Financial Control: Latest News 

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Mortgage Protection - Financial Broker v Bank

The economic growth has led to an increase in property purchases and in turn more and more people are taking out mortgages and with that mortgage protection but do people really know all the options that are available to them. When it comes to choosing a mortgage protection policy by consulting your financial broker you can get the best quality cover at the most competitive cost. Most Lenders will offer mortgage protection cover as part of their home loan package. However, you are not obliged to take their cover and in fact it is illegal for a lender to offer you a mortgage on the condition you complete the mortgage protection cover with them.You can arrange cover yourself through a financial broker and there are many advantages of doing so.    

Most competitive price as financial brokers we give impartial advice and will search the market for the most competitive mortgage protection policy cover available, where as lenders typically use just one insurer for their mortgage protection policy.Along with value for money the biggest advantage of using your financial broker for mortgage protection is that you own the policy, not many people realize that when a mortgage protection policy is taken out with the bank that it is the bank who owns the policy and not the individual. The importance of owning your own policy i.e. through a financial broker is if you wish to move your mortgage from one lender to another you can take the mortgage protection policy with you by resigning it to the new lender.

However if you take out mortgage protection with the lender and you wish to move your mortgage from one lender to another that mortgage protection cover ceases when you move to another lender this means you will have to take out fresh cover for most likely a more expensive premium or in the worst case scenario you may not necessarily get cover because of the natural process of age & health deterioration over time.The myth that the process takes longer if you use a financial broker is not surprisingly spread out there by the lenders however the process is the exact same for all mortgage protection policies so it’s a not any slower in fact it may be even slightly faster when you deal with a financial broker due to the supports from the life companies with turn around times of 24 hours being recorded.

For many people mortgage protection is life assurance that parallels the outstanding mortgage and the cover diminishes alongside the loan but do you know that there are wide range of options and added benefits by chatting with your financial broker all the options and benefits can be explained in detailed i.e. having Dual life instead of Joint life or adding specified illness cover these are just some of the options available to you so that you can make the best possible choice on a mortgage protection policy. Why not contact me today to discuss all your options on Mortgage protection.

Posted: 25th June 2019

 


Key Points for the Life & Pensions Industry

• The increase to the State Pension (Contributory) of €5 per week and the restoration of the 100 per cent Christmas bonus payment to all social welfare recipients this year could remove the need for many people having to set up an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) as they will now meet the specified income test of €12,700 a year. Further details of how these changes will impact upon the requirement to set up an AMRF may be contained in the Finance Bill. 
• The current Group A tax free threshold which applies primarily to gifts and inheritances from parents to their children is being increased from €310,000 to €320,000. This increase applies in respect of gifts or inheritances received on or after the 10 October 2018.

Other Key Measures Announced in Budget 2019
• Two changes to the Universal Social Charge (USC) were announced which will apply from 1 January 2019:
€502 increase to €19,372 band ceiling
4.75% rate reduced to 4.50%

Incomes of €13,000 or less are exempt. Otherwise:
€0 to €12,012 @ 0.50%
€12,012 to €19,874 @ 2.00%
€19,874 to €70,044 @ 4.50%
€70,044 and above @ 8%
Self-employed income in excess of €100,000 @ 11%

• An increase of €750 in the income tax standard rate band for all earners, from €34,550 to €35,300 for single individuals and from €43,550 to €44,300 for married one earner couples which will apply from 1 January 2019.
• An increase in the Home Carer Tax Credit from €1,200 to €1,500 which will apply from 1 January 2019.
• From 1 January 2019 the weekly income threshold for the higher rate of employer’s PRSI will increase from €376 to €386.
• The Earned Income Credit of €1,150 is being increased to €1,350 with effect from 1 January 2019. This is available to taxpayers earning self-employed trading or professional income under Cases I, II and III of Schedule D and to business owner/managers who are ineligible for a PAYE credit on their salary income.
• The excise duty on a packet of 20 cigarettes is being increased by 50 cents (including VAT) with a pro-rata increase on other tobacco products; and there will be an additional 25 cents on roll your own tobacco. Both measures will take effect from midnight on 9 October 2018.
• The increase in the amount of interest paid in respect of loans used to purchase, improve or repair a residential property that may be deducted by landlords will be accelerated to 100% from 1 January 2019.
• A €5 per week increase in all weekly social welfare payments,including disability allowance, carer’s allowance and both Jobseekers’ Allowance and benefit, as well as a further €5 increase in the State Pension. These measures will take effect in the last week of March 2019.

