In Focus: Retirement Income  

Lack of planning threatens care provision

Lack of planning threatens care provision

There is a three-fold challenge when it comes to planning for care: an under-supply of facilities, a lack of information and ever-rising costs, according to David Nugent.

The managing director of UK care advisory service Grace Consulting said it had become increasingly clear that families were in desperate need of advice when it comes to long-term care provision. 

But with retirement incomes stretched and a lack of affordable options available, he warned that unless people make preparation way in advance of retirement, they will face difficulties at the point of needing care. 

FTAdviser in Focus caught up with Nugent about what he has called an "increasing demand from advisers and wealth managers for services that deliver across a wide spectrum of client needs in later life".

FTAdviser: Can you put into context the magnitude of the requirement for care today?

David Nugent: In the next 20 years, our population will age. Age UK's 2019 briefing stated there would be 50 per cent more people aged 65 and over, and 93 per cent more people aged over 85.

Moreover, nearly one in six people will reach their 100th birthday in 2040, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This is all great news as it is down to advances in medicine and lifestyle choices. However, it of course comes with its own challenges.

In the later part of their lives, many are living with disabilities, such as dementia or arthritis, or the lasting impacts of a stroke or fall.

And indeed, even those who are physically healthy may suffer with loneliness. This will result in a huge rise in care needs for a large part of the population. In England, more than one in three people aged 85 and above will require some form of care, Age UK has warned.

FTA: There is obviously a growing need for care provision. But what are the greatest challenges individuals and families face when it comes to care?

DN: The answer to this is three-fold. 

First, there is the provision of care. There is an existing under-supply in care facilities in the UK and a lack of planning to increase this provision to meet the increasing demand outlined above.

In fact, the provision has reduced over recent years with the number of care-at-home hours falling by 3,000,000 between 2015 and 2018, for example.

Due to the lack of funding, private funders, who make up a substantial proportion of the total number in residential care, are having to subsidise state-funded spaces. This makes it even more important for people to ensure they are getting care that is right for them.

Then there is a significant lack of information about care. The increasing need for care, combined with the longer amount of time people are spending in care, means that making care arrangements is a more important decision than it once was.