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How to pay for long-term care of your loved ones
The average person can expect to spend nearly 60% of their retirement in good health, but how will you pay for the other 40%?
by Michelle McGagh on Feb 22, 2012 at 10:29
Long-term care has been put under the spotlight recently as the government tries to figure how to deal with people living longer, but not necessarily more healthily, in retirement.
Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the pace at which life expectancy after age 65 is increasing is not being matched by the number of years lived in good health. Men and women who retire at 65 can currently expect to spend 56% and 57% respectively of their retirement in good health.
It’s great that people are living longer, but 40% of your retirement could be spent in ill health, so how will you pay for the care you may need?
How much does it cost?
The cost of care depends on a number of factors: the type of care you require, whether you stay in your home, and the area in which you live.
Care homes can be a good solution for those needing round-the-clock care. The cost of residential homes varies widely, and you will pay more if the home has qualified nurses rather than just carers.
The average cost of a care home is £700 per week, but prices can be far higher – homes in the South East are particularly pricey.
Care at home is an option if the person who needs care does not want to leave their home or needs day-to-day help, or 'domiciliary care'.
The average cost of domiciliary care is £10 to £15 per hour, but live-in 24-hour care is far more costly and can be equal to the cost of a care home, but with the additional expense of running a home.
Sheltered housing is for people who are able to look after themselves but would like to have an on-site warden in case of emergency. There are many options for sheltered housing, including renting, buying or part-buying, but all incur additional service charges to cover the cost of on-site support and cleaning and maintenance.
Retirement villages are another solution for those who do not need round-the-clock care but would like support. Retirement villages offer a community of similarly aged people who live in individual properties but have support for maintenance should it be needed. They also provide access to care.
As with sheltered housing, the cost of retirement villages depends on the type of property you want to buy and its location. There will also be additional service charges to cover the costs incurred at the village.
Doesn’t the state pay?
As people live longer, the government is struggling to pay for state pensions, let alone long-term care. Andrew Dilnot, a former economist, was given the task of finding a solution to the long-term care problem.
More about this:
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What others are saying
- Paying for Care
- Association of Retirement Villages
- Sheltered housing information
- United Kingdom Homecare Association
- Safe Home Income Plans
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