Fair deal and farmers - Next year before changes go through
Fair Deal - the State scheme set up to provide financial support to those in need of nursing home care - can be a bad financial move.
Fair Deal - the State scheme set up to provide financial support to those in need of nursing home care - can be a bad financial move.
A seaweed dish is not exactly what you’d expect a guest to bring along to a dinner party – but this is exactly what seafood enthusiast Paul O’Connor did as a young marine biology student.
It's almost 10 years since the €440bn bank guarantee - put in place by the Government of the day to protect the Irish banks. In many ways, today's banks are almost unrecognisable to the...
A good friend of mine is in his mid-thirties and still living with his parents - because he can't get the...
Back-to-school costs don’t stop the minute children walk through the school gates this week — as the school year rolls on bills can run into the...
The recent cancellations at Irish Ferries and Ryanair are a stark reminder of how easy something can go wrong with your travel plans - and of the importance of knowing where you stand financially when it does.
People may have to work for much longer to qualify for the full State pension in the coming years, while others could see the tax relief on their pension savings chopped. This is due to some of the major changes on the cards for pensions in the future. While many people will be better off as a result, there will also be many others who will be worse off.
Summertime can be a chance to earn thousands, or indeed tens of thousands, of extra euro thanks to money-making opportunities thrown up by the season. As well as making a big difference to a household's income, some of this extra money can be earned tax-free.
As house buyers could need a deposit of almost €60,000 to buy a home, saving up a deposit has become one of the biggest challenges facing young people today. First-time buyers typically need a deposit equivalent to a tenth of the value of their home. The average asking price of a home nationwide is almost €250,000, according to Daft - but that rises to almost €590,000 in south county Dublin.
The peak summer travel season will kick off in a few weeks - so if you haven't yet booked your holiday and are hoping to travel in the next three months, you could find it too expensive to do so. Playing by a few rules however could boost your chances of getting a good deal. Getting the best price on flights is a good start.
Many of us turn to alternative therapy at some point and it ends up costing us more than it needs to - it is, in fact, possible to claim back a good chunk of the cost of the treatment on our...
Old milk churns and Victorian hair restoration kits are not the type of things you'd expect lights to be made out of - yet this is exactly the kind of...
Higher mortgage bills are on the way - if, as expected, European interest rates start to tick upwards next year.
Men are almost 40pc better off financially than women in retirement - making pensions one of the biggest, and probably the most serious, gender...
Rising interest rates are changing the rules of the game for investors. Over the last decade, investors have largely been operating in an environment of record low interest rates - but these days are...
It was the morning of the World Cup soccer final. My family and I had just arrived in France for our long-awaited two-week holiday. Within 20 minutes of leaving Roscoff ferry port we were almost killed in a horrific car accident. The driver who hit us - a young French woman - had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Parents of the 120,000 students who get their Leaving Cert results this Wednesday are facing a bill of as much as €12,800 to put their child through their first year in college.
A growing number of Irish people are facing an uncertain future and a risk of poverty in retirement - because they may have to rent for the rest of their lives.
The coming months and year could become even more expensive for Irish consumers as Brexit and the prospect of a global trade war threaten to push up prices. Consumers could be hundreds - if not thousands - of euro a year worse off as result.
Homeowners could see their mortgage bills soar by a few hundred euro a month in a few years' time - if, as expected, European interest rates start to rise in late 2019 or early 2020. The extent that mortgage bills will increase by will largely depend on the size and cost of a borrower's mortgage - but a series of rate hikes could easily see many paying hundreds more to repay their mortgage each month in the early 2020s than they are today.
Fraudsters are tricking Irish people into parting with thousands of euro - sometimes tens of thousands - ,while some Irish businesses have been stung for hundreds of thousands. The growing sophistication of fraudsters mean scams have become harder to spot, and therefore easier to fall for. Technology too is arming conmen with the information they need to create convincing scams.
Many people now have to work after the age of 65 because they are still paying off mortgages, are footing the bill for children's college fees - or have other financial commitments following them into retirement. Others have seen their life savings or pensions wiped out during the recession - and so can't afford to retire at 65.
