17th June 2019 GDPR & Privacy Section

Call Now (+353) 01 829 8500  

News

ipf No Comments

Cabinet agrees bill to allow public servants to work until 70

Public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 face mandatory retirement at 65

The Government has agreed the text of new legislation that will allow thousands of public servants work until they are 70 years of age.

As people are living longer and are in better health, many public servants want to work for longer, but they cannot because of a mandatory retirement age of 65 for those recruited before 2004.

Today, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe brought the Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill 2018 for approval by his Cabinet colleagues.

The bill provides for an increase to age 70 in the compulsory retirement age for most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004.

This group of public servants currently has a compulsory retirement age of 65.

Public Servants recruited after 1 April 2004 are not affected by the changes agreed today as they either already have a retirement age of 70, as they are Single Pension Scheme members, or they have no compulsory retirement age as they were recruited between 1 April 2004 and 31 December 2012.

On 5 December last, the Government agreed that the compulsory retirement age of most public servants recruited before 1 April 2004 should be increased to age 70.

Today the necessary legislation for this change was agreed.

 

The bill is on the priority list of legislation to be published and it is expected to be published in the coming days.

While the new proposal will allow most public sector employees to work up to 70 years of age, they will be still be free to retire at the minimum retirement age if they so wish.

The bill provides for the amendment of all relevant public service pension schemes so that these schemes will allow members to accrue pension benefits on their service between the age of 65 and 70.

It is understood that there is widespread political support for this measure and a Government spokeswoman said: “Staff interests have been consulted and are anxious to have the legislation enacted.”

Reporter, RTÉ Political Staff

Reference: www.rte.ie

ipf No Comments

Why Irish 20-somethings have it so tough financially

A guide to the financial issues facing young people and what they can do about them
Tue, May 8, 2018, 06:00, Fiona Reddan, www.irishtimes.com

It has become much more difficult for today’s 20-somethings to buy their first home.

“Generation rent”, the “lost generation”, or wasters who throw away their money on avocado toast: accurate descriptions of today’s 20-somethings or media hyperbole? The truth, perhaps, is somewhere in between.

Eoin Magee, a financial adviser with Prosperous Financial Planning, has buckets of sympathy for this age cohort. “I’d say people in their 20s have been dealt the worst cards possible,” he says, “It’s a very difficult environment to be starting out your life in.”

Magee points to the lower salaries of many 20-somethings as being a key challenge.

“When they came out of college, jobs weren’t freely or readily available, so they took whatever job they could get, but started on a lower salary than they would have otherwise done.
So while someone could have previously expected to start on 30,000, they might have started on €25,000. “And you don’t make up that gap again,” says Magee.
At the same time, house prices and rents started running away from them.

“They have got caught in a perfect storm,” he says, noting that the generation behind them might have it a bit easier. They will have auto-enrolment in their favour for one, which will help with retirement planning, and perhaps a different view of the property market.

“People in their 20s, they’ve seen house prices being decimated, so they may not work hard to save a deposit because they have a different perception of what normality is,” he notes.
But just because things are tough doesn’t mean 20-somethings should shy away from doing what they can to make their own circumstances that little bit better. The huge advantage 20-somethings have is their age though this only works in their favour if they take some steps now. So what are the typical mistakes you might make?

Not paying yourself first
How you establish your savings habits in your 20s is going to have a huge impact on your future financial health. Do you put whatever you’ve left over at the end of the month into a separate savings account? Or do you just leave whatever is left resting in your current account?
Maybe you’ve agreed a savings plan with a parent, whereby you cough up some rent and they save on your behalf. Whatever approach you take, the critical point is that this money goes into your savings when you get paid – and not at the end of the month when your accounts may have been decimated.
Magee suggests you target a figure of 20 per cent of your income, including pension savings.
“My priority is that you start to build a savings pot and you’re very disciplined in doing so,” he says, noting that this will then give you options, and can be allocated to a deposit on a house, or a masters, or whatever financial goals you may have.

Going the other route of planning a budget and trying to live by it over the month can prove challenging.
“I don’t believe in budgets” says Magee, likening them to a calorie-controlled diet – and we all know how well they work for most of us. Yes, we’re good for five days of the week and then splurge and ruin all our progress.

