Blunkett told the annual Counsel and Care lecture that elderly people should use equity release to help fund their long term care.
Through equity release programmes, a proportion of assets could alleviate the need to sell up or to enter residential care by offering the cash needed to sustain the existing lifestyle. There is a total of £700 billion tied up in home ownership by those in retirement.
David Blunkett MP, Counsel and Care’s Graham Lecture 04.09.08
I’ve talked about this issue before – and I agree with Mr Blunkett – there is no way we can expect to fund everybody’s retirement years. Nor should we when there are many who can afford to do so themselves through equity release. Mr Blunkett goes on:
Just to meet population growth alone, the most pessimistic estimate of the cost of social care predicts an expected rise in spending from £10.1bn in 2002 to £24bn by 2026 – a rise of almost half a percentage point of GDP. This is totally unrealistic – an impossible dream – and fails to acknowledge that this generation are substantially healthier and better equipped to manage their own care with the help of family and friends rather than a reliance on the state.
And just to put the final nail in the coffin for our dear old nanny state, Blunkett tells us to work until we drop:
That all of us, every one of us who is capable of doing so, should aspire to continue with some meaningful activity to the point of our incapacity overtaking us.
Can’t we have just a few years of leisure?! Please? Equity release just has to play a part in enjoying retirement now. With so little proper financial planning done by most people during our working lives (we’re too poor to afford proper financial advice) the majority have no viable alternative.