The harsh facts are that if you need long term care, then you will probably have to pay for it or contribute to it. The care may be in a home, or in your own home. There are various options
The best one is to get fit and healthy, keep fit and healthy. This will reduce the chance of needing long term care, but even the fittest athletes can need care, as they get older.
The next best thing is to fund it yourself. This may be by selling savings, collections, collectibles or some land.
Another way is to sell the family home and move to somewhere smaller or with relatives.
You may want to release equity, or money, from your home by using an Equity Release scheme, the two variants being a Lifetime Mortgage or Home Reversion scheme.
Other short-term alternatives are to buy Long Term Care immediate care insurance, or other annuity.
For longer term planning ahead, you can buy various investments or bonds, a pre-funded Long Term Care insurance, or other insurance plan.
A few years ago, seeing the rapid growth of the elderly, lots of insurers rushed into the market with a wide range of products. A few years later, poor take up, and often badly designed products, meant most rushed out again.
The current boom is in Equity Release plans. These are available from banks, building societies, insurers, specialist funds and others.
While some of the providers of these products are well known names, others are small specialists. Size and reputation are not a guide in themselves to how good a product is or whether it meets your needs.
Apart from self-funding, whatever route you use to pay for long term care usually involves complex financial decisions, which affect you and your family over the long term.
If you buy an insurance policy, which renews each year, and become unhappy about it, you just move to someone else. On many of these products, particularly if you sell your home, the decision is not reversible.
Our advice is to take your time, look at all the options, think of what would happen if you need long term care, what will happen of you do not, and how it affects your family.
Here we have been talking about YOU, but a new trend is emerging. With an ageing population, it is often the children who have to pay for parental care. In the past, they have been working. But now, we are starting to see children who have themselves retired, have to plan for or pay for care for an elderly parent.
Take your time, look at all possibilities, and ask the providers all the awkward questions you can think of. If in any doubt, talk to a financial advisor who has the special qualifications needed to advise on this area.
There are specialist firms and agencies that can help too.
Get a quote
For online quotes and costs on UK long term care plans, use our Get A Quote section, or for enquiries about long term care plans, complete our enquiry form.