Relying too much on deposits
But if how you save is important, so too is where your money is saved. With savings rates on the floor – and nearly underneath it – earning less than 0.5 per cent a year can make saving an almost joyless experience.
• A letter of wishes in lieu of a will is not legally binding
• Bubble trouble: how should investors respond?
• Making financial provision for a guardian to my children
“You can’t save for more than five years in a bank account, as you won’t even beat inflation,” advises Magee, saying if you don’t invest in a well-diversified equity portfolio, “you’re going to have to save harder”. And that may be just too much for people already strapped for cash.
Moreover learning about investing, funds, shares, exchange-traded funds, etc, at a young age – even if you make the occasional mis-step – will undoubtedly improve your financial health over time.

Not talking to friends/family about money
One of the best financial resources you have is the people that you know. Carty gives example of people locking their savings away in notice accounts so they can’t access them – with one 20-something taking it so far as to put their savings in a credit union 20km away so it’ll be difficult to withdraw.
Magee has another tip for parents and live-at-home children alike; parents could charge the market rent to their offspring – less any savings they contribute. So if it would cost them €500 to rent a room, charge them €300 if they can put away €200 a month, and so on.
However, Carty notes that while 20-somethings might share their life on social media, they can still be shy when it comes to talking about money.
“It’s a bit of misnomer that they share so much,” he says.
But try and shrug this off as you’ll pick up some great tips long the way.

Thinking pensions are for later on
OK, so your 20s may not be the time to get in deep with pensions. But if you can do one thing, make sure you’re maximising contributions from your employer. If they match your contributions, try and put in the most you can to get the maximum contribution from them. It’s (almost) free money.
Not planning to buy a home – well in advance
As the resident financial planner on RTÉ’s Crowded House, which aims to help 20- and 30-somethings move out from home, Magee is keenly aware of the challenges facing today’s younger generation.

Whereas their predecessors may have bought their first home during this decade, it has become much more difficult for today’s 20-somethings to do so. A recent study from the UK-based thinktank Resolution Foundation found that about a third of millennials will never own their own home.
So if you want to be in the 66 per cent that do, it may require considered planning. “You may never want to buy a house; but you don’t want to wake up at 29 years of age and think ‘I definitely want to buy a house’ and have done nothing about it,” warns Magee.

Magee has crunched the numbers and found that it will take nine years for someone on the average income to save a deposit to buy the average house in Dublin, or seven years in Galway.
“So if you’re 21 years of age today, and if you’re not saving for a deposit for a house, you won’t be buying in your 20s,” he says.
Some 20-somethings are well ahead of the curve in this regard; Rory Carty, head of youth banking with Bank of Ireland, has fielded questions from second and third year college students about how they can save to buy.
“They are quite savvy and are saving quite early,” he says. And for people fearful of a preparatory chat with a lender about getting a mortgage, Carty says “don’t be”.
“People should come in and speak openly around their financial situation and get advice,” he says.
Thinking renting – and not saving – is viable
Maybe you’ll never own your own home; maybe you don’t want to. And don’t worry, never owning a home can be a legitimate financial decision. Look at the example of Germany, or France, where people are content to rent forever. Just 14 per cent of those living in Berlin, for example, own their own home.
However, years of experience have meant that these take a different view; yes they’re not forking out €4,000 to upgrade the boiler, but they are also aware that in retirement, unlike a homeowner, they will always have rent to pay on their home. So they take the money they would otherwise have spent on maintaining a property and save it for this eventuality.
And as Magee notes, while renting long-term can make sense, “you need absolute discipline for that”.
Spending what you don’t have
There are always temptations to spend more, but Magee is clear: “Don’t spend more than you earn”.
Given the proliferation of easy credit, such as through credit cards or car loans, urging us to upgrade our lifestyle, this can be more difficult than it sounds – particularly when it comes to the temptation of a shiny new (ish) car.

“There is no doubt that 20-year-olds are getting caught up with it ([extended purchase arrangements like] PCPs), and are driving better cars than they would have otherwise,” notes Magee.
He also cautions against saving, while you have a considerable balance on your credit card. Saving at 0.4 per cent while owing €1,000 on a credit card at 20 per cent, doesn’t make sense. If you use your savings to clear this debt, you can still fall back on the credit card should an emergency arise before you get a chance to rebuild your rainy day fund.