Getting a call from your tenants about a leaky lean-to roof is the last thing you want when your sick toddler's temperature has spiked to almost 40 degrees Celsius and you're rushing panic-stricken to Caredoc. So too is a call to replace a fridge freezer - when you've already replaced the fridge for the same tenants four times in the space of two months but for some bizarre reason, their brand new fridges keep breaking down.
Your travel insurance could let you down if tragedy strikes during or before your holiday - because of the reams of small print which often comes with such policies.
Many parents will have little, if anything, left to pass onto their children when they die due to prohibitive healthcare and nursing home costs, longer life expectancy and the rising cost of living. Crippling inheritance tax bills are also eating into today's inheritance pots. There are, however, some steps you can take to protect the inheritance you planned for your loved ones - here are some of them.
More than 90,000 Irish savers must find a new home for their nest eggs now RaboDirect plans to pull out of the Irish market this May.
This coming St Patrick's weekend will see many of us dig out - and wear or display - our Irish keepsakes and accessories.
Some people are making hundreds of thousands, or indeed millions, a year from social media. They range from a six-year-old American boy who has become a multi-millionaire by reviewing new toys in YouTube videos produced by his family, to celebrities who can earn hundreds of thousands by promoting products on channels such as Instagram and YouTube.
The recent cold snaps caught a number of people off guard when their cars were stolen after they left them de-icing in their driveway. However, it wasn't just the opportunist thieves who caught these car owners out - so too did the small print on their insurance policy.
Tens of thousands of people who had their State pension cut in recent years are set to get that cut reversed under a pensions overhaul announced by Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty last month. However, not everyone will end up with a better pension under the changes.
Farmers who set up rural businesses to sustain their income are turning to crowdfunding sites to finance their ventures, with some businesses raising tens of thousands in a matter of minutes and hours.
Higher oil prices have hit home. For me, it's come in the form of a 50pc jump in the cost of heating my home over the last two years. In February 2016, it cost me €343 to get 750 litres of kerosene home heating oil. Today, it costs €523 - almost €200 more - to buy the same amount.
Some landlords are getting around rent controls by introducing fees for parking and bins, according to housing charity Threshold. As a result, a number of tenants are facing rent hikes well in excess of the increases allowed under the rent control rules.
Thousands of fake car insurance policies have been sold by fraudsters operating in this country - forcing many unsuspecting drivers to pay on the double for their car insurance.
Booking your summer getaway in January can save you thousands - particularly if you're a family wishing to travel in the peak summer months.
There is an old Irish legend about a prince from Meath who chased a stag for two days and two nights - to finally catch and kill the stag in Monaghan. Not long after catching the stag, the prince, whose name was Hugh McKenna, decided to make Monaghan his home - rather than to return to Meath.
Investors have plenty of reasons to be cheerful as we head into the first few weeks of the new year. The global economy is strong and expected to continue growing in 2018. The US tax cuts approved just before Christmas could push up the profits - and in turn, the share price - of many US companies.
The New Year is shaping up to be a mixed bag of financial fortunes. There are more jobs and higher wages on the cards, according to various economists. However, the New Year is also likely to be pricier for many consumers due to soaring costs in some areas, a series of price hikes in others - and the threat of more to come. So even if you're feeling more upbeat about your money, it is important to stay on top of your finances - and to do what you can to make the most of any extra money you might have. Here are five ways to spruce up your finances in the New Year.
This year has become more expensive than last for many people.
The run-up to Christmas is traditionally a time when many of us give to charity. Scandals in the charity sector in recent years - where a few organisations breached public trust - have damaged the reputation of charities and many have seen a drop in donations as a result.
With only 22 shopping days until Christmas, the rush is on. Don't panic buy though, as you'll most likely end up with a runaway shopping bill if you do. You still have time to take some steps which should help slash the cost of your Christmas shopping. Here are some of them.
In the first two years of my eldest daughter's life, she could only drink a prescribed milk formula - due to a digestive intolerance to dairy. Without that milk, she would have broken out in severe eczema. The bill for that formula would have run into hundreds of euro each month were it not for a Government scheme which capped the monthly cost at €90 initially, and €100 after that.
Most people only get to explore the remote wilderness and rugged cliffs of Ireland's west coast when on holiday. However, for outdoor enthusiasts Michael O'Boyle and Keith Mongan, the stunning scenery of the west coast is a key part of their day job.
