SOLLA Accredited Financial Advisers: What Can They Do?
Advisers accredited by SOLLA are still financial advisers but hold a qualification that allows them to specialise in issues specific to later life and care.
These are some of the things SOLLA IFA’s can do;
1. Retirement planning, and advice on drawing an income from your pension pot. This is common to all financial advisers but a SOLLA adviser knows how local authorities view your pension pot if you’re not already drawing out an income and can take that advice a step further.
2. Funding care home fees- unfortunately we are expected to fund our own residential care, that is, living in a home where meals and a laundry service are provided, but no nursing care ( or when it is needed, usually a district nurse). We can help work out how long your capital will last, and the best options for choosing the right care package.
3. Funding for care in your own home- particularly for those living with dementia, care at home is often seen as preferable provided it doesn’t put someone in danger (e.g of falls, or dehydration). We can help you work out your budget and see how much you can reasonably afford by using your income, savings and investments.
4. Equity release and other property options- Equity release is very much in the news right now and can certainly be an option for care funding. Local authorities actually offer a similar type of arrangement to equity release called a deferred payment plan. We will look at your own circumstances to see which, if either, are the most suitable option.
- (This is a lifetime mortgage. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.)
5. Savings and investment planning- we look at tax efficiency, your needs to draw an income from your portfolio, and your objectives with your investments and your preferences. Taking advice can make a huge difference to the smallest of decisions and save you money.
6. Tax matters, estate and wealth planning- this is a case of not letting the tail wag the dog. Let me explain- you might want to pass the maximum to your heirs, but still have income needs right now, making lifetime gifts tricky. What I would urge people not to do is:
- Get involved in complicated and costly trust arrangements from anyone other than a solicitor
- Invest in similarly complex and costly arrangements purported to help you keep your assets away from the local authority.
Sadly I’ve seen many situations where people have been misguided into believing that an arrangement is a panacea for all their needs. The conundrum is juggling living costs and possibly care costs, with the desire to leave certain assets to the family.
Financial advisers are predominantly planners, not order takers or product floggers. We are there to give balanced advice to help you achieve as much as possible, the things that matter to you.