Skip to main content
Luton Borough Council

Independent financial advice

On this page you’ll find information on independent financial advice, including who might need advice, when you might need it and who to contact.

 

What is independent financial advice?

Under the Care Act, councils are responsible for providing you with access to independent financial advice.
Independent financial advice means advice which is independent from any organisation or service. It is impartial and unbiased so you can be confident that the advice has not been influenced by anyone.

Why might I need independent financial advice?

Independent financial advisors can advise you on how to make your money work best for you. Unlike health, care and support isn’t free so it’s important to plan ahead for any care costs.
It can be difficult to make life changing decisions on your own and the financial calculations can be complex, a financial advisor can help you understand the costs so you can make the best decision.

A financial advisor can help you to understand:

  • care charges – including what you might have to pay, when and why you might have to pay and how this is effected by your individual financial circumstances
  • ways to pay – including deferred payments and paying with your income or assets
  • access to money management services – including access to basic information and support to help balance your finances as well as information on benefits, debt management and future financial planning

Who might benefit from independent financial advice?

There are lots of people who might benefit from independent financial advice, these include but are not limited to:

  • anyone looking to plan ahead for their future care and support needs
  • 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 a power of attorney and looking after the financial affairs of someone in any of the above circumstances

How to choose an independent financial advisor?

Financial decisions can be life changing so it’s important to make sure you choose the right financial advisor.

Here are some things to consider when making your decision
Open all

There is a difference between guidance and advice. Financial advisers give you advice and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They can only recommend and sell you products that are suitable for you. If you receive advice and purchase a financial product then you will have access to a financial ombudsman service or financial services compensation scheme if you are unhappy with the service or advice. If you receive just guidance (non-advice or information only) before purchasing then you may not have access to the same services and guarantees. It’s important to know that charities such as the Money Advice Service and the Citizens Advice Bureau offer financial guidance rather than regulated financial advice.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates financial organisations. If a financial advisor is regulated by the FCA they must honour a code of conduct and take responsibility for any financial product or service that they recommend. Deciding whether to use financial advice might depend on how complicated your finances are and what products or services you are looking at. Whilst you might have to pay for regulated financial advice, if you need advice on a complicated situation like pensions, investment or mortgage it could save you money long term.
Even if they are regulated by the FCA a financial advisor may be restricted, which means they can only recommend you a limited selection of providers or products. An independent financial advisor can advise you on the full range of financial providers and products available.
Financial advisors often specialise in a certain area of financial advice. If you are looking for an independent financial advisor for your care and support then you may want to consider using a specialist care-fees advisor. Ask if they have a CF8, CeLTCI qualification or an accreditation by the Society of Later Life Advisors (SOLLA), which indicate that the advisor understands the issues around paying for care and support.

I’d like independent financial advice, who can I speak to?

Below you’ll find examples of some of the organisations which offer independent financial advice or can recommend an independent financial advisor.

It’s important to note we cannot recommend any particular adviser or advice and guidance service and it's important that you find out if an adviser is qualified to give advice.

The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA)

SOLLA helps people to find independent financial advisers who specialise in the financial needs of older people. All advisers on the database have to prove that they meet appropriate criteria and have the right qualifications before they are accredited by SOLLA.
 
See the adviser search on the SOLLA website to find a local, fully accredited adviser quickly and easily.
 
Paying for care
 
Paying for Care is a website that offers information on care costs and planning for care. They also help you to search for local care fees advisers.
 
The Money Advice Service
 
The Money Advice Service was set up by the Government, and offers impartial and unbiased financial information and guidance to help you make the most of your money, whatever your circumstances.
 
My Care, My Home
 
My Care, My Home is an organisation that provides support and guidance to people who fund their own care. The initial assessment and information is free. You can contact them by telephone (0800 7318470) and they can also do home visits.
 
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
 
Luton CAB provides free, independent and confidential information and support. They are a national charity and you can get in touch with them over the phone (), online or visit them at their local Luton office at the address below.
 
Luton CAB offers individual sessions for people looking for independent financial advice. These sessions can be booked directly with Luton CAB or by asking us to refer you.

Contact Luton CAB

Community House
15 New Bedford Road
Luton
LU1 1SA
Telephone: 0344 245 1285
Website; www.citizensadvice.org.uk 
© 2022 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