PAYING FOR YOUR OWN CARE
If you are not eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding and have over the Local Authority Charging upper funding level of £23,250 then you may be paying for your own care using one or any combination of these options
- Property Option
- Care Fee Plan/Annuity
- Third Parties
Before choosing and self-funding your care or care for a loved one and possibly reducing your wealth for care and support that may not be appropriate we would advise a ‘Care Funding and Benefit Check’ as you a) may not be responsible for the cost of care b) have other care and funding options to consider c) have future, dependents, legal or legacy arrangements to consider.
Moving, Renting, Selling, Downsizing… While it is your main and only home or the home of those closest to you, your property will often not be taken into account during a means test and if the NHS is responsible for your care costs it will not be considered an asset either.
Before making potentially life changing decisions with what may be your main or only asset a Care Funding and Benefit Check can ensure that the ways to pay have been fully considered and if you are using your own funds to pay for care, whether it is for you or a loved one. Advice is really important to make sure you aren’t paying more than you can afford or should be for the support you receive to avoid a move later on.
If you are responsible for your own care costs or are considering adaptations to your home then you may be considering using the equity in your home to pay for it. While you are living at home and over a certain age there may be two main types of product available to you
- Home Reversion – you sell part or all of your home in return for a lump sum or regular payments.
- Lifetime Mortgage – a mortgage is secured on your property but you retain ownership.
A Care Funding and Benefit check will help you to consider the care options and services that are right for you and help you to plan for and manage any ongoing care fees.
Selling your home
Often when people move into a care home they believe that they will have to sell their home or be ‘forced’ to sell. Selling your home may seem very final and it is your choice. Take your time and seek advice before making any hasty, ill informed decisions as there may be options for example a Deferred Payment Agreement with the Local Authority or renting your property.
Care Navigators may be able to find support enabling you to stay at home but if a move has been decided then it may be worth considering other options which may include moving in with family, a home share scheme or shared lives agreement, down-sizing or moving to a more appropriate type of property.
Renting may be your preferred option but often there are questions about how the rental income will be taken into account for a means test or how a shortfall between your income and cost of care could be met or what are the tax implications…
Care Fee Annuity
An immediate needs annuity, care fee annuity or care fee plan is an insurance product designed to cover the shortfall between your income and the cost of your care for the rest of your life. Paid to a care provider it can have tax benefits and can be arranged to begin with immediate effect or be deferred for an agreed period.
You may wish to contribute towards a loved one’s care, a ‘top up’ of a Local Authority agreed amount or ‘up front’ payments recovered later. A shortfall between an amount agreed by a Local Authority or NHS may not cover your preferred care cost but there are rules that a Local Authority and the NHS must follow and choice of accommodation is a legal requirement. Seek further advice before offering or agreeing to make a ‘top up’ of either your own care or care for a loved one
We would advise a ‘Care Funding and Benefit Check’ before making potentially life changing decisions with what may be your main or only asset.
Some financial advice can only be given by advisers who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), this is called regulated financial advice.
ONLY financial advisers who are regulated by the FCA can give REGULATED financial advice and recommend regulated financial products.
Helping people to understand the financial implications of having care and support needs will include unregulated financial information and advice such as help with completing benefit applications but it may also require regulated financial advice.
Our Care Navigators can help you to understand the ways to pay for care, claim your benefit entitlement and do a full ‘Care Funding and Benefit Check’ . If you would advice from an expert care fee financial planner we also have advisers who are regulated by the FCA and accredited by the Society of Later Life Advisers.