Carers Week: Why a care plan is still crucial even if you have family support

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As part of a long-term plan, you may be thinking about whether you could need some form of care later in life. While you may hope to rely on your family to provide the support you need, you should still consider how you’d pay for care services if you need to.

According to charity Carers UK, around 1 in 8 adults are carers, the equivalent of 6.5 million people. The care these people provide will vary greatly, and around 1.4 million provide more than 50 hours of care each week.

Understandably, many people planning for their later years would prefer to stay in their own homes. 6 in 10 people said they would rather stay at home and adapt it to their needs, according to an LV= survey. This compares to 65% of over-55s who admit they are worried about moving into a care home.

With this in mind, you may decide you don’t need to consider care services and the potential cost. However, overlooking this could present challenges in the future.

Keep in mind your circumstances can change

Having a plan to rely on family is good, but you should also recognise that circumstances can change.

These could be circumstances in your family’s life. For instance, a new job opportunity could mean they move further away from you, or the arrival of children could mean they don’t have the time to become a full-time carer.

Your own circumstances may also change. The type of care people need later in life can vary significantly. Many can live independently with minimal support from loved ones, others may have more complex needs. In some cases, you may find that the level of care you thought would be enough is not, or that you could benefit from specialist care.

Even if you’re confident your family will be able to offer care to you, having an alternative care plan can act as a safety net. By setting out what you’d prefer and considering the potential cost before it’s needed, you can have greater confidence about the future.

Predicting what care will suit your needs is impossible, so a long-term care plan that provides flexibility should be part of your later-life planning.

74% of carers describe themselves as exhausted

While loved ones may be in a position and willing to offer some support, it’s important to recognise the pressure this can bring too.

According to a Carers Week report, 74% of carers describe themselves as exhausted, and a third said they feel unable to manage their caring role. Having the funds and a plan to pay for additional support if it’s needed can ease some of the stress your loved one may feel while ensuring you’re secure.

The report found that 64% of carers relied on family and friends so they could take a break. Making care a part of your budget later in life can mean you’re able to pay for vital support that will allow your loved ones to take a break. This may mean they can go on holiday, have a day each week to themselves, or can pass on some of the more challenging care tasks.

It’s a step that can help your loved ones continue to provide you with the care you need while helping them to strike a balance in their own life too.

Making care part of your later-life plan

Traditionally when planning for retirement, retirees expect their expenses to be higher during the initial years before spending settles down. However, if you need some support, your outgoings can start to rise later in life.

Long-term planning should consider how you use your assets to create an income and reach your goals with this in mind. Creating an accessible care fund could provide peace of mind and give you more options in your later years.

Your plan should also consider what you’d like to happen to this care fund if it’s not needed. You may want to leave it as an inheritance, for example, and need to consider this in your will or Inheritance Tax plan.

If you’d like to discuss a care plan and ensure you have provisions set aside if paying for care becomes necessary later in life, please contact us.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

 

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