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  • Writer's pictureBill Savellis

Moving into care – do I have to sell my home?

Elderly man looking out window

One of the most commonly asked questions is: do I really have to sell my home? There are choices when it comes to your financial strategies, and everyone’s circumstances are different. There are also many myths and misunderstandings about the rules that can add to anxiety and confusion.

The stress of moving into residential aged care can be compounded by anxiety around selling the family home. Some people may find it hard to part with their home or simply not be ready to sell. This can raise concerns about how to afford the fees.

Knowing that you have choices and accessing advice to understand what they are may help reduce stress and create a better outcome.

Do you have to sell?

Some people panic when faced with paying several hundred thousand dollars for a room in aged care. But selling your former home is not your only choice. Some people choose to sell; others don’t.

The move into residential care is effectively just a move to a new home. Anytime you move homes, you can choose to buy or rent. Renting allows you to live in a house you can’t afford to buy or don’t want to buy.

With residential care, you have the same options. Your room price is usually quoted as a lump sum which can be converted into a daily fee using a specified rate of interest. Paying this daily fee (or “renting” the room) may allow you to keep your former home if that is your preference.


Catherine agrees to pay $600,000 for her room in residential care. At the current interest rate of 4.04% per annum, this converts to $66.41 per day (plus other ongoing fees). This gives Catherine the choice to “buy” the right to live in the room for $600,000 or “rent” the room for $66.41 per day.

She could also choose part buy and part rent.

When to make a choice?

Whether to sell or keep the former home has many personal aspects, but accessing advice can help reduce some stress.

Once you have been offered a room, you will be asked to sign a Resident Agreement. This is a contract outlining your rights and responsibilities and the obligations of the care provider. It includes the fees you can be asked to pay.

This agreement should specify the room price and show what this converts to as a daily fee. But you don’t have to make a choice then. You have 28 days after moving into care to let the provider know whether you want to pay the total price as a lump sum (refundable accommodation deposit – RAD) or daily rent (daily accommodation payment – DAP) or a combination of the two.

The 28 days gives you time to seek good advice to make an informed choice.

As Accredited Aged Care Professionals,we have helped many clients to make this choice. We help to find an affordable option that works best for the family and protects the value of the estate.

Book a chat with Bill to discuss how we can help make your aged care experience less stressful.

Headshot of Bill Savellis

Bill Savellis

Senior Financial Adviser

Having navigated the Aged Care landscape for both of his parents, Bill understands how challenging it can be to make the right decisions for your future care needs. That's why he believes that everyone should have access to financial advice during this time. Bill has been a Financial Adviser for over 22 years, and is passionate about helping others access the financial advice they need. Drawing from his own experience in the financial sector, Bill develops strategic, personalised plans to support transitions to Aged Care or Home Care.


Disclaimer: Prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, Olive Grove Financial Advice recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Information in this article was correct and current as of 22 February 2022. Olive Grove Financial Advice is operated by Bill Savellis through The Financial Advisor (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 72 619 546 431, who is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 1278394) of Havana Financial Services Pty Ltd.


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