Property tax bills are now arriving in the post and many of those who pay their bill in a one-off lump sum now have 52 days to do so. With Christmas fast approaching, it's worth settling your property tax bill this month if you can - or making the arrangements to do so in the New Year.
The reputation of the Irish banks has been badly damaged by the tracker mortgage scandal. One way the banks could start to restore their reputation would be to reverse the hikes in bank charges and interest rates which they've hit us with over the last decade.
Hundreds of thousands of families are now finding it more expensive to heat up their homes and to boil the kettle - due to a series of electricity and gas price hikes which kicked in at the start of this month. Furthermore, with more price hikes set to follow, most families can expect higher energy bills in the coming months.
Today's house sellers are facing a headache never encountered by those who sold property in - or before - the boom years: sorting out the loose ends arising from the stealth taxes introduced during the recession.
Many workers will be better off financially next year than they would have been at the height of the Celtic Tiger in 2006 - as long as their pay packet is no more than €70,000.
Homeowners could save as much as €133,000 on their mortgage by switching to a cheaper lender, an analysis by mortgage brokers Dowling Financial and the Sunday Independent has found.
Families could knock as much as €4,000 a year off their private health insurance bill by switching to cheaper - yet similar - cover and insuring their children on less expensive plans to the adults, an analysis by the health insurance experts, Totalhealthcover.ie and the Sunday Independent has found.
Commuters could knock thousands of euro a year off the cost of their travel to work by leaving their car at home and taking up tax breaks and other deals available on public transport. With traffic returning to boom-time levels and rising house prices pushing more house buyers into the commuter belt, it is time to seriously consider taking these steps if you take the bus or train to work. Otherwise, your daily commute will soon hit your pocket even harder.
Lining up property to provide for your retirement might seem like a clever idea - particularly given the recent recovery in the market and the steep rent being pocketed by many of today's landlords. For many people, a bricks-and-mortar investment is easier to understand than the vagaries of the stock market and this can sometimes increase the appeal of property as an investment.
With only a week to go before schools around the country start to reopen after the summer break, many parents are facing bills of almost €2,000 to put one child through school for the year. A new survey by mummypages.ie has found that parents can expect to pay €1,834 to put a child through secondary school. That bill includes the cost of uniform, sports gear and footwear; school books and classroom resources; the voluntary contribution; technology support; school trips; and fundraising. The typical bill for parents of primary school children came to €716.
Jobs in accountancy, retail management, computer programming, law and science are amongst some of the best paid in the country - and so amongst the careers which should be seriously considered by the Leaving Cert students who receive their results this Wednesday. Although these 56,000 students must wait until August 21 to find out if they have enough points to secure entry to various courses, the results received this week should give them a good idea of the career choices open to them.
Owning an Irish holiday home can seem tempting this time of year - as many of us escape to our rural retreats. Yet a holiday home in the country (or elsewhere) can turn into a major financial headache - even if it seems like a cheap buy. No matter how great the sea view or how warm your childhood memories are of a place, don't ignore these rules of thumb if buying a holiday home.
The cost of buying Irish shares could be as little as the price of a take-out cup of coffee - or as much as a few hundred euro if you're a small investor, depending on how and where you buy them.
A student grant can be worth as much as €12,000 to some students, and first-time applicants now have only three days left to apply for the grant. Having a late application in could delay your grant - meaning it could be well into the college year by the time you (or your child) receives it, if they get it at all.
Nine years ago, Tipperary woman Ailbhe Gerrard was working on Dublin building sites as a project manager. Little did she know that she would soon be far from the concrete and cranes of Dublin and instead running her own farm in her native county - where she would become an expert on bees and organic farming.
It's day four of my children's school summer break and while I'm not pulling my hair out just yet, give it time. Yes I am privileged to have three beautiful children but as any parent will tell you, they can be hard work at times - particularly when they're bored and out of their routine, as often happens in summer.
Trading in AIB shares will go unconditional on the Dublin and London stock markets this Tuesday in one of Europe's biggest bank flotations since the 2008 financial crisis. The flotation follows the Government's decision to trigger the sale of 25pc of its majority stake in the bank. This partial initial public offering (IPO) marks the first stage of the Government's plans to return AIB to private ownership.
