Later Life  

Nine out of 10 won't seek care funding advice

Nine out of 10 won't seek care funding advice

More than half of people aged between 65 and 74 would find it helpful to receive a referral from their local authority to a professional IFA as part of their care guidance, research from Just Group revealed.

Some 34 per cent of people polled by Just expected that this referral is a standard procedure when they contact their local authority, the report showed.

However, only 12 per cent of the of 11,870 people polled in the research would go to a financial adviser as a first point of advice in care related matters.

Local authorities are often the first point of contact for care enquiries, and councils must also seek to identify those who could benefit from financial information and advice independent of the local authority and actively facilitate those people to access it, the report stated.

However, according to data from the Society of Later Life Advisers (Solla), only around 7,000 of the 60,000 self-funders – people who pay for all their care costs - take regulated financial advice each year.

A spokesman for Just said: “There is an appetite for good advice about residential care independent of the local authority but this has not translated into an increased take-up of regulated financial advice, which can help people fully understand their entitlement and care funding options.”

According to Just Group’s report, around 3.8 million people are delaying making financial plans for residential care until the government outlines who they expect to foot the bill.

According to Steve Carlson, chartered financial planner at Cardiff-based Carlson Wealth Management, later life issues such as funding for care, powers of attorney, estate planning and state pensions/benefits are extremely complex and most people would benefit from advice”.

He said: "However, many people don’t realise they need it.

"I often find the only people who get that advice are those who have a financial adviser for more obvious needs such as managing pensions/investments.”

maria.espadinha@ft.com