Practitioners warned on aged care ‘chaos’
Professional advisers who do not fully appreciate the potential for “chaos” in aged care risk losing their clients, according to one SMSF specialist.
While financial services professionals understand the need to plan for a longer life, co-founder of Strategy Steps and Aged Care Steps Louise Biti said they need to do more than just be aware of this need.
“You need to think about what it really means to get older,” Ms Biti said at a breakfast hosted by SuperCentral and Townsends Business & Corporate Lawyers. “It’s not just about how long you’re going to live; it’s about how well you want to live.
“Also, it’s important to be aware we do have significant periods as we age where we are more likely to get illnesses or cognitive impairment,” she added.
Ms Biti warned that while aged care is subsidised to a certain extent, typically it still comes with a “hefty price tag”.
“If you’re really happy to sit in a room with a rocking chair or on a porch with not a lot of amenities, maybe you can do that quite cheaply. But this generation that are coming into retirement now are focusing more on quality of lifestyle and choices,” Ms Biti said.
“You need to think about having to pay. The government subsidises it, but as we know they have a big problem with their budgets, and are looking more and more at the user-pays model,” she said.
Ms Biti also noted that there is a “very big risk” that practitioners will lose clients to other professionals if they do not engage in conversations about aged care, given the enormity of its impact in retirement.