Brexit will have a more permanent impact on Ireland than the financial crisis which rocked the country in 2008, a top economist has warned.
The price of holidays to European hotspots has shot up so much that it can now cost almost as much to visit Spain or Portugal this summer as it does to travel to some far-flung destinations, such as Thailand and the Caribbean. Recent terror attacks have pushed Egypt and Tunisia off the holiday brochures and demand for holidays in the Canary Islands and Algarve has shot up as a result - along with their prices.
Looming college bills will be very much on the minds of the parents of students starting their Leaving Cert this Wednesday.
Families can be torn apart by wills. Ill-thought out, poorly communicated, and indeed absent wills can trigger major family rifts - particularly where property or land is involved, as is often the case with Irish families.
Summer is often the time that many of us adopt a more easygoing attitude to our finances - however, doing so could see you lose out on thousands, or even tens of thousands, of euro. There are a number of summertime trends and nuances which are important to be aware of before making any major financial decision in the coming months. Here are some of the main ones.
Tax breaks and grants can be worth tens of thousands of euro to house buyers - particularly those buying property which needs work. So such State digouts should be at the forefront of your thoughts if buying either a home or an investment property - because they could considerably ease the financial burden of such a big purchase.
Many parents of children making their First Holy Communion this month will find themselves under pressure to allow their child to use any money raised on the day to buy a smartphone, iPad, helicopter drone or hoverboard. These are some of the items that are high on the wish list of children making their Communion this year, according to research by the parenting website mummypages.ie.
When Clodagh Davis started making cordials for her six-year-old son to sell from his lemonade stall at the bottom of their driveway, little did she know that this little stall would eventually lead to her own business.
Sticking to any good habits acquired while abstaining during Lent could save you tens of thousands of euro in insurance - and make it less likely for you to get turned away by an insurer.
Homeowners on variable mortgages could save as much as €17,000 on their mortgage over the next five years by locking into a cheap fixed rate, an analysis by the Sunday Independent and the mortgage brokers, Dowling Financial has found.
Schools around the country start to finish up for Easter this Friday - and parents are facing bills running into the hundreds to keep their children entertained over the two-week break. For those families which are heading to the sun, the bill for a week abroad could run into the thousands.
Marcus Connaughton, a veteran of the Irish record industry, has been an RTE radio producer for over 20 years. Connaughton, who presents and produces RTE Radio 1's maritime programme, Seascapes, lives in the Blackwater Valley in Waterford - not far from Fermoy.
Many rural dwellers are running out of places to manage their money safely - if they haven't done so already.
Marek Pokorny remembers the birth of his youngest daughter for an unusual reason. Pokorny, who runs his own snail farm in Co Kildare, imported his first 10,000 breeding snails from France in December 2015. He put these snails into hibernation for a couple of months - until February 2016 when he placed them into the breeding unit on his snail farm.
It could take another 15 years for Irish women to get paid the same as Irish men for the same job - because of gender inequality in the workplace, according to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It found, on average, Irish women earn 15pc less than men each year. So, with women in the workplace - or those just starting out in their careers - facing such a wait before the gender pay gap is bridged, what can they do to get fairer pay in the meantime? Here are five ways you can help close the gap:
The actress Mairin de Buitleir plays the role of the barrister Dee in Ros na Run. The 24-year-old, from Caiseal na gCorr - a small town near Dunlewey in Co Donegal, started her acting career as a teenager in Teenage Cics, a television series which tells the story of children going to Irish college in the Gaeltacht.
When the British Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 this month, she will start the clock ticking on Brexit - and fuel further uncertainty on stock markets.
Author Jess Kidd won the Costa Short Story Award for her story Dirty Little Fishes last month. Kidd, whose family is originally from Mayo, was brought up in London. She is living in London with her daughter but hopes to move to the west of Ireland in the next few years.
Irish couples could spend thousands of euro more on fertility treatment than they need to should they opt for expensive, yet unnecessary, additional tests and treatments, leading fertility experts are warning.
