Fair Deal Scheme

The Fair Deal Scheme was enacted in 2009 to assist those who cannot afford to pay full cost of nursing home care. The Fair Deal Scheme mainly applies to those in need of long term nursing home care, but cannot afford it. The main purpose of the scheme is to ensure that no one needs to sell their family home to pay for cost of care.

Nursing home care costs are managed under the Health Service Executive (HSE).  The costs can be paid in full or partially. Those charged with paying the resident’s portion of the cost are allowed to defer the charge. Under the Fair Deal Scheme, every person contributions to the cost of care is based on their means and the state will then pay the balance.

A financial assessment is needed to define the level of contribution an individual makes towards the cost of future care. Income and assets of each individual are assessed. Ultimately if you have little income and assets you pay less than those who have more income and assets.

Financial assessment requires …

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Pension top-ups failing seniors, women

The most recent governmental review of pension top-ups has left many retired people with far less than they had anticipated. Only 15% of around 11,500 cases reviewed within the last period will be receiving top-ups, leaving 10,000 people who applied for a top-up without any other option than to survive off of their same plan, despite rising prices.

This denial of pension top-ups extends beyond this small percentage of retirees. Tens of thousands of people were affected by this bad review, causing the public to go into a frenzy. Understandably so, given that everyone who has a pension is retired and between the ages of 60 and 70. Most of these people have already worked for over 40 years and have planned and saved so that they no longer have to work in the elderly stage of their lives.

Usually, people begin saving for pensions at the age of 25, paying small amounts to their retirement fund that are sometimes matched to a degree by either their current employer or the government. These plans also usually have higher …

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Newstalk: Karl Deeter on the Pat Kenny show discussing pensions

The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk had us on to talk about the future of pensions and to help people understand some of the looming issues in the retirement space.

It is a complex problem which is affected by everything from home-ownership to central bank interest rates. The main thing to take from it is that everybody who can start a pension, no matter how small, should do so. One of the biggest issues is the fact that people don’t even have one they can contribute to.

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Irish Times article by John McCartney, Lorcan Sirr & Karl Deeter

The Irish Times carried an article by John McCartney (Savills), Lorcan Sirr (DIT Bolton St) and Karl Deeter (Irish Mortgage Brokers) about the issues surrounding a shift away from a home ownership model.

Our point isn’t that there is a definitive ‘right or wrong’ way to provide housing, obviously our market has massive issues at present, but the larger question is the long run effects and how a lack of household savings can turn a property crisis into a pension crisis of sorts.

That is why we need to find new solutions for more than just housing.

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Behavioural economics and pensions

There was a fascinating paper published by the pensions institute in 2010 entitled ‘spend more today’ and it was about ways to encourage (or to use the economic vernacular ‘nudge’) people to take out pensions.

We realise that forty pages of technical reading may not be everybody’s cup of tea so here is the most brief synopsis we can offer you as an alternative. Just note that this isn’t what you ought to do per se, it is about how the system ought to work.

They put forward the idea of using ‘SPEEDOMETER‘ which stands for ‘Spending Optimally Throughout Retirement’, and the steps to take are as follows:

1: First make a plan, ideally with, but if necessary, without an advisor. This first point is of interest because we obviously think everybody should get advice when planning their pension, but upon reflection it’s equally true that a ‘start’, even with no advice is better than inaction and there is simple reason behind it.

Say you decided to start putting €200 a month into a pension, given that you might be …

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Talking Money on RTE 1 Drivetime: Cash in pensions for the over 55’s, 9th February 2015

On the 9th of February in the ‘Talking Money’ segment of  RTE 1 Drivetime show Mary Wilson had us in to discuss some changes that were coming down the line in the UK for the over 55’s regarding their pensions. This will have an effect on thousands of Irish people and we considered that as well as whether or not the move was a good idea or not.

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RTE Drivetime: Talking Money on pensions (week 2)

In the second instalment on pensions we looked at the situation people may find themselves in if they have waited until their 40’s or 50’s to start saving towards retirement. There are some scary valid concerns but also some good news when it comes to retirement provision started late.

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RTE Drivetime: Talking Money on pensions (week 1)

On Monday the 27th of October we had the first of two parts about pensions, the focus this week was that people are passing up money that is on the table for the taking. The other issues were about the kind of advice you get, and the best ways to structure your pension as well as to demonstrate the available funds if you save for retirement. 

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Could the new AIB split mortgage be illegal?

In the Sunday Business Post yesterday an article appeared which explained the new AIB split mortgage deal. We sought details of this from AIB but only scant ones were provided which we posted already.

How it works in money terms was not disclosed by AIB but they equally didn’t retract any statements showing up in the press so we can assume that the information published is correct as they haven’t publicly retracted any aspect of how it has been covered. For that reason there was an aspect to this which we see as being of grave concern.

However, if Mary and Tom get a pension lump sum at retirement, they must use this towards paying down tranche B. This only applies to pension lump sums and doesn’t apply to any other lump sums a person may receive e.g. inheritance, bonus payments, gifts, lotto win etc. On this matter it is always advisable to seek professional pension advice.

Read the highlighted parts again, ‘they must use’ the lump sum …

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Pensions: Public versus Private – nobody wins

This article appeared in the Sun on Sunday on the 2nd of June 2013

Sometimes we hear how people in the public sector make more than the private sector, or that big private sector earners don’t pay enough tax. This is a simple divide and conquer strategy where the end game is to make us all less well off in order for the Government to hold on to more resources and then pay for things in a demonstration of their own largesse.

In every version of this script the State is the hero and the public and private sector take it in turns to be the greedy bad guys.

Much of welfare funding, including many aspects of pensions, isn’t just about figuring out the strategy for preventing poverty in the first place, or curing it long term, or about reducing poverty in the elderly. It’s about feeding the ego’s of policy makers while using other peoples money. And by demonstrating how they, as a third party, can make the world a better place because they are the anointed ones who …

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