Getting advice about money

Independent financial advice

Talking to a specialist independent financial adviser can help you to understand your funding options, especially if you are thinking about paying for long-term care and support.

You could find independent financial advice helpful if you:

  • already live in a care home and pay for your care from your income and savings
  • want to talk to someone independent about your financial situation and the options available to you
  • are acting as an attorney or deputy and looking after someone else’s financial affairs
  • think you are likely to need care and support in the future, for example, due to a long-term health condition

Choosing an independent financial adviser

There are lots of independent financial advisers out there, and it may seem difficult to work out who is right for you. As well as making sure that you use someone who is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, you might want to consider the following:

  • Someone accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). SOLLA-registered financial advisers go through a training and accreditation process, and are specialists in planning ahead for later life – even if you are still regarded as young. Visit the SOLLA website and find a adviser online.
  • Independent financial advice covers lots of different areas, and an adviser who specialises in care fees may understand more about the situation that you are in, and will be able to offer more tailored advice. Most financial advisers will state if they have any specialist areas of knowledge, and you can check this with SOLLA as well.

Restricted or unrestricted financial advisors

Restricted financial advisers are usually tied to an institution – for example, a bank – and will be limited in the range of products they could offer you. This means that you may not get the best offer out there, but you might want this if you know that you trust a certain bank, for example.

Unrestricted financial advisers will look at all financial products that are available across the market which gives a wider choice. 

Beware of anything that seems too good to be true

Some financial advisers work on the basis of protecting or transferring your assets. Government regulations call this ‘deliberate deprivation’, and loopholes that seem to offer a way for you to save your money may cause you problems later down the line. 

Equity release schemes

This is the name given to a range of products that let you access the equity (cash) tied up in your home if you are over 55. Money Helper has a useful guide which explains your options and what to look out for.

What to do next

If you would like an assessment of your care and support needs, or if you look after someone and would like support, you should contact Adult Social Care.

You can also contact us if you are worried about someone else.

If you have particular questions about your situation, a good start is to contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) in East Sussex:

  • For the Crowborough, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Hastings, Lewes, Seaford and Uckfield areas call 0344 411 1444
  • For the Rother area call 01424 215 055

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