SOLLA Conference 2016 review
The annual conference for the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) held in October 2016 proved to be a thought-provoking and informative event. A number of speakers shared their views on the provision of care and support to those in later life.
One speaker in particular, Professor Keith Brown, spoke with passion about the increased prevalence of scams being played on vulnerable people in our society, many of whom are elderly and live alone. More needs to be done to tackle the ever increasing problem which is estimated to affect more than 3 million older people each year and can often deprive them of their life savings as well as causing anxiety, loss of dignity and other psychological issues.
Once drawn into a scam, many will end up on ‘suckers lists’ which are sold on amongst fraudsters and will frequently result in those on the lists being targeted repeatedly. National Trading Standards have obtained 15 such lists to date, detailing 260,000 vulnerable people susceptible to scams. The average age of those on these lists is 74.
Funding care fees was of course discussed at length. With the cap on care fees being deferred until 2020 many are facing spiralling care costs which may well deplete savings down to just £14,000 or so. Care homes are facing staffing shortages, which is widely expected to worsen following the Brexit vote and the potential that many European Union (EU) workers will now choose to work outside the UK. It is expected that many care homes will close as a result of this and other financial pressures they are facing which in turn is likely to put increased pressure on the NHS and local authorities.
The conference was not all doom and gloom, however, new providers are coming to the market and there is a willingness by some to develop new solutions to care fees funding. Equity Release is becoming more popular and interest rates on Lifetime Mortgages can now be as low as 3.7% AER which make them much more attractive than in the past. It is estimated that £1.4 trillion of housing equity is owned by people in retirement and this figure is expected to grow. Accessing housing equity in retirement is an expanding market which is positive for generating competition and innovation.
Should you wish to discuss later life financial planning for yourself or a loved one, please do contact Sarah Travers at Fiducia Wealth Management Ltd on 01206 321045. Sarah is a SOLLA Member by Accreditation.
If you would like to know more about how we as Financial Advisers can help you with your or a loved one’s Long Term Care needs and general latter life planning then visit the Later Life Planning section of our website: Later Life Planning or send us email at: email@example.com
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