Long-term care: why you need to plan now

 10 August 2021
Long-term care: why you need to plan now

There’s good news for anyone about to retire - you may have over 30 years of retirement to enjoy! As we revealed in our previous article, a recent EU report states that:

“There will be close to half a million centenarians in the EU-27 by 2050.”

Given that most people retire around the age of 65, the good news is that if you’re about to retire, you could be one of these receiving a birthday card from the King (we assume!) in 2056. On average, you are very likely to live to at least 85 years, and probably with some form of long-term care involved.

 

Long life doesn’t necessarily include good health

Unless you are extremely lucky, your current good health will generally not last as long as your lifespan. According to the same EU report, only a proportion of your post-retirement years will be spent in good health:

“Across the EU-27 in 2018, women aged 65 years could expect to live, on average, for 10.0 years of their remaining lives in a healthy condition, while the comparable figure for older men was lower, at 9.8 years.”

Many factors contribute to the decline in health, which in turn is linked to a decline in the ability to live independently. The report notes that one of the reasons for this is:

“The relatively high share of older people (aged 65+) who suffer from physical and sensory functional limitations, impacting on their vision, hearing, mobility, communication or ability to remember.”

 

Mobility is key

As anyone with ageing parents of their own will know, one of the key factors restricting activity is declining mobility. The EU report says that almost 30% of people aged 75 and over have “severe” difficulties in walking. Around 25% of all women aged 65 and over have difficulties in walking.

If these figures sound depressing, it’s important to remember that ageing usually results in a gradual decline in mobility. So you have time to adapt and adjust your lifestyle accordingly over a period of years.

 

Plan early, enjoy life more

This is where long-term care planning can really help. With provision made for your long-term care in advance, you can live your active, fit, healthy and mobile retirements years (or even decades) to the full. You can tap into that care provision when you need to, whether to adapt your current house or move to a more suitable property.

Long-term care provision can help you continue to live in your own home with the level of care you might require later in life. (North Americans call this ageing in place, which is a great way of putting it.)

This can begin with a little extra help with house chores and gardening, and progress to daily care visits if and when required. If you or your partner need residential care, again your long-term care estate planning would be in place. So, you can transition smoothly and easily at the time you need to, and not wait and worry until circumstances force your hand.

 

Ageing parents leading the way

If you have ageing parents of your own, you’ve probably been down some of this route with them already. Speaking from personal and professional experience, the 85+ generation who do have long-term care planning in place are generally upbeat, determined, and with a positive outlook.

Consider Captain Sir Tom Moore, who decided to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. In the process, the WWII veteran also raised £33m for the NHS, was knighted by The Queen, promoted to the rank of colonel, and had a number 1 single. As he said on the occasion of his 100th birthday:

“I have renewed purpose and have thoroughly enjoyed every second of this exciting adventure ... My legs may be tired, but my mind is racing.”

 

Time to make your move to long-term care planning

If your mind is racing about how to incorporate long-term care provision into your estate planning, please do get in touch. Panthera Estate Planning can advise on estate planning whether you are about to retire, in the early stages or well into your retirement routine.

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