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Over half of Brits think homes should be sold to pay for care

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Property is the most practical solution for funding care in later life, according to a survey from Partnership.

The majority of over-45s now believe that taxpayers should not cover care costs if people could pay for themselves by selling their homes.

More than half of over-45s (53%) agree that those needing to pay care costs in later life should not rely on State funding if they have a property to sell, the highest number since the research began in 2012.

And more than one in four expect to use the value tied up in their own homes to pay for care costs, either by selling the property or renting it out.

Despite assurances that new care funding legislation means “no one need face unlimited care costs or the prospect of selling their home in their lifetime”, two-thirds of over-45s think people can be forced to sell their home to pay for care.

No plan in place

Only 6% of over-45s have included care costs in their financial planning, a number that is rising but remains low. If they needed to pay for residential care – a cost that on average could be up to £2,900 a month and often much higher – one in five (20%) said they would sell their home and a further 6% said they would rent it out.

Someone selling the average property In England (valued at £223,876) could fund residential care for 7.3 years and nursing care for 5.4 years.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Retirement, said: “People are becoming more realistic about the potential high costs they may face if they do need to pay for care either in their own home or in a residential home.

“But there’s still not a lot of evidence that people are taking action now to prepare for those costs. If they do need to generate cash then many are expecting to fall back on the value tied up in their homes along with pension income and any savings they have.

“Where the home is someone’s biggest asset, tapping into that wealth is likely to be the only practical solution if they need to go into a residential or nursing home costing tens of thousands each year.”