Majority of over-45s facing care costs ‘would turn to a professional adviser’

More than half of Britons aged over 45 would find it “helpful” to be referred to a professional financial adviser to assist them in making plans to meet care costs for themselves or a loved one.

Research conducted for Just Group’s Care Report 2019 found that 53% of over-45s said they would find a referral from their local council for professional advice a supportive move, with only 22% saying they would not find it helpful.

The study also showed that people would be keen to pursue a referral to an adviser, with 37% saying they would arrange to meet up in person, 14% intending to get in touch by email or online, and 11% planning to speak to them over the phone.

The Just Group added that currently, just 3% of 45-54 year olds and 5% of 55-64 year olds in the UK had made specific provisions to cover care costs.

“When people are faced with a major financial decision such as paying care fees, the evidence is that most of them would welcome professional support,” said Just Group communications director Stephen Lowe. “Two-thirds of over-45s who had personal experience of finding long-term care for an elderly relative or friend said it was difficult to find the right information, and eight out of 10 said they found the care system complex.

“With the number of people needing to pay for care either at home or in a residential home set to rise, there’s a real need for advice firms to help people through a difficult and complex system,” Lowe continued.

“Many advice firms recognise the growing opportunity but are perhaps wary of the complexity given the interaction of both regulated financial advice and non-regulated areas such as state benefits, treatment of the home in the means test and deliberate deprivation rules. Having the right qualifications provides a solid foundation, but advisers also need experience and the requisite soft skills to deal with both the clients and their families who may be organising the care.”

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