Can you qualify as a ‘low-means’ aged care resident if you have substantial assets?

When loved ones suddenly need to enter residential aged care, families often face some tough decisions.

The situation can be even complex when early onset dementia is in the picture. However, as one couple discovered, seeking expert financial advice can result in not only substantial financial savings but also peace of mind.

Shaun Ganguly, a specialist financial adviser at Aged Care Financial Planning, recently assisted a husband and wife with this very situation. The husband, diagnosed with early onset dementia, was in urgent need of higher-level care.

The couple had substantial assets, including a family home worth $4.5 million and $1.2 million in superannuation. They assumed they would never qualify for any Age Pension or income support payments.

“The family was in distress, grappling with a significant diagnosis and quoted prohibitive costs for entering residential aged care. They were under the impression that they might have to cash out about $700,000 of their superannuation,” Shaun said.


As the wife was aged 59 and under the Age Pension age, Shaun developed a strategy involving the inversion of the wife’s superannuation accumulation phase and a strategic transfer from the husband’s superannuation into the wife’s name.

“This adjustment was crucial. Since the wife was under 67, it was not assessed, and neither was the family home. This reduced their assessable assets significantly, enabling the husband to enter as a ‘low means’ resident,” said Shaun.


While there was a slight increase in taxation within the superannuation fund, the family saved over $100,000 without having to sell the family home.

“They were considerably less stressed, found the right facility, and knew that they might need to readdress this strategy in a few years. But for now, everyone has been looked after very well,” said Shaun.

Another example of the importance of seeking professional, specialised financial advice when navigating the complexities of aged care.

[email protected] – 1300 000 243

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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.