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Aged care advice in demand

Australia's population is ageing and with that comes a need for good advice. We speak to aged care specialist Brendan Ryan of Macquarie Bank about his area of expertise.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Wealth Professional
Donna Sawyer:  The demographics are clear.  Australia has an ageing population and with it comes a great need for financial advice.  Macquarie Bank’s Brendan Ryan made the decision to specialise in aged care planning after seeing friends and family go through the complex process.  He says it’s not a job for a generalist.
Brendan Ryan, Macquarie Bank
Brendan Ryan:  Age care and the transition to age care is the process of it I think is quite different to other parts of financial planning.  When it starts, when it’s on, when Mum or Dad has a fall, it starts and the process begins and people in that situation need help at that very time, it’s very dynamic.  So for example getting, taking a fact find and coming back to someone in four weeks with the answers really isn’t going to cut it in this situation because along the way there are decisions that need to be made that are probably based on information as it’s revealed.  So dealing with an expert who can be quite dynamic in their delivery of advice or feedback is really going to make this process a whole lot easier for the people involved.
Donna Sawyer:  He says giving advice during a time of heightened emotions can be a challenge, but it can also be rewarding.
Brendan Ryan:  Well you are dealing with people that probably their last significant life event was retirement and if you have an average age of entry to aged care which is about 83, of course it could be a bit older and sometimes a lot younger, you  are dealing with people that had probably a lot of stability in their life over a long period and then suddenly they are going through this period of massive change.  So the massive change is not only a potential change in their living arrangements and their health, but also perhaps handing over of responsibility of making decisions to children or to friends.  So that’s really really challenging and difficult times and then if you put on top of that the complexity, the financial complexity which is a fascinating issue to start with as why it’s so hard for such a challenging event on its own and you have a multitude of factors that make this thing, you know really a big deal.
Donna Sawyer:  For those wanting to move into aged care advice, practice makes perfect.  Brendan Ryan says planners should immerse themselves in the process to really understand it.
Brendan Ryan:  My advice to someone who is interested in providing service to people and families placing someone into residential aged care, is to get involved in the process it may be a friend or a client that you know well and perhaps say, “can I just go along with you from the beginning of the process to placing Mum or Dad in care”; and it’s just a really good opportunity to you know visit some age care facilities, spend some time Centrelink, get a sense of the forms and the paperwork that’s involved, speaking to admissions people as well who are very very supportive of people getting the right financial advice when someone is transitioning into care and I think that’s definitely the case, because they can see where people can come unstuck when they gloss over sorting out the financial aspects and so get involved in the process, try to sense where the friction points are and you will develop I think a nice empathy or you develop a knowledge of the steps, so it will make you a lot better at delivering advice and service to these people that come looking for your help.
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Wealth Professional.