‘Help us find advice’ say over-45s

A growing number of over-45s believe it would be helpful for local councils to refer people seeking information and advice on how to pay for care to independent financial advisers (IFAs) according to the fifth Care Index from Partnership.

Councils are often the first port of call for people needing information and advice about accessing care and how to pay for it. While 44% of people thought it should be standard policy for councils to refer people to financial advisers, 56% thought such referrals would be helpful, up from 51% last year.

Only 16% of people believe the State will pick up their care costs, a proportion that has fallen every year since 2012 (51%). Among over-75s the number is just 5%. In addition, for the first time since 2012, people overestimated the average cost of residential care at £30,830 a year, £334 higher than industry figures suggest.

Despite this knowledge and nearly four in 10 (38%) over-45s saying they had some experience of looking into care for friends and family, this does not appear to have encouraged them to act when it comes to planning for their own potential care needs. Only a small minority (6%) have included the cost of care in their financial planning although that number rises to 18% for the over-75s.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Retirement, said there are positive signs that consumers are becoming more aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to funding long term care but more work needs to be done by industry and Government to build on the momentum.

“This will ultimately pay dividends in the future if we find that more people are considering how to meet care costs and are using trusted sources of information and advice to make smart, sustainable choices. Given the sums of money and complexity involved, professional advisers have every reason to see themselves as a key part of the solution.”

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