Life Insurance Cover in Australia: Time to talk about the elephant in the room

In the media recently, we have heard plenty of dialogue around the cost of housing and unaffordability. How difficult it is for young families to purchase houses that are – to be honest – outrageously priced. Especially if you are in Sydney. We hear anecdotes of older parents, often at retirement age, helping their children out with house deposits or a fantastic new trend where parents build granny flats on their property for them to live in and their child’s family move into the main house. How’s that for thinking outside of the box? But all’s quiet on the media landscape around the topic of parents helping adult children out when they face times of financial hardship brought on by illness, trauma, and accidents and in worst case scenario, death. One story we heard recently – and it will tug at your heartstrings – was of a single mum who returned home to live with her Dad. He is retired and was happy to have his daughter and his five year old grand-daughter live with him to share expenses and help his daughter get back on her financial feet again after a tough relationship break-up. Sadly, the mum died unexpectedly. The grandfather, the beautiful man that he is, is raising his granddaughter and has found his retirement savings doesn’t cover off on the costs of raising a five year old and her future needs. It’s a sad story and quite often we don’t want to think about or even take action around the ‘what ifs’ but it’s so important we do. Financial planners are seeing more and more clients who are...

Accommodation Bonds for Aged Care

A CASE STUDY: Negotiating Accommodation Bonds Aged Care Australia A widow with health issues and early dementia has a fall and needs to be moved to a care facility. The family find her a place nearby her home but are unsure of whether to sell the home or rent the home. They are unfamiliar with all the charges and come to us for advice on the Accommodation Bond and whether to pay it upfront or in instalments. Their Mother has some funds in a Term Deposit that will increase the Income Tested Fee that she may be charged on top of the accommodation daily charge of $45.63 a day. We are able to implement some strategies that reduce their mother’s Income tested Fee by $7 a day and increase her entitlements to an Age Pension by $210 a fortnight as well as negotiate part payment of the Accommodation Bond that enhances their Mother’s long term financial situation ensuring that her care is funded for her life time. Do you have a similar dilemma? Give us a quick call at Blenkhorn Financial Planning & we can advise what is the best way to structure the payments due and ease your concerns about your loved one’s financial security. Share...
Alzheimer’s & High Care

Alzheimer’s & High Care

A Case Study: Aged Care – Managing Your Assets With Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Get the right Retirement Planning Services for you. Robin came to see us as her husband Dan’s health was deteriorating rapidly and she needed to get him into a care facility. He also had advanced Alzheimer’s disease. We assist Robin in finding a place that was suitable for them both to be together as a couple. Robin planned to sell the family home to fund the move into a special Alzheimer’s care facility. Robin is of sound mind and was to be sharing a room with her husband in an Alzheimer’s unit. We asked Robin if we can talk with her husband’s Doctor and found that he was of the opinion that Dan did not have much time left. We ask Robin to wait a month before committing to the sale of her house to give her some time to consider her options. Sadly Dan passed on within 2 weeks of this assessment by his Doctor. Although Robin is very sad at the passing of her husband she is also very relieved that she is not living in an Alzheimer’s unit and that in those very stressful last days she had professional advice and support whilst making such major life decisions. Considering Aged Care for any reason can be a very difficult time balancing emotional & health needs of those going into care and other family members. When you combine these things with the major financial decisions which must be made it is reassuring to have a professional Financial Planner to help navigate the path and...
Aged Care Assessment – Holding onto the family home

Aged Care Assessment – Holding onto the family home

A CASE STUDY FOR AGED CARE COSTS Janet seeks our advice on locating and moving her husband to an Aged Care facility that cares for his health issues. He has been assessed by ACAT – the Aged Care Assessment Team – as requiring high level care. Much to Janet’s relief we are able to liaise with the family to find a suitable facility nearby and explain all the necessary requirements of the facility. Janet wants to sell the family home and downsize. Because this will impact upon the size of their assets we advise that she wait a while to do this as the family home is an exempt asset while she is still living in it. Do you know how to manage an ACAT Assessment & Your Assets? Please call us for advice & planning assistance or attend our evening seminar for more information. Share...

Who has the power to make decisions for you?

A CASE STUDY – What happens if one of you suddenly needs help? The tale of a missing Enduring Power of Attorney At 65 Tim & Margaret sold their family home in Sydney and purchased a new home on the Central Coast for their dream sea-change retirement. Completely unexpectedly within a short period after the move the Margaret was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s that sadly deteriorated rapidly. Alarmingly she started to wander at night whilst Tim slept and ended up on a busy highway one night. Suddenly the situation was beyond Tim’s ability to manage on his own & it was essential for her safety that Margaret enter a care facility that could watch over her 24 hours a day. However, the only facility with a place available at the time was in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, a long way from the Central Coast. Tim was a pragmatic kind of fellow & so decided to immediately sell the house and move nearby to the care facility. As if he was not dealing with enough difficulty seeing his beloved partner in a care facility and her condition deteriorating, suddenly Tim’s future was also now out of his control. Unfortunately neither Tim nor Margaret had an Enduring Power of Attorney for each other so Tim could not sell the house without Margaret’s permission and she was now not of sound mind. Their case was then handed over to the Public Trustee to decide if it was in Margaret’s best interests to sell the house. Whilst Tim has waited for many months for a decision by the Public Trustee he travels hours...

Is Estate Planning Important?

Our expert Elizabeth Campbell of Smallwoods Lawyers explains the importance of Estate Planning If someone dies and has not left a Will they are said to have died “Intestate”. This means the estate must be distributed according to the laws of intestacy – this may not be what you want. It is very important you have a valid Will in place – even when you have minimal assets. Elizabeth shares a case study of how things can end up. CASE STUDY: Bob aged 19 years was brought up by his mother, a sole parent. Bob lives at home with his mother and is employed as a carpenter. Bob is working on a building site has an accident and dies. Bob never made a Will and has no wife or children. Under the laws of intestacy his parents receive his property in equal shares. Although his only asset is a small amount in a bank account, his Workers Compensation payout is approximately $480,000 which will be paid to his estate and his father will receive half. This is not what Bob would have wanted. Share...