Don’t fail to plan ahead

NT News - Real Estate - - Market Place - AN­THONY KEANE

FAIL­ING to plan for the cost of fu­ture aged care is putting Aus­tralia’s over-50s at risk of fi­nan­cial strug­gles later in life.

Many are en­joy­ing their re­tire­ment with over­seas travel but are putting off dis­cussing the next stage of their lives, ac­cord­ing to a new study by Ab­so­lute Care & Health and so­cial re­searcher McCrindle.

It found just 9 per cent have a fi­nan­cial plan or sav­ings plan for their fu­ture aged care, and three-quar­ters have not taken any steps to­wards get­ting the care they would want.

Forty per cent worry that they won’t be able to pay for it, and 43 per cent are not con­fi­dent of the gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to help.

Ab­so­lute Care & Health CEO Maria Deve­son Crabbe says “hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tion” is a big bar­rier for many.

“We don’t like to dis­cuss our mor­tal­ity. We don’t like to think things will come to an end,” she says.

Ms Deve­son Crabbe says it is a good idea to turn the dis­cus­sion into pos­i­tive plan­ning about “long, healthy, happy lives”.

“We have some in­cred­i­ble clients in their late 90s who are out and about,” she says.

“Start with a happy thought: ‘I’m go­ing to live for a long time and I want to be at my best as long as pos­si­ble’.

“A lot of fam­i­lies who have put thought into it have worked out a plan in­volv­ing a bal­ance of gov­ern­ment care, fam­ily care and ro­tat­ing care.” fund­ing, long wait­ing lists re­main for home care pack­ages – putting many peo­ple un­der fi­nan­cial pres­sure.

The re­search found al­most half of over-50s have not dis­cussed their fu­ture care with any­body – not even their spouses.

Call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422, or ac­cess on­line at myaged­care.gov.au.

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