As we approach retirement, we’re confronted by a number of decisions about our finances, and to move forward with confidence, it might be a good idea to seek out sources of professional financial advice. We’ve commissioned a guide to help customers plan for their future, and the final chapter discusses where readers might find sources of financial advice.

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Guide to managing money for the over 55s - Chapter 6

 
“Do I need financial advice?”... “Why are you paying for that?”... “Can’t you do it yourself?”... “Why don’t you just Google it?"

These are just some of the typical questions people often encounter before they decide they want to seek out financial advice. The truth is there can be many reasons and occasions for seeking out appropriate financial advice, and planning for and entering retirement is a typical trigger point. Other well-known life stages that may create a need for financial advice include; selling a business, wanting to retire, being made redundant, and planning a legacy for your family.

 

Preparation for the conversation

Before seeking regulated advice around financial planning, you should understand what it is, broadly speaking, that you want to achieve from your retirement and the rest of your life. This requires a little homework - gathering all the data you have to hand on;

  • Your pension(s), property, mortgage, any loans, savings and investments you have
  • The state of your emergency fund
  • Your current income and expenditure – and what you anticipate they will look like in retirement

It could be that you already have the resources needed for an early retirement, for example, through letting out a house, selling a business or releasing other assets. But you may want to speak to a professional before embarking on any big steps and to gain reassurance.

Ultimately, the danger of not seeking financial advice is that you choose a retirement finance option that leaves your retirement savings in investments or structures that do not suit your financial needs. 

 

Where to look?
There are lots of different organisations where you can get regulated financial advice, your range of options include;

  • Independent firms of financial planners that cover the whole financial services spectrum. Many of these have chartered status which gives them higher levels of qualifications and professional standing
  • Specialists in discrete areas such as pension transfers, equity release, or long-term care
  • Advisers who are restricted to only one area or to recommending certain providers. This compares to independent firms giving advice on the whole market

If you’ve been recommended a particular adviser by a trusted friend, you still may wish to shop around and meet more than one adviser and learn about their offer, their charges and your mutual compatibility.

 

Free help 

The government’s own service, Pension wise, offers free advice for the over 50s, which includes a 45 minute free of charge phone call. Other places where you can start your search include the Equity Release Council, the Law Society, the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Pension Advisory Service, and the website, www.unbiased.co.uk where you can search for an independent adviser in your area.

A good financial adviser will want to get to know you, go through your goals, objectives, your life story, and focus on you as an individual with your own needs and aspirations, before recommend certain products. As with any thing in life, planning ahead is likely to produce a better outcome if you think about what you want to achieve.

The Guide to managing money for the over 55s goes into these sorts of issues and many more, and is complemented by the Free thinking finance Podcast series, sponsored by free2. If you’d like to read more about these sorts of issues or listen to the Podcast, then please choose from the following options:

 

Important Note
Free2 Limited (trading as free2) is an Appointed Representative of RS Consumer Finance Limited (RSCF) which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA). free2 is a credit broker, not a lender, and will only offer loans from RSCF – an offer of credit is subject to status and affordability. Example Loan: 60-year-old non-smoker, £30,000 over 10 years with fixed monthly payments of £344.56, interest rate 6.73% and an APR of 6.97%. Terms & Conditions apply.

Customers wishing to use the free2 Equity Release Advice Service, once registered, will be introduced to partners Money and Advice Planning (MAP). The free2 Equity Release Advice Service provides a free initial consultation followed by an advisory meeting, for which a fee of £595 is charged on completion of a successful application.

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