Allowing your lifestyle to inflate

This can be a major danger – or opportunity – to how your life is going to be. If you’ve just started work, you won’t be used to earning €400-€700 a week for example.
“So don’t get used to it,” Magee advises, urging 20-year-olds to try to put away 20 per cent of their net savings (this includes pension savings) each month. “And if you’ve never gotten used to spending a certain amount of money, you won’t miss it either. You’ll be just as content a person,” he says.
Not only that, but he wants you to bring this lesson with you through life.
“If you get a pay rise, don’t get used to it,” he says, cautioning against “lifestyle inflation”, whereby your lifestyle expands to fit your income. This is the biggest thing they can to help themselves financially,” he says of 20-somethings.

The challenges facing today’s 20-somethings

Soaring rents: Average Dublin city centre two-bed is €2,000
Priced out of the property market: Average age of first-time buyer 2006: 29 Average age today: 34
Unaffordability: Average house: average income 1995: 2.5 (national); 3 (Dublin) Average house: average income 2016: 4.7 (national); 6.6 (Dublin)

ipf No Comments

5 a side Soccer Tournament in aid of St Michael’s House 23.03.2018

IPF hosted a 5-a-side Football Tournament in aid of St Michaels House last Friday 23rd March.

We would like to thank all the representatives from each of the Life Companies who their time to be involved and for all the donations made.

St Michaels House residents accept a cheque for €2,500

Tournament Winners Zurich Life

Player of the Tournament Ian Slattery

ipf No Comments

Retirement Planning Seminars March 2018

This March, Irish Pensions & Finance hosted two Retirement Planning Seminars in The Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo and The Westbury Hotel Dublin.

These Seminars were greatly received by the 300+ attendees.

Speakers covered topics such as Financial Planning, Health & Wellbeing and Safety in the Home.

We would like to thank all the speakers and attendees for their participation on the night.

ipf No Comments

Driving in ice and snow

The winter months can make driving more dangerous in many ways, but two elements you need to be particularly cautious of whilst driving are ice and snow. To decrease your risk of an accident or damaging your car, follow our tips to stay safe when driving in these slippery conditions.

Plan before your journey:

  • Check weather forecasts and traffics updates so you know what to expect and can be fully prepared.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and your car has a fully kitted emergency kit. Click here, for our breakdown survival guide.
  • Choose a route using main roads where possible as the surface is often better and they are more likely to be gritted.
  • Keep clear of secondary roads and high ground, as they are exposed more directly to weather extremes.

 

Vehicle checks before your journey:

  • Tyres: Cold weather can cause tyre pressure to decrease, which affects traction and makes driving conditions more dangerous. Make sure the tyre pressure of your wheels matches the manufacturer’s specifications (found in the manual or on the door pillar). Tyre depth should be around 3mm.
  • Windows: Use a screen scraper or de-icer to clear your windows for full visibility. Do not use boiling hot water on your windscreen as you risk cracking the glass. Check your wipers are functioning fully, and filled with screen wash.
  • Heater: Learn how the heater in car works, not just to keep yourself warm but also to effectively clear any mist or condensation from your windows, allowing better visibility.
  • Coolant: If the weather is very cold, you should check your car’s coolant, or antifreeze, levels.  This makes sure your engine doesn’t freeze or overheat. For more details on correct usage of coolant click here.
  • Lights: Ensure all lights are working and clean, to optimise their performance.
  • Fuel: It is a good idea to keep plenty of fuel in the tank during winter months especially when you may end up having to re-route due to bad road conditions from ice, snow, flooding or fallen debris.
  • Snow and ice cover: If ice is on your windows, be sure to remove all of it and not just small areas for you to look through. If there is snow on your roof, you should clear all of it off before you drive. Otherwise it can become dislodged when your car moves, obscuring visibility in parts of your windscreen.
  • Ground clearance: Check the ground clearance of your car, which is the distance between the road and the lowest part of your vehicle. The less ground clearance your car has, the more careful you will need to be when driving over ice and snow to avoid scraping the chassis (base) of your car.
  • Wheel drive: Front-wheel drive vehicles handle ice and snow better than rear-wheel drive vehicles, because the engine weight is sitting over the front wheels, giving them more grip. It is important to know which one your car is. Rear-wheel drive cars can skid and slide more easily. To alleviate this, you can carry some weight in your boot, as it will put additional weight on the back tyres, giving them better grip on the road.

