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Coping with ill health

If you fall ill during your retirement, it's possible that you won't be able to cope alone and may need long-term care. If this happens, you should look into what help or benefits you could get from the government, your local council or other organisations.

Usually, there are two options for receiving long-term care:

  • You continue to live in your own home and receive visits from carers or have a live-in carer
  • You move into a residential care home.

Let us tell you a bit more about each of these options.

Receiving care in your own home

Being able to stay in your home is often a great comfort if you are ill. You may be able to cope if you make a few modifications to your home, such as installing a stair lift or a wheelchair ramp. If you need the help of a carer, they can visit you in your home or even move in with you.

In either case, though, you may be worried about how you'll meet the costs. One option you have is to use equity release to access the money you have tied up in your property to meet your expenses, without having to leave your home. Your property is likely to be your most valuable asset, so it could make sense to use it to cover the costs of modifications or care.

Releasing equity from your home is a big decision, so you must talk to a financial adviser about it. They will be able to give you full details, assess your situation and advise you on whether it's right for you. They'll discuss the minimum property values that apply and the costs involved. They'll also explain how your tax position and entitlement to means-tested benefits may be affected and how the inheritance you leave will be reduced. If you have any queries or need information, talk to a member of our team by calling 0800 092 5852. If you want financial advice, please contact your Financial Adviser. If you don't have a Financial Adviser you can find one via www.equityreleasecouncil.com/member-directory/. The companies listed may not be able to give independent advice.

This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

Moving into a care home

If you need to move into a residential care home, your local council will carry out a financial assessment to find out whether you have to pay for your own care costs.

The council won't include your home in its calculations if one of the following people also lives in the house:

  • Your husband, wife, partner or civil partner
  • A close relative who is 60 or over, or incapacitated
  • A close relative under the age of 16 who you're legally liable to support
  • Your ex-husband, ex-wife, ex-civil partner or ex-partner if they are a lone parent.

If the council includes your home when they calculate your assets, you may have to consider selling or renting the property to cover your care home bills. Equity release isn't an option if you need to move into a residential care home as equity release plans end when you leave your home.

Find out more about paying for care

You can find more information about paying for care at the government's website, www.gov.uk

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WC04047 04/2014

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