Posted by: WealthIFA | November 11, 2011

Financial News Update we 11/11/2011

How has your week been?

As usual, I have been advising a number of families on ways to fund care costs for their elderly relatives this week and, as I have said before, this is an area of planning that doesn’t really get planned for!

Despite it being one of the more punitive “taxes” around (currently 100% charged on assets over £23,250) most people I see are not aware of the rules, or indeed the costs, around paying for long term care and so, when they are faced with a potential weekly bill of £1,000 per week for example, to say it can come as a bit of a shock is an understatement.

When someone is going into care, or has gone into care (and it is not by their own choice) there are two assessments that should be carried out:

• A Financial Assessment
• A Care Needs Assessment

The first is the one that becomes quickly apparent to most – the local authority will advise that if your assets (possibly including your house if no one else lives there) are valued above £23,250, you will be expected to fund any care costs yourself until the assets are reduced to this level and you will still be expected to contribute towards some of the cost until they are reduced further to £14,250.

But if you qualify under the latter assessment, your financial situation could be irrelevant.

If the primary need for care is a health care need, then the NHS could well fund the total cost of care. You may lose the right to choose in which care home, as this will be decided by the local authority (whilst it is NHS funded, it is still the local authority who hold the budget so it can be a bit of a postcode lottery) but this may be preferable to paying around £1,000 per week – which can be typical of a care home in or around Tunbridge Wells?

As you can imagine, the latter is becoming increasingly hard to obtain as government budgets across the board are being slashed. As such, many will simply be declined as only the most severe cases obtain approval.

Speaking to a solicitor this week he said it was, sadly, more likely to obtain the funding by fighting for it after the death of the person in care and the article below “NHS Continuing Healthcare – families win battle” certainly supports this – perhaps it is because in this situation, the cost of care is then known to the NHS/local authority whereas in the beginning, when someone enters care, it is not?

In the end it makes long term care a topic that will continue to dominate people’s lives as they get older but, as I said to a small group or teachers the other day, you would not advise your students to leave it until the day before their exam to worry if they knew enough information would you?

So my aim is to continue in my attempts at educating those willing to listen about long term care costs through meetings, our guides, our seminars, these posts and so on… although I do not, for one minute, expect it to be an easy task!

Have a great weekend!

This Week …

Estate Planning

Standard Life Survey Reveals Losing a Loved One is Greatest Fear in Retirement: http://bit.ly/t32NNc
HMRC: Total Inheritance Tax receipts increase http://bit.ly/15yyIk

Long Term Care

Care Roadshow, Brighton (23rd November 2011) http://bit.ly/sCpqRB
Anchor submits response to Commons Health Committee inquiry on social care: http://bit.ly/vye7NO
The court of protection: defender of the vulnerable or shadowy and unjust?: http://bit.ly/twY0C2
Barclays Corporate research – care home operators back Dilnot Commission’s: http://bit.ly/trWum2
NHS Continuing Healthcare – families win battle: http://bit.ly/rzIz6w
Elderly long-term care home costs: http://bit.ly/uoBJog

Retirement

Public sector pensions: a new offer? http://bbc.in/sZgRWn
Pensions: Ministers claim new offer is ‘very big move’ http://bbc.in/rADcmC

Investments

NS&I to stop sales via the Post Office: http://bit.ly/ttHih5
Junior ISAs launch to help parents save for their children’s future http://bit.ly/tzQP6A

Regards
Kieron

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