Posted: 10th October 2019

Click here for budget 2018 Summary

Posted: 11th October 2017

What is Pension auto enrolment?

In Ireland automatic enrolment is being mooted as a measure in the next 2-3 years that if introduced could bridge the pension gap. If introduced, automatic enrolment would see employers introduce a workplace pension scheme and automatically enrol their employees into the scheme. Employers would then be obliged to contribute a percentage of an employee's salary to help fund their retirement. The Government would also make a contribution. Employees can opt out if they wish.

Posted: 22nd September 2017

Guidelines to smart investing:

Posted: 1st June 2017

THE HELP TO BUY INCENTIVE FOR FIRST TIME BUYERS - Mortgages

Attention all first time buyers, it is time to claim back some of the hard earned tax you have paid over the past four years.
This incentive is designed to help first time buyers by giving them a refund of Income Tax and DIRT which has been paid over the past four years. Currently (2013 – 2016).
There is a caveat, as it only applies to new houses and new self build. Anyone currently looking at buying a second hand house is excluded from this incentive.

Employed Vs Self Employed
There is no distinction in regards to who can use this incentive; the only difference is the method by which you need to make your claim. One obvious thing is…. You must have paid some tax to be able to apply.

Employed
Register with My Account on the Revenue website. Once you have been registered you will need to fill in a Form 12.
Once the Form 12 is completed you can click on the Help to buy icon, and follow the instructions.
One point to note: once an application has more than 1 applicant it is a group.

Self employed
Firstly if there any outstanding Tax due to be paid for any of the previous four years these outstanding Taxes will need to be paid.
Secondly you must ensure you have filed your 2016 tax return to be entitled for the maximum four years period, (2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013)
One point to note if you are self employed and operate as a sub or principle contractor in construction. You are not outside RCT on a self build. It is essential that all payments made to Sub Contractors must be notified to Revenue otherwise the payment can be seen as been made as net to the Zero, 20% or 35% RCT applicable. This will then need to be paid to Revenue by you.

Conclusion
Perhaps you or someone you know can benefit from this incentive it is due to run from July 2016 until 31st December 2019.

Posted: 20th January 2017

Budget 2017 Summary

• The 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector was retained;
• The Start your Own Business Scheme has been extended for a further 2 years;
• The CGT rate for chargeable gains on the disposal of qualifying assets has been cut from 20% to 10% up to a limit of €1 million;
• The 3 lowest rates of USC have been cut by 0.5% and the ceiling of €18,668 for payment of the 2.5% USC rate has been increased to €18,772 to ensure that workers earning the minimum wage will not pay the top rate of USC;
• The Home Carer Tax Credit has been increased from €1,000 to €1,100;
• The Earned Income Credit for self-employed people has been lifted from €550 to €950. This is a positive move, but still leaves the self-employed at a significant disadvantage to employees;
• The deduction available for qualifying interest payments on monies borrowed to purchase, improve or repair rental properties has been increased from 75% to 80% for next and existing mortgages. It will be increased in installments of 5% over the coming years until 100% is restored;
• The DIRT rate will be reduced by 2% per year for the next 4 years, taking the rate down to 33%;
• No changes to private pension provision, but the state pension and all weekly social welfare payments will increase by €5 per week;
• 2,400 extra teachers and 800 extra Gardai will be hired in 2017;
• A 5% rebate on income taxes paid by first-time buyers of a newly built home, capped at €20,000. Houses costing in excess of €600,000 will not be subject to the rebate;
• The rent a room earnings ceiling has been lifted from €12,000 to €14,000;
• CAT Group A lifetime tax-free threshold applying to gifts and inheritances from parents to children has been lifted from €280,000 to €310,000. Group B threshold has been lifted from €30,150 to €32,500; and Group C has been lifted from €15,075 to €16,250; and
• A packet of 20 cigarettes has been increased by 50 cent.

A more detailed summary can be found here:
/uploadedfiles/pdfs/Budget Summary 2017.pdf

Posted 12th October 2016

BEFORE YOU START, YOU CAN EXPLORE YOUR INVESTMENT NEEDS AND GOALS BY ASKING YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.

