For many older Australians living independently, the move into care is a decision that looms.
Sydney’s Beth Sims* described the process as a gradual, yet a lurking concern. A decision she tried to avoid.
However having suffered ill health in recent years, and a large home that was becoming overwhelming, Beth knew that something had to give.
“After over two years of ill health I realised I wasn’t well enough to cope with the everyday maintenance of my home, and couldn’t afford the maintenance I was accustomed to.”
Such was her determination to stay in her beloved home, Beth made the conscious decision to let the maintenance go and continue living in a deteriorating home.
However, she quickly realised this too was not a viable option.
“I loved my house and wanted to stay there forever, but I just wasn’t happy living in a run-down home.”
Another of her major considerations was her daughter and relieving the amount of pressure her ill health was putting on her as the primary carer.
However due to the high weekly fees of retirement villages in Sydney, for a long time, this retired psychologist felt this option was price prohibitive.
Beth reluctantly started investigating her options, and while she was well versed on retirement villages through friends and her profession, she had always considered the weekly fees price prohibitive.
So she was pleasantly surprised when researching, that their price-point was in her scope.
As a client of Invest Blue’s Theo Holland, and Steve Fort before that, Beth was able to pre-empt the difficult discussion surrounding aged care, so much so that no sooner had Theo gently suggested putting her name on a waiting list, Beth had found herself a retirement village unit to buy.
Beth laughs that while she may have caught Theo off guard, it was a decision she did not make lightly, and his advice and support throughout the process was invaluable.
With Theo confident her home would sell well thanks to its valuable position, Beth says having Theo give her plan the green light was hugely important.
“I wasn’t game to make such a large commitment straight away, it’s a massive decision for me to make on my own but Theo backed me up and gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead.”
Now two and a half months into a unit living, Beth admits it is an adjustment, she misses her garden and space, however, the move was made easier thanks to the friendly, welcoming community.
A nurse on call at the facility 24/7 also dramatically relieves the pressure on Beth’s daughter.
And with some surplus money left over from the sale of her home, Theo is now helping Beth navigate the best avenue for the money and one that will also take into consideration her Centrelink Aged Pension payments.
Ever practical, Beth is realistic that this is her ‘last roll of the dice’ investment-wise.
No longer earning, she acknowledges that if the money went astray things would be meagre, and as such, is grateful to have such a trusted adviser as Theo.
Having such a personable young man makes dealing with her finances much more pleasurable, and the fact that he conducts home visits is also greatly appreciated.
The opportunity to avoid driving in Sydney and finding a dreaded parking spot was a welcomed one.
As a single mother, Beth had engaged a financial adviser early in her career, putting away what she could.
Admitting she barely had two jobs to put together back then, steady savings and investment management has afforded her a comfortable retirement.
Beth can also enjoy being part of a community in her new retirement village, with plenty of stimulus and activities to keep her busy.
More than anything though, Beth is grateful to have had options whilst making this milestone decision, and to have had Invest Blue support and reassure her – physically, emotionally and financially – every step of the way.
*note this client has chosen to have their name changed to protect their identity
What you need to know
This information is provided by Invest Blue Limited (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.
These clients have agreed to share their story. Everyone’s situation is different, so their choices and outcomes will be different to yours. Consider your circumstances before deciding what’s right for you.