Retire young! Retire poor….

The age of retirement is going to rise, within the next five years it has to. There are several reasons, the most immediate being that the state doesn’t have the money to fund retirement at present, other factors are that people are living longer and the combined increase in health care costs to the elderly with the weight of funding pensions means one or the other has to give in eventually.

In October of 2005 Seamus Brennan gave a talk at the Merrion Hotel on the subject of the ‘Issues facing an ageing population’. The statistics are particularly relevant as they have not changed much since then.

(Excerpt) ‘The facts speak for themselves, in 2002 almost half a million people were aged 65 or over. The latest population projections suggest this may increase to 1.1 million people aged 65 and over by 2036. Right now we have almost 5 people working for every pensioner, when the demographic challenges are at their height this will decline to two workers for every pensioner. This fact has …

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We need to clear our bonds, ensure there are retail offerings.

Ireland has been downgraded by Standard and Poors, we are on a ratings watch with Fitch and Moody’s as well. The last bond issued by the NTMA was not subscribed as widely by the international financial community as they were previously and the Irish stepped up and bought up 55% of the bond, we saved the day ourselves. Now we are at a crossroads, we need to raise money, it will be more expensive given our national outlook and at the same time investors are shying away from our sovereign debt, equally we can’t cut back spending enough to bridge the gap and impressing the international investor market with taxation will hurt our national economy.

There is enough money in this country to clear all of the bonds required, and it is held in ready cash format. …

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Financial road maps

Having a plan is important in many areas of life, I would feel it is vital in personal finance, yet a surprising amount of people totally fail on this matter and go through life in an ad hoc manner and they are often wondering why some people seem to do better even though they don’t earn as much as they do. Animals in the forest don’t worry about finance, they do worry about food though, hence they gather for winter, squirrels have figured this out so it is disappointing, given the superiority of human intellect, that many private individuals have not planned for an ‘economic’ winter.

A simple method is a budget, it can be complex or it can be crude but in either case having a crude one is better than having none. Sometimes this is worked out using percentages, for instance:

After tax income x 60% = all expenses (mortgages, bills, food, entertainment etc.)

After tax income x 10% = discretionary expenses (something you may have buy from time to time)

After tax …

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