David Harte is captain of the men's Irish hockey team. Last summer, in Rio, they became the first Irish hockey side to play in an Olympic Games since 1908. As Harte plays professionally with the Dutch hockey club, SV Kampong, he spends most of the year in the Netherlands. He also plays professionally for Dabang Mumbai in India.
The water buffalo is an animal that most of us would expect to spot in the swamps and muddy waters of Asia and India - rather than the green fields of west Cork. Yet should you be strolling around the Gaeltacht in west Cork, you might well come across the herd of buffalo which Johnny Lynch has on his farm.
Comedian Neil Delamere, from Edenderry in Co Offaly, is a computer applications graduate of Dublin City University. His career in comedy kicked off in 2004 at the Edinburgh Festival. Along with his stand-up tours, he appears regularly on RTE and BBC. He has also written and presented a number of award-winning comedy documentaries, including The Only Viking in the Village and There's...
When my son was two, I discovered he was hearing things as if he was underwater. This was because he had fluid rather than air in his middle ears - a condition known as glue ear. His speech was not coming on as it should have for a child of his age as a result - and he had suffered more than a dozen painful ear infections. I had two options: wait and see if it would clear up naturally - or the surgical insertion of grommets.
Writer Brian Conaghan won the prestigious Costa Children's Book award earlier this year for his third book, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, which tells the story of two friends growing up in a war zone. The Scotsman has been living in Dublin, where his wife Orla is from, for 10 years.
My car insurance renewal quote came through the door a few weeks ago - and, like so many other drivers, I was facing a double-digit price increase. I paid €389 for my car insurance last year. This year, I was quoted €489 - 26pc more.
Actor Seamus Moran played bistro owner Mike Gleeson in Fair City for 12 years and recently portrayed a philandering, irresponsible bookie in TG4's Rásaí na Gaillimhe. He is presenting a new series of Hollywood in Éirinn on TG4.
Many young people will find it harder to get their feet onto the property ladder and have been forced to rethink their plans to inherit the family home after the Government clamped down on a popular tax relief over Christmas, tax experts are warning.
The colourful hotelier and TV personality Francis Brennan runs the five-star Park Hotel Kenmare in Kerry with his brother, John. Francis is well-known for presenting the RTE 1 series 'At Your Service' as well as 'Francis Brennan's Grand Tour', where he takes holidaymakers on a two-week vacation to a mystery destination. Dubliner Brennan now lives in Tahilla, Co Kerry.
Ciara Mageean became only the third Irish woman to win a medal at the European Athletics Championships when she took bronze in the 1500m last July. The 24-year-old athlete, from Co Down, made her Olympic debut at the Rio Games last August.
First-time buyers are set to return to the property market in force this year - and fears that house prices are about to escalate are high. The recent change to the Central Bank's lending rules, which means first-time buyers no longer require a deposit larger than 10pc if borrowing more than €220,000, is encouraging many to get off the fence to buy property.
The 400,000 people renewing their private health insurance this month could be paying as much as €3,000 a year more for their private health insurance than they need to, Sunday Independent analysis has found. Most at risk of overpaying are those who have been on the same plan for three or more years - and those who automatically renew their cover without shopping around.
Switching health insurance can be a costly mistake if you choose the wrong plan. You could lose cover for medical treatment which you need. Should this happen, any savings made by your move could easily be wiped out by the cost of paying for care which your previous insurer or plan had foot the bill for.
The Cork actress Eileen Walsh is well-known for her role in The Magdalene Sisters, the award-winning film about three teenage girls who were sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Walsh also starred as the lonely housewife in Eden - a role for which she won the best actress award at New York's Tribeca Film Festival in 2008.
Car insurance fraud is costing insurers hundreds of millions of euro a year - and pushing up the cost of motor insurance for drivers. With car insurance premiums already soaring in recent years, such fraud is an extra financial headache which motorists could do without. Fraud has already pushed up the cost of a typical car insurance policy by about €50, according to estimates from the insurance industry - and it may be driving up the cost of a policy by even more than that, according to Robert Smyth, fraud manager with Aviva.
Car buyers could pay as much as €10,500 more for their car if they borrow the money for it from a bank instead of a car dealer, a survey by the Sunday Independent has found.
