Warren Bentham, who referred to a recent report, Independent Ageing 2013, that highlighted how a lack of advice is hampering long-term care planning, said a variety of factors have contributed to increasing demand for financial assistance in this sector.
“Given the growing number of retirees with an increased life expectancy, government funding pressures and the ever rising cost of residential care, I see this as a significant opportunity for business development over the coming years,” he said.
“Any positive promotion of quality financial advice by councils would be beneficial for those requiring care, as they could potentially make better use of their current assets.”
The Local Government Information Unit report said the entire structure of social care is at risk as older people struggle to fund the cost of care. As a result of its findings, local authorities have been urged to open an advice service that could refer self-funders to a regulated financial adviser.
“Ensuring that self-funders receive the level of support that they need is beneficial for not only the individual’s involved, but the entire structure of social care,” said Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGIU.
Mr Bentham said: “This report identifies an advice gap for ‘self-funders’ who have had financial assessments and, in reality, these are likely to be the more vulnerable, or perhaps those whose only remaining asset is their main residence. Other self-funders will have no need to engage with the local authority at all. What this means is that advisers will need to have a very broad range of skills covering long-term care, equity release and wealth management, which will hopefully rule out some of the less independent ‘wealth managers’.”