  • Question 1:     What are your financial goals – what do you want to do with your investment?
  • Question 2:     What is your investment horizon – how long do you want to invest your money for?
  • Question 3:     What is your investor profile? Every investment type has an associated risk so you need to understand the level of risk you’re comfortable with. Low risk options tend to have limited potential returns, whereas taking some risk could generate a better return over the long-term.
  • Question 4:     How much access to your money do you need? The longer you invest your money the better the returns tend to be, however you should consider if you might need your funds in the meantime and factor this in.
  • Question 5:     Consider your long-term goals, how comfortable would you be with up and downs in the value of your investment and the access you’ll need to your money before investing.

Posted: 12th April 2016

PTSB to offer 2% cash back on mortgages for customers (First and second time buyers & switcher mortgages)

The ‘3in1’ Mortgage from Permanent TSB launches on Monday and provides 3 benefits in one new Mortgage:
1. Rates: Upfront discounts enhancing affordability during the first 12 months of the Mortgage - 1 year 0.50% discounted variable rate
2. Incentive: Straight forward Cash Back to help with all the costs associated with buying or building a new home - 2% of your Mortgage back as cash
3. Flexible features: Lifetime value; Support and flexibility throughout the life of the Mortgage - 3 flexible payment options, so customers can choose what suits them best.

Posted: 8th January 2016

 What will 2016 have in store for you?

Posted: 17th December 2015

Budget 2016 Summary

 

Click here for Budget 2016 summary

Posted: 14th October 2015

Why do I need a mortgage intermediary?

Buying a house can be tough. For instance, did you know the mortgage process can take up to 60 hours? That's a lot of work – and that's why it's a good idea to let a professional intermediary take the weight off your shoulders.

A mortgage intermediary is essentially a middle-man for the mortgage process – a little like the wholesaler in the retail industry. Your intermediary will have access to a wide range of lenders and will help you choose the most suitable one for your situation.

It is their job to make your mortgage process hassle-free, undertaking tasks such as liaising with the lender and all other legal parties. They will be there every step of the way to give unbiased, professional advice and to help you out with any big (or small!) queries you might have along the way.

An unbiased source of information
Intermediaries are unbiased parties, who have access to a wide range of lender rates at their fingertips. This means they can advise you on the best lender for your situation. And if you're not ready to apply, they will certainly give you the heads up and will even help you get organised for the future.

Call in the experts
Intermediaries are experts in their field and have years of experience managing mortgages on behalf of their clients, and this will speed up the whole process.

For example, your intermediary will fill out your mortgage forms and handle the finer details with practised skill, as they will know what the lenders are looking for and can explain away any uncertainties.

Peace of mind
Cross-checking legal documents can be tedious, and if you're juggling other daily tasks you may miss a vital piece of information or step. A mortgage intermediary can ensure everything is covered and ticked-off from start to finish.

The final stages of the application is usually the most nail-biting, so it's good to know that your intermediary will be on standby, making sure that the loan offer is finalised and all terms have been met.

A back-bone of support
Your intermediary is your trusted confidant at all stages of your mortgage journey. At the beginning, they will talk you through the whole process so you know exactly what's ahead of you. Throughout the rest of your journey, you may have some doubts or less-than-common requests – and that's just fine.

Your intermediary will be well accustomed to handling any mortgage query, no matter how big, small or obscure, and will be a much-needed source of reassurance.

The hard work is done
Getting a mortgage can be time consuming. Your intermediary will manage this process from start to finish – so you don't have to worry about handling any paperwork or getting admin head-aches.

At the beginning, an intermediary will assess your situation and will do depth research into the market. Further down the line, you can rely on an intermediary to keep the process moving and to keep communication lines open, so you can avoid running to the post office or making calls during your lunch hour. And after your intermediary has received your mortgage approval in principle, they will liaise with the lender, the lender's valuer and your solicitor.

Posted: 15th September 2015

Use your bank for your mortgage then get the hell out of the place before they try to sell you anything else.

It’s great to get your mortgage loan approved by your bank but do not be lured into thinking that you must do your Mortgage Protection Insurance Policy with them. Likewise if you are already have life insurance through your bank, please contact me for a comparison.

