Long term care – Protect your money, your property and your family
… and do it now
Start thinking about financial planning for long-term care.
If you have savings or property, it’s extremely important to take professional advice from a financial planner or independent financial adviser before you make any decisions about your long-term care – and certainly before you start paying any care fees.
Don’t leave it until you reach a crisis point.
Make sure the advice is independent and up to date
An independent adviser will understand both the financial legislation for your situation and also the financial options open to you. But always keep in mind that not all financial advisers understand care fees.
Make sure you ask them what specific care fees qualifications they hold. If they hold a CF8 qualification, ask them how long ago they took that exam. Do they know about NHS Continuing Healthcare funding and how it works? Or have they assumed you’ll have to pay for care because you have savings and a house?
Mistakes can be made very early on, and families are sometimes advised they’ll have to pay for care, when in fact this may not be the case. Many advisers who specialise in care fees are members of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).
With good advice, you’ll understand more about how to manage and protect your money and assets – and how you may be able to avoid selling your home and protect your investment policies.
It’s worth noting that there are certain types of investment policies, for example those with an element of life cover, that you don’t have to cash in to pay for care. Your Local Authority may not provide you with that information.
Care fees protection
If your care needs are primarily health needs and you need nursing care, you should be assessed for NHS Continuing Healthcare funding to cover 100% of your care fees.
It can be a hard battle to get this funding but, if you do, it means the NHS will cover your care costs and may reimburse some or all of the care fees you’ve already paid.
Keep this NHS funding in mind if you take out any annuity or policy that demands a high premium up front. If the premium insures you against paying care fees, but you subsequently win NHS funding, it’s unlikely you’ll get the premium back. It depends on the type of policy. Always check!
A good adviser can be invaluable and will take the time to understand your individual circumstances and will also appreciate the emotional nature of the decisions you have to make, especially if you’re acting with a Power of Attorney on someone else’s behalf.
Remember… If you need long-term care AND you have savings or a property, you don’t necessarily have to sell your home to pay for care. Read more about paying for care.