If you have clients who have already taken care of – and more importantly, funded – their potential later life care needs, let me be the first to congratulate them for their admirable powers of foresight. They certainly are in a very select group of people.
For everyone else – and I’m guessing that’s at least 99% of them – the thorny issue of planning for a future that may involve having to live with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke or frailty is one which grows ever more relevant with every passing year.
To be fair, it’s not as if there’s currently a glut of financial products for long-term care. After all, the former UK pensions minister, Steve Webb, recently referred to these products as being something that “no one wants to buy”. But that doesn’t make it any less of a burning issue for you, your clients or society at large.
Look at the data, which all appears to be pointing one way: at current rates, around a million people in the UK will have dementia by 2025, rising to two million by 2050. As a result, consumer research into views on later life conducted by Vitality revealed that 71% of us expect a steep increase in the numbers needing later-life care. However, only 12% expect the NHS to foot the bill. 58% worry about developing Alzheimer’s/dementia and an equal percentage worry about being able to perform activities of daily living, yet only 20% of us expect our children to support us. Understandably, therefore, 68% of people worry about future care costs, with 58% struggling to even quantify them. Without wanting to sound alarmist, but with later-life care bills currently running at £100,000 on average, it’s unlikely personal savings will be able to fill such a gap.
So there’s little point ignoring the issue, particularly as the increase in later life conditions and the rise in life expectancy seem set to continue. It’s precisely why we’ve made considerable efforts to come up with a world-first for the protection industry: the Dementia and FrailCare Cover plan, designed to help support people as they prepare for their later years, whatever they may bring.
It’s an integrated product, available on Serious Illness Cover at no extra upfront cost or underwriting, that could help towards the cost of caring for dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and frailty. For the duration of the cover term, your clients enjoy the highest levels of serious illness protection. Then, when the term ends, it automatically converts into a fund to help pay for their later life care.
Of course, as the insurer that rewards clients for positive lifestyle habits, following our healthy living programme over the long term can also help protect them against the onset of later-life conditions in the first place. Together with the added financial security our new plan brings, we hope this is an important first step on the long road to addressing this urgent social issue. Because, however much we try to avoid it now, it’s something the vast majority of your clients will have to face eventually.
 Alzheimer's Research UK, Prevalence by age in the UK, 2018
 Internal Vitality research: research design – 1001 robust online consumer interviews. 585 SIC/CIC plan owners aged 30-70 and 416 SIC/CIC considerers aged 30-50, with broad spread of age/gender/geographies conducted 10-15 August 2018