Here are some the reasons why:
• There is no legal or mortgage requirement that says you have to go with the bank that provides you with your mortgage for your mortgage protection life insurance.
• All the banks deal with only one insurance company i.e. AIB, Ulster Bank, the EBS & KBC are tied solely to Irish Life. Bank of Ireland is tied to New Ireland. In short you are not getting quotes from all providers like you do from us.
•As result of dealing with only one life company, banks are always more expensive than us. Guaranteed.
In fact I can get you the exact same cover as your lender, with the same provider but at a cheaper price. How?
As I have agencies and access to all the providers I can get for example Irish Life to Price Match the lowest premium from another competitor for the same plan. You win.
•Don’t forget mortgage loans tend to be over long periods (eg: 25, 30 or even 35 years) so even a savings of €10 per month equates to €4,200 over 35 years. Better in your pocket!!
•Getting a mortgage direct from a bank can be stressful. Banks can lead you to believe that by going elsewhere for your life insurance can delay the process. Rubbish. It takes no longer and will not delay process.
•Do you firmly believe that the bank has “your best interest” or “the bank’s best interest” when they are trying to sell you’re their offering. My priority at ALL TIMES is my customers. Not the lender or insurance provider.
Some providers offer great additional benefits not available from banks. Eg: Aviva offer their superb “Best Doctors” benefit that is available not only to individual(s) who take out the cover but also their children, their parents and in-laws.
•In short – by all means get a quote from your bank, get a quote from me and then make an informed choice of what is BEST FOR YOU (not your lender!!).

I can be contacted directed on (086) 820 3936 of john@financialcontrol.ie where multiple quotes can be generated and any queries resolved. There is no cost or obligation involved.
 

Posted: 13th August 2015

You can’t predict the future but you can plan for it

While we all hope and often believe it won’t happen to us, the reality is that families throughout Ireland are affected by unexpected illness and premature death every day. Protect what matters most. It may be cheaper than you think. Contact me today for Free Quote.

Posted: 23rd June 2015

Where do you invest €10,000 today?

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Where do you invest €10,000 today?

Well everyone seemingly has an opinion on this question and will give you a quick answer to it! Well that’s anyone with the exception of a Financial Broker, who is unlikely to give you a quick answer to such an important question. Because what to invest in is not about going with fads or trying to pick a winner as you might in a horse race. Instead finding the best investment opportunities needs to based on a very systematic approach and on your own particular circumstances. And that’s where a Financial Broker will help you.

Your Financial Broker will first look to become crystal clear on your investment objectives. Why are you investing? What is your end goal for the money? What is your investment timeframe? It’s only when they get clear on these type of questions that they can start to even think about what to invest in. Investing money in Ireland today is full of opportunities and pitfalls, it is really important that your Financial Broker understands your objectives fully first.

Understanding your attitude to take risk is the next essential step in determining the best investment for you, because what might be considered the best investments in Ireland may not be the right investment for you. At the end of the day, we are all different when it comes to what we consider acceptable risk in relation to our investments. For some people, they want to always get back at least their investment amount after a set period of time, even if this means lower potential returns. For others, they want to aim for the maximum possible returns and can happily sleep at night even if they risk losing some of their money. Your Financial Broker will ask you a series of questions that will help you to determine your personal appetite for risk (are you happy to take risk or not?) and also your capacity to take risk (can you afford to take risk or not?). This will guide them further towards the right investment opportunities for you.

Your Financial Broker will then want to know your full financial circumstances to see where your investments sit in your overall financial affairs, as this may also shape the suitability of individual products.

When they have all of this done, your Financial Broker will then research all of the best investments in Ireland to find the one that suits you. Unlike a bank or life assurance company salesman, they are not tied to advising in relation to the products of one company. They will find the best product to meet your objectives, one that fits with your attitude to risk and that also suits your specific personal circumstances.

So back to the question of where do you invest €10,000 today? We still can’t tell you the answer, but using the services of a Financial Broker will ensure that you end up getting the best result for you.

Your Financial Broker will first look to become crystal clear on your investment objectives. Why are you investing? What is your end goal for the money? What is your investment timeframe? It’s only when they get clear on these type of questions that they can start to even think about what to invest in. Investing money in Ireland today is full of opportunities and pitfalls, it is really important that your Financial Broker understands your objectives fully first.

