9 tips for improving your profits

There are many advantages to running a small business. You have the flexibility and independence to make your own decisions, you can turn your vision into a reality and then reap the rewards.

However, there are financial risks and it can be difficult to make a profit, particularly when times are tough and there is strong competition for customers’ dwindling dollars.

In fact, many small business owners are currently taking home less than the average full-time adult wage, according to the Small Business Matters report by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

If the way you have always run your business isn’t creating the returns you want, it may be time to try doing things differently.

There are lots of areas to explore to improve profits. The good news is that many don’t require extra expenditure, just a different way of doing things, or a new mindset about your core clients and products.

Here are nine ideas that could boost your profit margin and help improve the return you receive from all the hours you put into your business.

1. Go digital

Consider whether it’s time to add some digital solutions to improve the efficiencies within your business. Many manual tasks related to payroll, regulatory requirements and business reporting are ripe for automation. Introducing new software or technologies can see a big reduction in the time required to complete these necessary – but largely unprofitable – tasks within your business.

2. Understand your cash flow

Preparing a cash flow budget and automating your invoicing and collection processes can improve your cashflow and profits.

3. Collect what you’re owed

Taking steps to enhance your post-sale credit control may lose you a few customers, but these are usually the ones increasing your servicing costs by failing to pay on time.

4. Keep on top of essential reporting

Ensure all your business reports (such as BAS, Taxable Payments Annual Report, Single Touch Payroll and tax returns), are up-to-date and lodged online to save time and keep on top of your obligations. It’s also important not to forget your Super Guarantee records and payments, or you risk paying the Super Guarantee Charge.

5. Improve your visibility

Consider whether an enhanced social media presence could spread your message further. Check if your website and Google ranking are properly optimised. If Google cannot find you, potential customers are unlikely to know you exist.

6. Keep your customers close and sell them more

Think about the potential for selling more to your existing customers. Upselling – or the old ‘Would you like fries with that?’ – can add to your bottom line without the costs associated with finding and selling to new customers.

Check your customer ‘churn’ rate to identify how long customers stay with you. Experts estimate it costs between five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Develop strategies to reduce your churn rate, as increasing retention rates by five per cent can increase profits by 25 to 95 per cent. i

7. Review pricing and products

Analyse your offer to see if unprofitable products need to be eliminated. Review your pricing by working out how much margin you need to cover your expenses and develop a pricing strategy.

8. Be ruthless about expenses

Audit your business expenses and identify any that can be eliminated or reduced by switching to cheaper suppliers or options (such as leasing and refinancing). Try negotiating if you are paying for recurring monthly services. Smarter spending on fixed costs is an easy way to gain extra dollars in profit.

9. Set aside time to plan ahead

Evaluate what is working in your business and what isn’t. Write a detailed business plan for the year ahead so you and your team know where you are headed and what is needed to get there. Consider outsourcing resource-intensive tasks (such as IT or marketing) to free up time so your employees can spend more time generating profits.

Call us today for some help with improving your business’s bottom line.

https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers

Making sure your deductions don’t get personal

It can be easy to overlook your personal use of business assets when it comes to completing your business and self managed super fund tax returns but be warned, the ATO is taking an interest in this area.

The ATO’s Small Business Random Enquiry Program found around 16 per cent of small businesses were either carelessly or deliberately overclaiming expenses in their tax returns.

If business assets are used for a mix of business and private use – such as vehicles and phones – the amount claimed must reflect only the business-related portion of the expense.

The ATO is urging taxpayers to remember this rule when claiming business-related deductions, including those for work-from-home expenses (such as internet and mobile phone usage), and work vehicles.

Rental properties under the spotlight

Holiday home rentals are also an area where many taxpayers are failing to follow the tax rules.

Deductions for holiday home expenses can only be claimed to the extent they relate to producing rental income, so you need to apportion your expenses if the property is only genuinely available for rent part of the year.

