Things to consider about care funding
It’s worth taking some time to review all the options you have for funding care before deciding to take out a care funding plan. This means sitting down and considering some of the following:
How much money will I need?
The cost to you of long-term care depends on your health, what level of support you need and the value of your savings, assets and income. You may have to pay for all of it, some of it or nothing at all – the NHS may provide your care, depending on your circumstances.
But how much does care cost?
The UK average cost for a one-year, single room stay in a nursing care home was £43,940 for the financial year 2016-17. Of course, actual costs vary by area, by homes and even within an area, as well as whether you opt for a single room instead of a shared room. Find out more about the costs of care here.
How can I find out if I’ll get help with those costs?
Talk to your local authority about long-term care funding, and what they have available to support you. They'll be able to provide you with information and advice, assess your care and support needs and help you find an independent financial adviser to talk about options for funding care plans, as appropriate. You can also find out more about the costs of care here.
Will my savings affect long-term care funding?
Yes. At the moment, if you have savings and assets that are worth more than £23,250 in England, £24,000 for Wales (non-residential care, £30,000 for residential care) and £26,500 in Scotland, then you'll have to pay for your own care. The Care Act has recently meant some sweeping changes have been made to the way in which long term care is paid for, so it's worth understanding more about those changes and what they might mean for you. You can read more about these changes – including the new cap on care cost contributions (effective April 2020) – in our Care Act section of the website.
Who can help me decide what to do?
Before you begin, it's worth taking some time to gather information about how much you have set aside in savings and assets. Then you should talk to your local authority first. They will be able to tell you whether you qualify for any financial support and may point in the direction of a professional adviser.
They’ll have experience of, and insights into, many of the issues you face, as well as into the financial options open to you – so they’ll be in a good position to answer a broad range of frequently asked questions about long-term care funding. He or she can also talk to you about equity release, tax planning and your investments and savings.
An appointment with a financial adviser and ongoing advice may incur a charge or fee, so it may cost money to talk this through – but it's very important to get this right, as the arrangements you’re making may have to last a lifetime, and could ultimately save you much more than the cost of advice.