RC into Aged Care recommendations welcomed

Household Capital, a reverse mortgage specialist, has welcomed the Royal Commission into Aged Care, which recently released its final report after being launched in 2018.

The final report from the inquiry came out at the end of February and established 148 different recommendations surrounding the quality and safety of aged care homes.

Joshua Funder, chief executive of Household Capital, said the majority of older Australians instead preferred to age in their own homes rather than in an aged care home. This helped individuals to retain their independence and physical wellbeing.

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He highlighted the ‘third pillar’ of Australia’s Retirement Income Review (RIR) was “voluntary savings and home ownership”.

“Home ownership is an important influence on a person’s standard of living in retirement. Housing costs are generally lower in retirement and the house is an asset that can be drawn on to boost retirement income,” the RIR report said.

“The home is the most important component of voluntary savings and is an important factor influencing retirement outcomes and how people feel about retirement. Homeowners have lower housing costs and an asset that can be drawn on in retirement.”

Funder said: “To fund aged care, in-home care, and improve aged housing, the federal Retirement Income Review was right to highlight the importance of providing responsible, long-term access to home equity as the third pillar of our retirement funding system.

“Older Australians are now using their home equity to double their superannuation or boost retirement income, and put together a wish list of renovations and adaptations that will make their home safe for the rest of their lives. Home equity is now routinely used to fund healthcare expenses, in-home care packages and the transition to residential aged care,” he said.

Household Capital described its business as allowing retirees to “bundle their superannuation savings, equity in their home and their Age Pension to achieve their retirement goals while continuing to live at home”.

However, there were problems surrounding the reverse mortgage business as over time the debt of the loan would increase while equity would decrease and interest and fees could add to the loan balance. They were also likely to have higher interest rates than a standard home loan.

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