Mary O'Rourke, who turns 80 this year, has a long political career behind her. A former TD and deputy leader of Fianna Fail, O'Rourke has served as Minister for Education, Minister for Public Enterprise, and Minister for Health.
The award-winning author Liz Nugent is busy writing her third novel, Skin Deep, which she hopes to publish early this year.
Mark Ganly was so moved by the experience of a rugby player who was forced to give up his sport because of concussion that he decided to set up a company dedicated to reducing the incidence of such head injuries in rugby.
Rising rents, double-digit price increases in health insurance, and the closure of work pension schemes will be some of the biggest financial challenges facing many people in 2017. Make it your resolution to tackle those challenges this year. Here's how to.
Donegal actor Niall Mac Eachmharcaigh plays the part of John Joe Daly in TG4's Irish-language drama, Ros na Rún. Mac Eachmharcaigh, who is from the Irish-speaking village of Rann na Feirste, has been acting with Ros na Rún for 15 years.
This time two years ago, I was stuck at the end of a check-in queue in a tiny airport in Lapland - praying that my then four-year-old daughter and I would make the flight home.
With less than two shopping weeks to Christmas, those leaving it late are in danger of being ripped off in the dash to buy gifts.
Christmas is the last thing you'd expect parents to have on their minds as their children head back to school in September. However, within an hour of the tickets for this year's Rathwood Santa train going up for sale, 22,500 had been sold, according to James Keogh, managing director of Rathwood. They went up for sale on September 1. By late October, Rathwood's Santa train was already sold out for the weekends and nights before Christmas.
The Cork actor Ciaran Bermingham is possibly best known for playing the role of 'Mord' in the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. He also starred in the recent Irish box office hit, The Young Offenders - a movie shot in Cork. Bermingham has a long theatre career behind him too. He is currently starring as the loveable Granny in the Red Riding Hood panto in the Everyman Theatre in Cork (www.everymancork.com) until January 8.
Adi Roche is the chief executive of the Irish-based Chernobyl Children International (CCI) charity. Born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Adi started working in the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 to provide support to children living in the affected areas. She founded CCI in 1991.
Homeowners in the west of Ireland are being charged as much as three times more for home insurance than their Dublin counterparts - because of the damage inflicted by the powerful storms of recent years. Meanwhile, those homeowners living in a burglary blackspot could see the cost of their home insurance soar by hundreds of euro a year because some insurers charge them up to twice the price for cover.
Investors could lose more than half of the money made on an investment to tax - so it pays to keep the Revenue Commissioners in mind before deciding where to invest your cash.
Stock markets in the US could hit new records under Donald Trump's presidency and its economy could be in for one of its best runs yet - these are some of the predictions from Deutsche Bank experts, less than two weeks after Trump's victory.
The woeful interest rates that are being offered to savers with deposit accounts have prompted many investors to eye up other investment products in the hope of making better returns. So too has the changing investment climate.
With inflation expected to tick up under Brexit and the reign of the new US president Donald Trump on the horizon, leaving a wad of money in a deposit account is not a runner. Inflation will eat into the value of that money over time, particularly if deposit interest rates are low - as they have been for some time.
Irish investors in their early 60s who have yet to retire could be among the most vulnerable to Brexit and any uncertainty in financial markets triggered by the election of Donald Trump.
Years of stock market mayhem could be around the corner if the rise of populism in the US and Britain spreads to Europe. Such a development could see a return to 2011 when the European debt crisis was at its peak, experts fear.
The 3,300 homeowners who are exempt from property tax, because they bought a house or apartment in a ghost estate, will continue to escape the tax for the next three years - even if the estate has since been finished. This is in stark contrast to the lack of property tax relief available to those whose homes were badly damaged in the floods of late 2015. Such homeowners cannot get an exemption from or reduction of property tax.
As a child Sabine Hobbel never liked the bread that her brother ate. Her brother had a severe egg and wheat allergy at the time. "So my mum was always buying unusual products from health food stores and I remember thinking that my brother's bread was just such awful, crumbly stuff," says Hobbel.
A Donald Trump honeymoon could be on the cards for many investors over the coming months - despite the shock waves sent through stock markets last week when it emerged he had been elected president of the United States. This honeymoon could last for as long as two years, according to some experts.