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Aged Care. What you need to know

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Whether considering options for yourself, or deciding how best to help someone close to you, the journey into aged care can be a complex one. This guide explains the steps you need to take, where you can find answers, and how IMB Financial Planning can help you make an informed decision.

Moving into aged care

There are typically three steps you need to take before moving in to an aged care facility.

STEP 1: Approval

Before entering an aged care facility, your health must be assessed to determine your eligibility for care. The assessment can be performed by any doctor, nurse or social worker who is a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT, or ACAS in Victoria). You can visit to request an assessment.

STEP 2: Find a home

You can apply to as many homes as you like, so it’s worth looking around to find a home you are comfortable in that suits your needs. Visit to see descriptions of the rooms and services available at different aged care facilities, as well as accommodation costs.

STEP 3: Organise your finances

When you move into an aged care facility, you will need to pay an accommodation payment or contribution – which may be met in full or part by the Government. The Department of Human Services (DHS) will advise which applies to you based on an assessment of your assets and income. There will also be a basic daily fee, and there may be a means-tested care fee. Some facilities offer you a higher level of service, or a higher standard of accommodation or food, for an additional daily fee.

ACAT assessment

> Find a home

Consider what is important to you in a home and look around until you find it.

> Accommodation contribution

You pay part of the cost of your accommodation and the Government pays the rest.

> Accommodation payment

You pay for the full cost of your accommodation.

> Basic daily fee

Means-tested care fee

Additional daily fee

How we can help

At IMB Financial Planning, we deliver aged care advice that takes into account your current situation and your goals for the future. We can also help you keep your plans on track with an annual review in case your circumstances, or external factors such as legislation, change.

The following table shows some of the key questions we can help you answer:


My question is…

How can IMB Financial Planning help?

Who else can help?

What upfront costs will I need to pay?

We can help you determine how to pay for your accommodation. This may involve a lump sum payment, regular instalments or a combination of both.

Centrelink assess your income and assets.

How much will I pay for ongoing care?

There are strategies to minimise the fees you pay. Keeping or selling your home often forms part of the strategy, as does how you invest. A poorly executed plan can result in a lower Age Pension and higher aged care costs.

The aged care facility and Centrelink can help in determining your fees.

Can I keep my home or is it better for me to sell it?

We can explain the pros and cons of keeping/selling your home. If you decide to keep it, we can discuss strategies to pay the accommodation costs and explain how the family home will be treated for social security and aged care purposes. If selling it, we can help identify the best way to invest the proceeds to maximise the Age Pension and minimise aged care fees.

Your tax adviser/ accountant can advise on your tax position, including any issues concerning land tax and capital gains tax that may affect you.


How do I maximise my social security benefits?

We can explain how your choice of investments may help you access or retain benefits, including the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Centrelink determines your eligibility for Government benefits.

How can I afford to pay for ongoing care?

We can assess your investment options and help you maximise your income.

Centrelink determines your eligibility for Government benefits.

Will I have something to leave for my family?

We can help identify what assets form part of your estate and ensure relevant beneficiary nominations are in place.

Your lawyer can ensure you have a Will that reflects your wishes.

How much tax will I need to pay?

An overall review of your situation will identify the various tax offsets that may be available to you, including the low income, seniors and net medical expense offsets.

Your tax adviser/ accountant can advise on your tax position, including any issues concerning land tax and capital gains tax that may affect you.


To find out more about your aged care options, call IMB Financial Planning on 133 462 or visit your local IMB branch.

Make an appointment



This article has been prepared by IMB Bank and IMB Financial Planning for general information and reference and it is not intended to be advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek your own legal, accounting, financial or other professional advice when appropriate, and consider the relevant Terms and Conditions or Product Disclosure Statement before deciding whether to acquire any products or services offered by IMB Bank. We do not recommend any third party products or services referred to in this article and we are not liable in relation to them. Any links to third party websites are for your information and we do not endorse any content on those sites. IMB Financial Planners are Representatives of IMB Financial Planning Limited ABN 23 094 730 195 AFSL 234 660. IMB Financial Planning Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of IMB Ltd trading as IMB Bank ABN 92 087 651 974. Australian Credit Licence/AFSL 237 391.

Why choose IMB Bank?

Established in 1880, IMB has been helping people achieve their financial goals for 140 years. IMB offers a full range of banking solutions including home and personal lending, savings and transaction accounts, term deposits, business banking, financial planning and can arrange a wide range of insurance and travel products.

IMB has a growing branch network throughout the Illawarra, Sydney, NSW South Coast, the ACT and Melbourne. We have a lending specialist in every branch and a team of mobile lending specialists who will come to you. IMB members enjoy access to free automated phone and internet banking and a team of professionals who are just a phone call away at our locally based call centre.

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