There are a number of organisations that offer free services that can inform you about things like how to build savings, how to prepare for retirement, and what options you have with your pension.
Financial support and advice
When planning your finances for aged care, there are many aspects to consider—for example, pensions, superannuation, and retirement planning. So, it’s beneficial to seek independent financial advice before deciding how to pay for your aged care.
Knowing where to start can be confusing, but there is help available. There are organisations, services, and tools that can offer guidance and support.
Organisations that can help
Services Australia’s Financial Information Service (FIS) is a free, confidential service that can help you make informed decisions about investment and financial issues for your current and future needs. It also provides education and information to help you get extra support.
Financial Information Service officers can provide information about aged care costs and the Pension Loans Scheme.
The people who provide education and information within the Financial Information Service are not financial planners and do not give or sell advice or investment products.
Through the Financial Information Service, you can get access to:
- Financial Information Service officers who can help you:
- make informed financial decisions, including about your aged care costs
- understand the results of your decisions in the short and long term
- prepare for retirement, even while you’re still working.
Information on key financial topics
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s MoneySmart website provides information, hints, tips and tools to help you manage your money. It’s a one-stop-shop to get fast answers to your money questions. Apart from information and seminars, it offers financial calculators and resources to help you:
- create budgets and saving plans
- find out how much superannuation you are likely to have when you retire
- understand your sources of income for retirement.
Information on key financial topics
Life Checks is a tool that lets you see how you’re tracking to be healthy and comfortable in the years to come. It focuses on health, finances, work, and social life. It also provides information and links to other government resources that can help you to plan for the future.
Professional services that can help
The MoneySmart website has some valuable resources to help you manage your money, and it can also direct you to professional services like financial advisers, counsellors, and legal advice.
Financial advisers can help with retirement planning, wealth management, savings planning, superannuation, and portfolio administration. They can also give advice on managed funds and other financial products.
It’s important to choose the right financial adviser for your situation. The MoneySmart website has information on how to choose the best financial adviser for your needs.
Helpful links on seeking financial advice
If you’re having money problems, you can get help from a free and confidential financial counsellor. A financial counsellor can help you:
- negotiate with your creditors if you have debts
- organise your finances, and
- create a budget.
Community organisations are funded to provide these services across Australia. Find a financial counsellor near you using the MoneySmart website.
If you are in debt and have legal problems, you may not be able to afford a private solicitor. However, community legal centres and Legal Aid agencies offer free legal advice. Find out more about free legal advice on the MoneySmart website.
Tools and information
There are many tools available to help you with different aspects of your finances, such as:
- Reverse mortgage calculator
Find out how much your debt will increase over time if you take out a reverse mortgage.
- Pension Loans Scheme
The Pension Loans Scheme is a voluntary reverse equity mortgage through Services Australia that offers older Australians a fortnightly income stream to supplement their retirement income. The payments may be made:
- for a short period while your income and assets are being rearranged, or
- for an indefinite period.
Financial Information Service officers can give you information about the Pension Loans Scheme.
- Payment and Service Finder
Find out what payments and services you may be eligible for.
- International Services
If you get the Age Pension and you’ve lived outside Australia before, you may be able to claim a pension from another country. Centrelink’s International Services can help you get Australian social security payments while you’re overseas, and can help you claim a foreign pension.