Apportionment is also required if you use the property for private purposes during the year, only use part of it to earn rent, or if it is used by family or friends at various times during the year.

Expenses relating solely to the rental of the property (such as agent commissions and advertising costs), don’t need to be apportioned.

Avoiding mistakes

To ensure you don’t invite attention from the ATO, review your treatment of business asset expenses annually, in case your private usage has changed.

New or additional private usage of the asset means you need to recalculate the percentage of business used to determine the correct deduction claim.

Proper business records explaining all relevant transactions (including payment to and receipts from employees, shareholders and associates) need to be kept to support your claims.

Common taxpayer errors

The ATO says there are some common errors when it comes to claiming deductions.

Taxpayers are not permitted to claim any deductions against business income for expenses relating to an asset entirely used for private purposes.

An example is an asset (such as a boat or plane) purchased and used for private purposes.

Deductions can only be claimed for the relevant percentage of business use. For example, if the private use component represents 60 per cent, only 40 per cent of the expense amount can be claimed in your return.

FBT and deemed dividends

Another common mistake is claiming a deduction for an asset giving rise to a deemed dividend. This arises when an asset is purchased through a company and used for private purposes by a company shareholder or their associates.

Under the tax rules, both the company and the dividend recipient must record such dividends in their income tax returns, as the asset is being used for their personal benefit.

Some small businesses also misunderstand the implications of purchasing an asset (such as a motor vehicle), that is used by an employee or the associate of an employee for personal purposes.

When this occurs, the benefit must be reported in the business’s fringe benefit tax (FBT) return and the resulting FBT liability paid.

Fixing lodgement mistakes

To avoid finding your business in the ATO’s spotlight, check you have correctly apportioned all expense claims before lodging your business or SMSF return.

You also need to consider whether the rules for private company benefits and FBT apply to any of your business assets. If you make a mistake with a deduction claim, you will need to amend or lodge an income tax or FBT return to correct your tax position. There are time limits on both business and super amendments.

We can help you to correct any mistakes and to deal with the ATO to ensure your tax reporting is smooth and worry-free.

Your guide for claiming business expenses

You can claim tax deductions for expenses you incur while running your business if they’re directly related to earning business income (also known as assessable income).

Take Rubi for example. Rubi is a sole trader who works as an IT consultant. As part of her work, she travels to deliver seminars and workshops.

Rubi follows the 3 golden rules for claiming a tax deduction when she travels for business purposes.

  1. The expense must be for her business, not for private use.
  2. If the expense is for a mix of business and private use, she can only claim the portion that is used for her business.
  3. She must have the records to prove it.

Rubi uses the myDeductions tool to store receipts of all her airfares, accommodation, public transport costs, ride-sharing fares, car hire fees and other costs such as fuel, tolls and car parking. She also records her meal costs if she’s away overnight.

Rubi also keeps a travel diary to note which expenses were for business purposes and which expenses were private, such as sight-seeing. The cost of her recent tour of the Tower of London is not included in her deductions. There are some expenses Rubi can’t claim, such as entertainment, traffic fines, and expenses related to earning non-assessable income.

As an employer, Rubi meets her superannuation and employer obligations by reporting her employees’ salaries or wages and paying any tax withheld amounts on time. This allows her to deduct the salaries, wages and super contributions she’s paid during the year.

By the time Rubi is ready to lodge her tax return, her tax agent has everything they need to verify her deductions.

Be like Rubi and perfect your record keeping to correctly claim your business expenses and make tax time easier.

To check your record keeping skills, you can use this record keeping evaluation tool.

Remember, we can help you with your tax and super.

Source: ato.gov.au August 2023
Reproduced with the permission of the Australian Tax Office. This article was originally published on https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Small-business-newsroom/General/Your-guide-for-claiming-business-expenses/.
Important:
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Market movements & review video – November 2023

Stay up to date with what’s happened in markets and the Australian economy over the past month.

