Do I need guidance or advice?

For customers

With more and more information out there about how you should be saving, what to save for and how to manage your savings, knowing what kind of advice to seek can be a daunting prospect.

While some of us feel confident in setting up our own savings plans and managing our investments, many of us would prefer a more hands-off approach and benefitting from the expertise of a professional.

Making good decisions about your savings is vital. You work hard and you want your money to work even harder for you. 

You could be saving for your first car or home, the birth of a child, education, caring responsibilities, retirement. You might also want to understand how best to manage your income in retirement - the list goes on. 

Now, the big question. Where can I get help?

Many people think that guidance and advice are one and the same but there are some clear differences which you should understand before setting out to seek help.

The good news is, there are lots of sources of help out there and we’re here to help you understand what will work best for you.

What is guidance?

Guidance is offered as a free service in a variety of places – online, over the phone or face to face.

The main thing to note is that no recommendations are ever made. You should only receive helpful information about your options for you to investigate further yourself.  

Let’s look at an example – getting help understanding your retirement options. Here are a couple of places that can give you advice:

  • If you’re aged 50 or over and have a personal or workplace pension, you can set up a free guidance meeting with Pension Wise - a government backed service.

    Pension Wise provides you with information and next steps for each of your retirement options. This allows you to review your options before making a decision on what to do with your pension.
  • The Money Advice Service also offers free, impartial advice to guide you to help you improve your finances.

Many financial service companies and government backed initiatives also offer different kinds of guidance. 

You might find that after receiving guidance and information on your options, you’d like to speak to a financial adviser to receive further personalised advice. 

Personalised advice from a regulated financial adviser.

A financial adviser can take an independent and unbiased look at your circumstances in detail and prepare a plan of recommendations for you based on your individual needs. 

Advisers have the experience to help you tackle problems, helping you save money every month and feel more in control.

In fact our research shows that 76% of people with an adviser say they feel good or very good about their relationship with money compared to 58% of the general population.1

We’ve also found that people who have previously taken financial advice overwhelming state peace of mind as the leading benefit.2

Financial advisers do charge for their services but may offer an initial meeting free of charge. They will be clear and up front about what they charge so there are no hidden surprises.

You can find a financial adviser near you by visiting Money Advice Service. All advisers listed are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can also use this website to filter by area of expertise – whether it be savings, investments, insurance, pensions or retirement options.


1. Source: Aegon Value of Advice Research Summary, August 2019.

2. Source: Aegon Why Seek Financial Advice? Report, September 2019.