It's never too early to start planning for the possibility of aged care in the future. However, many people start planning only when they are looking at using aged care within a short amount of time. If that's the case for you, there are a few things you need to address immediately. Among them are where to go, obviously, but financial moves also need attention. You'll be assessed for your ability to pay based on your income and assets, and the costs you might have to pay now may not be the same as what you'd have to pay later. Speaking with a financial advisor who deals in aged care is essential.
Gift-Giving and Giving Away Belongings
You'll have to be careful in the years leading up to aged care because gifts or belongings that you give away could be counted as assets. That does not mean you can't ever buy someone a birthday present, but it does mean that if you were hoping to give your family early inheritances or give someone a lot of money to help them buy a house, for example, you may end up having those counted as assets even if you no longer have access to the money. A financial advisor can help you navigate that.
Planning for Increased Personal and Medical Care
As you get older after going into an aged care situation, you may need more intense and comprehensive personal and medical care. While you no doubt hope you remain completely healthy, you do have to plan for the possibility that you'll need help with daily activities. That can increase costs in an aged care situation, and it means you have to be sure that whoever is helping you is someone you can trust and someone who knows what they're doing. You need to figure out how these changes would affect you and how you would go about arranging to handle them.
Handling RAD and DAP Payments
When planning for later care, you may have to pay part of your accommodation fees rather than having the government pay all of them. You can choose to pay one deposit, which is refundable (called a RAD), or pay daily payments that cover only the days you're living in the aged care home (which are not refundable and are called DAP). You can pay one or the other, or even pay a combination. However, which one you choose will affect how your fees are calculated (and then, of course, there's that refund issue). Getting professional financial advice regarding which payment type to use is beyond important.
You'll also likely find out about things you'll need to pay for that you didn't know existed. Seeking financial advice when planning for aged care helps ensure you don't forget to take costs into account.
Reach out to a company like Rethink Financial Planning to learn more.