Over-50s worried care costs will mean they lose their family home
Two out of three (66%) homeowners aged 50-plus are worried they will be forced to sell their family home to afford later life care, according Nationwide.
The building society found that nearly half (46%) of those aged over 50 expect to sell their property so that they can pay for assisted living support in a care home.
The cost of residential care has rocketed in recent years, with the typical cost now over £33,000 a year. In the last 20 years, it has been estimated that more than 330,000 older people have had to sell their homes to pay for care costs.
Older homeowners in the West Midlands are most concerned about affording elderly care (75%), while those in London are the least worried (60%).
But across the country most would prefer to have care at home rather than moving into a care or nursing home.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of those over the age of 50 would either consider moving or already have moved to a bungalow to avoid the need to go upstairs which would enable them to live independently for longer.
However, if older homeowners do need later life assistance, more than half (52%) would prefer to continue living alone with outside help from a daily carer that lives separately.
A further 23% would prefer to continue living alone, but with a family member close by for help.
Only two per cent would consciously choose to move to a care home if they needed support in completing everyday tasks.
How to fund care
If people are considering borrowing in later life, they should seek advice to ensure they understand all the options open to them as there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
Jason Hurwood, Nationwide’s director of home propositions, said: “As life expectancy has steadily increased, so too has the challenge of funding later life care for many. To help people make their choice we need to consider their circumstances and outline all the available options. It is simply not good enough that they walk away with any product but the right product.
“If someone is looking to raise additional funding to pay for care, there are a number of options. One is to downsize or move to a cheaper area; alternatively, you could make changes to your current home that can support you as you grow older. Depending on your individual circumstances, releasing equity in your home is another option that many choose. However, this is a major financial decision and we’d always strongly recommend seeking independent financial advice to understand all of your options before progressing.”