May 03, 2023

Most Aussies would forego inheritance to ensure older relatives are cared for

77% of participants said it was an individual’s responsibility to pay for their own aged care. [Source: Shutterstock]

A new survey has found that nearly three-quarters of Australians would sacrifice their inheritance so their parents and grandparents can spend the money on retirement and aged care instead.

Australians have gifted almost $1.4 trillion in inheritances over the past two decades but the survey findings showed that most Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Xers would forgo inheritance if it meant their older relatives could have a better quality of life in retirement living or aged care.

Australian aged care software provider, CompliSpace, released their survey report into aged care funding on Tuesday as the Federal Government finalises this month’s Budget which is earmarked to have a significant aged care focus. 

This follows news that the Government has commissioned advice from consultancy firm, Kantar Public, Australia on a possible overhaul of the financial model for aged care, undertaking policy ­research on consumer contributions to aged care and gauging ­sentiment towards an increase in user co-payments.

The survey analysis from 1000 participants showed:

  • About 50% said they expected to receive an inheritance 
  • 73% of those people said they’d be willing to miss out on their expected inheritance
  • 77% of participants said it was an individual’s responsibility to pay for their own aged care
  • 38% of participants agreed older people should sell their home if needed to fund aged care

The survey also found that the majority of participants believed that it was the responsibility of the older person to fund their own care, a sentiment shared by CompliSpace’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Griffiths, and other industry stakeholders.

“Our research has confirmed, for the first time, that Australians want their parents and grandparents to spend their hard-earned savings on themselves, rather than passing it onto their Generation X  children or Millennial grandchildren,” he said.

“Older Australians are being given the green light by their own families to spend their savings on their own care, rather than holding back and compromising their own quality of life.

“Many Australians die with hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings that could have been spent on a more comfortable retirement while they were alive.”

Finance experts and industry executives have been pushing for wealthier aged care recipients to pay more for their care to help the sector improve, expand its services and allow the Government to support more vulnerable older Australians in need.

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) called on the Federal Government to include housing wealth in means testing and allow providers to set their own daily fees, meaning wealthier older Australians would pay more for some of their aged care services.

Chartered accountants, StewardBrown, outlined the viable options they feel would help restore the sector:

  • Increased Government funding
  • An increased consumer subsidy for everyday living and accommodation services provided by the Government

Due to the current financial and economic constraints, stakeholders have begun leaning towards the second option.

“The inescapable fact is that Australia is experiencing an aged care funding crisis and is reaching a tipping point,” Mr Griffiths explained. “There are limits to how much taxpayers can provide to support older Australians who can fund their own care.”

Would you forgo an inheritance in order for your older relatives to receive quality aged care? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Oh my God.. ignorance is bliss. I’ve worked in residential care for over 40 years. Australians want more but want it free!

    The only phone call that facilities get after a resident passed away is “have you sent the RAD refund yet” …
    People are prepared to spend more on aged care…but not their own money!

  2. The Question should be iare are aged care recipients getting value for the money charged, given by Government and requested and successfully lobbied for by the big Provider organisations including non for profits Providets fund the peak bodies who have been around for years to lobby the government on their behalf To give them more money to spend without satisfactory auditing. No wonder they are facing losses interest rates are rising and people are reluctant to hand over to them the family homes and assets as interest free loans to them etc ,not to do with care but todo with their investments in property Generally the providers profits come before Care needs of the care recipients. After all Aged care recipients are referred to as customers and consumers what a joke
    Why is it that aged recipients have to sign agreements to enter into a c
    Aged care facility, why doe the mercy place east melbourne charge a daily fee of $35 for compulsory extra for second floor care recipients.
    Ask the right the right questions and aged care may improve. Are u aware that unsuitable CEOs and their favoured general managers abuse their power by threatening family members with bans and police being called . These nursing home look good but prisoners get treated better. It is a scandal that care recipients are being denied visits by family member long time carers . It is a Scandal beyond belief. The providers spend their money on their lawyers bullying and covering up this scandal of their appointed CEO and general managers being unsuitable to be working in aged care. Who cares about the ignorance by govt about this hidden scandal happening causing great distress


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