Australia is getting older. As many as 366 people turned 75 every day during 2013, according to the Productivity Commission inquiry on aged care. In 2023, the number is expected to increase to 595 per day.
No one really likes to think about aged care, retirement villages, estate planning, wills or, as a matter of fact, dying. Many people refuse to think about it until the problem is at their doorstep... or at their parents'. So rather than wait, perhaps now is the time to start engaging with your clients?
As financial advisers you have access to the tools and the knowledge to assist in what is probably one of the most difficult stages of life; the moment where someone realises that living by himself or by herself is not an option anymore.
Good advisers specialising in aged care can be difficult to find, and yet demand for their services will only increase in the future.
A comprehensive understanding of the regulation is essential, especially because aged care legislation is complex to the uninitiated.
The legislative reform coming in on July 1, 2014, will demand advisers to gain an understanding of the new changes even before they start, as some clients could benefit from the current legislation, while others would be better off under the reformed laws.
The reforms will bring new terminology and new requirements. Today's accommodation bonds will be replaced with refundable accommodation deposits (RADs) and period payments will be named daily accommodation payments (DAPs).
But more than any other kind of advisers, those specialised in aged care do need to have soft skills.
"You really need to understand what kind of emotions your clients are going through, because they want you to hold their hand, to help them get through these difficult moments," adviser Marilyn Nelson told Financial Standard.
In this FS Advice Aged Care edition, we will discuss the main issues around aged care advice; look at the upcoming legislative changes and, hopefully, stir up the debate.
So as Australia gets older, will you do something about it? You can start by telling us in the comments section of this blog.