Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green Archant My dad is in his mid-eighties and is getting quite frail. My mum died a few years ago and he gets by with a daily help coming in to clean and cook his main meal. However, he’s now struggling to get himself up and dressed and has fallen over a couple of times in his bungalow so we think it’s time to think about a care home (he agrees). He has a decent pension and an investment portfolio of around £250,000 on top of his bungalow so money isn’t too much of an issue, but he is worried that his estate will dwindle away if he spends several years in a home. Is there anything we can do to avoid this such as giving some of his estate away before he goes into care?Response from Carl Lamb of Almary GreenThere are quite strict rules to prevent “deliberate deprivation of assets” – ie people giving away large portions of their wealth in order to get state help with care fees.If someone is guilty of … [Read more...] about Ask the Expert: How can I make sure my dad doesn’t lose all his money paying his care fees?
Annuity to pay for care home fees
Most people in Britain consider owning their own homes as a higher priority than saving for retirement - but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to giving up work, according to Plymouth-based Coast Financial. Provided you've been able to pay off your mortgage, equity release is a fantastic way to use your property to help you live a more comfortable life in retirement. Martyn Burgess, independent financial advisor at Coast Financial, says: "Equity release can be used for a number of reasons: to provide you with an income; to give you a lump-sum payment; releasing money to help your children or grandchildren get on the property ladder; consolidating your outgoings (paying off a credit card) or perhaps even a holiday of a lifetime. "A lot of people are approaching retirement age and they cannot live on their state pensions, or whatever pensions they've acquired over the years, but they've been in a position to pay off their mortgages. You can use … [Read more...] about How equity release can free up money to enjoy your retirement
HOW to manage their pension is not the only challenge facing folk in retirement. Other problems include care bills, rising inflation and insurance premiums, and property maintenance costs. The consumer champion Which? talked to its retired members. asking them to name their key financial struggles. Today Mr Money looks at their concerns and how to beat them. PAYING FOR CARE Many Which? members said the biggest challenge they’d faced was finding a care home for a relative and working out how to pay for it. Those with capital of less than £23,250, or £27,250 in Scotland and £40,000 in Wales, are entitled to local council care funding. Those with complex needs can qualify for continuing healthcare, where the NHS pays nursing home fees. Self-funders face care home fees of between £32,000 and £72,000 a year. Which? member Martin Ross told of the emotional and financial stress of having to organise care for his 101-year-old mother over the past decade. Rather … [Read more...] about How OAPs can beat the financial traps lurking in pensions, care, property and insurance
RETIREMENT is a great time to return to learning and take up interests old and new. Whether you want to brush up on your languages, study on a course or explore a new hobby, it's never too late to learn. With flexible learning, it’s easier than ever to broaden your horizons and further your education. Now that you’re free from the constraints of the daily grind, you have more time and mental space to pick up a new skill or hobby. You can even combine learning with travel as there are art, cookery, writing, language and other courses that are run abroad. However, course fees, books, travel costs and equipment can mount up, particularly as you become more advanced in your studies. You may need dance clothes and shoes, art material, text books and reference books. If you’re a retired homeowner, releasing the wealth tied up in your bricks and mortar is a relatively painless way to fund further education. Equity release, also known as a lifetime mortgage, can free up … [Read more...] about How equity release can help pay for further education in later life
"If you own property abroad, be ultra-careful as property inheritance laws in other countries are quite different to ours," said Paul Kenny, the former Pensions Ombudsman who is now a course leader with the Retirement Planning Council. Should you own a European property for example, in addition to your Irish will, you must usually make a foreign will in the country where your property is situated - where you set out who you wish to pass that property onto. "If you have property in France and you don't have a French will, automatic intestacy comes into force," said Kenny. With intestacy, it is ultimately the law that decides who inherits your wealth and property and so if you have a French property and haven't drawn up a French will for that property, French intestacy rules will apply to it after you pass away. "Under French intestacy rules, children have a higher priority than a spouse - and it's a similar situation in Spain and Portugal," said Kenny. This is different to Irish law, … [Read more...] about Act now to protect inheritance pot earmarked for loved ones