Independent Financial Advice
It is important to plan for the future and to manager your finances so you can afford the care you may need. Care and support is not a free service like the NHS, and often individuals will have to pay some contribution towards the cost of their care; so it’s important to think about how you manage your finances.
Independent financial advisers can offer you impartial advice and guidance to help you plan for the future. They can help you understand the financial implications of having care and support needs and provide support with thing such as applying for benefits, managing budgets and debts, as well as other financial planning such as care fees or investments. Talking to a financial adviser may help you choose the best support for you or allow you to stay in your own home for longer.
When do you need independent financial advice?
Approximately 75 per cent of us will require some kind of care and support in the future, and so it is important to plan for the future. However if you are thinking about any of the following then it may be worth seeking out independent financial advice:
- Arranging or paying for home care privately
- Considering permanent placement in a residential or nursing care home
- Asking for information about paying for care and support
- Looking for help to arrange care or a placement
- Worrying about money or how to pay for long term support
- Entering into a financial contract (e.g. top up fees or deferred payments)
- Unsure of your entitlement to benefits or support
Regulated and Unregulated Financial Advice
It is important that you receive financial advice specific to your needs and circumstances. In some situations you may have to pay for financial advice, and so it is important you make sure you speak to the right person.
Unregulated Financial Advice
Examples of unregulated financial information and advice may include services such as free advice lines, information and factsheets from charities or voluntary organisations, the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or online budget tools. These services may be free, and can provide basic information and advice, including:
- Welfare benefits
- Local authority care funding
- Housing options
- NHS care finding
There are limitations to the advice given by unregulated financial advisers, and in some circumstances you may be signposted to a regulated financial advisor.
Regulated Financial Advice
Some financial advice can only be given by a providers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is known as regulated financial advice.
Regulated financial advisers must meet the standards set out by the FCA and must have the relevant qualifications. Depending on their qualifications and permissions they can advise on, recommend, and arrange services including:
- Funding for care home fees
- Funding for care in your own home
- Equity release and other property options (including deferred payments agreements)
- Investment and savings planning
- Retirement planning
- Tax matters and financial planning
It is important to note that not all FCA regulated financial advisers will have an in depth knowledge of local care and support services unless they have chosen to specialise in this area of information and advice.
More detailed information about the qualifications that a regulated adviser must have can be found on the FCA website.