Is A Blind Eye Being Turned to Realities of Later Life Care?
A new YouGov survey has the South East as home to the highest percentage of people who think they know the cost of a care home, but the region turns a blind eye to the financial realities of care in later life.
The survey, commissioned by leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell, shows 39% of adults in the South East think they know the cost of care; but a Which? survey suggests people in the region are still underestimating that cost by as much as £19,339 a year.
At £1,087 a week, the South East currently has the highest average weekly nursing home fees in the UK outside London, yet when asked, people estimated the cost at just £715.
The findings show the South East is a region of contrasts, where 61% wish to pass on assets outside a will to reduce inheritance tax (against a national average of 54%) and 72% want to do so to support family and give money to their grandchildren. Both figures are only beaten into second in the survey by the North East.
The report also makes clear that people in the South East want to pass on their assets; 39% believe assets should only be passed on in a will, the highest of any region in the survey.
The survey showed a national crisis across the board when it comes to care home fee planning, with 80% of the country not currently saving for any fees in later life, leaving expert lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell concerned for the future.
Expert Opinion“The figures the South East are the most alarming in the survey, whichever way you look at them. Even if adults are knowingly underestimating care costs, it still doesn’t explain why so many are not saving for future care and don’t plan to.
“There is expected to be a £36bn shortfall for social care, so it makes sense for adults of any age in the South East to consider saving for care home fees as important as saving into a pension.
“People may wish to pass on their wealth through their estate but in failing to adequately plan for the future or knowingly turning a blind eye to the true cost of care, then people are in for an unpleasant surprise and look set to face harsh realities in the future.” Kelly Greig - Partner