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Independent financial advice
In addition to the financial advice services provided directly or supported by the Council we can sign post you to a range of options for accessing independent financial advice. Some advisors provide advice on general areas of financial management including for example, savings and pensions. Others may specialise in aspects of financial management that relate to the meeting of your needs for care and support including paying for care.
Where can you go for independent financial advice?
The following services may be able to help.
The information contained here is drawn from various sources including the Money Advice Service and Money Saving Expert. To the best of our knowledge it was correct at time of publication. The information does not constitute financial advice. It is for guidance only and you should do your own research. The information does not cover every website designed to search for a financial adviser. Always do your own research to ensure any service you are considering is right for you and your specific circumstances. We cannot be responsible for the content or accuracy of websites listed here.
Vouchedfor helps find independent professional advisers including financial advisers. Focus is on reviews and recommendations by clients. All advisers are independent – that means they offer advice that is not restricted by specific products and services available in the market.
Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)
SOLLA aims to assist consumers and their families in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life. The search function of the website is designed to help find professional financial advisers.
Please note: some advisers offer advice on products and services that represent a limited range to what is available in the market whilst others are independent financial advisers offering advice on the whole of the market. Tel: 0333 2020 454. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Address: Society of Later Life Advisers, PO Box 590, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 9EW.
Questions to ask a financial planner or financial adviser
Are they independent or restricted?
Independent advisers have a duty to research products across the whole market – from all providers and all products. Restricted advisers only recommend certain types of investment products or products from a limited number of providers. Unless you are sure you want restricted advice, it would probably be best to ensure you are getting independent financial advice.
How will they be paid and what are their charges?
Financial advice costs money. Historically that money often comes via commission, a payment from the product provider to the adviser for selling a client a product. Since 31 December 2012, IFAs can no longer accept commission from providers on investment products. Advisers can still earn commission on non-investment products like certain insurances. Instead of commission they would charge a fee. Commission may seem a way of getting advice for free but you will still be paying it as the provider pays them a cut which you will pay for in the cost of your product and will probably cost you more in the long run.
If paying a fee, there are three main options – a percentage fee based on the size of the sum of money you want advice on (can ay range from 0.5% to 5%), a fixed fee service or an hourly charge, ranging from £50-£250 an hour. Many advisers offer the first session for free.
Do they have professional qualifications?
They are many different professional qualifications for financial planners and advisers in the UK. However all financial advisers must hold a Level 4 or above qualification of the national Qualifications and Credit Framework and also a Statement of Professional Standing. Also consider if they hold any advanced qualifications. This may be useful if comparing providers.
How are they regulated?
Whether independent or restricted, all financial advisers who sell financial products must be regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This means they hold a qualifications, subscribe to an ethics code and keep up to date with financial information through professional development. Under the FCA rules all advisers must do a fact-find to understand your situation and attitude to risk.
What experience do they have?
A minimum of two years would be a sensible level. Further information on choosing a financial adviser.
Other sources of advice
- Age UK is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. Tel: 0800 169 6565 – a national advice line that is open 365 days a year. Free from a landline.
- Address: Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London. WC1H 9NA.
- Citizens Advice Bureau helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice, and by influencing policymakers. See also Adviceguide for self help from Citizens Advice. Advice Line: 03444 111 444 – for England. Calls costs same as 01 and 02 numbers from a landline from a mobile up to 41p a minute if not part of an allowance. Check your mobile phone tariff. Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau: 300 Mare Street, Hackney, London, E8 1HE. Tel: 020 8525 6350.
- Independent Age is a charity that offers advice, befriending and also campaigns on older people’s issues and is an established voice for older people. Advice Line: 0800 319 6789 – Monday to Friday 10am-4pm. Free from a landline. Email: email@example.com.
- Which? Elderly care offers free, independent and practical advice about caring for older people across the UK. See also Which information about financing care.
- Paying for Care is a not-for-profit company offering information for those seeking advice and guidance on the cost of elderly care. This includes the types of care and the costs; information about eligibility for funding and payment options.
- CareAware is a non-profit making, public information, advisory and advocacy service specialising in elderly care funding advice in the UK. A one stop shop for free advice on care fee funding for older people. Helpline: 0161 707 1107. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Address: PO BOX 8, Manchester, M30 9NY.
- My Care, My Home is a care advice service linked to, but separate from, the Shaw Healthcare Group. Also an introductory service to specialist independent financial advisers who can advise you on how to fund your care.Tel: 0800 731 8470.