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Planning Retirement Online

Getting Financial Help

If you want help with your personal finances, there are plenty of choices available to you. Assistance comes in many forms and there is something to suit almost everyone, whatever your preferences for financial help.

Of course, as with everything else these days, the internet is a mine of information when it comes to help with personal finances. If you want to compare rates, so that you can put your money where it is going to work hardest for you, go to www.moneysupermarket.com .

How to Read the Financial PagesHere you can compare the rates offered on current and savings accounts, mortgage and loan companies and credit card companies. So you can look for places where you can earn more for the money you save and save more on the money you spend.A similar website is http://www.fool.co.uk which also gives you share tips and advice on share dealings. A third one that provides similar comparisons is http://www.moneyexpert.com. Look at them all and make your own mind up.

Making the Most of our Money links

Another source of help is the financial pages of the daily and national newspapers.The most comprehensive is, of course, the Financial Times. You can buy it, of course, but there is also an internet version at  http://www.ft.com/home/uk if you want to sample it instead of or before you buy it. You might find it a bit heavy, so maybe one of the other papers such as the Daily Mail, or the Daily Telegraph may suit you better. As you can see from the book cover opposite, if you want to make the most of your reading, you can buy a book that tells you how to fully understand it all. Click on the cover to see more.

If you wish, you can also get help with your personal finances from a financial advisor. Financial advisors are now tightly regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and there is a lot of choice if you do feel that you would like to talk to someone. There are two sorts of financial advisor:

  • Those who work for a bank or building society. They are 'tied' to them and can, by and large, only advise on their own products
  • Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) who are free to recommend any and all products. They have to charge an up-front fee for investment advice, although you do have some choice about how to pay that fee. See our page on financial advisors for more details.

If you know someone who has used or uses a financial advisor and recommends them, it’s worth talking to them to see if they suit your needs.

. However, if you don't have any recommendations, look at our page on financial advisors for some sound ideas.

One way of proceeding with help with your personal finances is to shop around and talk to two or three financial advisors. Then, if they're all pointing you in the same direction, go with the one you feel most comfortable with or strike out on your own and do it yourself. Remember, though, that if you do it alone and it does go wrong, there is no compensation whilst there might be,through the FSA, if you do it through a financial advisor.The Intelligent Investor

Getting financial help with your personal finances ranges from trying to get the best rate on a current account to quite complex advice. You choose what sort of advice you need and then look for it in the appropriate places, as we suggest above. Whatever you do, it is good advice to shop around and make sure you are getting the most for your money. In later life, finance is one of the key concerns for most people, so it's worth spending a little time to get it right.

Click on the links in the box for other ideas on how you can get help with personal finance and maximise your money so that you can make the most of your later life.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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