Advice at hand for the not so elderly

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The Independent Online
PEOPLE as young as 45 will be able to seek advice from a new financial planning service set up by Age Concern, writes Maria Scott.

Advice through the service, Asset Financial Planning, will be provided by NatWest Insurance Services, a division of National Westminster Bank that provides independent financial advice. Half the commission paid to NatWest will go to Age Concern.

The charity already provides advice on benefits, housing rights and welfare issues, but it is not authorised to give advice on investment. The advice will come from NatWest Insurance Services, not Age Concern.

Bob Hand, marketing manager of Age Concern Insurance Services, said people in middle age would be able to use the service. Typically, younger people able to benefit from the service would be facing early retirement after being made redundant. Many elderly people did not seek advice until they had already made wrong decisions. 'We want to help people make the right choices from the outset,' Mr Hand said.

NatWest Insurance Services is paid by commission on products it sells. But clients coming to the service through Age Concern will not be obliged to pay for initial consultations if they take no action leading to a sale.

Age Concern sees the service as an important potential source of income. It already markets a range of household and motor insurance products in conjunction with an insurance broker.

Asset Financial Planning, Freepost (BS2614), PO Box 106, 37 Broad Street, Bristol, BS99 7YJ. Or contact local Age Concern groups. There is also a helpline on 0272 263822.

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