Aged care increasingly unaffordable

Many families are at risk of not being able to afford the aged care services their elderly relatives need due to the current costs and complex rules around those services.

Wealth management firm Centric Wealth warned that 75 per cent of the population aged 65 and over are reliant on a full or part aged pension.

Centric Wealth adviser Glen Stander said currently the aged pension was 30 per cent of an average male wage, which was unlikely to be enough to fund residential or in-home services for the elderly, particularly when those services need to be provided for 20 years or longer.

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"The current rules for the provision and cost of residential or in-home care services are extremely complex," Stander said.

"If they are not properly understood, the financial position of both those being cared for and their families can be significantly impacted."

Centric Wealth referred to a number of daily fees aged care residents need to pay, such as accomodation income-tested fees.

Further, new aged care reforms were recently legislated and will be effective from 1 July next year, with the changes to be phased in over a number of years.

This, Stander said, could add to the complexity.

"Because of the complexity of the aged care sector, not just in terms of the cost of residential care but also carer and pension entitlements, effective financial planning is key to achieving the best outcomes for everyone involved," Stander said.

"That is why an increasing number of people are seeking professional advice as to how they can structure their finances to ensure they can fund the long-term care of their elderly relatives without negatively impacting their own finances or quality of life."

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