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Financial Advice and Information - Stockton Borough Council

What is financial advice and information

Financial advice and information is intended to help you make informed choices about your finances and help with planning. Depending on your eligibility and financial situation the Council may meet some or all of the costs of your care and support needs. However, many people have to pay and some will have to meet all of the costs.

If you would like to find out more about local authority funding for care costs please visit Paying for Adult Services or contact our Client Financial Services team on (01642)524586.

Managing your money yourself

If you’re finding it difficult to manage your money because you have a long-term health condition or you’re disabled, there are things you can do to make things easier.  Many organisations can help with advice on things such as budgeting, money management and debt, for example

Help with debts

Stockton Welfare Advice Network - SWAN, provides help with dealing with debt, support with budgeting and managing money. www.stocktonadvice.org.uk or telephone 01642 626102 or email swan@stockton-cab.co.uk

Claiming benefits

SWAN can advise on benefit entitlement and appealing against decisions by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Pensions

The DWP and SWAN can advise on state pensions.

If you find that you need to pay then good and impartial financial information and advice is important when making choices about how to pay for care and support.  Financial advisers provide information on a wide range of financial products and services, for example pensions, life insurance and investments that will help to pay for care needs in the future. There are two ways that financial advice is provided:

  • Non - advised sales - this is when an adviser talks through options or products with you and then leaves you to make the decision
  • Financial advice - this when a financial adviser makes a recommendation to you on what the best product or service is, based on your circumstances

 Good financial information and advice helps people have a better understanding of how available resources can be used more flexibly to fund a wide range of options.

What is an independent financial advisor?

In some circumstances more specialist advice is necessary from an Independent Financial Advisor, who is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) https://www.fca.org.uk/.  advisors registration can be checked on this website, they must stick to a code of conduct and ethics and take responsibility for the suitability of any product they recommend. To be called an 'independent' adviser they must take a comprehensive look at the whole market of products that are relevant so that they can recommend what is best for you. They must tell you that they are independent advisors

What is a restricted Advisors ?

Restricted advisors are only able to offer a restricted number of products because they receive fees for selling these products. Restricted advisors must tell you that they provide restricted advice and how it is restricted – by product or by provider. They must do this in writing and also orally before giving you any advice

Paying for advice

The type of fees you pay will depend on the type of advice you are seeking. For mortgages and insurance products the adviser usually takes an 'introduction fee' from the mortgage lender or insurance company.

For most other services the financial adviser will charge a fee, and will need to agree these charges with you before proceeding with the advice.

You can avoid paying for advice by contacting a supplier of the product directly, but you will need to weigh up whether you feel confident about doing this yourself, and whether you might find a better deal looking at the whole market.

Finding a financial adviser

Financial Advisers who are members of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) have experience and qualifications in the areas of paying for care and other financial issues for when you get older. SOLLA advisers have to satisfy an accreditation scheme that ensures that they have the relevant knowledge and skills to advise in these areas. They should also offer you the choice of paying a fee or paying through commission on products that you might purchase. Some of them may be restricted advisers.

Other money matters

Help with debts

Stockton Welfare Advice Network - SWAN, provides help with dealing with debt, support with budgeting and managing money. www.stocktonadvice.org.uk or telephone 01642 626102 or email swan@stockton-cab.co.uk

Claiming benefits

SWAN can advise on benefit entitlement and appealing against decisions by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Pensions

The DWP and SWAN can advise on state pensions.

The council are developing leaflets on seeking independent financial advice and information, the leaflets are in production and will be available shortly.

For further information in the interim telephone our helpline on 01642 524500

Who to contact

Telephone
01642 524500

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