Majority of over-45s would find referral to adviser ‘helpful’, study finds

More than half (55%) of over-45s would find a referral to a financial adviser ‘helpful’ when planning future care costs, according to new research from Just Group.

The Just Group Care Report 2020, the eighth in a research series dating back to 2012, suggested the majority of over-45s would find a referral from their local council to an independent financial adviser helpful when planning finances for care in later life.

The findings also indicated that 35% said they would then meet an adviser in person with a further 26% likely to make contact by phone or online.

Just Group said its data for the research was compiled through an online survey among 1,002 adults aged 45 years and older in England and Northern Ireland, conducted between January and February 2020 by Opinium. Supplementary COVID-19 data was also compiled through an online survey in May among 1,000 adults aged over 45, also across England and Northern Ireland.

Group communications director at Just Group, Stephen Lowe, suggested that the evidence shows people want help understanding their options on paying for care, and described organising care as an “onerous undertaking”.

“Of those who have already co-ordinated care for an elderly relative, nearly eight in ten (78%) thought the system was too complex to navigate, and over three-quarters (77%) found the whole process of finding care stressful,” Lowe commented.

He added that advisers with professional qualifications, knowledge and experience of the care market have a “clear business opportunity” to provide financial planning to those organising immediate care for relatives, or future care for themselves.

“There is currently a large gap between the high number who would welcome a referral to a financial adviser from their council and a much smaller number who would think about contacting an adviser unprompted.

“Advice firms may see the opportunity but are perhaps wary of the complexity given the interaction of both regulated financial advice and non-regulated areas such as state benefits, treatment of the home in the means test and deliberate deprivation rules.

“There is support available from providers such as Just Group through our care and vulnerability training and also organisations such as The Society of Later Life Advisers to help advisers understand the regulatory and practical issues of moving into this market.”

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