October was a volatile month on the global stock markets and in Australia. The local sharemarket finished October down 3.8 per cent, representing a third straight month of losses.

Investor sentiment reflected heightened anxiety regarding inflationary pressures and uncertainty over rate rises, mixed economic data and concerns about the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Investors are continuing to keep a close eye on oil price movements over fears of an escalation of conflict in the Middle East.

Click the video below to view our update.

Please get in touch if you’d like assistance with your personal financial situation.

Tax Alert September 2023

While the government is boosting the tax deductions available for small business spending on staff training, other taxpayers such as landlords are facing closer scrutiny from the Australian Taxation Office. Here are some of the latest developments in the world of tax.

Amnesty for small business late lodgements

If your small business is not up-to-date with its tax lodgements, it could be a smart idea to take advantage of the government’s current Lodgement Penalty Amnesty.

The program is designed to encourage small businesses to re-engage with the tax system and fix any outstanding income tax, FBT returns and business activity statements due between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2022.

Taxpayers have until 31 December 2023 to lodge their overdue forms without lodgement penalties being applied (general interest charges still apply).

Businesses with an annual turnover under $10 million when the original lodgement was due are eligible for the amnesty.

Insurance focus for latest data-matching

As part of its ongoing data-matching program, the ATO has announced it will require both income protection (IP) and landlord insurers to provide information on their customers for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Insurers must provide detailed information on the policy and policy owner to help the ATO “identify and educate” taxpayers failing to meet their lodgement obligations.

The landlord data is expected to net records relating to around 1.6 million landlords, while the IP data will cover 800,000 individuals.

New skills and training boost starts

Small business owners keen to upskill their employees can now take advantage of the government’s new skills and training boost if they spend money on these activities before 30 June 2024.

If you have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million, you can claim a bonus deduction equal to 20 per cent of qualifying expenditure on external training courses provided by eligible registered training providers.

You can also claim an additional 20 per cent bonus for expenditure on digitising your business operations and relevant assets such as portable payment devices, cyber security systems and subscriptions for cloud-based services.

Tax penalties increase again

The unit amount used by the ATO to calculate penalties it imposes has increased again, rising to $313 from 1 July 2023.

The government had already increased the penalty amount for the 1 January to 30 June 2023 period, making this the second increase this calendar year.

If the ATO decides to impose a penalty, the unit amount is used to calculate your actual fine. Activities such as giving false or misleading statements, or behaving with intentional disregard for example, result in a 60 penalty unit fine.

GST food and beverage list updated

If you supply or sell food and beverage products, it’s time to recheck the ATO’s detailed food list showing the GST status of major food and beverage product lines, as the tax regulator recently made around 30 updates to the list.

Although some changes corrected existing entries, new food and beverage lines have been added and some current entries deleted.

The ATO encourages businesses to review this list regularly to ensure they are meeting their GST obligations accurately.

Reminders about tax offsetting rules

The ATO is currently writing to businesses with a debt on hold of more than $10 to explain its tax offsetting process.

Under the offsetting rules, any tax refund and credit entitlements are automatically used to pay off an existing tax debt.

If you have an outstanding tax debt, you can choose to pay all or part of it at any time, including through a payment plan.

New-look ATO Charter

Taxpayers could find their interactions with the ATO improving following the release of its revised Taxpayers’ Charter, now called the ATO Charter.

The Charter explains what you can expect when interacting with the ATO, the regulator’s commitments to taxpayers, and the steps you can take if you’re not satisfied.

Trusts and the new super tax rules

Ensuring you’ve structured your finances tax-effectively is always a concern, but with new tax rules for super on the horizon, many people with large balances are considering alternative vehicles to save for retirement.

Unsurprisingly, this has sparked a renewed interest in an old favourite – trusts.

Trusts have always been popular in Australia, with the government’s Tax Avoidance Taskforce (Trusts) estimating more than one million were in place in 2022.

