Karl Hunting
Karl Hunting

Senior Financial Adviser


Talk to us about Aged Care today

Staying at home for longer as you age

As we age, more and more people are aiming to stay in the family home close to support networks for as long as possible and good financial planning is an important part of making it happen.

The Federal Government recognise this and are rolling out reforms over the next two years that will make this even more affordable – but it is important to prepare early.

Start planning for future needs early

It’s difficult to know exactly what health issues we may develop as we age, but if staying in the family home is important then formulating a plan to future-proof your home while you’re still fit and active will give you time to implement any modifications you may need.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Aim for single-level living. If you want to stay in an existing multi-storey home, think about modifying the bottom floor, so it offers access to everything you need if you’re unable to use the stairs.
  • Replace rugs and slip-prone hard floors with soft, durable carpet to avoid trips and falls at home – the most common injury in over 65’s.
  • Widen the main entrance to your home, remove doorway lips and replace steps to the front and back entrances with ramps.
  • Bathrooms can be one of the most hazardous rooms for falls. If building or renovating, install non-slip tiles in all wet areas. If you have existing tiles, consider applying a non-slip coating.
  • Replace older style shower units with an open access screen that ensures even surfaces inside and outside the shower. It should be wide enough to accommodate a shower chair, with mixer taps at sitting height. Handrails can be added for further support.
  • Opt for low maintenance gardens with automatically timed irrigation.

Impending Government reforms support ageing in place

Federal Government aged care reforms, rolling out over the next two years, also aim to support people to stay in their own home for longer. The reforms include:

  • More home care packages for help with cleaning, meals and shopping
  • Wage rises, training and other incentives to attract more in-home carers
  • Development of a new ‘Support at Home’ program including a trial of assistive technology loans
  • An easier, single assessment program

Consider the high care years in retirement planning

When people think about making their money last for the rest of their lives, they often think about needing a consistent income in perpetuity. In reality, retirement spending is more of a U-shape – or a “smile” as we like to think of it – rather than a straight line.

Most people have a higher-cost start to retirement, doing everything they’ve looked forward to during the working years – from downsizing or relocating to pursuing sports, hobbies, volunteering, dining, travel and entertainment.

This is typically followed by a quieter period where costs are lower, then in the later years by a high care period.

This quiet period is a great time to think about those high care years and start making your home optimal for ageing comfortably in place. It’s also important to include children and other family members in the planning process to support you to achieve your goals.

With an increase in Federal Government assistance and good forward planning, we hope more people will age in place at home, enjoying the benefits of familiarity, family, friends and community for as long as they can.

General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. Rev Invest Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.