BEYOND RETIREMENT - PLANNING FOR AGED CARE

Most people look forward to their retirement with relish, which is why organising your finances to fund your retirement is so important. Taking off around Australia, going on overseas trips and paying off the mortgage are popular retirement goals, but what about aged care?

Have you thought about paying for care when yourself or your partner are no longer able to care for themselves? What about dementia? How would you manage financially, if one of you was diagnosed with this condition? These are issues that no-one really likes to discuss but can be devastating from an emotional and a financial point of view if they do occur in the future.

If you have never considered the possibility of dementia in your family, you are not alone! In a recent survey, only 12% of older people in WA said that they have a financial plan in place in case one of them suffers from dementia. Of course, not everyone suffers from this condition as they age, but it’s fair to say that older Australians should have some sort of financial plan in place to cover any future deterioration in their health.

Timing is everything

If your partner needs care above and beyond what you can provide, it’s nice to know that you have a plan in place that you can fall back on. The last thing you want is to suddenly realise that looking after your partner at home is no longer possible, but you don’t have the resources to fund alternate care. It might even be the case that your partner needs full-time assistance following a fall and can’t be discharged from hospital into your care at home.

Another issue is trying to find the right facility, even if you have the funds because many aged care facilities have waiting lists. It will pay you to investigate your options and even tour some of these facilities, asking about their costs and services, then making a short list of your preferred facilities. We all hope that none of us will need aged care, but it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry!

Arranging your finances for your future

One point to note here is that if one of you needed to be admitted to an aged care facility, the other will still need to live at home. We all know that the costs of living alone aren’t much different to living as a couple (even if you do receive government support), so you should anticipate that your living expenses will possibly rise if one of you needs full-time care. 

Another consideration is giving someone the power of attorney over your affairs if you are unable to make decisions about your care in the future. Your family may also be concerned about their inheritance if you enter aged care, which can be a serious concern for many families. Life directives are also another delicate subject, but they are important as they ensure that your wishes are upheld and take the pressure away from relatives who would otherwise need to make these decisions on your behalf. All of these matters you need to discuss with your family so that you can ease their burden and make sure that you have the right resources to fund any future health events.

If you are reaching retirement age or are already retired, why not make an appointment to see me (Amanda McCall) and we can make sure that you have everything covered for your advanced years. Phone 07 3356 6929 or book your appointment online.

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