If you obtain paying work, look at “land-lease communities” to possibly obtain your own home.
Under the land-lease model, you buy your home and lease the land for up to 90 years. If you are prepared to leave the city, they are relatively cheap, with no stamp duty.
Land-lease homes may even be eligible for rent assistance.
I am still working, earning about $50,000 a year, and my husband is retired and receives a small part-pension. Together we have about $620,000 in super. I hope to receive a $450,000 inheritance, and we will then be doing a “knock-down and rebuild” of our home, using most of this money. Do we need to declare this inheritance to Centrelink? And will it have an effect on my husband’s pension? Also, is it possible to name our daughter as part-owner of the home, in order hopefully to prevent a forced sale if/when we need to go into some sort of aged care in future? T.H.
You have to disclose your inheritance to Centrelink within 14 days of being able to access it.
It would initially be ignored by the income test only but, if it is to be spent on the home, also should remain exempt from the assets test. However, you would need to explain your proposition to Centrelink. Take your building plans with you.
Making your daughter a part-owner would require stamp duty to be paid and leave her exposed to Capital Gains Tax on any later sale, should you need to raise cash to move into aged care.
I am a 66-year-old retired single woman and own a ’70s brick-veneer home valued at about $800,000. I have two married children in their 30s. Child A owns an apartment and has suggested demolishing my house and building a new home that includes a separate wing for me. Child B is not disadvantaged, as he would be paid $500,000 from the sale of Child A’s apartment. I have a Commonwealth Superannuation Corp. fortnightly pension of $1900 and $460,000 in a super pension. Can you provide cautionary advice on which professional to approach to hammer out “red-flag” issues? My children are not fans of aged care. B.L.
The obvious questions to ask are: “Who will pay to demolish and rebuild?” and “Who will own the new structure, whether it be a duplex or a house plus granny flat?”
I don’t think you should be contributing your super.
You will need a lawyer, preferably one who does not simply tell you how the law applies to your proposal but who also has some suggestions.
My own feeling is that, if you are happy where you are, you could be destroying that happiness just to satisfy Child A if, for example, relationships become uncomfortable.
If your health eventually fails, you may need to move into aged care, regardless of what your children feel, as they may not have the resources to meet your needs at the time.
If you have a question for George Cochrane, send it to Personal Investment, PO Box 3001, Tamarama, NSW, 2026. Help lines: Australian Financial Complaints Authority 1800 931 678; Centrelink pensions 13 23 00. All letters answered.