Independent financial advice

Who might benefit from independent financial advice?

Those who might benefit from independent financial advice include:

  • anyone who needs a small amount of money to fund care at home or to pay for adaptations or extensions to their home
  • anyone with an immediate need for long-term residential or nursing home care
  • anyone already staying in a care home and paying for it from their own income or savings
  • anyone acting as an attorney and looking after the financial affairs of someone in any of the above circumstances
  • anyone planning ahead for any of the above situations.

If you require financial advice to help you plan your care and support needs, please contact the council contact centre by calling 01735 475111. We will advise you on how to access appropriate independent financial advice.

An Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) shall provide information and advice to support people make sustainable informed financial decisions about their care throughout all stages of their life as well as explaining the following;

  • Care charges to help you understand what you may have to pay, when and why and how it relates to people’s individual circumstances.
  • Various ways to pay by providing information on the availability of different ways to pay for care including through income and assets (e.g. pension or housing wealth), deferred payment agreements, a financial product or a combination of these things.
  • Provide access to money management services, as you may need some basic information and support to help them rebalance their finances in light of their changing circumstances. Topics may include welfare benefits, advice on good money management; help with basic budgeting and possibly on debt management.

Considerations when choosing a financial advisor

Not all advisers will have a clear understanding of long-term care planning. Ask them if they have a CF8, CeLTCI qualification or an accreditation by the Society for Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). These accreditations or qualifications demonstrate advisers’ understanding of the many issues you may have to consider when it comes to funding your care and support needs. These advisers are often referred to as specialist care-fees advisers.

Some advisers are regulated. ‘Regulated’ financial advice means that an organisation is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They must adhere to a code of conduct and take responsibility for the suitability of any product they recommend. Even when advice is regulated it is useful to ask whether the adviser is an ‘independent financial adviser’ (also known as an IFA), who can offer the full range of financial products and providers available, or only offers ‘restricted advice’ focusing on a limited selection of products and/or providers. Restricted advisers and firms cannot describe the advice they offer as 'independent' (though they are independent of Slough Borough Council).

Another important distinction is between ‘guidance’ (also called an ‘information only’ or ‘non-advice’ service) and ‘advice’. It is important to understand that while buying an investment product after receiving ‘guidance’ rather than ‘advice’ might reduce the cost, it also means you might not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if you are unhappy with the advice or service provided.

If you would like to seek financial information and advice you may wish to contact the following providers who can advise you on their generic free and fee based advice service.