Paying for care costs in your "Golden Years"

It is understandable that many people worry about how they will manage both physically and financially as they get older. Nobody wants to be living in poverty in their old age and most of us would like to think we will be able to leave something to our children when we go. But with so many people living longer because of medical advances the cost of care for elderly people is now becoming a big issue that everyone should be aware of so that they can plan ahead for the costs (and also so they can be involved in the decision making on the type of care they would prefer).

There are many options to funding care in old age and in the UK the government will pay for care if you do not have the means to do so yourself. But is you do have a significant amount of savings or a valuable home then you really should plan ahead for the cost of care.

Choose the care option that is best for you

Before you can start to plan for how you will pay for care you need to know what care option will suit you best. Although residential care homes are the most common option there is growing awareness of another option: live-in care or homecare, according to The Live-in Care Hub. With the growing awareness of live-in care more and more people are choosing this for themselves or for an elderly relative as an option where the person needing care can stay in familiar surroundings and have the consistency of the same one or two carers all the time. It is also a more rewarding role for those becoming a carer.

Take advice

Once you now what care option will be most suitable you can then plan for the financial side – and there are certainly financial challenges caring for the elderly so it pays to be prepared. Some people choose to get some advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA) if they already know one they trust. An IFA can help you create a payment plan for privately funding (self-funding) care in a simple and straightforward way.

Be prepared

The average cost of care for an elderly person can vary enormously. It not only depends on the level of care you might need but also on the type of care and even the area where you live. So investigate your options and compare your options once you have made a decision about the type of care you might need and how much you can afford to pay.

Many people are shocked by how expensive the actual cost of elderly care is but it is better to know now and have some time to plan and prepare than leave it until the last minute. Some people will have to use savings and/or income to pay for elderly care and some may consider selling their home but this is a serious step and not one to take lightly.

Government support

If you do not have much in the way of savings and either don't own a property or still have a partner living there then the state will pay for your care.  But state-funded care limits your choices of type and style of care and it is unlikely that state-funded care would offer the option of live-in care.