Planning for retirement and paying for care

Your retirement has been planned for years.  You know what you want to do and where your income will come from, but have you thought about what would happen if you began to struggle with everyday tasks.  Do you know who you would turn to for help or how you would pay for any care you need?

Care and support services in England are not free like healthcare. Most people have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all of the costs.

Your local authority (Surrey County Council) may cover some or all of the cost of care in some circumstances, but its help is "means-tested". This means that who pays depends on what your needs are, how much money you have, and what level and type of care and support you require.

For most people needing social care services, the first place to start is by asking your local authority for an assessment of your social care (care and support) needs.

If the local authority considers that you need support that it can provide, it may also carry out an assessment of your finances. This assessment will determine whether the local authority will meet all the cost of your care, or whether you will need to contribute towards your care cost or whether you will have to meet the full costs yourself. Find out about support paid for by your local authority.

Currently, local authorities won’t provide care services if you have more than £23,250 in savings and property (your "capital").


Planning for care, getting personal advice

It is a good idea to start planning ahead so you are aware of the options available to help you stay well, safe and independent.

The cost of care and support is likely to be a long-term commitment and may be substantial, particularly if you choose to go into a care home, or if you have care needs at an early age. If you or your family need to pay for care at home or in a care home, it's important to understand your options. This makes advice tailored to your individual needs vital.

You can get advice from:

  • your local authority – through an assessment of your care and support needs, as well as advice on which services are available locally.
  • financial advice from a qualified, independent source – there are independent financial advisers who specialise in care funding advice; they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and must stick to a code of conduct and ethics, and take shared responsibility for the suitability of any product they recommend.

Adult Social Care Online

These pages provide you with all the information you need regarding getting Adult Social Care.

The signposting system helps residents access local information and support. The online forms can be completed by older residents themselves,as well as carers, family members, or organisations – who may provide a service to these residents in their own homes but, during their visits, think they could benefit from being connected to additional local support.

The online forms are very simple to use, but our team can arrange the referrals and follow up contact of the relevant support/services. For any further information contact: Adult Social Care Contact Centre, Surrey County Council, County Hall, Penhryn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 2DW, Tel: 0300 200 1005.


Where else can I look for help?


Surrey County Council Paying for Care booklet

This booklet explains how we charge for care and support services and includes information about:
  • the type of services we charge for and those that are free
  • how we work out what you can afford to pay
  • other financial help available
  • information for those who are paying the full cost
  • where to find more advice and information

SOLLA - The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)

SOLLA aims to assist consumers and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisors who understand financial needs in later life. They can also help you find a suitably qualified financial adviser who will be able to provide impartial advice and help you navigate through the complexities of care funding and planning for later life.

No one likes to think of themselves as old or needing to rely on others to do basic things like shopping, cleaning or cooking. However there may come a time when you will need this extra support to do everyday things. This could be due to your age, a health condition, a disability or changing home circumstance.


Things to Do

Many people look to find a new hobby or have more leisure activities as they get older. Find out about things to do on Surrey Information Point here


There are great volunteering opportunities for people who have retired and want to help in their communities. Find out more about volunteering on Surrey Information Point here.

Other websites that can help – Plan your retirement income


Age UK – Planning for retirement


Money Advice Service – Pension Calculator – Money and Retirement