Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Understanding Attitudes to Paying for Care amongst Equity Release Consumers: citizenship, solidarity and the ‘hardworking homeowner’

  • LOUISE OVERTON (a1) and LORNA FOX O'MAHONY (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

The importance of developing a system that is perceived to be ‘fair’ is a central element in debates about long-term care funding in the UK. It is therefore surprising that while previous research has established that older people tend to resent the idea of using housing equity, and other personal assets, it has often revealed little about the factors underpinning these attitudes or reflected on how they sit within a wider frame of social and political norms. Drawing on 60 semi-structured in-depth interviews with older home owners who have released equity from their homes, this paper explores why people feel that it is fair, or unfair, to require owners to use their housing equity to fund long-term care needs, once factors like reluctance to trade on the home, and mistrust of equity release products, have been excluded. While a small majority of our participants considered it unfair, a substantial minority thought it fair that they were required to use their accumulated housing equity to meet care needs. This distribution of attitudes enabled us to explore the reasons why participants held each view, and so reflect on the impact of pro-social and pro-individual norms in shaping attitudes towards intra-generational fairness and ideas about ‘responsible citizenship’. Our analysis posits that the factors that shape attitudes toward using housing assets to pay for care, and their relationship to the wider rhetorical framework of asset accumulation, management and decumulation, have been misunderstood by policy makers. We discuss the implications of our findings for policies that seek to promote the development of a housing-asset based care funding system capable of attracting widespread support.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Association of British Insurers (2014), Developing Products for Social Care, available online, https://www.abi.org.uk/~/media/Files/Documents/Publications/Public/2014/Social%20care/Developing%20Products%20for%20Social%20Care%20Report.ashx
Age UK (2014), Care in Crisis – What's next for social care? London: Age UK.
BorehamR. and LloydJ. (2007), Asset Accumulation across the Life Course, London: ILC.
BurrowsR. (2003), ‘How the other half lives: An exploratory analysis of the relationship between poverty and home-ownership in BritainUrban Studies, 40: 7, 1223–42.
CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) (2012), Reverse Mortgages – Report to Congress. Available at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/reverse-mortgages-report/ (accessed 29 December 2015).
Commission on Funding of Care and Support (2011), Fairer Care Funding, Volume I, The Report of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support, Commission on Funding of Care and Support, London: The Stationary Office.
CroucherK. and RhodesP. (2006), Testing Consumer Views on Paying for Long-Term Care, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Daily Mail (2014), ‘Revealed: How 10,000 families are paying massive care home bills they don't need to . . . and how to make sure it doesn't happen to you’ (13 June 2014), online at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2657540/Revealed-How-10-000-families-paying-massive-care-home-bills-dont-need-make-sure-doesnt-happen-you.html
DeemingC. and KeenJ. (2003), A fair deal for care in older age? Public attitudes towards the funding of long-term care, Policy and Politics, 31 (4), pp. 431446.
Department of Health (DoH) (2013), ‘Landmark reform to help elderly with care costs’ press release, February 2013, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/landmark-reform-to-help-elderly-with-care-costs
Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), (2009), Spending priorities in the benefits system: Deliberative research with the public, Research Report No 559, London: DWP.
DolingJ. and RonaldR. (2010), ‘Home ownership and asset-based welfare’, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 25: 2, 165173.
DorlingD, RigbyJ., WheelerB., BallasD., ThomasB., EldinF., BordonD. and LuptonR. (2007), Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968–2005, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
ErensB. and TurnerR. (1997), National survey on care for elderly people, London: Social and Community Planning Research.
FinchJ. and MasonJ. (2000), Passing on: Kinship and inheritance in England, London: Routledge.
Fox O'MahonyL. and OvertonL. (2014), Financial advice, differentiated consumers and the regulation of equity release transactions, Journal of Law and Society, 41 (3), pp. 446469.
Fox O'MahonyL. and OvertonL. (2015b), ‘Asset-based welfare, equity release and the meaning of the owned home’, Housing Studies, 29: 446469.
GlendinningC., DaviesB., PickardL. and Comas-HerreraA. (2004), Funding Long-Term Care for Older People: Lessons from Other Countries, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
GubriumE. K, PellisseryS. and LødemelI. (2013), The Shame of It: Global Perspectives on anti-poverty policies, Bristol: Policy Press.
GurneyC. (1999), ‘Lowering the Drawbridge: A Case Study of Analogy and Metaphor in the Social Construction of Home-OwnershipUrban Studies, 36: 10, 1705–22.
HamnettC., HarmerM. and WilliamsP. (1991), As Safe as Houses: Housing Inheritance in Britain, London: Paul Chapman.