Understanding your attitude to take risk is the next essential step in determining the best investment for you, because what might be considered the best investments in Ireland may not be the right investment for you. At the end of the day, we are all different when it comes to what we consider acceptable risk in relation to our investments. For some people, they want to always get back at least their investment amount after a set period of time, even if this means lower potential returns. For others, they want to aim for the maximum possible returns and can happily sleep at night even if they risk losing some of their money. Your Financial Broker will ask you a series of questions that will help you to determine your personal appetite for risk (are you happy to take risk or not?) and also your capacity to take risk (can you afford to take risk or not?). This will guide them further towards the right investment opportunities for you.

Your Financial Broker will then want to know your full financial circumstances to see where your investments sit in your overall financial affairs, as this may also shape the suitability of individual products.

When they have all of this done, your Financial Broker will then research all of the best investments in Ireland to find the one that suits you. Unlike a bank or life assurance company salesman, they are not tied to advising in relation to the products of one company. They will find the best product to meet your objectives, one that fits with your attitude to risk and that also suits your specific personal circumstances.

So back to the question of where do you invest €10,000 today? We still can’t tell you the answer, but using the services of a Financial Broker will ensure that you end up getting the best result for you.

Posted: 9th June 2015

Six lenders to cut payments for those on variable mortgage rates

The country's six main mortgage lenders have agreed to reduce payments for variable rate holders by 1 July. If the banks do not comply, they may face a severe penal levy or the prospect of the Central Bank setting rates. The move would apply to AIB, Bank of Ireland, ACC, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC. For customers with Danske Bank and Nationwide which is now IBRC, he said the result would be they could move to better competitors. Negative equity customers will also be allowed to move.

Posted: 22nd May 2015

Central Bank's New regulations on residential mortgage lending

CLICK HERE for FAQ – New regulations on residential mortgage lending

Posted: 28th January 2015

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Lack of access and investment risk are key barriers to investing. Last year Zurich life asked 1,000 people as to what was stopping them moving money from poorly performing deposit accounts to investment bonds.The main barrierst to investing are the perceived lack of access and the level of risk – then it is time to provide a real solution.

Introducing the  new Easy Access Investment Bond from Zurich. A customer can invest from €5,000 to a maximum of €50,000 in the bond that is suited to their level of risk and have the peace of mind in knowing that they can access all of their money at any time – there are no early encashment penalties.

Posted: Tuesday 13th January 2015

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Key Elements of Budget 2015
• The tax changes in the budget were largely along the lines expected. The top rate of tax was reduced by 1% to 40%; the
standard rate tax band was increased by €1,000 for single individuals and by €2,000 for a married couple where both work.
USC bands and rates were changed, but the net effect is that those earning over €70,000 will still have a marginal tax rate
of 52% because the cut in the top tax rate for those earning over that amount will be offset by a higher USC rate. For those
earning under that, the rate change and the USC changes will deliver a reduction in marginal rate to 51%.
• The USC would appear to now be a permanent feature of the tax system that will be used to manipulate the effective rate of
tax paid.
• The special 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector has been retained on the basis that it has proved effective in creating
employment in that sector.
• Excise duty on tobacco products has been increased and betting tax has been introduced for remote operators and betting
exchanges.
• Tax credits have been introduced for water charges at the standard rate up to a water charge payment limit of €500. This will
effective mean a tax credit of €100.
• The Home renovation tax incentive has been extended to include landlords with rented properties with an income tax liability.
• A USC rate of 11% has been introduced for self-employed earnings in excess of €100,000. This will not incentivise people to
become self-employed.
• DIRT relief is now available for first time buyers who are trying to get a deposit together to buy a home. This is aimed at
alleviating the impact on first-time buyers of the new LTV proposals from the Central Bank. It will not prove effective.
• The windfall tax of 80% on development land will be abolished and replaced by a CGT rate of 33%.
• The pension levy of 0.6% will expire at the end of 2014 and the 0.15 % rate will expire as planned at the end of 2015.
• Child benefit payments will increase by €5 per child per month.
• A significant social housing programme will be introduced over the coming years which will get a reasonable boost to the
recovering construction sector; and
• The ‘Double Irish’ tax vehicle will be phased out by 2020.

Posted: Tuesday 14th October 2014