Viable alternative for the land lease community when downsizing

I am 85 years old, single and retired, and I have to support my only child, single and on a disability pension. My assets include my house, valued at $1.7 million, stocks worth $60,000, and a retirement pension of $10,000. I get the full single age pension of $987.60 per fortnight ($25,678 per year). This is insufficient for me, and I sold my shares. My options seem to be: 1. Downsize. This would cost around 2% in sales commission, plus marketing costs. Then to buy another property I would pay 4.3% stamp duty on the purchase price, and most likely a condo levy, while I could also lose some or all of my old age pension . 2. Access my home equity through Centrelink’s Home Equity Access (HEA) Program, or similar. What are your thoughts? GW

As for your two options, I would favor access to your home equity through Centrelink’s HEA program.


However, if supporting your child is an immediate priority, you can consider a land lease community, where you sell your property and buy a smaller house on an estate, without paying stamp duty.

Prices can be under $400,000, but always check their fees. Some have no exit or deferred management fees, while others do not.

This could leave you with enough money to put up to $500,000 in a Special Trust for Persons with Disabilities for your child, which is the maximum donation concession allowed without affecting your old age pension.

Your child could then claim a asset test exemption up to $724,750 (indexed every July).


You recently addressed the issue of capital gains tax after death when assets pass to non-residents. Two of my three children previously lived overseas, and if I had died at the time, CGT would have been owed by the estate on their inheritance, and my third child residing in Australia would have been disadvantaged. Thus, my lawyer added the following clause to my will: “If the liability for such tax arises as a result of the transfer of any assets of my estate to a tax-exempt and/or non-resident beneficiary, such beneficiary shall pay to my Trustee the assessed amount of such tax before any such asset. transfer or accept an equivalent reduction of his right to my estate of the assessed amount of this tax.” JH

Thanks for that, it may help other people in similar situations.

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