Financial planning

It’s important to get the right financial advice if you have cancer or have had it in the past. You could think about using an authorised financial adviser.

You might feel the need to sort out your finances, both for yourself and your family.

Having had cancer doesn’t exclude you from certain financial services. For example, you don't have to give your medical history to get credit cards or some personal loans. But you do for insurance policies and some pensions.

In theory, you don't have to give your medical history to get a mortgage. But you might have to get an associated insurance policy – and you’ll need to give medical details for that.

So it’s important that you get the right financial advice.

Types of financial adviser

You might want to contact a financial adviser. You can ask them for advice on various types of insurance, mortgages or pension.

All financial advisers have to be authorised by the financial services regulator. Only then can they give advice on financial products.

There are three types of financial adviser:

  • tied – linked to a particular company and will recommend that company’s financial products
  • restricted – can recommend products from limited number of companies (also called a panel)
  • independent (IFA) – can recommend products from the whole range of companies in the market

Advisers must always tell you if they’re tied to a particular finance or insurance company or agent. They do this by giving you an Initial Disclosure Document which will say whether they are tied or restricted.

To check that the firm the adviser represents is authorised, contact the Financial Services Register.

What the adviser will do

An adviser must make a detailed assessment of your finances and your present and future needs. They can only begin to advise you on the most suitable products when this assessment is complete.

They must explain fully and clearly why a particular product is best for you. They should also give you a written explanation that includes:

  • the levels of risk involved
  • the aims and benefits of the product
  • any commission or charges you may have to pay

An adviser should also tell you how long you have to change your mind after buying a product. It may be that there is no cooling off period, so you need to be sure.

A financial adviser will often charge a fee, especially an independent financial adviser (IFA). Some IFAs make their money from commission paid to them by the companies whose products they recommend and sell.

If this is the case, you may not have to pay. But the adviser should make it clear to you how they are benefiting from your business.

Finding a financial adviser

Ask your family and friends if they can recommend a trustworthy financial adviser. Or get a list from the link below.