Later-life care can be a difficult topic to discuss and create a plan for. However, setting out a care plan now means you can rest assured your wishes are known and ensure long-term security. If it is something you’ve not tackled yet, read on to find out what you should do.
According to a Canada Life survey, 7 in 10 UK adults haven’t thought about later-life care. It could mean there’s a significant gap in many long-term plans.
Feeling anxious when considering long-term care is common, and why many people are putting off setting out a plan:
- 28% put off thinking about care because it’s emotionally overwhelming.
- 25% said they avoid thinking about care due to financial anxiety.
These feelings are understandable. The need for and cost of care can feel overwhelming, but putting planning off can increase your anxiety. While it can be challenging to tackle, a care plan can give you confidence in the future. It can mean you’re able to enjoy your life now, knowing that if care is needed you have a plan to fall back on.
According to government figures, there were around 360,000 people in care homes in 2021/22. Some people will also receive support in their own homes. While a relatively small proportion of older people need care, having a plan can be valuable.
So, if you don’t have a care plan, where should you start?
5 practical steps to create your care plan
1. Set out your preferences
If you need help in your later years, what would you want? Many people would prefer to stay in their own homes with either family or professional support.
Setting out your preferences can allow you to create a budget and care plan to suit you.
While setting out your wishes is important, keep in mind that your circumstances can change. Your care plan should be flexible and cover all eventualities.
2. Understand what state help you’ll receive
The Canada Life research found that 1 in 10 people didn’t think setting out a care plan was their responsibility and believed either the state or family would step in.
While the state does provide support in some circumstances, most people will need to pay for at least a portion of their care costs. It’s essential you understand what help you’d receive from the state and when you’d need to pay.
You should also review support with your preferences in mind as state support may not align with what you’d want.
3. Discuss your plans with loved ones
As well as understanding state support, talking to your family about what help they could offer can be useful.
This is particularly important if you may rely on your loved ones to provide some form of care. Separate research found that around 1.8 million people care for a family member. On average, they expect costs to be £1,100 each month. In reality, the cost is £1,600 a month, so some families could experience a shortfall.
4. Research the cost of care
Cost is an important factor when creating a care plan. A realistic figure can help you set up a care fund that will provide you with security if you need to use it.
Despite this, among the people that have considered care, just 10% had researched the cost of in-house support and 9% had looked at care home bills.
Costs can vary significantly between locations and the type of support you need. Without this vital information, you could find you have a gap in your care fund.
5. Make it part of your financial plan
Funding care should be part of your financial plan. Ensuring you have assets to cover care if you need it later in life can provide peace of mind.
Only 27% of people that consider care are actively saving or building up investments to cover the potential expenses. Missing this step could mean you’re not able to follow plans or that you worry about your financial circumstances.
We can help integrate your care plan with your finances. It’s a step that can help you reach your goals and provide long-term financial security. Please contact us to discuss your needs.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.
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