The conversations of life

The average cost for non-pensioners to get into a nursing home is now $300,000


Robert Craven, Senior Aged Care Adviser at Affinity Aged Care Financial Services joined us on our radio show last Sunday.

Senior Aged Care Adviser Robert Craven
Senior Aged Care Adviser Robert Craven

He explained for five-star facilities in Sydney or Melbourne, a nursing home bond – known as a Refundable Accommodation Deposit or RAD – can reach $2.5 million.

This is the biggest of the four fees one pays today to live in a nursing home.

You have the choice of paying this upfront amount, the RAD, which is a loan to the nursing home which you get back when you leave, or if you don’t have the lump sum cash you can pay the equivalent of 5.76% interest on that amount as a monthly payment.

For instance if the upfront RAD is $500,000 then the interest payable would be $28,800 a year or $2400 a month.

Footing the bill for aged care

It’s a lot of money – and a sum that we usually need to come up with quickly after mum or dad has had a fall or sudden illness and can’t keep living at home.

This is often a time of great emotional stress and the options that are available are often overlooked, according to Rob.

“There are options to keep and rent the home or simply leave the home empty and use the home somewhat like a piggy bank, that you can somehow draw down some of the equity out of,” he says.

This can relieve pressures within the family when different people have different views on what should be done financially. The best decisions don’t normally occur at times of conflict.

Rob also points out that the customer has the right to be in control but it is important to know what your rights are. Again, obtaining professional advice is a smart move and is likely to save you money.

There is no escaping the fact that we now have to pay to enter and stay in a nursing home but there are options. To understand the journey and requirements visit

You can listen to the podcast of our interview with Rob here.

Affinity Aged Care Financial Services is an expert Partner of

Chris Baynes is a columnist and publisher of Frank & Earnest. He is also the publisher of, the leading national directory of retirement villages and aged care services in Australia.

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