 

If your car skids:

You need to know whether your vehicle has ABS (Anti-Lock Braking Systems) or not in case you get into a skid, because your course of action will differ depending on if you have it or not.

Remember: ABS does not guarantee a shorter stopping distance in a car.

Vehicles with ABS

Vehicles without ABS

The ABS begins working as soon as you ‘step’ on the brake. Follow these steps:

 

1.     Step on brake pedal,
2.     Stay on brake pedal,
3.     Steer around the obstacle.
 

Don’t slam on the brakes, but pump them by lifting your foot off and on repeatedly. You are essentially acting as an ABS does by doing this.
On icy surfaces, a little bit of steering goes a long way so to avoid head on collisions, do not sharply turn your wheels around a hazard Steer between the pumps that you make on the brake. To avoid an obstruction, you can apply the steering when you have the brake pedal released
Look to where you want to go, and not at what you are trying to avoid. If you look at the obstruction, you will automatically begin to steer in that direction If your car has traction control (TCS/TC) turn it on.


Important:
If you get into a skid and your car begins to spin, steer gently into the direction of the spin to help your car straighten up.

 

Safe driving when en route:

  • Keep your lights on at all time, including during the day
  • Take off in second gear so you avoid wheel spin
  • Drive in the highest gear possible, and at a very slow speed when on flat ground
  • Accelerate and brake very gently and gradually to avoid your car skidding
  • When driving downhill, use 3rd or 4th gear. When turning a corner use a lower gear
  • If your car is an automatic, take a look at the manual override function. This will enable you to select the right gear to avoid braking as it can lead to skidding.
  • In icy and snowy conditions, stopping distance can be increased ten fold so keep this in mind. When stationery in traffic, be sure to leave a distance of at least one car length between you and the car in front.
  • When approaching traffic lights, begin to slow down early. Your brake lights will indicate you are doing so, giving good warning to traffic behind you and allowing them to do the same. Slowing down with just your gears won’t give the driver behind you any warning and could cause a collision.
  • Do not overtake on icy or snowy roads.
  • Be particularly careful of roads in shaded areas, either by trees or buildings. It is in these areas that black ice can often be found, as sunlight cannot reach them.
  • It is better to try avoiding a skid completely than trying to manoeuvre your way through one. If braking, steer and accelerate smoothly and you will greatly reduce the risk of skidding.

 

Keep the following winter survival kit in your car at all times:

 

✓High-vis vests

✓Reflective warning triangles

✓Cones

✓Ice scraper

✓Small shovel

✓Jump leads

✓Torch

✓AA Batteries

✓First-aid kit

✓Multi-tool and window breaker

✓Antifreeze

✓Clothing (scarves, hats & gloves)

✓High energy snacks

 

It’s easy to become frustrated and impatient when driving in difficult conditions. Remember to keep an eye on your driving; anger, frustration and impatience won’t get you to your destination any faster. Slow and steady wins the race or, in this case, gets you there safely.

Now that it gets dark so much earlier, click here to read our tips for safe driving in the dark.

Reference: www.aviva.ie

ipf No Comments

Grey matters: Demystifying pensions

Pensions can seem complicated, but they don’t have to be. People have common questions when starting to plan their pension and at Zurich we like to help with simple yet informative answers.

Putting a little aside today could help you live an active and enjoyable life when you retire. There is more than one way to enjoy your retirement and there is more than one type of pension. We can help you choose the one that is right for you, but most importantly, you have full control when it comes to deciding how your pension is invested – after all, it’s your money. With tax relief, employer contributions and optional lump sum payments, you may be able to save more than you think.

When choosing a pension having all the information you need is key. By answering some common questions we hope this helps explain pensions and how they work.

1. How does a pension work?

Each payday, each year or as often a you like, you save some money into a retirement fund. Your fund is put away and invested and is encouraged to grow over time so that when you finally decide to retire you’ll have enough saved to live out your life, happily. Essentially, a pension is a way of saving for the long term. But its different for two reasons: tax and time.

