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 ‘Funding Care 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 Funding Care 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 have chosen to pay for ‘Posh Care’, more care or luxury services with a ‘top up’ 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.
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 asking us to do a ‘Funding Care Check’ before making potentially life changing decisions with what may be your main or only asset as releasing equity may affect means-tested benefit entitlement and there may be other options available.
We work with Care Adviser Network Professional members who are specialist care fee experts and SOLLA accredited if further regulated advice is required.
CARE FINANCIAL ADVICE
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 might include unregulated financial information and advice such as help with completing benefit applications, providing debt advice and money management/budgeting services but it may also require regulated financial advice.
The FCA recognises two types of regulated adviser; ‘independent’ and ‘restricted’.
Independent financial advisers (IFAs) can offer the full range of financial products from all providers. Other regulated advisers may offer ‘restricted’ advice. A restricted adviser may only be able to recommend certain products or product providers, and if so must clearly explain the nature of the restriction.
The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) was founded in 2008 as a not for profit organisation, to meet the need of consumers, advisers and those who provide financial products and services to the later life market. Their aim is to ensure that consumers are better informed about the financial issues of later life and can find fully accredited adviser quickly and easily.
Our Care Navigators can do a ‘Funding Care Check’ but if you would further advice from a regulated financial adviser who is an expert in care fee planning we work with ‘Professional Members’ of the Care Adviser Network who are accredited by the Society of Later Life Advisers.
REQUEST A CALL FROM A CARE FEES SPECIALIST
I provide an independent bespoke care fees planning advice service that is designed specifically to meet the needs of elderly and vulnerable clients so they can make clear and informed care and financial decisions with their families and support professional Attorneys, Deputies and Trustees to do the same. I am passionate about individuals receiving good quality care fees planning advice and appreciate that it can be daunting going through the maze of options for planning for long term care needs particularly when so much emotion and decision making is involved. I like to take great care in addressing client’s needs and providing peace of mind to help them achieve what is ultimately in their best interests.