Planning for Golden Years; ADVERTISING FEATURE: Long-Term Care: How to Beat the Meanest of Means Tests
THE current campaign from the tax office to help ensure that retired people are not paying more tax than necessary follows on from several months of news which affects pensioners.
This summer has seen the government announce proposals in a discussion document intended to tackle the spiralling cost of care for an ageing population.
Despite making national headlines, any reform to the system would first apply only in England, and even on the Government's own timescale, the first of the changes would not be phased in until 2014 at the earliest. This leaves those who have already retired with little chance of benefiting from the changes. Currently, adults must undergo a means test if they move into a nursing home for long-term care. In Wales, those with more than pounds 22,000 in assets - almost 40 per cent of care home residents - must pay their own way. Fees average pounds 627 a week.
As a result, many elderly people are forced to sell their homes or raid savings intended for their children's inheritance. Industry experts say 45,000 people had to sell property in 2008 to pay for care home accommodation. …