Hi Ken, As you are aware, in order to be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card, you wish be of Age Pension age but do not qualify for any benefits from Centrelink. You must also have a combined adjusted taxable income below $82,400 (for couples). Your adjusted taxable income is your gross income minus allowable deductions, so by giving to charity and claiming those donations as tax deductions, you have been able to reduce your taxable income. Unfortunately you are in a very fortunate position to have such a large taxable income in retirement and any strategy that you employ to reduce your taxable income is likely going to require you to give up some of your income or investments, which may allow you to hold on to your Health Care Card but ultimately reduces your assets/income. You could consider investing into an insurance bond as it will reduce the amount of taxable income attribute to you or contributing to superannuation (if eligible), which is an environment that does not generate any assessable income. Both of these options will reduce your taxable income as they reduce the amount of income you are receiving, so you would need to assess your own circumstances carefully to ensure these are reasonable strategies to employ. If in doubt, consider seeking advice from a Certified Financial Planner.
By Andrea Jenkins CFP®