Investor's Chronicle, Monday 9 October 2017
Long-term care fees are the Mount Everest of all bills. Everything else pales in comparison. Yes, school and university fees are high, but you might only pay them for three years or they can be avoided entirely. Saving for a pension isn’t cheap, but it is eased by generous tax reliefs, while your money, and more, is returned to you at the end of your working life. Care home bills, on the other hand, can eat up £50,000 a year for an indefinite period, rising relentlessly. There is no return on your investment, and no tax relief.
Many more of us will face a care fees problem in the future thanks to longer life expectancy, rising rates of dementia and changing family structures. Currently, just under 15 per cent of people aged 85-plus live in a care home, according to healthcare intelligence firm LaingBuisson, but this number is predicted to keep rising.
Putting someone in a care home is rarely an easy decision. Often it comes out of the blue following a fall or bereavement of a spouse. For this reason it is a good idea to have in place a power of attorney, and to discuss your relative’s finances well in advance. Doing all this after the event is complicated, costly and can take a long time to arrange.
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