Financial resources glossary for downsizers & retirees

Aged Care

Depending on the level of care you need, aged care is basically divided into home-based care and residential aged care. Both of these care types operate differently, and have different schemes providing means-tested access to government funding assistance.

Assets test

A test done by Centrelink to see how much pension you’re eligible for.

Accumulation Phase

you haven’t started a pension with your superannuation account. By choosing this, however, your super account’s fund earnings on assets in accumulation phase continue to be subject to up to 15% earnings tax.

Body corporate (now called Owners Corporations)

A managing body who look after the common ownership aspects of a property (most commonly in apartments and units).

Capital Gains Tax

The tax you pay on capital gain (which is the increase in value of assets, such as property).

Downsizing cap

A government initiative where Australians aged 65 and over can make a non-concessional superannuation contribution of up to $300,000 from the sale of their home (this comes into effect on 1st July 2018).

Estate planning

Deciding on and recording (through documents such as a will) what you want to happen to your assets in the event of death.

Financial planner

Person who manages their client’s personal finances. They can provide advice for big financial life changes such as downsizing.


When a house verbally promised to you is instead sold to another buyer at a higher price (an annoying situation but a fun word to say!).

In Home Care

Describes the help and support services you can access from the government, community groups and private organisations to help you stay in your home and live a comfortable life.

Income test

The second of the Centrelink tests (the other being the assets test) which determine your pension amount.


The estate of a person who dies without having made a valid will or other binding declaration

Joint Tenants

People who share equal ownership of a property (can occur in both buying and renting).


Legal professional who can help you understand laws and regulations as well as read over contracts.


Formal/ technical language of legal documents


A legal agreement such as a written contract from the lender.

Negative Gearing

Where you borrow money to invest, and the income from the investment is a lesser amount than the expenses are.

Offer to Purchase

A formal legal agreement prepared by the realtor which offers a specified price for a property.

Pension (aka Age Pension)

Government allowance paid to Australians who are at retirement age (currently this is 65 ½, but it will rise to 67 years old in 2023).

Power of Attorney

Powers of attorney enable you to nominate someone to make decisions on your behalf, if you lose the capacity to do so.

Reserve Price

The lowest amount a seller will accept for their property at auction.

Residential Aged Care

With older people enjoying more diverse activities than ever before, these Residential care homes are often modern, light-filled and well equipped. From social outings and gatherings through to end-of-life care, residential aged care offers permanent, personal round-the-clock care.

Stamp duty

A tax that needs to be paid by the buyer after the sale of a property.


Land Titles Office document which records a property’s change of ownership.


A property of this type doesn’t have any restrictions (such as creditor claims) tied to it.

Variable Interest Rate

A type of interest rate that fluctuates according to financial market rates.