Australia is an ageing nation. The proportion of the population aged 74 years or over is expected to jump from 6.4 per cent in 2012 to 14.4 per cent in 2060, according to Productivity Commission figures.
This change indicates improved life expectancy in the country (which is great), but it also means you may have to ask yourself an important question about your retirement: Am I ready for aged care?
People don’t like to dwell on the idea of potentially needing care when they’re older. However, the reality is that federal government data shows more than 2 million people aged over 70 in the country are reliant on these services.
The My Aged Care website offers fee calculators to help you evaluate the costs of both nursing homes and home care packages as part of your retirement planning. These expenses include:
However, speaking to a financial adviser can help you identify a tailored plan for your specific circumstances and provide superannuation insights to maximize your retirement savings should you require aged care.
The aged care sector has suffered various media scandals over the last year, so it’s natural to be wary of choosing the wrong facility.
Sadly, a recent KPMG study showed customer service is lacking across many providers.
Sixty per cent of retirement living homes had out-of-date information on their website, while 70 per cent couldn’t confidently answer questions.
— Aged Care Complaints (@AgedCComplaints) July 25, 2017
So how do you avoid a bad nursing home? Try these tips:
Effective retirement planning should ensure you are financially prepared, but are you ready for aged care both mentally and physically? For example, you may need to downsize for aged care in Australia, which is often distressing for people who have lived in a family home for many years.
Your chosen aged care facility should also provide you with a Resident Agreement, which covers the services you’ll receive, relevant fees and your rights and responsibilities. Ensure you have thoroughly read this document and are happy with everything it outlines before moving into a facility.
Lastly, are your family and friends aware of your needs as you get older? This is a difficult conversation, but there may come a day when you’re unable to clearly communicate what you want from aged care and it’s important your loved ones can make arrangements on your behalf.
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