The role of equity release in the social care conundrum
17 July 2019
Home is where the heart is – in the UK
The global retirement survey from international pensions and investment company Aegon1 reveals the extent to which people in the UK want to maintain their independence for as long as possible – and how much stronger this desire is than in other countries. Of the UK respondents:
- 92% think it’s important that they remain in their own home as they get older
- 74% said it was very or extremely important to them to remain in their own home, compared to 58% in the Netherlands and 43% in Japan.
- 40% stated that losing their independence was a retirement concern
- 29% were concerned about needing to move into a nursing home
The social care policy implications
In the light of its survey, Aegon says the government needs to factor in UK individual’s desire to stay in their own homes for as long as possible when it publishes its delayed social care Green Paper. “Aegon’s research clearly shows people’s attitudes towards home ownership and the importance of independence,” commented Pensions Director at Aegon, Steven Cameron. “The funding of social care is an emotive subject, but there’s a very audible message that people want to remain in their home, rather than having to sell it as a means for paying for residential social care. This needs to be factored into the Government’s solution for stable and sustainable social care funding.”
How equity release can support independent living in older age
While the question of how social care is funded is still being debated nationally, equity release can provide solutions to help you continue to live independently in your own home through funding home modifications and by helping you to meet home care or nursing-at-home fees.
Funding home modifications
Aegon’s research also found that:
- 33% of people in the UK plan to have bathroom modifications in their home as they get older
- 27% plan to install home security systems
- 27% plan to install panic buttons to call emergency services.
If these are solutions that you are considering to help you feel confident staying in your own home, equity release can provide a way of funding these modifications if you don’t have sufficient savings.
You may also be eligible for a grant from your local authority to help you adapt your home. Each council has its own rules about the type of support it will offer and specific conditions that must be met to qualify for help. Age UK has some helpful advice.
Funding home care and nursing fees
Domiciliary and nursing-care in your own home can give you vital support to enable you to continue to live independently – but it comes at a cost. If you’re not sure how you might pay for the support you need to stay in your own home, our expert advisers can help you explore whether releasing equity from your home could be a viable solution.
Aegon’s survey adds further evidence to the fact that people want to stay in their own homes as they get older. Equity release can be a viable option to pay for the care you need to help you stay in your home, or to update your home to enable you to retain your independence for as long as possible.
1https://www.aegon.co.uk/content/ukpaw/news/social_care_greenpapermustfactorinindividualsattachmenttotheirho.html – research carried out between 22 January and 14 February 2019