Over the last few weeks I have been learning about an organization called SOLLA. SOLLA or the Society of Later Life Advisers is a non-profit organisation that promotes the needs of people seeking advice about financial issues in later life. SOLLA accredits financial advisors so that they are in a position to advise people about a range of investment and insurance products. Accredited members have also been awarded the Later Life Adviser Accreditation which is independently audited and endorsed by the Government Body, the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) and follows a strict code of conduct.

Over the last few days I have met with a few SOLLA finance professionals and I have been impressed by their depth of knowledge both regarding financial matters as well as care.

George Ttouli of Burlington Wealth Management reminded me that if you live in England and your personal assets are more than £23,250, you have to pay the cost of the long term care you will receive. This means that a large proportion of people need to have a financial plan in place regarding their care. Yet less than 15% of people who do not qualify for financial support will have sought appropriate, and regulated, financial advice before starting care.**

In 2017, there were 1.6 million people living in the UK over 85 (2.3% of the population) –this figure is expected to rise more than 5 times to 7.4 million in 2086 (8.7% of population).**

A Laing and Buisson Report stated that the ‘single’ average cost in a residential care home is around £31,200 a year, increasing to over £43,737 for those receiving nursing care, and with the average stay at about three years, the costs are substantial.**

Fortunately homecare is far more cost effective and flexible than residential care which means that care costs are not normally prohibitive initially. However should you decide to eventually move into residential care or have more extensive homecare support, costs can significantly increase.

George says “If you need care, and have to fund the costs yourself, there are many things that you will need to consider. Not only will it be important that you receive the right care that you have chosen, but you will also need to consider whether you can afford to pay the fees for as long as is needed. You may also wish to protect your wealth so that some inheritance may be passed on to the next generation. These are without doubt the two biggest concerns I hear in all my discussions with individuals.”

If you would like further information or would welcome a personal discussion about financial planning for care, please visit the SOLLA website – www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk for details of SOLLA accredited advisors.

Visiting Angels – South Herts is pleased to be affiliated with SOLLA.

* Powers of Attorney involve the referral to a service which is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James’s Place and are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Sources:** Laing and Buisson Report 2016/17