Separating ownership using a trust

The popularity of trusts for business, investment and estate planning purposes is due to both their flexibility and inherent benefits, particularly when it comes to managing your tax affairs.

At their heart, trusts are simply a formal relationship where a legal entity holds property or assets on behalf of another legal entity.

This separation means the trustee legally owns the assets, but the beneficiaries of the trust (such as family members) receive the income flowing from the assets.

A common example of a trust structure is a self managed super fund (SMSF), where the fund trustee is the legal owner of the fund’s assets, and the members receive investment returns earned on assets held within the SMSF trust.

Which trust is best?

There are many different types of trusts, with the appropriate structure depending on the financial goals you’re trying to achieve.

For small businesses and families, the most common trust is a discretionary (or family) trust. These vehicles are very flexible and can be used with immediate and extended family members, family companies or even charities.

In a discretionary trust, the trustee has absolute discretion on how both the income and capital of the trust are distributed to various beneficiaries.

This gives the trustee a great deal of flexibility when it comes time to allocate income to family members paying different marginal tax rates.

Advantages of a trust structure

Discretionary trusts offer tax, asset protection, estate planning and property holding benefits.

They can also assist with the accumulation of assets for younger generations within your family and provide opportunities for the discounting of capital gains.

For small businesses and farming operations, a discretionary trust can be used to provide valuable asset protection. If your business goes bankrupt or a beneficiary is divorced, creditors will be unable to access assets or property held within the trust as it is the legal owner of the assets.

Building wealth outside super

With new tax rules for super fund balances over $3 million being introduced, trusts also provide a useful tool to consider for continued wealth accumulation.

Unlike super funds, trusts don’t have annual contribution limits, restrictions on where you can invest or borrowing limits. Money can be added and removed from the trust as necessary, providing significant financial flexibility.

Discretionary trusts can also be used with vulnerable beneficiaries who may make unwise spending decisions. The trustee can decide to provide a spendthrift child or a family member with a gambling addiction regular income, but not large capital sums.

Holding ownership of assets within a trust is useful for estate management, as the assets will not be part of a deceased estate, avoiding the possibility of a Will being challenged.

Trusts aren’t always the solution

Although trust structures provide many benefits, there are also tax issues that need to be considered. For example, any trust income not distributed to beneficiaries is taxed at the top marginal rate.

Distributions to minor children are taxed at higher rates and a trust is unable to allocate tax losses to beneficiaries, so they must remain within the trust and be carried forward.

Trusts can be expensive to set up, administer and dissolve when they are no longer needed and the trustee’s actions are restricted by the terms of the trust deed.

If a family dispute arises, running a trust can become difficult and making changes once it is established isn’t easy.

If you would like to find out more about trusts and whether one is appropriate for your business or family, call us today.

Salary sacrifice to cut tax and boost your super

This time of year, people’s thoughts start turning to their tax return, but it can also be a good time to set things up so you don’t pay more tax than required next financial year.

Simply talking to your employer about setting up an arrangement to “sacrifice” some of your pre-tax salary could potentially lower your tax bill – and boost your retirement nest-egg.

Reducing your tax bill

A salary sacrifice arrangement simply involves coming to an agreement with your employer to pay for everyday items or services you would normally pay for out of your after-tax salary directly from your before-tax salary. This might include things like childcare, health insurance or super. The benefit is that this reduces the level of income the ATO uses to calculate your tax bill.

If you set up a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer, it’s important to understand that while your taxable income is lower, the benefits are still listed on your annual payment summary. For some people, this reduces the tax offsets, child support payments or other government benefits they receive, limiting the value of salary sacrifice.

Salary sacrificing options

The items or services you can pay for using salary sacrifice depends on your employer.

Some employers let their employees salary sacrifice for expenses such as cars, health insurance, school fees and home phones. Others are not prepared to do this, as they may end up paying Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) on the benefits you receive.

