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Are aged care costs negotiable?

The cost of aged care varies depending on your circumstances – you most likely already know that, but are you aware you have negotiating power?

Whether you’re a well-versed haggler or avoid bargaining at all costs, you should take the opportunity to negotiate on aged care costs. An experienced aged care financial adviser can help you find a better price on what tends to be a major expense.

When is a good time to negotiate?

An aged care home’s willingness to negotiate is often a case of supply and demand. If they have a long waiting list of people who are willing to pay the asking price, they may not negotiate. But if there are a number of beds available, they are usually more willing to accept a lower price.

Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD)

Big savings can be made when it comes to the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD).
The RAD price quoted by the aged care home is often the maximum amount that they can charge.

Additional service fees

It’s important to note that it’s not just the RAD which is negotiable.

Additional service fees (for example, for hairdressing, optional outings and activities, etc) can also be flexible, especially due to the pandemic and the loss of some services as a result.

Some homes allow you to pick and choose what additional services you would like, so you only pay for what you use. Others may have a package of additional services they provide, and some of them must be agreed to as a condition of living in the home. Question what you are paying for and whether you are getting value. For instance, are you paying for newspapers you won’t read or subscription tv that you don’t watch?

Be mindful of information you share

One way to potentially get your costs down is to reduce your assets, so it is smart to work with an experienced aged care financial adviser to see if this option is for you.

Be careful with aged care homes who request to see your assets assessment before you know the RAD amount. Until this has been done and your assets assessment finalised, don’t share this information with the provider. This can impact the fee they offer you (it can be higher than it needs to be), so you are better placed to get the RAD quote and have all of your financials ready to go then start negotiating.

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