18 Oct Why should I plan for long-term care?
The main challenge in planning for the future is that no-one really knows what’s going to happen, so it’s vital that you a have the right support in place when you really need it.
While some people will enjoy years of good health and independence, others will experience a sudden, urgent need for long-term care.
When you find yourself in need of funding social care for a loved one, having a long-term care plan in place can help protect their future.
why planning for social care is important
While the sudden need to plan for and fund a loved one’s care can occur at any age, it most often occurs when a vulnerable, elderly relative or loved one can no longer look after themselves independently.
Dealing with the health challenges of a family member can be an incredibly tough, emotional time for everyone. The person organising the care will need to make potentially upsetting decisions and deal with frustrations.
Currently, anyone with savings or assets over £23,250 in England will not get local authority funding for social care. From 2023, there are going to be changes to these capital limits, with an £86,000 cap on care costs which will ease the burden someway, but not completely.
Financing is a major factor in long-term care and worry about paying for an adequate level of care is very real. When faced with a sudden need to finance social care, having to go away and start researching your options, then acting on that, can be hugely stressful.
plan for your future security
Planning ahead is the way to avoid being thrown in at the deep end when financing social care.
By planning for the day that your loved one will need more hands-on support, you will have the framework in place to ensure you are able to maintain a great standard of living for them.
The costs for social care vary, but any round-the-clock support is going to cost tens of thousands of pounds. By investing in an insurance plan, you ensure that any amount is covered without having to sacrifice your loved one’s assets.
PROTECT THE FAMILY HOME
For most of us, the thought of losing our home is heart-breaking. However, as many as 40,000 people each year in the UK are forced to sell to meet the cost of social care*.
Your loved one will have no doubt worked hard to earn that money and secure their home. They may well wish to pass it on to their children and grandchildren.
If a spouse, family member over 60, or a dependent child under 18 is not living in the house, it will be taken into account when meeting the costs of care by the local authority.
This does not mean that you have to resign yourself to losing the family home. Many options exist, including taking out an immediate care annuity or care fees payment plan.
PRESERVE DIGNITY AND CARE
There is little worse than being unable to remain at home in your hour of need, especially if it’s not certain that you will be able to return.
If there is no other way to meet social care costs, a person’s house may need to be sold to pay for care if they are receiving respite care elsewhere, even if that care is respite or short-term.
Knowing how to invest a lump sum into an immediate care annuity, or already having a care plan in place to fund the provision needed will ensure your loved one’s home is “off the table” in terms of meeting costs.
To help make it easier for people to navigate social care funding, a dedicated organisation, Symponia, was set up to connect people needing advice with knowledgeable financial advisors.
HWIFM is proud to be a member of Symponia and will give you clear and helpful advice to make sure your social care needs are met financially.
DO I REALLY NEED TO PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE?
It’s that time again! The answer to this question very much depends on your personal circumstance and preference.
Not everyone may feel the need to invest in long-term social care. Your loved one may have ample resources to cover costs, or you may choose to invest in savings and properties in order to meet costs yourself.
Not everyone wants to plan ahead and you could wait to see what the future holds.
If a need to provide for care did emerge and you did not have a plan in place, you will have 12 weeks to decide on a quote for care.
However, it’s worth noting that the pressure to take in all the required information and find a financial solution in that three-month period can be intense.
LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
However you decide to approach the potential care needs of your loved one(s), it’s highly likely that you will need to appoint an attorney by making a lasting power of attorney.
This is to make sure that your loved one is protected from financial abuse and that their interests will be looked after properly.
Decisions on immediate care annuities are almost always made by someone acting on the behalf of the person requiring care, usually a member of the family.
Make sure that your loved ones have appointed someone they are happy with to have power of attorney. Depending on what stage of life you’re at, you may wish to consider doing the same for yourself.
In a free one-hour consultation, the HWIFM team will be able to offer you guidance on how to attain power of attorney as well as providing expert advice on your funding options.
* According to Symponia handbook, 2021