Becoming SOLLA Accredited – Charlene Coulbeck

Although these turbulent circumstances our country is going through seems a strange time to celebrate, I found myself doing just that last week when I received my results to say I had been awarded full accredited status with SOLLA.

As an adviser with Informed Financial Planning, I am no stranger to studying, exams and qualifications. Last year however I chose to start my journey towards a more specialised field in later life advice.

I decided to take the step to become independently accredited with the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA), to try and offer the added reassurance that I can give not only the specialised advice, but practical help and the empathetic guidance needed at this key stage in someone’s life.

SOLLA was set up to help people and their families find trusted accredited financial advisers, who understand financial needs in later life. This covers a variety of advice areas, including:

  • Retirement Planning – pensions and annuities
  • Funding for Care Home fees
  • Funding for care in your own home
  • Savings and investment planning in later life
  • Tax matters and estate and wealth planning (e.g. inheritance tax)

My main experience when studying for the accreditation however, was the emphasis on the soft skills needed to help and understand my client’s situation at what can be a very difficult time. For example, as a SOLLA adviser I may need to discuss difficult decisions with family members. I may have to guide them through how to fund Grandma’s care fees, so she can continue to live in the same Home that she has become accustomed to without having to move.

Part of my training included learning the intricacies of the social welfare system, local authority funding, NHS care and power of attorney laws. In short, becoming accredited has allowed me to not just advise a client on a financial product, but assist them through the minefield of the social care system and understand wider implications.

You can find out more about SOLLA and what it means to be a SOLLA adviser on

If you need advice in any of the areas discussed in this article, then please contact Charlene on [email protected] or at our office number 01482 219325.