SPECIAL FEATURE: Planning to pay for care

Sarah Davidson

August 10, 2015

“When discussing long term care, one in four people think that their children will look after them. However, you get a very different result when you ask the children.

“With one in five of us expected to reach our 100th birthday, we need to start thinking and planning for long term care now, not when we reach retirement and discover our pension pot will not cover the costs.

“No one likes to think about the ageing process, but it is inevitable. We are living longer, but not necessarily healthier, and the reality is that if you run out of money you will not get what you need later in life.

“The cost of care is accelerating and will only continue to increase. The average cost of residential care in the U.K. is around £28,000 per annum, while the average cost of a nursing home is more expensive, at around £38,000.

“Most people are not aware of the costs of care homes and 50% think that the state should pay for their long term care needs.

“The average time in local authority homes is under two years compared to self-funded homes, which is in excess of four years. Four years in privately-funded homes could potentially cost anywhere from £120,000 – £200,000.

“If you are able to financially fund your own home, you can take the time to find the right home that suits you, is near your relatives, your children, on the ground floor overlooking a garden, and gives you the particular care you need.

“Compare this to if you don’t look after yourself, and rely on a home that is actually being supplied, is on the first floor, not near your relatives and sharing with three people you’ve never met before – that’s the potential significant difference between state or privately funded care homes. For someone who is old and infirm, this will have a very detrimental effect on their health.

“Don’t leave thinking about your long term care needs until it’s too late. Start saving and planning well in advance.”

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