Retirees reluctant to give up home in exchange for care

Recent data indicates that the majority of retirees are reluctant to give up their homes in order to cover the cost of social care.

The research from Aegon corresponds with ongoing reports into the UK’s ageing population. Findings from Age UK revealed that whilst growth in life expectancy is slowing, it is still continuing to increase. It found that nearly one in four UK citizens will be over the age of 65 by 2040. This puts the current care system in a difficult position in terms of finances and resources, with the need for a refreshed solution pressing on both the NHS and the government.

In terms of assessment for social care costs, the value of property is likely to be included to reduce the overall expense. However, the research found that 61% of respondents were unwilling for their home to be included in the calculation. Older groups were most likely to object to the stance, the demographic who were also most likely to own their own home. Of those asked aged 65 or over, 73% were disinclined to relinquish their property when covering care costs.

Whilst one in four feels that all costs should be funded by the government, 87% believed there should be an overall cap on how much an individual should contribute.

Commenting on the research was pensions director at Aegon, Steven Cameron. He highlighted the need for the social care crisis to be properly addressed, stating: “We should celebrate the fact that on average, people in the UK are living longer, but at the same time we need to face up to the growing crisis around how we pay for the increasing number of elderly who’ll need some form of social care.”

“Taking people’s house value into account when determining if people have sufficient assets to be paying for care may prove controversial with a clear majority of people unwilling to sacrifice their home.”

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