Employers are usually more willing to allow you to package FBT-exempt work-related items such as portable electronic devices, computer software, protective clothing or tools of trade, as these generally don’t result in FBT bills.

Boost your super account

One of the most popular forms of salary sacrifice is redirecting some of your pre-tax salary into your super fund. Most companies are willing to provide this option as it not only helps you build retirement savings, but it can also earn them a tax deduction.

When you salary sacrifice into your super, your contributions are taxed at 15 per cent when your super fund receives the money. For most people this is a lower tax rate than if they received the money as normal income.

A further bonus with salary sacrificing into super is you only pay 15 per cent on any investment earnings you receive inside super, instead of your marginal tax rate for investments held outside super.

Find out what’s on offer

If you’re interested in a salary sacrifice arrangement, it’s a good idea to discuss the subject with your employer or HR team to find out the company’s policy.

It’s also a good idea to talk to us, as the value of these arrangements needs to be weighed up carefully against your reduced take-home pay and the potential loss of government benefits.

These arrangements should be put in writing before you earn the income you are sacrificing, so you need to talk to your employer prior to the start of the new financial year if your salary will change from 1 July.

Tips for employers

Allowing your employees to salary sacrifice can help them reduce their tax bill and it boosts engagement with your business. Another overlooked benefit is if your employee salary sacrifices into their super, you can claim a tax deduction for their contributions, as they are considered employer contributions.

To do this, you need to ensure you create an ‘effective’ salary sacrifice arrangement meeting the ATO’s guidelines. Otherwise the benefits your employee receives are considered part of their taxable income.

Effective arrangements require a clear agreement stating the terms and conditions and they must be documented in writing to avoid any uncertainty or future disputes.

Sacrifice arrangements can only apply to wage and salary payments for work yet to be performed, not past earnings. Salary and wages, leave entitlements, bonuses or commissions accrued prior to the arrangement cannot be used.

A simple way to avoid problems is to document your employees’ salary sacrifice arrangements before the start of a new financial year – or whenever there is a change to their salary – so it covers future earnings.

You need to keep detailed records of these arrangements for five years and list all sacrifice amounts on the employee’s annual payment summary.

If you would like help working out if a salary sacrifice arrangement makes sense for you, call our office today.

Small businesses and SMSFs: keep an eye on the rules

As digital tools continually evolve, it is more important than ever to make sure you understand your tax obligations and comply with them. The Australian Taxation Office has been expanding and improving its data matching programs. Data matching compares data from a range of private and government organisations with the information you have provided to the ATO.

Today there are some 26 different data matching programs covering a wealth of transactions including various insurances (health, landlord, income protection); electoral rolls, bank accounts and credit cards, real estate, online sales platforms, international travel and crypto assets. So, if you leave out income from your tax return or inflate deductions, your chances of getting caught are much higher.

We take a look at some of the key areas to be mindful of when preparing your tax return this year.

Investment properties

The ATO says that, while 87 per cent of taxpayers who own rental properties use a registered tax agent to lodge their return, a review has found that nine in ten rental property owners are getting their returns wrong. It is crucial that you provide us the right information to prepare your return correctly because you are responsible for what you include in your tax return, even when using an agent.i

For example, the new landlord insurance data-matching program provides information about any insurance payouts that might have been made during the year. These must be reported as income.

Along with the new landlord insurance data matching program, a review of investment loan data will also get underway. We can guide you to ensure we are capturing all the relevant information to submit a complete tax return.

Side hustles

The ATO is also looking into the income earned from side hustles or the sharing economy.

It is now requiring platforms that provide taxi services and short-term accommodation, such as Uber and Airbnb, to report their data. All other electronic distribution platforms will have to begin reporting their data to the ATO from 1 July 2024.

The ATO says the data will give it a clear picture of the people earning income on the platforms and will be matched against their tax returns and activity statements.

Small business obligations

Businesses are also under growing ATO scrutiny using a combination of sophisticated data matching and a requirement for further reporting.

