit) is a lump sum deposit paid to an aged care facility. The price is set by the facility, and on average is around $440,000 but can get as high as $1 million in inner city areas.  

Where to begin with aged care fees?

There is no straightforward or simple answer to this question on how to fund nursing home costs, as each client has differing circumstances. Aged care facility fees are made up of a number of different components including the Refundable Accommodation Deposit, basic daily fee, means tested care fee, and extra service or additional service fee.  Read more here.

To sell or not to sell the family home before entering aged care?

When residential aged care is required, a major decision for most people is whether or not to sell the family home. The right solution depends on your individual circumstances, but it is worth remembering that there is no requirement to sell your home to pay the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) in full or in part.

Understanding if you should retain the home and either leave it vacant or rent it out should both be explored. Both  options have their own consequences when it comes to factoring in the pension and the ‘means tested care fee’. There are also special circumstances where your family home may be exempted from the calculation of nursing home costs.

What should you consider before selling the family home?

The following are the things that you must think about when trying to work out the best way to finance aged care, particularly when selling the family home is involved:


  • Value of your home can impact on the amount of aged care costs. eg if the proceeds from the sale of a house are significantly more than the amount payable for the RAD –  this will impact on the assets and income tests (eligibility for the age pension), and on the means tested care fee.
  • If the family home is sold, you will lose the opportunity for capital growth on the house in the future.
  • Excess funds after paying the Refundable Accommodation Deposit- what do you do with those to ensure you make the most of the funds as a source of income to cover the ongoing care?


  • How will the family cope emotionally with the prospect of selling the family home?
  • Is the family ready emotionally? – as some decisions need to be made quickly!


  • Certain circumstances may mean the family home may be exempted from the calculation for the nursing home cost calculations. Do you know if this applies to you?
  • Pension eligibility rules are changing all of the time and this needs to be factored into, not only the situation today, but how it will impact in the future.
  • How you choose to invest, and the various structures that you can use, will have a different impact on the amount of pension you receive and the amount of means tested care fee you will need to pay.


  • Act swiftly- It is important to get aged care financial advice at this early stage. It has far reaching implications, not only on how much you will pay ongoing for your aged care, but also what will be left in your estate.

What are the other options to explore before selling the home?

There will generally be other options for you to consider. Speaking with a specialist aged care financial adviser will help you identify all of the different possibilities. We offer expert advice and will carefully run you through all your options, to provide advice so you make the best decision for yourself, your family and/or loved one.

We take the time to go through multiple scenarios and their impact on your finances, both now and in the future.  Aged Care Specialists Vic provide support in person locally in Melbourne, or Australia wide through Zoom.

Claudia and the team have an excellent record of helping many people just like you make these choices when it comes to aged care. For a no obligation call to see if we can help you, please reach out on:

1300 001 225

Claudia Rigoni-Brazzale from Aged Care Specialists Vic
Authorised representatives of Synchron AFSL 243313

Helpful articles:

Explaining the Refundable Accommodation Deposit

What are nursing home costs? 

Comments 3

    1. Thanks for your enquiry Tricia, we have sent you an email to assist. You can also call us between 9am – 5pm and our team would be happy to run you through how it all works.

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