I have a 2 year old daughter and she can expect to live beyond 100. I can’t wait for the party.
I also have an 18 year old who is off to uni next year. So, for now, she lives in our house, drives round in our car putting petrol in with our money, eating our food and now even drinking our beer (for the record, she deserves everything she gets!).
But in ten years’ time, she will have her own money, her own house and car, and beer.
Go forward another 30 years, when I will be sitting with my feet up in a shiny care home; hopefully with all my marbles, (possibly not).
My question is, whose money will that be that I am spending on my care? Will my daughters be counting the cost to their future of me being kept comfy in expensive surroundings?
Is it right that we get to the stage where we see our parents’ money as ours? It will be an uncomfortable future where ‘children’ in their 70s watch their inheritance being spent on their parents’ care. But that is a fundamental issue isn’t it?
So, who is going to pay? We expect that Care should be free care ‘from cradle to grave’ but the money has to come from somewhere; from general taxation, from our own savings or from an insurance scheme yet to be introduced (and National Insurance just won’t cover it as the system is currently structured).
The last proposal was to impose a £72,000 cap on how much individuals would have to pay for their care, but that was not really a cap. It left an unlimited liability of what we would pay for the accommodation part of residential care.
Theresa May proposed to do away with the cap but to introduce a threshold of £100,000 of assets that everyone would be left with. For us in Cumbria, this is the nub of it.
Interestingly, the UK average house price is £218,000 according to gov.uk. That is just over twice the proposed new limit and bear in mind that we are in an area of below average house values.
So, Theresa may have been silly enough to lose your vote by saying the system can’t fund care for everyone whilst we save up to pass our money on to our children. Whether she was right is a personal view. But if the £100,000 threshold comes in, with proper planning you should be able to protect your house to pass on to your children, and that ticks the box for a lot of people.