personal finance

'Unexpected' bill could see Britons lose thousands from property capital

Many Britons could be hit by “unexpected” care bills costing thousands in the future, as one in two haven’t made proper financial plans, a new study has revealed.

With the average four-year stay in a costing between £200,000 to £240,000, experts at TakingCare said most Britons resort to using money from their homes to foot the bill.

While the Government plans to introduce an £86,000 cap on care costs, the social care cap won’t be coming into effect until October 2025, leaving thousands of elderly people to cough up for their care in the meantime.

The average house price in the UK is currently £263,600, as reported by Zoopla. This could imply that the average individual could potentially lose over £240,000 from their property before reaching the current Government’s means test cap of £23,250.

Eligibility for council funding begins once assets drop below this threshold, which would account for a substantial 91 percent of the value.

Despite the significant cost that many face, a new survey from TakingCare Personal Alarms found one in two Britons admit they haven’t made future plans for their care with their families.

Lauren Frake, an elderly care expert from Taking Care, commented: “Despite reports that suggest Millennials are on course to become the “richest generation in history” due to cash-rich Boomer parents, this isn’t necessarily the case, with unplanned-for care costs likely to make a significant dent in inheritance.

“Our estimations show that a typical stay in a care home can cost as much as £60,000 a year, or even more for individuals with complex care needs like dementia, and millennials will no doubt need to factor in these types of costs when looking at what they may inherit from their parents.”

Ms Frake emphasised that elderly care plans are a “crucial step” in planning for the future.

However, TakingCare’s research indicates that many families in the UK “simply aren’t preparing for this” by avoiding discussions about care needs with their elderly parents.

Ms Frake continued: “By not talking about what future care will look like for their parents, UK families are also keeping themselves unaware of the realities of care costs.

“This means that when the time comes to start paying these costs, they’ll be a big shock to budgets and financial planning.”

Ms Frake added that, while care homes provide an essential solution to the care needs of elderly people, there are “preventative steps” that can be taken to keep elderly people living safely at home for longer – such as assistive technology and in-home carers.

However, she said: “These preventative measures can’t be implemented if people simply won’t have open conversations about it.

“Our #HaveTheTalk campaign encourages people to speak with relatives sooner about their future care and support wishes to help them better prepared for the future.

“By having conversations about care earlier, people can properly plan both financially and logistically for whatever the future might hold.”


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