HewitsonB., SealeB. and JoyceL. (2011), Commission on Funding of Care and Support, Public engagement exploring care and support funding options, TNS-BMRB Report of findings 224301.
HillsJ. (2014), Good times, bad times: the welfare myth of them and us, Bristol: Policy Press.
HM Government (2009), Shaping the Future of Care Together, Cm 7673, London: The Stationary Office.
House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change (2013), Ready for Ageing? London: The Stationary Office.
Ipsos Mori (2011), Public opinion research on social care funding - A literature review on behalf of the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support, London: Ipsos Mori.
JarvisC., StuchburyR. and HancockR.(1998), ‘Present indicative: findings from the ONS omnibus survey for the millennium debate of the age’, Age Concern: London.
KrausM., CzypionkaT., RiedelM., MotE. and WilleméP. (2011), How European Nations Care for Their Elderly. A New Typology of Long-term Care Systems. Assessing Needs of Care in European Nations (ANCIEN) Policy Brief. Available online at http://www.ancien-longtermcare.eu/policy_briefs
McKeeK. (2012), ‘Young People, Homeownership and Future WelfareHousing Studies, 27: 6, 853862.
MossialosE., DixonA., FiguerasJ. and KutzinJ. (eds.), (2002), Funding health care: options for Europe, Buckingham: Oxford University Press.
MaxwellD. and SodhaS. (2006), Housing Wealth: First timers to old timers, London: IPPR
MayhewL. and O'LearyD. (2014), Unlocking the potential, London: DEMOS.
NyceS. A. and SchieberS. J. (2005), The Economic Implications of Aging Societies: The Costs of Living Happily Ever After, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ODPM and HM Treasury (2005), Extending Home Ownership, London: ODPM.
OngR., JeffersonT., WoodG., HaffnerM. and AustenS. (2013), Housing Equity Withdrawal: Uses, Risks, and Barriers to Alternative Mechanisms in Later Life, AHURI Final Report No. 217 (Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute).
ONS (2015), Wealth in Great Britain Wave 4, 2012–214, Chapter 3: Property Wealth, Wealth in Great Britain, 2012–2014, available online at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/was/wealth-in-great-britain-wave-4/2012-2014/index.html
Opinion Leader (2009), It's a heck of a gamble, isn't it? Attitudes of older people towards the use of assets for pooling risk of care costs, A report by Opinion Leader for Age Concern England, London: Age Concern.
OvertonL. (2010), Housing and Finance in Later life: A study of UK equity release customers, London: Age UK.
OvertonL. and Fox O'MahonyL. (2015a), Consumer Demand for Retirement Borrowing, London: Council for Mortgage Lenders.
ParkerG. and ClarkeH. (1997), ‘Will you still need me? Will you still feed me? Paying for care in old age’, Social Policy and Administration, 31: 2, 119–35.
PickardL. (2013), ‘A growing care gap? The supply of unpaid care for older people by their adult children in England to 2032’, Ageing and Society, 35: 1, 96123.
PrabhakarR. (2008), The Assets Agenda, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
PriceD., BisdeeD., DalyT., LivseyL. and HiggsP. (2014), ‘Financial planning for social care in later life: the ‘shadow’ of fourth age dependency, Ageing and Society, 34, pp 388410.
RowlingsonK. and McKayS. (2005), Attitudes to Inheritance in Britain, York: JRF.
RowlingsonK. (2006), ‘Living poor to die rich’? or ‘spending the kids’ inheritance? Attitudes to assets and inheritance in later life, Journal of Social Policy, 35 (2), pp. 175192.
SearleB. and McCollumD. (2014), ‘Property-based welfare and the search for generational equality’, International Journal of Housing Policy, 14: 4, 325–43.
SmithS. J. and SearleB. A. (2008), ‘Dematerialising money: the ebb and flow of wealth between housing and other things’, Housing Studies, 23: 1, 2143.
SpencerL., RitchieJ. and O'ConnorW. (2003), ‘Carrying out Qualitative Analysis’ in Ritchie J. and Lewis J. (eds.), Qualitative Research Practice, London: Sage, pp. 219262.
Taylor-GoobyP. (2008), ‘Choice and Values: individualized rational action and social goals’, Journal of Social Policy, 37: 2, 167–1.
ToussaintJ. and ElsingaM. (2009), Exploring ‘housing asset-based welfare’: Can the UK be held up as an example for Europe? Housing Studies, 24 (5), pp. 669692.
The World Bank (2004), Averting the Old Age Crisis: Policies to Protect the Old and Promote Growth, New York: Oxford University Press.
WillettsD. (2010), The Pinch, London: Atlantic books.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-social-policy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 23
Total number of PDF views: 102 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 429 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.