Life expectancy in the UK has been rising for many years now.
Whilst this is good news, it also brings with it the challenge of how we as a society will fund our future care costs. As people get older, they often need help; help with weekly chores such as shopping and cleaning or help with day-to-day activities such as washing and dressing. Sometimes, help may come in the form of full-time residential care. All this help and support, along with some types of medical care, is called ‘long-term care’.
When you reach the stage of your life when you need assistance to remain safe and comfortable, worrying about your finances is the last thing you need.
According to research published last week, people in the UK are underestimating the cost of this help*. On average, UK adults estimate that residential care would cost £549 a week – when in reality it costs on average £866 for a place in a nursing home – leaving a shortfall of £317 every week.
Demand for long-term care is expected to rise, thanks in part to our ageing population and medical advances and research with many illnesses.
This makes planning ahead essential, but when it comes to funding later life it can get quite complicated, particularly since the costs depend on several unknowns, including how long we are going to live, how local authorities will assist and where in the UK you live.
Could this deficit be higher?
More worryingly with this latest research is that the deficit could be significantly higher in reality:
- • One in four (25%) people admitted they have no idea how they would cover these costs for themselves or a relative.
- • Only 15% of people are saving money on a monthly basis to pay for their own care when the time comes.
- • Almost half (49%) say they avoid thinking about the issue because it makes them feel stressed.
Avoiding the UK Deficit in Elderly Care Funding
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the social care benefits and support system. Providing clarity and raising awareness of what is and isn’t available is critical to helping people prepare for the longer-term future.
We can make it easier for your potential needs in later life. Our pragmatic approach, based on our own experiences, can help you think about this. We stay abreast of the latest guidelines and have close relationships with professionals in this arena, including not-for profit organisations such as the Society of Later Life Advisers.
We have advisers qualified and experienced with the knowledge and understanding of long-term care, including legal, taxation and regulatory issues and the responsibilities of local authorities.
A little advice can go a long way
If you’d like to talk to us about your future please get in touch, we’d love to help.
*Research: Scottish Widows