Financial planning and management

If you have a bleeding disorder, you have often had to navigate your financial situation cautiously, because of the impact of your health condition on your employment.  

As you get older, there are a number of decisions to be made around balancing your health care needs and your retirement incomes. It takes calm skill to navigate these matters and how they intersect. Everyone’s situation is different, and there are a range of resources to help with the decision-making.
 

CHANGES IN YOUR SITUATION


This help might be particularly important when your situation is changing:
  • When you are trying to work out a realistic time to retire, and the possibility of having a phased retirement with reduced working hours. 
  • A decision to downsize, or an inheritance may mean you have investment options.
  • A deterioration in your health, particularly a sudden-onset health issue may require a change to more supportive living arrangements, even the need for residential care.
IN THIS SECTION
 

FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE


These are big decisions and you may benefit from some objective assistance from a professional financial planner. This is an essential step if you are considering residential care.

To find out more about this process see:

Financial Planning Association of Australia
Click here for the FPA information on what is financial planning and how it works.

Moneysmart (Australian Government) 
Click here for the Moneysmart section on financial advice and choosing a financial adviser

A good financial planner will:
  • follow professional practice standards
  • provide personal advice after fully considering your needs, goals and preferences
  • and not receive any undisclosed product commissions. 
It is also worth checking if your superannuation fund provides free personal financial advice.

INCOME AND DOCUMENTS - SOME KEY POINTS TO CONSIDER

 

Keeping documents current

It is important to have an up-to-date:
  • Will 
  • Superannuation beneficiary nomination
  • Enduring Power of Attorney. There are different types of powers of attorney – medical, financial and lifestyle. This is a legal document where you give a trusted person the power to act on your behalf. It usually comes into effect if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself or are unable to because of an illness, accident or absence. The document can be time-limited if you don’t wish it to continue indefinitely. It may be known by a different title depending on what state or territory you live in. You can find out more information and link to the relevant agency in your state/territory on the Powers of Attorney section on the Australian Government website

Superannuation and pensions

  • Explore your superannuation options carefully, particularly their administration fees, investment options and returns. Remember, you can move to another fund. 
  • Keep up-to-date with superannuation products and options through reputable information sources, including high quality financial newspapers, magazines and websites.
  • If working part-time, you can still make superannuation contributions to an accumulation fund.
  • Consolidating all your superannuation funds is important. This will reduce the fees you are paying and preserve the capital. Visit the Australian Tax Office website Searching for lost super section for more information.
  • As well as a superannuation pension, you may be eligible for Centrelink Payments, including a part-pension. 
  • If approaching Centrelink feels like traversing a maze and even a minefield, it is important to persevere and consider seeking advice, for example with financial planners or the Australian Government Financial Information Service.

Mortgages and investments

  • If you have a mortgage, aim to have it paid off at the point you decide to retire. Seek financial advice before you close your mortgage, as you may wish to use the redraw facility at a later date. 
  • After retirement, there are still significant options available for paying a mortgage or income like Reverse Mortgages and the Pensioner Loan Scheme, but you need to be clear on the implications.
  • Some of you may have other investments to monitor, such as shares and property. You will need to make decisions according to your tolerance for financial risk, and ongoing decision-making as to where/how you wish to invest your funds.

Low income/no assets

  • Budget planning before you retire is essential if you are on a low income and/or have no assets. It is recommended that you have appropriate financial advice if you are getting to the end of your working life. If you are seeking information on financial advisors or counselling, visit the Financial Counselling Australia website.   
  • If you don’t own your own home and live in rental accommodation, you will need to take paying ongoing rent into account with planning your budget. If your income is limited, you may wish to look into options such as public housing or sharing with others.

HEALTH CARE


Living with a bleeding disorder can mean that there are uncertainties with your health at times. Bleeding disorder specialist care is available within the public hospital system and there is a Haemophilia Treatment Centre in all capital cities in Australia and certain regional centres in NSW

Living in the country may be cheaper financially but may also involve trade-offs with health care. This may mean reduced health supports and further to travel to specialist centres. However, there may also be options for telehealth consultations at times. Developing good relationships with local health care providers who can liaise with your HTC is important, particularly a good ongoing relationship with a general practitioner. 

If you are on a low income, you may find it helpful to look for a GP who has a bulk-billing practice. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important to your health. Speak to your HTC about your options for low-cost dental care.

SHOP AROUND FOR INSURANCE AND UTILITIES


If you are seeking or renewing insurance, shop around for the plan or cover which best suits your needs:

If you are seeking or renewing insurance, shop around for the plan or cover which best suits your needs:
  • If you choose to have Private Health insurance, for example, use the Australian Government website www.privatehealth.gov.au comparison or consult a broker.
  • Shop around when renewing insurances, such as car insurance.
Similarly compare prices on energy bills, for example:

DEVELOPING A BUDGET


Above all, know where your money is going by developing a budget, however speculative, and then continue refining it. This allows you to know that the big items are budgeted for, such as rents or home loan repayments, rates, home and car maintenance, and holidays. It helps you keep track of regular bills such as utilities, car registration and insurances.

Some useful websites:
  • National Seniors > Planning for retirement click here to visit the web section
  • Moneysmart.gov.au (Australian Government/ASIC) is a standout website, packed with information and easy to navigate. There are examples of how to set up a budget, and it has many related tips. If you are feeling overwhelmed by money or personal issues, its section on Managing Debt has many useful links for both practical and emotional support

OTHER HELP WITH MONEY PROBLEMS


If you have a financial problem you can’t see your way through, there is also:
If you think someone might be taking advantage of you financially, there is a national free phoneline 1800 353 374 which will redirect you to your state Elder abuse support service.

For help with aged care services try:

HELP WITH ONLINE


Finally, if you are frustrated by the increasing dependence on online services, or know you need some help to keep up, you can consult the national Be Connected Network service via its helpline 1300 795 897 or website www.beconnectednetwork.org.au .

If you aren’t tech savvy and would like some assistance with learning to use your device, this service is a good starting point.
 

OTHER INFORMATION


You might also find other useful information in these sections on the Getting Older Info Hub:
Author: Leonie Mudge, Walpole Consulting Group
Reviewed and revised by: Alex Coombs, Social Worker - Haemophilia, Ronald Sawers Haemophilia Centre, Alfred Health Melbourne; Kathryn Body, Haemophilia Foundation ACT Counsellor, Canberra.


 
Date last reviewed: 18 February 2022