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Top tips for choosing help with care fees in retirement

It is crucial to plan ahead for your care fees in retirement, as the cost of any kind of care – whether it’s care at home or residential care – is expensive. There are lots of considerations to make to ensure you make the correct choice.

Care

Care

There are three main choices when it comes to choosing what care you have in retirement.


Stay in your current home

For lots of people, the strong emotional connection to their own home and personal memories that go with it, means that it is their number one choice of residence as they age.  Most people are therefore very reluctant to sell their family home to pay for care costs.  You could find alternatives such as adapting your home to meet your care needs. For example, you could fit stair lifts and panic alarms. You can also get care at home during your later retirement years, for example, meals delivered to your door or gardening and handyman services.

One way of funding these changes in retirement is through equity release.  This allows you to release equity from your home to raise the funds to pay bills whilst remaining living there. As this is a very specialist area of advice, only those advisers with the correct qualifications can help you.  Here at Assured wealth our team are qualified to help you through the process.  To find out more about this speak to one of our specialist equity release advisers.


Sheltered Accommodation
This option involves moving into a residential retirement property which is adapted to meet the needs for the elderly.  For example, it may have walk in showers or ramp access. They may also have communal areas and 24 hour alarms.

As moving to sheltered accommodation often involves downsizing from a family home it may mean that your capital is more accessible making your finances easier to handle throughout your retirement. On the downside however, there are often service charges and fees for maintenance so it is important to look into all of this before you make your decision.


Residential Care Homes
If your needs can’t be met staying at home, or in sheltered accommodation, then your retirement needs may be best met within a residential care home setting. There are two types of care home:

  • Care homes without nursing which provide personal care and assistance
  • Care homes with nursing which have registered nurses and experienced care assistants at all times

The care home option is suitable if you have complex care needs and it also means you won’t have to worry about bills and domestic chores. However, the downside is that it can be very expensive.  On average, one year in a care home can cost around £45,000 a year and with nursing can cost around £55,500.

There are various planning solutions available including:

Care fee annuities – these are paid directly to the care provider, so they reduce the tax on savings you may have.  This is a specialist area of advice and your adviser will need a CF8 qualification to help and advise you.

Investment bonds – pay income tax efficiently within the investment and can be useful for generating the monthly income needed to pay the care fees.  There are hundreds of types, with differing changes and different underlying investments.  Therefore selecting the right one needs independent research.  We have a team of technical para-planners who carry out this research for each and every case.

Don’t forget that the income requirements are only one part of the process of protecting your assets.  A valid up to date will, lasting power of attorney and potentially the use of trusts to reduce probate costs and protect those in your bloodline should be in place to.

Whatever route you decide to take a well thought out financial and estate plan is essential to ensuring you don’t have to worry about funding and potentially having to sell your family home. Speak to one of our advisers today to give you peace of mind when it comes to your retirement living arrangements.



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