Guidance and advice

We would recommend that you seek guidance or advice when you’re making a decision about your retirement income, to help you make the right choices for you, and your long-term plans.

What’s the difference between guidance and advice?

The main difference is around how specific it is. Guidance is usually not tailored to your circumstances. It will help you assess your options and ask the right questions, but there’s no recommended outcome at the end. It’s also usually free, so can be a good option to help set you on the right path.

Advice will usually end in a recommended approach for you to take. Working with an adviser means sharing your financial information and your goals for the future and will result in expert advice on which outcome is best for you. This option usually has a fee for the adviser's time and expertise, although often your first meeting will be free or heavily discounted, to see if working with an adviser is right for you.

Where to get guidance

We’d recommend starting with an independent and impartial service like Pension Wise. This is a service from MoneyHelper, which comes under the Government’s Money and Pensions Service.

Pension Wise Logo

Pension Wise offer free and impartial guidance to anyone over the age of 50. You can book your free 60-minute appointment with them here.

Even if you’re not 50 yet, they can still help, so it’s worth checking them out.

If you are a Lloyds Bank, Halifax or Bank of Scotland Ready-Made Pension customer, please visit the Ready-Made Pension page for help in booking your free appointment with Pension Wise.

How to choose an adviser

An adviser will charge for their services. But that expense can be worth it in order to ensure you’re making the best decisions for your future. Financial advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so they must follow strict rules when they give you advice – make sure you check that they’re registered before you start planning.

An adviser will ask you plenty of questions about your finances and what you’ve got planned. Once you’ve found a potential adviser, make sure you ask them questions too. Here are some things you could ask:

How to find an adviser

Here’s some places where you can find financial advisers in your area: Moneyhelper, Unbiased or VouchedFor.

Make sure you do your homework. See if you can find testimonials or customer reviews, and check out their charges. Approach it the same way you’d do for any other service you’re thinking of purchasing.

Alternatively, our partners Schroders Personal Wealth could also help, and you can book a free initial consultation with them. To get advice from Schroders Personal Wealth, you’ll need to have: £100,000 in savings, investments and/or personal pensions, and/or £100,000 of sole annual income.

Generally, with all financial advice, fees and charges may apply.