The Wealth Care Partnership was recommended and provided both Doreen and Kathleen with the plain-English answers they needed to make informed decisions about Doreen’s financial future, as well as the practical means by which to move her to the residential home of her choice.
With a plan in place, Doreen no longer feels isolated or worried about her finances, leaving her free to enjoy the company of the other residents and staff at the residential home in Bournemouth, with her own room overlooking the sea.
After pensioner Doreen Dowle sadly lost her husband, Harold in 2009, she was faced with the same financial worry that thousands of pensioners and their families face every year: how to fund long term care in a residential or nursing care home, for the rest of her life.
Doreen took the decision to move to a residential care home after she had returned by herself to the home in a quiet cul-de-sac she and Harold had shared for many years. “I felt so isolated,” she said. “There was very little traffic, it was very quiet and not many people called on me as the neighbours both worked.” Having had no children, Doreen enlisted the help of her great friend and past neighbour, Kathleen Russell, who also agreed to act as her attorney.
Kathleen said: “Doreen was very concerned. Although she had the funds from the sale of the house, she was frightened to spend anything in case it meant that a few years down the line there wasn’t enough for her to pay for the residential care home.
“We sought financial advice from the bank and the Pensioners Society, of which Doreen is a member, and at the same time we found a Guide from The Wealth Care Partnership in the foyer of the residential care home. By coincidence, the manager there also recommended The Wealth Care Partnership and we felt it was a good idea to follow up on the recommendation. I called and spoke to Tim Anstee, a Partner at The Wealth Care Partnership and arranged for him to come and see us. We listened to what he and the ‘other guys’ had to say.”
Together, Doreen and Kathleen started to look for a suitable residential care home and soon found one close to the sea in Bournemouth, which was very much to Doreen’s liking. “Kathleen made enquiries and found the home,” she said. “I came to see it and I was very impressed, especially with my room which has a lovely view of the sea. I couldn’t get there quickly enough!”
With Doreen’s mind made up, they set about selling the house to enable Doreen to move, but didn’t know where to start when it came to ensuring that the proceeds of the house would pay for the new home for the rest of Doreen’s life. There was a real concern that Doreen’s outgoings were going to exceed her income.
Doreen and Kathleen had invited Tim Anstee to visit them at Doreen’s home to take the details he would need to provide the options available to Doreen. As a Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) accredited adviser, Tim’s job was to communicate the financial information to Doreen and Kathleen in a manner with which they could easily understand, he focussed on their objectives to produce a high amount of income and provide confidence to Doreen that she would not outlive her estate.
Tim explained: “The financial world can be very complicated. At The Wealth Care Partnership we know that it is extremely important that we explain everything very clearly and plainly. This was a life-long decision for Doreen, and both she and Kathleen had to know exactly what the advice I gave them meant.”
Doreen had explained to Tim that it was her express wish that she could stay in the residential care home for the rest of her life, using her own capital and assets. Tim was then able to provide Doreen and Kathleen with an illustration of how the proceeds of the house and Doreen’s pension could be used to provide a steady income to pay for Doreen’s care.
The initial meeting outlined the steps to secure the income, after which there was a two week break for Doreen and Kathleen to digest the information and decide what to do.
Tim then visited Doreen and Kathleen again to complete a form to ascertain Doreen’s exact requirements and capital. Armed with this information, Tim was then able to contact the different financial providers to obtain quotes. Four weeks later, he provided the exact figures to Doreen and Kathleen. The quote was available for 30 days, giving time for Doreen and Kathleen to discuss it and decide to proceed or not.
Both Doreen and Kathleen were very satisfied with Tim’s advice. Doreen said: “Tim answered everything perfectly for us. He answered all of my questions and we felt it was a great load off our minds after he had left and we’ve been very happy.” Kathleen adds: “After Tim had left, Doreen made the comment that ‘Tim spoke in plain English terms which we understood’. He didn’t baffle us with technical terms - we’re not used to this area, you know. We felt more at ease and we understood what Tim was saying.”
Since Doreen had already decided on moving to the residential care home with her room overlooking the sea, and as the house had already been sold, she was able to make a quick decision. The Wealth Care Partnership began Doreen’s Plan shortly after the quotes were received.
Although there was a shortfall between the income Doreen was receiving from her pension and the expense of living at the residential care home, The Wealth Care Partnership had recommended that Doreen should take out an Immediate Needs Annuity. This would provide her with an income for life to pay for the home. It would also provide her with most of the income to pay for nursing care, if needed later on.
With Doreen’s consent, The Wealth Care Partnership then went a step further. Tim explains: “Having made the arrangements for the long term care, there were the inevitable questions of what would happen to Doreen’s estate in the event that she should pass away. We reviewed the balance of Doreen’s investments and I was able to make some recommendations.” By reorganising Doreen’s assets in a tax efficient manner and through careful planning, Doreen’s beneficiaries would receive the capital from her estate without the need for reinvestment, thereby saving investment cost.
Having moved to the residential care home, Doreen has been able to enjoy her time with the additional knowledge and reassurance that her finances are taken care of. “I’m completely satisfied!” she declared. “I know that if Tim tells me, ‘this is the best thing we need to do’, that when we do it, it is going to be perfect. I know I have been advised properly and genuinely. I’ve got every trust in The Wealth Care Partnership.” Kathleen adds: “It really has taken a load off Doreen’s mind. After the first meeting when Tim sent the pie charts and graphs showing what all the funds were, Doreen still had difficulty believing that she was financially OK.
But each time we had a meeting with Tim, her confidence grew. Doreen is settled and happy now and is close to me, so I can pop in, but if she wasn’t happy at the care home, we know she could move because the beauty of the Plan is that it is transferable. And should Doreen’s health deteriorate, and she needed nursing care, we know that her finances would take care of that too.” When asked if Doreen is happy in her new home, the answer is unequivocal: “Oooh yes, I love it here!” she said. “My view from my window is perfect – I can see the sea, all the boats and all the wildlife.”
And when asked if Doreen is happy with the advice and service she has received from The Wealth Care Partnership, she said: “I’m just satisfied and know jolly well that you’re going to do the best for me and I don’t have to worry.” Kathleen adds: “Acting as Doreen’s attorney, I have been in direct contact with the staff at The Wealth Care Partnership and found their approach very much a team effort. They are all very helpful and everyone knows Doreen’s case. If Tim’s secretary, Liz, wasn’t there, everyone knew what to say and we knew we could trust whoever was there; they were more than willing to help. We just know that they’re a great team. They’re very friendly and we couldn’t wish for more.”
“No,” said Doreen. “We couldn’t, and we couldn’t wish for a better adviser.”
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