When you save money in a pension you may get tax relief on it, so the real cost could be less than you might think. Secondly, any returns you earn on your investment are reinvested over-and-over. Of course it all depends on how your investment performs but even a small amount saved in a pension when you are young could become very large by the time you retire.

2. How much do I need to save for my retirement?

How much you put into your pension pot depends on the type of lifestyle you would like to have and the length of time you will spend in retirement. Obviously, no one knows exactly how long they will live for and therefore how long their pension will need to last for. One thing we do know is that the sooner you start a pension, the bigger it should grow.

Due to better health for an ageing population, life expectancy is increasing. Most of us can now look forward to around 30 years in retirement, which is great news. How you support yourself financially during those years is the big question. It is important when planning your retirement to ensure you have built up a substantial pension fund by the time you retire.

3. How is my money invested?

A key factor in helping you grow your retirement fund is the investment return you could earn on your pension contributions. Any contributions you make into a pension will be invested in a fund, with a view to growing your money. Where your money is invested and how much risk you are prepared to accept is completely up to you. However, a general rule of thumb is the further you are from your retirement, the more adventurous you can be with your investment choice. An expert such as a financial broker or advisor will be able to help you work out what investment choice might best suit you. Zurich Life offers you access to a wide range of investment funds and choices – from very low risk options such as cash funds, medium risk options like multi-asset or managed funds, and higher risk options such as equity and property funds.

4. How does the tax relief work?

Saving for your retirement is down to you, but to encourage you to save for you future, you will receive valuable support from the government in the form of tax relief. It’s one of the most compelling reasons to save through a pension. Other forms of savings, like bank accounts or savings plans, do not attract such generous incentives.

Every contribution you make to a pension plan receives tax relief based on the rate of income tax you pay (most of us pay income tax at a rate of either 20% or 40%).

5. If I have my own pension will I still be entitled to the State pension?

You can still have your own pension and receive the State pension as long as you meet the criteria. To qualify for the contributory State pension you must have started paying social insurance before reaching 56 years of age. You must have paid at least 520 full rate social insurance contributions and have a yearly average of at least 48 paid and/or credited full rate contributions from the year you started insurable employment until you reach 66 years of age. If you don’t have the above then you must have a yearly average of at least 10 paid and/or credited full rate contributions from the year you started insurable employment to the end of the contribution year before you reach the age of 66.

6. Is it too late for me to save for my pension?

Planning for retirement is an important step to take, and it’s never too soon or too late to start planning your pension, which will help you to have the lifestyle and financial stability you desire in your retirement.

Although it’s never too late to start saving for your retirement, obviously the sooner you start the better. Regardless of your age, whether you’re self-employed or an employee, we’ve created pension plans for all circumstances. See which pension is right for you.

7. When can I access my pension savings?

In Ireland, tax relief is given for saving for retirement, therefore withdrawing your funds ahead of time is not encouraged and is often only allowed if there is a case of ill-health, such as that caused by a long-term disability. If this is the case and you are experiencing a serious illness, then you can access your personal pension at any age. Otherwise, if you want to access your pension early, you must wait until you’re 50 to draw it down if you are in an occupational pension scheme and you must be 60 if you have a PRSA (50 if you’re an employee and leaving service) or a retirement annuity pension.

8. What are my options at retirement?

After you have taken your retirement tax free, cash lump sum you can choose between an annuity and/or an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). An annuity is whereby on retirement you receive a regular income for the rest of your life. Annuities may be more suited to people who wish to avoid potential risks such as stock market volatility, and would prefer a guaranteed income for their retirement.

There are several choices you need to make when purchasing an annuity: A single life annuity is payable for the rest of your life only. With a joint life annuity, a percentage of your pension is payable to your spouse after you die. If you choose to include a guaranteed period, your pension will be payable for a minimum of the guaranteed period, even if you die during that time. A level annuity means payment of the annuity remains the same throughout your life and an escalating annuity means payment of the annuity increases at a fixed rate each year.

An ARF is a personal retirement fund where you can keep your money invested after retirement. You can withdraw from it regularly to give yourself an income, which will be subject to income tax, PRSI (up to age 66) and USC. Any money left in the fund after your death can be left to your next of kin.

There are certain restrictions to investing in an ARF. A Financial Advisor will help guide you on the option that might best suit you.

