Aged Care – The importance of obtaining financial advice

Contributor: Paul Cetrangolo, Financial Adviser


For a person entering Aged Care, the process can either be planned and gradual or it can be urgent and chaotic.

Whichever path is taken, there are a set of common principles that apply including the need for careful consideration, proper assessment and strong financial management.

The thought of Aged Care conjures fear, anxiety and stress.  Common questions include:

  • What do all the acronyms mean?
  • Do we need to sell the house?
  • What happens to the partner that is still living in the family home?
  • How will the move into care affect the Age Pension?
  • Is the Government going to take all my money?
  • How do I afford it?

These are all valid questions.  These are also questions that won’t be easily answered by searching Google or asking somebody that is not experienced in this field.  There are a lot of misconceptions out in the community about Aged Care and these add to the fear and anxiety that people face when they look at either entering themselves or placing a loved one into care.

The best way to navigate entry into Aged Care is to consult with a Financial Adviser who is an accredited Aged Care specialist.

A Financial Adviser will assist with understanding that the costs of Aged Care are not just limited to entry.  There are also ongoing costs that need to be factored in when looking at a facility.  An accredited financial adviser will assist in providing a financial solution to all the costs of Aged Care.

A financial adviser will sit down with a client and their family and carefully explain all aspects of Aged Care, focusing on the following:

  • Preparation for entry
    • Initial Centrelink assessment including the use of the family home.
    • Estate Planning requirements
    • Explaining Government funding assistance
    • Assessment as full fee-paying person or low means resident including the differences between these and how they will impact ongoing costs.
  • Initial costs of entry to Permanent Aged Care
    • Paying for a place
      • Lump Sum deposit versus daily payment. What are the differences and how is it best funded?
      • Do we sell the home, or can we fund the cost via other means?
  • Ongoing costs of residing in Aged Care
    • Basic Daily fee
    • Means Tested Fee (if applicable)
    • Extra Services Fee (if applicable)
    • Additional Services Fee (if applicable)
  • Other significant considerations
    • Structuring assets both initially and for the future to enable long term cashflow to be met and Age Pension benefits maximised
    • The implications of allowing children or family members to fund Aged Care Fees
    • Estate Planning ramifications of accommodation payments and deposits
    • Centrelink Age Pension and Aged Care Assessments of assets and income, including the differences in how some assets are assessed and valued

Establishing the right structures at the beginning of the process is vital and a Financial Adviser will complete a significant amount of analysis when examining a person’s situation so that the best financial outcome can be met for the person entering care.

As you can see by the number of considerations listed above, it is vitally important to consult an expert to secure advice that is timely and accurate.  Making the wrong financial decisions at entry can be detrimental and end up costing more than it needs to. A common scenario for financial advisers is a desperate family member seeking assistance to reverse mistakes made simply because they thought that they could navigate the process themselves, or didn’t see the value in paying an expert for advice.

When meeting with family members and those entering Aged Care, the first question will normally be “What is the cost of obtaining advice from a Financial Adviser?”  However, this question is normally countered by an equally important question “What will be the overall cost of not obtaining timely, accurate and unbiased advice?”

To get professional advice from Heard Financial Aged Care expert Paul Cetrangolo, please contact our office on 08 7070 1600 or email



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