Recent medical advancements have resulted in a growing elderly
population, which has placed increasing pressure on public
resources. With councils unable to contribute to the cost of care
for the elderly at the same level as in previous years, the burden
has fallen on individuals to pay for care from their own resources.
This has made it increasingly important for the cost of care in
later life to be taken into consideration when planning for
retirement and estate planning for the next generation.
A recent Labour study has indicated that in the last two years
there has been an 11% drop in the number of elderly people
receiving council-funded care. With council budgets being reduced
and more people living longer, the strain on council-funded care
will almost certainly increase, resulting in growing numbers of the
elderly population failing to benefit from funded care. Councils
have been forced to tighten their eligibility criteria, with only
those with the most critical needs qualifying for care in the first
Figures show that the average cost of home care currently stands
at £13.61 per hour. With fewer councils capping the amount an
individual has to contribute to their care, the cost of care in
later life has become an increasing burden as only people with
assets below £14,250 get all of their care paid for. A recent
study by Marie Curie showed that while the vast majority of people
expressed a wish to die at home, in 2010 only 39.3% of those people
who died did so. If this is what an individual wants then it is
necessary to make provision and plan, so that the costs of being
cared for at home can be met in later life.
George Osborne's so called "granny tax" has also
affected financial planning for the elderly population. This
affects an individual's tax free personal allowance, with
around 4.41 million people being worse off as a consequence of the
changes. Those due to turn 65 after 5 April 2013 will miss out on
around £285 of tax free income for the 2013-14 year compared
with what they had expected.
With the mounting costs of care in mind, people must take steps
to plan to ensure that they have adequate resources in place to
meet these financial demands in later life. We can provide advice
on planning to meet these costs. We can also advise on estate and
inheritance tax planning for your family's future.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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