Financing care in your old age
Approaching old age can be a time of trepidation for many people as they worry about needing care and how they are going to afford to pay for that. Everyone wants to be able to leave something behind for their family and so many older people may put off finding care for themselves in order to keep a pot of money safe to pass on.
There are many ways you can choose to finance care in old age and family will not expect you to go without the care you need to be comfortable just so that they may benefit financially. At the same time, you need not sell your house or spend all your savings on elderly care if you plan ahead and do your research.
Get some advice
When you are looking into elderly care for the first time it is a very sensible idea to get some advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA) who is qualified in later life advice. An IFA will be able to go through your finances with you in order to create a tailored payment plan so that you can see what care you can afford in the long-term and how best to fund it. Finances can be difficult to work through and so getting some professional, specialist advice will make financing your elderly care that little bit more straight forward.
The average cost of care can vary greatly depending on the level of care you require with specialist nursing care costing the most. You should investigate exactly what kind of care you can afford if you are playing for it yourself. Many people underestimate the actual cost of elderly care; you can expect to pay anywhere from £500 a week for the lowest level of care with costs spiralling up towards £1500 a month for specialist full-time care. You may choose to use your savings to pay for your care as well as using any pension you are receiving. Alternatively, if you are moving into residential care you may consider selling your property if you do not want to pass it on.
If you do not have a high income or amount of savings then the state will help to fund your care. Your local council can pay for your care if you fall under the threshold they set out for savings. Your choice of care providers may be limited if your care is paid for by the council as some at-home care companies don’t like to accept social services clients so you will need to check what care you will be entitled to.
There is an NHS bursary which is available to cover medical care so if the main reason you are entering full-time care is a medical one, you can apply for what is known as NHS Continuing Healthcare. This grant is designed to help people fund full-time care so that they don’t find themselves stuck in hospital for prolonged periods of time.
However you fund your elderly care, it is important to plan ahead and not leave it until last minute when you may not be in a fit state to sit and discuss your finances. Find a good IFA and discuss how you may finance care you may need in the future.