9. Defined benefit vs defined contribution

Company pensions can generally be categorised as being either defined benefit or defined contribution. A defined benefit pension plan (DB) sets out the specific benefit that will be paid to a retiree. This calculation takes into account factors such as the number of years an employee has worked and their salary, which then dictates the pension and/or lump sum that will be paid on retirement.

A defined contribution pension (DC) is an accumulation of funds that makes up a person’s pension pot. A person contributes a portion of their salary to a pension scheme. Ideally, although not always, their employer also contributes and these contributions are invested in a fund in order to provide retirement benefits. There is tax relief on this type of pension and the benefits at retirement will depend on a number of different factors such as the contribution levels, how the investment fund performs, plan charges and fees and the annuity rates available when you retire.

The main difference between a defined benefit scheme and a defined contribution scheme is that the former promises a specific income and the latter depends on factors such as the amount you pay into the pension and the fund’s investment performance.

10. What are the fees associated with my pension?

There are different sets of fees depending on the type of pension you take out and which organisation you hold your pension with. The Pension Authority advises that consumers get to know the typical charges that can apply. These might include entry fees, contribution charges or bid/offer spreads, annual management charges (AMC), policy charges/per member fees, switching charges and Pension Authority fees.

11. Do I need to speak to a financial broker or advisor?

We know talking about pensions won’t get your pulse racing. And of course, you’d rather be living your life than worrying about your retirement. But we also know that the sooner you deal with it, the better off you’ll be come retirement.

As this is your money and your future, it’s always advisable to speak to a financial advisor. You can call us on 018298500 to arrange an appointment with one of the IPF team.

The information contained herein is based on Zurich Life’s understanding of current Revenue practice as at November 2017 and may change in the future.

ipf No Comments

Why Life Insurance?

ipf No Comments

New leaf, new financial habits

Do you feel in control of your financial situation, or do you muddle through and worry you’ll never be organised enough to meet your financial goals?

If you’re on top of it, well done you! It’s no mean feat.

If not, worry not.

We know it can seem like an uphill struggle and bad habits are hard to shake, but even small changes and a few good habits, could free up the money you need to fuel your financial future and those all-important goals.

You work hard enough for your money, so we’ve shortlisted three top tips to help turn the tables, take back control and make your money work for you.

1. Follow the money

Start tracking exactly where your money goes every month and scrutinise your spending. That means looking at your mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, grocery bills, socialising, travel, debt, childcare and clothes shopping – everything right down to those pricey little indulgences.

You’ll be amazed just how much tracking what you’re spending will bring to light and it will make you a lot more mindful the next time you hit the ATM, supermarket or your favourite online store.

Allocating an allowance for the things you know you need to cover, like rent or travel to work and setting a budget for nice to haves like nights out or new clothes, will improve your money management immediately.

There’s lots of help available too. Start with your online banking services, as lots of banks now offer monthly income and expenditure breakdowns on accounts, or you could download a budgeting app that will do the math for you.

There are some great apps on the market that track spend, scan receipts and even take direct debits and bills into account, so you can get busy plugging any financial leaks.

2. Cut costs and splash out on savings

Smart changes mean more money to devote to your savings, kick-starting the pension you’ve been talking about or building up enough to invest for the longer-term.

The simple fix is often the most effective and one of the fastest ways to achieve a healthier bank balance is by prioritising your expenses.

Consider this scenario:

You spend around €5 Monday to Friday on a sandwich or something similar for lunch (and you’re no stranger to a chocolatey treat and coffee afterwards). That’s about €8 a day, five times a week. So, €40 a week on lunches you could easily make for about €10. Multiply that by four and you’ve just saved yourself €120 a month.

It’s not rocket science, but it works.

What about shopping around for the best energy, phone, internet, TV and insurance providers to shrink your bills so you can channel the difference into a saving or investment account?

It’s a good idea to question any memberships you pay on a regular basis too. Are you using your gym enough to justify the costs or could you get what you need somewhere less swanky (and expensive)?

If nights out are hammering your bank balance, maybe host friends at yours or use online deals to make socialising more affordable.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg and they all free up cash that can be put towards your financial goals.

3. Raise your financial IQ

Committing to increasing your knowledge on money management, saving and investing will allow you to think and act with much more savvy when it comes to your personal finances.