The Single Touch Payroll (STP) program, first introduced five years ago, underwent some major changes last year, known as STP phase 2. Now, all businesses are required to use STP each time they pay their employees to report salaries, amounts withheld and superannuation guarantee liability information.

The ATO recommends you discuss your current payroll processes with your tax or payroll provider to make sure you are complying with Phase 2 reporting. “If you don’t have a tax or BAS agent, consider engaging one,” the ATO says.ii

And, in a move to ensure employees receive their super on time, the Federal Government will introduce what it calls ‘payday super’.

From 1 July 2024, all employers will be required to pay the superannuation guarantee amount to their workers’ super funds on each payday rather than quarterly as is currently the case.

Self managed super funds

When it comes to self managed superannuation funds, tax and regulatory performance is generally strong, according to the ATO.

Nonetheless it is a massive sector providing more than 1.1 million people with their retirement income. With an estimated total asset value of $868 billion, it is not far behind the industry funds sector, which holds just over $1 trillion in assets.

The SMSF sector’s importance and value to individuals brings it under close attention from the ATO, which is scaling up its compliance activities because it is seeing indicators of “heightened risk” that put retirement savings at risk or take unfair advantage of the favourable tax environment.iii

In particular, the ATO is chasing down fraud and investment scams, illegal early access to super funds by members and failure to lodge annual SMSF returns.

With increasing ATO focus on taxpayers and businesses to comply with their obligations, we are here to guide you through the changing rules and regulations and answer any questions.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Media-centre/Media-releases/ATO-expands-data-matching-to-ensure-fair-play/
ii 
https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Single-Touch-Payroll/Expanding-Single-Touch-Payroll-(Phase-2)/Employer-STP-Phase-2-checklist/
iii 
https://www.ato.gov.au/Media-centre/Speeches/Other/SMSF-compliance—What-s-on-the-regulator-s-radar-/

Tax Alert June 2023

Budget incentives and crackdowns on unpaid tax debts and rental deductions

Although this year’s Federal Budget was short on big changes when it came to tax, there still have still been some important developments in this area. Here are some of the latest developments in the world of tax.

Small business tax incentives and write-offs

The budget ushered in some valuable new tax incentives for small businesses, including halving the increase in quarterly tax instalments from 12 per cent to 6 per cent for both GST and income tax during 2023-24.

The government also introduced a bonus 20 per cent deduction for businesses with turnovers under $50 million when they spend on energy saving upgrades. Up to $100,000 of total expenditure will be eligible, with the maximum bonus tax deduction being $20,000 per business.

Although smaller than the previous year, the instant asset write-off continues in 2023-24 with up to $20,000 available for immediate deduction on eligible assets.

The planned third tranche of personal income tax cuts due to start next financial year also remained in place, while >the low and middle income tax offset was not extended.

Super changes for employers

Another significant tax change announced in the budget will affect employers. From 1 July 2026 employers will be required to pay their Super Guarantee (SG) obligations at the same time they pay employee salary and wages.

The ATO has received additional resources to help it detect unpaid super payments earlier.

Employers also need to remember the SG amount for employee super rises to 11 per cent from 1 July 2023.

Tax debt warnings sent out

The ATO is continuing to write to directors of companies with tax debts warning if the company hasn’t paid the amount owing or contacted it to make other arrangements, a director penalty notice(DPN) may be issued.

DPNs are issued to current directors and anyone who was a director at the time the company failed to pay. They make directors personally liable for failure to meet pay-as-you-go withholding (PAYGW), GST and Super Guarantee Charge obligations.

Directors receiving these letters need to arrange payment of the overdue amount or enter into a payment plan.

Data-matching adds investment properties

Residential investment property loans (RIPL) are the latest target of the ATO’s increasingly wide-ranging data-matching program.

Data will be obtained from financial institutions including all the major banks, regional banks and building societies.

