Just 7% of retirees in the UK view planning for social care costs as a financial priority, while only 1% see it as their most important consideration, a recent survey by Aegon has uncovered.
The polling also found that 64% are not factoring healthcare into their retirement savings, despite declining health being the biggest concern among retirees, cited by 48% of respondents.
Two in five said that they haven’t factored in care as a future expense because they think it will be provided by the NHS, while 31% simply haven’t considered it at all.
Aegon warned that this is a risky approach with the pandemic highlighting key UK-wide problems with the funding of nursing home care.
“While the issue of social care has been brought into sharp focus as a result of Covid, the research shows consideration of how to fund it is a worryingly low priority,” said Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon.
“It may be that too many people still believe that social care funding is an issue for the government to sort out.
“Compared to other countries, UK citizens benefit greatly from having access to the NHS, but all too often, people wrongly believe that their social care needs in later life will also be taken care of by the state.”
Running out of money, the need for assistance with basic activities – such as bathing and dressing – and the need to move into a nursing home, also register high on the list of retirement concerns uncovered by the survey.
This comes after the UK government committed to setting out a new social care deal sometime this year, despite a number of delays.
Aegon said this will hopefully dispel any misconceptions around what the state will provide and clarify to people what they may be expected to contribute personally.
“The issue of social care and how to cover personal contribution to costs needs much greater consideration within the overall retirement planning process,” Cameron said.
“When the UK government does set out its new deal, it will be vital to incentivise people to plan ahead and save for their possible long-term care in older age.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings