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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

Talking Money on New Years Resolutions, 5th January 2015

This was our first time to do ‘Talking Money’ on RTE’s Drivetime Show, we looked at financial resolutions, how to make them simple, and most importantly, how to set them up so you actually implement them, the key is to take small steps and form habits rather than trying to do it all at once. Listen in to the clip to find out more!

Read More

TV3 The Morning Show: Health Insurance, Car Insurance, Credit Unions

We were talking about health insurance, car insurance and credit unions this month on TV3’s personal finance slot. On health insurance in particular we highlighted that you don’t have to go from ‘having cover’ to having zero cover, instead you could opt for the likes of the Hospital Saturday Fund which is a cash plan (pays out on health related spending but isn’t like regular insurance).

Car insurance was also a topic – the new EU ruling will make it illegal to rate men and women differently based on their sex alone from 21st December this year.

Credit Unions were (and are) in the news because of problems they are having. We’ll be back with TV3 next month for more!

Read More

TV3 The Morning Show – Spend wisely at Christmas

We were talking about personal finance coming up to Christmas on The Morning Show with Sybil & Martin last week. Research has shown that between €550 and €900 euro is the average spend, making it a very expensive time of year. We gave the viewers some very simple ideas that should make it a little easier to avoid the new year blues by spending wisely in December!

Read More