21st March 2018 at 4:30pm
We all want to make the most of our money and getting some help and support can go a long way. In today’s world, where’s the best place to get it?
You could call on friends or family for their opinion, but you might want more than that when it comes to your all-important life savings.
Can’t I just Google it?
Asking Google for some guidance is something we’re all doing a lot more of, with ‘How much do I need to retire’ one of Google’s top financial search terms last year, with the more straightforward ‘check my credit score’ leading the list. Source Google: Jan-Sept 2017.
While Google certainly has its place in helping you grow your knowledge, sometimes having an expert view or bespoke guidance to help you make financial decisions is what’s needed.
What about professional advice?
There are many reasons for seeking financial advice. You might want an expert to help you with your life savings and investments, set up your family’s financial future and make plans to pass your wealth on to the people you want to benefit.
Another reason is if you’re considering transferring your pensions. If one of these is a final salary plan worth over £30,000, you’d need to take financial advice from a pension transfer expert to find out if it could be the right move for you.
And in the lead up to retirement, taking financial advice can help you boost your savings and decide how to take your pension income.
Whether it’s something you need as a one-off, or it’s something you rely on throughout your life – from the cradle to grave, so to speak – with advice you get a personal recommendation on what you should do, and that’s one important difference from guidance.
You can put a value on advice
As the Value of Advice research report from 2017 says, taking advice has been proven to help people save more. Those “who work with a financial planner are an average of £40,000 better off than people who have not taken advice”.
But the difference to your savings isn’t the only benefit that professional financial advice can have. Colin Dyer, National Advice Manager at 1825, Standard Life’s financial planning business, explains the emotional benefits too.
“Getting professional financial planning or advice can help give people peace of mind that they’re putting themselves in the very best position – particularly where there are some important life decisions to be made or if you’re just too busy to do it yourself.”
Looking for an adviser? Choose one that’s right for you
Some questions worth asking
Do ask any adviser some important questions:
- How much will it cost me?
- What’s your experience around advising people in my financial situation?
- How risky are the investments you’re suggesting for me?
- How am I protected?
And remember, when it comes to an adviser, choose one registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulated body authorised to ensure consumers are treated fairly.
Check on the FCA’s easy-to-use online register.
Not ready for advice?
If you’re not looking for advice, getting good-quality guidance is just as important.
We have tools and guides on saving into your pension or ISA on Standardlife.co.uk, including our tool to work out how much you might need in retirement. We also have articles on the MoneyPlus section of our website.
Money Advice Service has guides, tools and information to help improve your finances as well as your life savings.
Pensions Advisory Service is the free and impartial government-backed service for workplace and personal pensions.
Citizens Advice has useful information on understanding pensions and how to get ready for retirement as well as ways to manage debt and money.
Whatever you decide, making time for your finances is time well spent.
A pension is an investment and it can go down in value as well as up. You could get back less than you started with. This article shouldn’t be taken as financial advice and is based on our understanding in March 2018.