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Care Funding Confusion is Worrying Families

08 February 2019

  • More than half of under-55s have discussed care issues with their parents
  • Three out of four over-55s would prefer to have care at home
  • Report highlights need to consider options early and look at all funding options
Families are becoming increasingly concerned about how to fund care in later life for elderly relatives, a new report ‘Cracking the Care Code’ from the UK’s leading independent equity release adviser Key shows.
Older Generation Fiercely Independent:
Its study* found more than half (56%) of adults aged between 30 and 55 have discussed the potential need for care in later life with their parents and nearly one in five (18%) say families will either fund their parents’ care or have parents living with them.
But the message from older generations is clear – over three quarters of over-55s (77%) say they would prefer to stay in their current home or move to a more manageable house.  Just 3% of over-55s who have considered their care choices say they would move in with children.
Care Funding Conundrum:
While some over-55s have thought about the need for care, their plans around how they might finance it are less developed with just 21% saying they have made any provision for care.  An optimistic 13% believe they are wealthy enough to fund care if they need it which may prove difficult if they need to go into a residential home (c. £30,000 per annum) or need nursing care (c. £40,000 per annum).
Around 44% say they would use savings and investments to fund some or all of their care while 40% believe their pension income will be enough. Around 19% say they would need to use property wealth.
Will Hale CEO at Key said: “The big issue that all generations face is how to find the most appropriate care and more crucially how to fund it. It is an issue that the current Government is committed to tackle and that local authorities are grappling with every day but the scale of the problem is huge.
“Increasingly we are seeing people use housing equity to fund essential later life expenditure and with over-65s currently owning un-mortgaged property worth £1.1 trillion we anticipate that property wealth will have a greater role to play in how people meet care costs. Already we find that two-thirds of equity release customers use some or all of the equity they release to make home or garden improvements – helping to ensure their property can meet their changing needs.
“While few people want to consider the prospect of needing care and how they might meet this cost, it is vital that they do. Starting to think about care funding early, speaking to their families, considering all the funding options available and getting good advice is essential.  This will help people to crack the care code and ensure that they make considered sustainable choices about what is a very emotive topic.”
A Government Green Paper setting out proposals on social care for older people to “ensure that the care and support system is sustainable in the long term” is due to be published. It was first announced in the March 2017 Budget.
Key’s report Cracking the Care Code is available to download at
  • Research for the report was conducted by Opinion Matters among 1,010 adults aged between 30 and 55 and among 1,024 adults aged 55-plus between November 30th and December 5th 2018
  • Unmortgage property was sourced from Key’s Pensioner Property Equity Index tracks the amount of equity held in property by people over 65 years old in Great Britain. Figures are based on analysis of data from the ONS Family Spending Report (2014), the UK House Price Index, Registers of Scotland House Price Statistics and ICM (2014) and Key’s UK Equity Release Market Monitor. 10. ONS – Wealth in Great Britain – Wave 5 – 2014/16 – February 2018

Page last updated: Monday 30 March 2020