Planning for your later years should be done the same way as planning for education, according to dailycare.com.au founder Tull Roseby.
“You wouldn’t just turn up to the closest school when your child turns five. You research the options and make informed choices where you can,” Mr Roseby said.
This same mentality should be applied to living conditions in retirement, as making a poor decision in this area can result in “long-term financial and emotional impacts”.
“Decisions are often made hastily when a crisis emerges, but the more time you have to work through the options, the better chance you have of making the right choice,” Mr Roseby said.
“Advance planning with a clear head and ensuring you have the paperwork checked by the appropriate professionals are the best safeguards.”
Mr Roseby said there are six steps Australians should be taking to ensure the best outcome when moving into an aged care facility.
First, inspect several different facilities. Mr Roseby recommended bringing friends and family members along and asking staff plenty of questions at each facility.
Second, look at all the fees and costs and make sure these can be covered.
Third, consider all available options, “not only for your needs today, but the level of support you are likely to need in the coming years” Mr Roseby said.
The fourth step is to make sure you understand the contracts before you sign them. Mr Roseby suggested finding a trusted adviser to help make sense of the contracts.
Fifth, ensure all promises and commitments made by the aged care facility or retirement home are in writing.
The final step Australians should be taking is to seek information, whether it is from a close friend, relative or a professional, to help make the right decision.