Following the latest insight into seniors housing released last week by Irwin Mitchell & Knight Frank, it is alarming to think that nearly half of local authorities have not put plans in place to provide sufficient age appropriate housing. Given the forecast that one in four people will be over the age of 65 by 2037 this is certainly a significant problem.
What does this mean for the individual?
We’ve always suggested that people need to think about their years during later life; where they are going to live; how is it going to be funded; will you need care or medical support and how will this be provided. This report shows that this is even more important now, than it has been, as the housing facilities you may assume would be there, just might not be. You might need to think about alternative arrangements, if your first choice is not available.
So what should you do?
Firstly, work out what you would like and where you would like to be living. If appropriate, talk to your friends or your family and gain their views or opinions. Once you have thought about all this then put into place some planning. Think about what you can afford. If you are not sure then financial advisors can assist with cash flow planning and forecasting to help you.
Speak to a later life specialist
Have you got your affairs in order; do you need to do a power of attorney to make sure if you are unable to make decisions yourself, do you have someone to do this for you? Make sure you understand and have thought through what might be required and talked through any concerns you may have. Assisted living and retirement villages are only a couple of options available and there may be others that you have not considered that would also be appropriate and may suit you better.
Gifting to your loved ones
You may also want to think about your estate planning, your Will and your future beneficiaries. Have you, for example, always intended to leave your property to children; will it need to be sold to potentially fund any care? All these are very real concerns that individuals have and with thought and careful planning, can sometimes be mitigated or alternative solutions found.
The sooner you give thought to these matters and begin planning for your later life, the more straightforward it becomes and the more control you have over what happens. Sadly, emergency or critical housing situations arising for elderly people are common place so it is much better to have given these matters some thought in advance. This is not only for your own peace of mind but so that your friends and family understand what you would like to happen and where you would like to live as you get older.