Asset Planning and Rest Home Subsidies

Retirement Planning is one aspect many people put off until their later lives however many are unaware that the best time to act and ensure that your assets are safe for the future is today rather than when you are on the verge of retirement.

In the event that you require Rest Home or Hospital care in your later life WINZ offer you a subsidy to help meet the Rest Home Hospital fees.  This subsidy, however, is only offered to people who meet the WINZ asset testing threshold.  As at July 2013 if you were a single person requiring Rest Home care WINZ will subsidise your care provided that your assets (house, car, bank accounts etc) are under $215,132.00. If you are a couple and you both require Rest Home care then the same threshold of $215,132.00 applies.

In the event that you are a couple and only one of you requires Rest Home care then the total amount of assets of the partner that requires care can have is $117,811.00 excluding the home and car or $215,132.00 including the home and car. These thresholds change in July of each year. If you are over these thresholds then you will not qualify for a subsidy. This will mean for most people that they have to pay for their own care until such a time as their assets have diminished to below required the threshold.  This will usually mean for most that their family home will need to be sold and assets which they have worked all their lives for spent to pay for their Rest Home Care.  For many elderly this is quite distressing and unsettling for them.

There are many ways in which you can plan for the future and ensure that in the event you or your partner do need Rest Home care that your hard earned assets will be protected for your children. One of the most effective ways to complete this goal is by establishing a Family Trust. Another way is to split all assets into tenants in common.

There are many ways to plan for the future.  These plans need to be tailored to suit your lives and wishes for the future.  If you wish to discuss any plans that you have or simply want some advice as to where you should be heading, just give us a call.  We will be happy to help.