Later life care: a matter for all to consider

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Justin Taurog discusses the later life opportunity for advisers and clients.

In association with 

vitality-rgb

There has been a lot of talk about later life care in the press recently, so it seems like an appropriate time to discuss this with your clients. However, not all advisers are comfortable about how to broach this subject and how to weave into the sales process.

 An opportunity for advisers

With a growing number of people requiring care in the future, and 5.8 million people in the UK already providing some form of informal care for family or friends, the chances are that many of your clients will have seen first-hand the importance of care, and the need to plan ahead.

As later life care becomes more topical, now is the time to ensure you are helping your clients plan ahead for one of their greatest financial needs in the future. What’s more, innovative later life protection products allow you to revisit existing customers, and open up a conversation without having to find new customers.

What can later life protection products do?

Later life protection products, such as LifestyleCare Cover, which VitalityLife launched in November last year, allow clients to draw down early on their whole of life cover if they suffer a later life condition requiring care.

The lump sum can be used to pay for modifications at home, or towards care costs, helping people to remain independent for longer or giving them more choice. 

How does care fit into a protection conversation?

It’s very well saying that it should be discussed, it’s going to be one of the biggest social challenges in the coming years. The need is clear, but how do we approach later life care with clients? There are potentially a few ways the topic of care could be introduced into a protection conversation:

More flexible whole of life cover

For clients who are considering whole of life cover, asking them the simple question of whether they would also like the flexibility to draw down on some of that cover early in certain circumstances if they require care may allow you to open up a conversation about the benefits of later life protection.

Serious illness/critical illness cover customers

Many existing clients may have taken out serious illness cover or critical illness cover in relation to a mortgage. These clients will already appreciate the value of having cover in the event of a serious illness. Once their mortgage is paid off there may be an opportunity to revisit these clients to help them plan for their needs in later years, including care needs.

The risk of illness will have become even greater for these individuals, and later life protection could provide a way to protect against the financial impact of serious illnesses that are more prevalent at older ages, such as severe stroke, dementia and Parkinson’s.

Carers

If your clients are one of the 5.8 million people providing some form of informal care to a relative, they are likely to appreciate the impact of degenerative conditions such as dementia, and the value of support in these circumstances. People who are carers today may be more mindful to ensure their own independence in the future so they don’t place a burden on their own children.

Sandwich generation

It’s not just carers who will appreciate the need, those in the sandwich generation, a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children, will also be considerate of their future needs, the costs and not becoming a burden on their own children.

Aside from protection, what are the alternatives?

Later life protection products are a way for clients to ‘pre-fund’ some of their care needs. However, there are of course alternatives, including state support and point-of-care solutions.

Starting with state support, we know that the strain of an ageing population is set to put a strain on government funds. So although today clients will benefit from support from their local authority if they live in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland and have less than £23,250 in assets or savings (£23,750 if they live in Wales). This threshold is set to increase as the government introduces its new care funding measures over the next few years. 

 

 

 

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