Why more complex retirements require a different approach to planning
The retirement landscape is changing. No longer can people reply on defined benefit pensions for a guaranteed income in retirement, instead they need to plan how their money will last throughout a much longer retirement than ever before.
Increased longevity and changes in society mean retirees need to plan for intergenerational issues, such as supporting elderly parents whilst also still supporting their children. Many retirees today wish to help their children get a mortgage or buy their first home, whilst simultaneously supporting their own parents find a suitable care home or deal with one of the many illnesses that beset later life.
These differing needs demand that financial advisers have, and use, a different set of skills from some years ago. The rate of change for people in later life in the financial services must be confusing.
Finding the right adviser for you
Jane Finnerty recognised these changing dynamics and in 2008 she co-founded the not-for-profit organisation The Society of Later Life (SOLLA). SOLLA is dedicated to higher standards and accessibility to regulated financial advice for older people and their families. They look to give advisers the added reassurance that they can give the practical help and guidance needed to help you make the right decisions at the right time.
A member of SOLLA would understand the issues facing the elderly today and be able to advise accordingly. A series of technical and most importantly softer skills are rigorously tested in the accreditation process.
A member of The Society would also understand how older people may start to disengage from dealing with their financial affairs and know how to handle this and deal with Powers of Attorney.
An excellent reputation for trust and independency
SOLLA prides itself on the reputation developed over the past decade. As a consumer organisation, they’re incredibly well trusted. Most people that come to the society to find an adviser do so through a third party. SOLLA therefore deals with consumer bodies such as Which? who refer people to find a suitable adviser, the Inland Revenue, and all of the charities that deal with older people. They are consistently asked to comment on policy by both the government and by the Department of Health.
SOLLA believes that if someone is going to take advice from an adviser, they should do so from a member of the Society of Later Life Advisers. That’s because those advisers have been independently accredited by a trusted third party who does not profit from any products sold or the advice given.
A SOLLA Later Life Accredited Adviser understand the importance of engaging differently with different types of clients. It might be, for example, that shorter meetings at different times of the day are appropriate, or that you have a home visit. However, Jane knows from experience that many older ladies like to get out and visit their adviser in their offices.
If you are worried about your elderly parents and their financial affairs, then come to the Society of Later Life Adviser website. You can find an adviser local to you or you can contact SOLLA if you’ve got some non-financial questions, and SOLLA can usually point you in the right direction and then refer you onto a member of the Society.
Jane suggests it’s important for families to have this discussion with their parents, because the concern goes beyond money. Paying for and organising care is one of the biggest 3am moments for elderly people. Jane believes that the absolutely best thing to do is think about it now when you’re fit and well in the early stages of retirement, because there’s nothing like getting your plans in place now, if you can.
You can hear Jane’s interview on The Retirement Café Podcast from Tuesday 26th March 2019.
About Jane Finnerty
Jane Finnerty is co-founder of The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). Having started her career with Help the Aged, Jane moved in to financial services during the1980’s. After a period looking at examination standards for long term care and equity release on behalf of The Financial Conduct Authority, Jane started considering what could be done for older people to access the right kind of adviser and advice at the right time.
Along with Tish Hanifan, a barrister specialising in older client law, Jane decided it would be a good idea for there to be an accreditation for financial advisers dealing with clients in later life. Under the SOLLA umbrella, The SOLLA Later Life Adviser Accreditation was born, designed to create higher standards and accessibility to regulated financial advice for older people and their families.