One in three expect to have to sell their home to pay for their care

One in three people over 45 expect to have sell their home to pay for their care, according to new research.

In a new report by financial services company Just Group, respondents felt housing was their most likely source of care funding (33%), followed 31% who said savings, 28% pensions and income, and 28% who thought the state would pay. More than one in five (21%) said they did not know how they would cover the cost of their care.

The report follows the government’s delay of its Green Paper on social care until the autumn (see Government postpones Green Paper until the autumn).

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“With the number of over-80s set to nearly double in the next 20 years there is a desperate need for clear direction so this latest delay, on top of all the others, is a serious setback,” said Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group.

“This research shows significant numbers of over 45s see the value tied up in property as part of the solution to care funding so there is a level of pragmatism to build on. Yet we know from previous research that more than half are delaying care planning until the new rules are introduced.”

One third of people agreed that the state should not pay for their care if they could use the value of their home to pay for it, compared with 35% who disagreed and 32% with no opinion.

However, seven in 10 respondents said care costs should be reclaimed from a house sale after death for people with a home worth £500,000 and no other assets.

Of these, 13% said up the full sale value should be reclaimable, with 56% saying a limited value should be reclaimable.

“Rates of home ownership are highest among pensioners so property equity has the potential to deliver many more billions into the care sector,” Stephen said.

“People are receptive to using property wealth at least up to a limit, with the state stepping in after that.”

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