Following a finance blog that speaks your language, listening to podcasts on your commute or reading a chapter of a good book each day, is a great start.

The New York Times Bestsellers List is peppered with self-help and ‘How to’ titles that have helped people turn their finances around. Even scanning the business pages of the Sunday papers will keep you in the loop on money matters, without getting lost in technical commentary.

What’s the biggest lesson?

The biggest take away here is that your future belongs to you and as you grow older and take on more responsibilities, it becomes even more important to be aware of your financial situation and take control of it.

Remember, even the biggest journeys start with one step and the small changes mentioned in this blog can help you move in a much more positive direction.

Reference: www.irishlife.ie

ipf No Comments

What is Life Insurance?

It’s not the most cheerful of subjects – but it can bring peace of mind

It’s not the most cheerful of subjects – but it can bring peace of mind

It may not be the most cheerful of subjects, but the peace of mind of having financial security for the family is a real reason to give some thought to life assurance sooner rather than later!

What is Life Insurance? 

Like home or car insurance, a life insurance policy pays out when something goes wrong, essentially in this case, the death of the insured person/s.

Does Life Insurance last for life?

It can, but most people have term assurance, which is a life insurance plan that covers you for a specified amount over a specified term.  In the event of death within the fixed time period, a cash lump sum is paid out to the insured person’s estate or a nominated benefactor/s.

There is no pay-out at the end of the policy term, if the insured has not died – just as with any other form of insurance, such as car or home insurance, where a claim is not made during the policy term.

How long is the insurance term?

Life insurance can be purchased to cover different terms; factors such as the age of children or length of time to retirement would be taken into account.

Generally a minimum term is calculated to the age a youngest child will reach independence, if the policy is for family protection.  Those with no children, looking to financially secure a remaining spouse, would normally buy a policy up to age 65, with an option to convert to longer-term cover after that.

I have Mortgage Protection; is this not life cover?

Mortgage protection is the most basic form of life assurance and the cheapest.  It generally decreases each year in line with the mortgage balance outstanding.

Remember, however, that this cover is intended to pay-off the mortgage amount owing to the financial institution.  While this may secure a home, it does not provide a cash income to the family.

Is it possible to have life insurance for life?

Yes, whole-of-life cover is a guaranteed life assurance policy which pays out a lump sum in the event of death.  There is no fixed term attached to this type of policy; it is cover for the person’s entire life and is therefore usually more expensive than other forms of life assurance.

How much does life insurance cost?

How much you pay varies, depending on the insurance provider, but the main factors that dictate the price include the sum assured for, the length of term of the policy, the type of insurance policy, your age, your health, especially any existing medical conditions, and whether or not you smoke.  Policies can cost anything from €15 a month depending on these various factors. As an example a non-smoking couple in their mid-30’s can take out €250,000 over 10 years for circa €30 per month.

How much will a policy pay out?

Each individual determines how much their life is insured for, the amount usually recommend within the life assurance industry being in the region of ten to fifteen times net salary.  This figure, therefore, is a key factor in determining the cost of the policy.

What if I get ill and cannot provide for my family?

Specified Illness cover can be taken out as a standalone plan, or as part of a life insurance policy.  It pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a condition specifically listed in your policy.  This type of policy tends to be more expensive than life assurance, as you are five times more likely to claim throughout the policy term than you are to claim on a death policy.

Can couples get life cover together?

Joint life policies and dual life policies are sold, but note the difference in benefits received by claimants on the two types.  A joint life policy offers only one pay-out in the event of a death to the surviving claimant.  However, a dual life policy will provide separate pay-outs to the estate on the death of each claimant.

Reference: www.independent.ie

ipf No Comments

End of Year Awards 2017

 

Congratulations to the winners of our staff awards on Friday night, Jennifer Fitzgerald (Administrator of the Year), Marcin Czekalski (General Insurance Advisor of the Year), Louise O’Brien (Manager of the Year) and John McEntee (Assistant Financial Advisor of the Year).

These awards are given to those who have excelled in their fields over the last twelve months and have gone above and beyond to support their colleagues and clients.

Well done to all!

 

Also, voted Colleague of the Year by her peers was Brid Holligan. Congratulations!

Top