Debates about funding care fees have made the headlines a lot in recent weeks in the run up to the general election, leading many to question how they will pay for their own care one day.
For many, longer lifespans and eye-watering expensive care fees mean savings can be quickly eroded.
With a lack of money in the bank, homeowners receiving care at home risk having to go without sufficient care due to a lack of funds. The alternative is being forced to move into a residential home, which can be hugely upsetting.
For peace of mind, it certainly pays to plan ahead when thinking about care fees.
If you are a homeowner and would plan to receive care in your own home one day, find out here what options you might have in the future.
The rising popularity of home care
Domiciliary or home care has been enjoying a rise in popularity as the preferred alternative to residential and nursing care.
It enables people with a range of care needs including illness or mobility issues to remain in their own home to receive care, rather than moving into a residential home.
The other benefit of home care is that it can be as flexible as you need it to be.
Perhaps you need someone an hour each morning to assist you in your morning routine, or maybe you need more frequent visits throughout the day, or a couple of afternoons a week. Your care plan will be tailored to your individual wants and needs.
However, when it comes to paying for your home care, you might find there are very little, if any, financial support options available from the Local Authority and that you are responsible for paying for all the care yourself.
Paying for domiciliary care
So, if you are facing the prospect of paying for home care for you or a loved one, what are the main options?
- Use your savings and investments to pay for your care home costs
- Use your property to pay your care home costs
For those who require care in their own home and do not qualify for local authority support, downsizing is one option to consider once any savings have been exhausted.
For many, however, selling the family home to move into somewhere smaller or in a less expensive area can be distressing and unsettling. For those who have already downsized in retirement, it might not even be a feasible option.
The figures speak for themselves. According to research by Aviva in 2016, a resounding 80% of homeowners aged 45+ want to remain in their current home for as long as they physically can*.
Fortunately, there is an alternative option to consider that enables homeowners to stay in the home they love whilst receiving the professional care they need.
That option is equity release, which allows homeowners aged 55+ to access some of their property wealth to spend however they choose, including paying for care, without having to sell their home.
The flexibility of equity release
With an Equity Release Council approved plan, homeowners can enjoy the guarantee that they can stay in their home for the rest of their life or until they require long-term care in a residential home.
There are no monthly repayments to make as the interest is rolled up and added to the loan. Although, for those who wish to, it is possible on some flexible new plans to make voluntary payments to reduce or entirely prevent interest from accruing.
Get impartial guidance
Thinking about unlocking a cash lump sum from your home’s value? Before making a decision, we always recommend you seek guidance from an independent specialist.
A good starting point is to read Bower’s free independent guide to equity release. Call [tel] to request yours or complete this short online request form
With Bower’s help, you can fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of equity release, including how a plan will reduce the amount of inheritance you leave.
*Aviva 27th July 2016