Pensions

Pensions in Ireland is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough social insurance contributions. People who qualify for a state pension are also allowed to have other incomes and still receive the State pension. The State pension is taxable, but if the pension is the only source of income it is not likely to be taxed.

In order to qualify for the State pension an individual must have started paying social insurance before the age of 56 and have paid at least 520 full rate social insurance contributions. An individual must also have at least 48 paid or credited full rate contributions from the year they started insurable employment until reaching 66 years of age.

Recent research has shown that only 32% of people would like to continuing to work after the age of 66. This is concerning due to the increasing financial pressure leading to delay in retirement. Another recent statistic gathered from 1,000 employers revealed that only 61% of employees believe that they will have no choice but to work past the age of …

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Mortgage Rates – comparison to Europe

High mortgage rates and strict mortgage regulations are greatly effecting borrowers. According to the Independent, Ireland’s high mortgage rates are costing borrowers up to  €60,000.

Although Irish mortgage rates have dropped in May according to data from the Central Bank, the rate remains the second highest in all of the eurozone. The only country that has higher mortgage rates than Ireland is Greece.

The average rate on all new mortgages averaged to 3.01% in May. The rate decreased by two basis points since April. However, the average rate in the european area amounts to only 1.68%. However, in comparison to the United States, the average rate is around 3.5%. The lowest mortgage rate in the eurozone is Finland. The rate defined in Finland is less than 1%.

According to the Banking and Payments Federation, the average first time buyer mortgage is now defined as €225,000. This means that the typical first time home buyer who is borrowing €225,000 over 30 years will pay about €143 more per month for their mortgage. If the average first time was able to borrow under the eurozone average rate, …

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Energy Prices

Consumers have been warned about rising energy prices. Many have been urged to beat immense energy price hikes by switching suppliers. According to new research from the energy regulator shows that house holders who actively switched electricity providers over the last four years have saved more than €1,000.

According to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, seven electricity suppliers announced that energy prices will rise in the next few months. The average increase in energy costs amounted to 5 percent for electricity and 13 percent for gas according to the commission for regulation and utilities.

Across the last four years, those who choose not to switch their suppliers for both electricity and gas suppliers over the last four years could have saved €1,700. The CRU claimed that savings made through changing electricity and gas suppliers 0r negotiating with a current supplier could have helped customers save on the recent raises in price. The CRU further described switching rates by consumers last year as “robust”. In other words consumers who took the advice to switch providers or negotiate with their current supplier …

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Review of Housing Costs

Increasing costs of rent are hindering workers from benefiting from increases in wages due to the growth of economy and reaching full employment. The number of people who work are reaching record highs because of the booming economy. However, growth in wages cannot keep up with skyrocketing increases in homes.

The average cost of housing is increasing at a rate twice that of average earnings throughout the country. Rent has increased by 8% in 2018. The average wage increased by just over 3%.

According to the Center Statistics Office, the unemployment rate as of the second of July, 2019  is 4.5%. Although this is a relatively low percentage of unemployment other problems exist such as joblessness, skill shortages and low levels of employed women.

Modest official inflation figures are being questioned by various economists to determine if the figures are truly representative of what is actually occurring as increasing demands for greater pay is contributing to more pressure on workers.

In response to heightening housing prices, there have been many actions for the “living wage” to be heightened by an additional …

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Ireland market basket prices reach EU heights

As of late, Ireland has been flagged as one of the most expensive countries in the EU for food. A market basket is a list of foods, convenience items, and services that are supposed to be representative of an average household spending which is used by economists to compare the consumer price index of each country. In general, this index also allows unflation to be recorded and compared from country to country.

Using this tool, Eurostat has found that prices of food an alcohol in Ireland are 20% higher than the average country, making it the fourth most expensive in the EU. This is surprising, given Ireland’s background as an agricultural nation.

For food alone, Ireland’s prices are 1.2 times more expensive when compared to the other 28 nations in the European Union. These high prices are harmful to consumers, but a definite draw for other EU based grocers. German companies Lidl and Aldi have begun expanding into Ireland, reducing prices below that of their Irish competitors. This business tactic is still effective, given that these discounted prices …

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First communion offers many financial firsts

Ireland is a country with every town founded around a religious center. Although in recent years faith has substantially waned, there are many sacraments that still hold a lot of cultural value. One of these is the sacrament of first communion, which commonly takes place in second class with the applicants usually around the ages of 7 or 8.

This widely celebrated day usually brings together families, all ready to celebrate the child’s initial steps towards being fully immersed in the catholic faith. These celebrations do not come without a price; in recent Ulster Bank surveys, parents have reported spending close to €900 to finance every detail of the big day. This number is significantly higher than previous years.

This hefty number is composed of a multitude of spending outlets: clothing fit for the occasion, party decor, prices of food and drink, and general entertainment for the after-communion party. As one could imagine, there prices add up quickly and can make this holy day one that parents fret having.

1 in 10 people throwing a communion …

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Ireland tourism rates rise leaves no trace on total spending

During the first quarter of 2019, it seemed that tourism spending has fallen by 4%. What is odd about this number is the fact that the rate of travel to Ireland has risen by 5.5%. After further investigation, data showed that although the frequency of traveling to Ireland increased, the amount of time that a tourist was to stay in the country has decreased by 3.2%.

With tourism number usually around 12.5 million people over 3 months time, this 3% decrease has left only 11.64 million. 3pc can make a huge impact in total income, especially with the high number of visitors per year.

Tourism is a main form of income in Ireland, especially in the city of Dublin. With a significant decrease in the number of people spending in very tourist oriented areas, there may be a significant amount of competition.

This competition will occur all throughout the city, causing stores with similar products to decrease prices so that they can stand out from their competition. The problem with this tactic is the fact that price …

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Dublin’s Housing Prices are Growing Faster than Income

A new report released by credit analysts from Moody’s states that Dublin house prices have grown approximately nine times the rate that employees’ wages have grown in the last six years. This is adding to the housing market difficulties causing many native Dubliners to either move or live on the streets. Many factors can be credited to the rising house prices including; the rise of multinational cooperation’s settling in Dublin coupled with the rapidly growing population. The Moody’s report concluded that Dublin’s population has grown by 21% since 2000 which, makes it the fasted growing city of all European capitals.

It ultimately comes down to the shortages of properties available in Dublin that are driving up the demand for housing, while the supplies stay consistent. Moody’s Investor service released a ranking for the European cities that its inhabitants can least afford to buy a home. Dublin was among the group of cities distinguished for being a hard and expensive city to find housing among many European countries. Additionally, the price to pay ratio for Dublin that determines how much money …

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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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Money lending interest rates regulated

The Department of Finance is a crucial part of the government of the republic of Ireland. During the current year, the Financial Services Division of this sector is looking into the interest rates that government approved money lenders are charging their consumers.

According to the Central Bank of Moneylending and the Consumer Credit Act (1995), money lending is “the practice of providing credit to consumers on foot of a money lending agreement.” Usually, these credits are taken in the form of cash but can also be the purchase of goods on credit from a catalogue.

In general, money lenders make getting money quick and easy. They are especially beneficial for those with a higher chance of being denied the ability to take out loans due to bad credit history, low income or a variety of other financial reasons. Many people who are also uneducated or inexperienced in the financial sector may find themselves turning to this easy alternative.

These vendors are most beneficial to be used as a last resort option when you are in need of …

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