The information is being collected following the ATO’s identification of a tax gap of $1 billion for individuals in the 2020-21 financial year due to incorrect reporting of rental property expenses.

Self-education expenses under spotlight

The ATO is currently developinga new draft taxation ruling covering the deductibility of self-education expenses incurred by an employee or an individual carrying on a business.

The draft ruling will reflect the current rules in this area following repeal of several sections of the Income Tax Assessment Act and some new legal decisions. The new ruling is expected to be completed in late June.

Taxpayers claiming self-education expenses recently had the existing requirement to exclude the first $250 of deductions removed.

GST fraud enforcement continues

Search warrants were executed in three states against individuals suspected of promoting the fraud. This follows previous compliance action against more than 53,000 people, with two individuals sentenced to jail time for their GST fraud activities.

Cyber safety checklist released

The ATO is again emphasising the importance of business cyber safety by releasing a new checklist for small businesses.

The tips include simple ideas for keeping business and client data safe from cybercriminals, such as turning on automatic updates and using multi-factor authentication when possible.

Resources for training staff on preventing, recognising, and reporting cyber incidents are available from the government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Why is ageing hard to talk about?

In life, many of us are totally at ease and comfortable talking to our family and friends about many topics. However, for whatever reason, there are certain subjects that we’re either reluctant or feel uneasy to discuss openly – typically they are love and relationships, politics, religion and money … call them the “taboo topics”.

Add another taboo topic to the list. That is the topic of ageing. As we age and reach our elderly years, asking for some help to do things to make life easier can be really hard to bring up in conversation.

When families get together, there are things we just notice but we’re reluctant to say anything. We notice that Dad might be starting to forget things or Mum is having difficulty getting out of her chair and seems a bit uneasy on her feet. Any attempt to say something is usually met either in silence or the words “I’m okay, just getting older” are uttered.

And for many families that’s where things are left.

Then there’s a crisis…

Families are then drawn together when there’s been a crisis such as a fall or a hospital admission. Then discussions and decisions are usually being made under high stress and emotion in hospital hallways and carparks. This is not an optimal starting point.

Making decisions and what’s the trade-off…

Like other life decisions, when it comes to ageing decisions, some are relatively simple to make with minimal consequences, whilst others can be very difficult.  When making decisions, there are usually “trade-offs” to be considered.

The impact of these trade-offs usually increases as the importance of the decision increases. Therefore, to make the best possible decision, it’s important to consider as many options as humanly possible.

So what needs to be thought about…

When it comes to ageing and getting some help there are usually many options to consider and everyone is different. For instance, when getting some help in the home, exactly what help is required and possible now and into the future, who will provide the help and at what cost? If moving into an aged care facility, what care will be required, where will the new home be, what to do with the family home, and how to pay for this are all decisions that need to be made and there are usually many options to consider.

So how do families identify these options and make appropriate decisions?

Where do you start? What questions do you ask and who to?  Are the answers you get back in your best interest … or someone else’s? What needs to be done and when? What happens if there’s a problem?

How Family Aged Care Advocates fit in…

That’s where Family Aged Care Advocates step in. We provide guidance and support to help families identify the relevant options to help you make informed decisions to get the best care outcomes for the people you love and care for most. We’re independent aged care specialists only interested in the right outcomes for your family … that’s all that matters and there’s no trade-off with that.

Material contained in this publication is a summary only and is based on information believed to be reliable and received from sources within the market. It is not the intention of RGM Financial Planners Pty Ltd ABN 36 419 582 Australian Financial Services Licence Number 229471, RGM Accountants & Advisors Pty Ltd ABN 69 528 723 510 that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. No representation is given, warranty made or responsibility taken as to the accuracy, timeliness or completeness of any information or recommendation contained in this publication and RGM and its related bodies corporate will not be liable to the reader in contract or tort (including for negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage arising as a result of the reader relying on any such information or recommendation (except in so far as any statutory liability cannot be excluded).

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