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Self-funding care – plan ahead and take advice

The problem with paying for your own care is that nobody can predict how long care will be required, the kind of care that might be needed over the course of time, and how long it will have to be paid for.  If running out of money means relying on the local authority as the only remaining option (if other family can’t help) – there are no guarantees that the local authority will wish to maintain the same payment levels.

How to fund care

The average weekly cost of a care home in Dorset is currently £799 per week or £967 per week for a nursing home (source: www.trustedcare.com September 2016) .  Maintaining sufficient funds to continue to pay fees for an indefinite period does require careful planning.  As a self-funder your parents or relatives could potentially use a range of sources to cover care fees including savings and investments; they could also take out an Immediate Care Plan (Immediate Needs Annuity) or borrow through schemes such as Equity Release and Lifetime mortgages* (although this option is only usually available for care in your own home).

*To understand the features and risk, a personalised illustration must be requested.

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Seek Care Fees planning advice

Many times however families only seek advice when the money from the sale of the family home or their parent’s life savings have run out and they are forced to move to a local authority care home.  So, it is highly advisable to get advice from a specialist in Care Fees planning.   This is even more important if you are selling your parents’ or relatives home to pay for care as the earlier you seek help, the more options you should find available to you.

Not all financial advisers are qualified or experienced enough to understand all the potential options to help make such a big decision.  A good starting point is to find an adviser accredited by the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA) which is a not for profit organisation set up to meet the needs of consumers, advisers and those who provide financial products and services to those in later life.

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Look for SOLLA Accreditation

An accredited financial adviser will be able to help you in all areas of later life financial matters, including retirement planning, care funding (both care homes and care in your own home), equity release and other property options, saving and investment planning, tax matters, and estate and wealth planning. They will be able to give you advice about specific options available to you, and give you recommendations based on your personal circumstances, and what products best suit your needs.

Most SOLLA accredited advisers will offer an initial consultation.  They will let you have their terms of business and explain what services they will be offering you. Make sure you understand what is being offered and what it will cost you before you proceed.

Where to get advice

Poundbury Wealth Management LLP offer expert financial advice in long term care planning, inheritance tax planning, investment planning and pensions.  Contact us as www.poundburywealth.co.uk or call (01305) 266866.  Partner Tim Gallego is a member of SOLLA.

The Partner Practice represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website www.sjp.co.uk/products.  The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives.