Talking about tomorrow


Getting your finances checked

Speak to a disability benefits specialist

It’s important to find an adviser who has specialist knowledge of disability benefits, as the best options for you can vary depending on your circumstances.

You can call the Contact helpline on 0808 808 3555 and they will arrange a time for an expert adviser to call you back. For information on finance and education in Scotland, call Lead Scotland’s helpline on 0800 999 2568. Other organisations also offer advice.

Talk to an Independent Financial Adviser

Anyone can visit a Financial Adviser to review their general finances and ask for advice on financial planning, particularly around big decisions like mortgages, investments, pensions, insurance and tax. However they don’t usually have detailed knowledge on benefits and entitlements, so you should still speak to a specialist.

Independent Financial Advisers must by law give up to date and appropriate advice tailored to your situation and goals in life. They can recommend financial products, but only if these clearly meet your needs, and you can still ask their advice even if you don’t accept their recommendations.

A Restricted Financial Adviser can only recommend a particular type of product or products from a particular company.

Usually advice is free, but always ask about fees to avoid any misunderstanding.

The Financial Conduct Authority has useful tips on how to find a Financial Adviser, and questions you should ask to help you make up your mind who to choose

Prepare yourself

There are two main reasons to seek financial advice. You could be looking for answers to a question or a situation you need help with. Or you might be wondering how to get the best deal for you and your family.

An adviser will need to know as much as possible about you. Make sure you know:

  • The total annual income for your household
  • How this is broken down into earnings, benefits, or other sources of income such as investments
  • How much you have in savings
  • How much you pay monthly for your house or flat. Include mortgage or rent payments, council tax, electricity and gas bills
  • How much you spend monthly on food
  • How much you spend on other necessities such as clothes, transport and so on
  • What you spend on leisure activities – social life, subscriptions, memberships, etc
  • How much you pay in insurance – home and contents, pet insurance, car insurance, life insurance
  • Do you pay into a pension?

If you have any specific questions, write them down to make sure you cover everything you want to talk about.

If you don’t understand something, say so. The adviser needs to know if the advice they’re giving you is useful.