New aged care rules boost the advice opportunities for professionals

From

Assyat David

Assyat David

Organising a move into aged care is a stressful and emotional time for an older person and their family. The new aged care rules that came into effect on 1 July are likely to increase the confusion for clients and their families.

“Clients are more likely to need advice to navigate through the new rules, which provides opportunities for advisers to grow their businesses and support clients through this key milestone in their life” said Assyat David, Director at Aged Care Steps.  “Target clients are predominantly retirees and pre-retirees as well as clients with elderly parents” according to Ms David.

“Advisers can add substantial value to clients by allowing clients to outsource the stress to them.  The value of advice is about guidance, objectivity and expertise. It is more than just reviewing finances to implement strategies that improve age pension and minimise aged care fees” Ms David explained.

New residents and their family will be presented with a choice of paying for accommodation as a lump sum (RAD), equivalent daily fee (DAP) or combination with 28 days to make the decision.  “This can be a daunting decision that may have ramifications for the elderly person’s pension entitlement, ongoing care fees, estate planning outcomes and cash flow situation.” said Ms David. Advice is critical to enable the client to make an informed decision to select the option that works best for them and their family.

Advisers may also have opportunities to proactively start the conversation with clients when undertaking regular reviews by introducing a discussion on options for support in the home. “Aged care advice is more than just about moving to an aged care facility.  There are a range of options to consider” David said.

Professional referrers such as lawyers and accountants are finding that clients are turning to them for help to deal with the key decisions involved with aged care.  “Professional referrers and aged care services recognise that clients need advice and are looking to partner with capable financial advisers with the skills and resources to provide aged care advice” said David.

Aged care advice has a large intergenerational element as it enables financial advisers to build relationships with the extended family because the broader family tends to be involved in the aged care process.   “This can provide the impetus for other family members to use the services of the financial adviser to plan ahead for their own needs” said David.

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