Whether residential or at our own home, many of us will be dependent on some kind of care when we reach the latter years of our lives. With the average life expectancy rising, there is more chance than ever that we will be dependent on help.
However, care is expensive. In just a matter of months, bills can reach eye-watering amounts if not properly prepared for. The best way to protect yourself is to plan.
Research shows that seeking financial advice and speaking to experts can reduce stress surrounding later life care and give individuals more decision-making power.
In this article, we provide you with a few pointers to get started when considering care home or carer fees.
Making sure you’re prepared
Here at Ardent, we work with people on long-term financial plans that will see them through their career, retirement and later-life. Though care might seem far-off, it pays to think about how you would fund a care home or carer before you come to the point that you need it.
When you find yourself with a health condition that requires care or become too frail to live independently, you may not be in the right frame of mind or capable of weighing up the complex options.
It’s better to sit down with your loved ones and an experienced financial advisor as soon as you can so you are ready for any eventuality.
Saving you money
When it comes to the time that you need later-life care, your local council will carry out a care needs assessment. If you are deemed to have enough money to pay for care yourself, then you must self-fund. If your assets do not fall over a certain threshold, then you might be entitled to financial support.
Since this is the case, some people are tempted to suddenly give away a lot of their savings or possessions when they realise they’re going to need to pay for care. However, this is a risky strategy. Your local council may suspect you of deprivation of assets, or deliberating reducing your capital so you can get financial support.
A much more sensible option is to put a long-term plan in place for your assets. Working through with a financial advisor earlier in your life, you may agree that you could use your capital for reasons like supporting your children to buy a house or giving to charity consistently over a number of years. An expert will be able to recommend ways in which you might manage your money without falling foul of deprivation of assets.
Taking everything into consideration
Preparing to pay for care is not as simple as looking at how much your assets are worth. All kinds of income, such as bonds, pensions and shares should be factored into making a plan.
Planning can be a little complicated if you’re not aware of things like tax thresholds, inheritance rules and care-home assessment criteria.
Though information online is useful for getting started, the only way to make sure you do not miss anything crucial and are up to date with current legislation is to talk to a financial advisor.
Contact our team about a free initial meeting on 01904 655 330 or email email@example.com.
Thinking about your Will
When you come to making your legal Will, you may consider creating a life interest trust. This is an addition to a standard Will in which you entrust a part of your property to your dependents. It can mean the full value of your home is not considered in a care needs assessment.
This option can be complicated however and should only be considered with the guidance of a trusted solicitor or later-life financial advisor.
At Ardent, we are accredited by SOLLA, the Society of Later Life Advisors. This means we are up to date on current issues surrounding later-life planning and fully qualified to help.
Protecting your property
A popular way of paying of care home fees is by using equity release. This allows you to free up some capital from the value of your house without having to sell it completely.
You can read about both home reversion and lifetime mortgages these on our equity release blog post.
At Ardent, we are members of the Equity Release Council. This means we follow the high standards of conduct and practice in the provision of advice on equity release.
Whether you’ve just started thinking about paying for later-life care, are at the point that you need to release equity, or anywhere in between, we would be happy to help you. We’ll work through the options and give you peace of mind that you’re prepared.
Speak to our team about a free initial meeting on 01904 655 330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.