It's a question that gets asked a lot — do you have to sell your home when moving into aged care?
The simple answer is no, you don't have to sell your home. However, there are certain circumstances where selling your home may be the best option.
So, in this blog post, we'll look at the fee structure of an aged care home, explore some common scenarios where selling your home may be the best option, and talk about some of the options available to you if you don't want to sell your home.
The first thing to understand is the fee structure of an aged care home, which will help you take a comprehensive approach when deciding whether you should sell your house.
You'll have to cover the following costs at an aged care facility:
The accommodation payment is a lump sum that you pay when you move into an aged care home. It's designed to cover the cost of your room and the amenities within the facility.
You can either pay the full amount upfront or choose to pay a daily amount known as the Daily Accommodation Payment (DAP).
The basic daily care fee is a set amount that covers the cost of your basic care, such as meals, electricity, laundry, and cleaning.
The means-tested care fee is an income-tested fee that you may have to pay depending on your financial circumstances (income + assets).
Extra fees are optional fees that you can choose to pay for additional services, such as hairdressing, podiatry, and physiotherapy.
Now that we've looked at the fees associated with aged care, let's explore some of the circumstances where selling your home may be the best option.
One of the most common reasons people sell their homes when moving into aged care is that they simply can't afford to keep it up. If you're finding it difficult to pay your mortgage or keep up with maintenance and repairs, selling your home can free up some much-needed cash.
Another common reason for selling is that people simply don't need a large property anymore. If your family is downsizing to a smaller home or an apartment, selling your current property makes sense. You may use the proceeds to help pay for a new home for your family.
Also, you can save the extra amount as back-up money for medical emergencies as you get older.
Another reason you might want to sell your home when moving into aged care is having fewer things to deal with.
Having a large property is a significant source of stress. Sell it and move on. It will also give you peace of mind knowing that your family won't have to deal with legal proceedings or selling your home after you're gone.
So, these are some reasons that make people consider selling their home when moving into aged care. But make sure to get professional advice before making any decision — legal advice is always recommended in property-related matters.
A financial or legal advisor can help you work out whether selling your home is the best option for you, and they can also advise you on the best way to structure any sale.
If you're not comfortable with selling your home, there are other options available to you. These include:
You could rent out your property through a formal rental agreement directly with a tenant or through a broker company specializing in renting properties. This can be a good way to generate some extra income, but it's important to make sure the house is in good shape.
That’s because renovating your rental property will always get you the best deal out of your vacant home.
The other option is to give your home to a family member or a close friend. This can be a good way to ensure that your home stays in good hands, and it can also help reduce the amount of money you will need to pay in aged care fees. (Remember means-tested aged care fees?)
But again, it's important to get professional advice before giving away your property, as there may be some tax implications.
In any case, remember that you are free to decide whether you want to sell your house or not before moving into aged care. We also recommend availing free services like Financial Information Service (or FIS) to make an informed decision.