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More than 7 in 10 over 60s haven't thought about planning for later life care

  • More than two fifths (44%) say they will not think about care until either they or a family member gets an illness
  • 28% have put off thinking about care because it is emotionally overwhelming
  • A quarter (25%) have put off thinking about care due to the financial anxiety

 

New research from Canada Life1 reveals that more than seven in 10 (72%) of over 60s have not thought about planning for later life care, despite the fact that requests for later life care are on the rise. In 2019/20 1.9 million people requested support from their council, an increase of over 100,000 than in 2015/16.2

 

The reasons for not thinking about care are wide ranging. Over two fifths (44%) say they will not think about care until either they or a family member gets an illness, while more than a quarter (28%) have put off thinking about care because it is emotionally overwhelming. Additionally, a quarter (25%) have put off thinking about care because of the financial anxiety surrounding it. 

 

Worryingly, nearly one in 10 (8%) do not think it is their responsibility to think about their care needs, and they believe the State or a family member should pick it up. 

 

Among those who have thought about planning for care, half (49%) have discussed it with family members, followed by a quarter (27%) who are actively saving and building up investments to pay for it, and 17% who are cutting unnecessary spending. Other steps over 60s have taken when thinking about later life care include:

  • Actively budgeting - 14%
  • Finalised their care plans - 11%
  • Discussing it with friends - 10%
  • Researching costs involved for in-house support - 10%
  • Researching costs involved for a care home - 9%

 

Alice Watson, Head of Marketing, Insurance, Canada Life, comments: “While we often don’t like to think about the worst that could happen, with people living longer and retirement lasting several decades, planning for later life care is a reality for many of us. Add to this the increase in social care needs across the country, it’s worrying to see how few people have planned for later life care and why they are delaying thinking about it, whether that be financial or emotional barriers. 

 

“Looking ahead, we must continue to encourage people to think about their needs at different stages of retirement, no matter how difficult this may be. Not only is it important to discuss plans with family members, but speaking with a financial adviser is a sensible place to start. These professionals can help highlight how different financial assets, such as a property or pension, can be used to meet the needs of an ageing population.”

 

 

1 Research conducted by Opinium among 2000 UK adults between 20-24 May 2022

2 https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/audio-video/key-facts-figures-adult-social-care