Independent.ie - Personal Finance RSS Feed

    Elderly warned of dangers of setting up joint accounts with their children

    Elderly warned of dangers of setting up joint accounts with their children


    Older people have been warned that if they set up a joint bank account - typically with a son or daughter - then any money in it will be legally owned by both...

    Older people have been warned that if they set up a joint bank account - typically with a son or daughter - then any money in it will be legally owned by both people.
    Wild geese to return early - but it's not clear where we are going to put them

    Wild geese to return early - but it's not clear where we are going to put them


    The knock-on effect of Brexit is likely to see plenty of our older emigrants come home to roost early, along with a whole new tranche of British-born immigrants to...

    The knock-on effect of Brexit is likely to see plenty of our older emigrants come home to roost early, along with a whole new tranche of British-born immigrants to boot.

    Limited change in threshold for inheritance hit leaves those with assets again disappointed


    There was some relief in the Budget for families that are leaving properties to their offspring. But the one change that was announced was modest and only applies to one category of person inheriting a...

    There was some relief in the Budget for families that are leaving properties to their offspring. But the one change that was announced was modest and only applies to one category of person inheriting a gift.

    Payroll levies still leave well-paid and low earners out of pocket


    Many well-paid workers are worse off under Budget 2019 than they were 10 years ago. This is largely due to the impact of the Universal Social Charge (USC) on their...

    Many well-paid workers are worse off under Budget 2019 than they were 10 years ago. This is largely due to the impact of the Universal Social Charge (USC) on their earnings.

    Talk of a 'Republic of Opportunity' isn't reflected as taxes continue to punish workers


    Just two years in, the theme of 'limited fiscal space' is already a well established one in the budgets of Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Some €3.4bn of available spending money for 2019 was quickly reduced to €800m by prior commitments - and two-...

    Just two years in, the theme of 'limited fiscal space' is already a well established one in the budgets of Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Some €3.4bn of available spending money for 2019 was quickly reduced to €800m by prior commitments - and two- thirds of that was earmarked for public spending. This left only one third for tax measures. The focus is clearly on book-balancing and running a surplus by 2020.

    Budget picks


    Budget 2019 didn't put much money back into our pockets. Much of the focus of Finance Minister Pascal Donohue last Tuesday was on housing and health - with little left in the pot for anyone else. Many of us will only be better off to the tune of about...

    Budget 2019 didn't put much money back into our pockets. Much of the focus of Finance Minister Pascal Donohue last Tuesday was on housing and health - with little left in the pot for anyone else. Many of us will only be better off to the tune of about €5 or €6 a week next year as a result - and some of us won't be any better off at all. Here are some areas where we're still losing out financially and which the Budget could have tackled better.

    Minister failed to focus in on runaway rents and easing the housing crisis


    There was little done in last Tuesday's Budget to alleviate the financial hardship faced by tenants. Although the tax relief for landlords was increased, there was no hint of a reintroduction of the rental tax credit - a previous tax break for...

    There was little done in last Tuesday's Budget to alleviate the financial hardship faced by tenants. Although the tax relief for landlords was increased, there was no hint of a reintroduction of the rental tax credit - a previous tax break for tenants.
    More needs to be done to help even the playing field for self-employed workers

    More needs to be done to help even the playing field for self-employed workers


    There is still much left to do to even the playing field for the self-employed. PAYE workers will earn €300 more than the self-employed before getting hit for tax next year - despite the increase in the tax allowance for self-employed individuals. This...

    There is still much left to do to even the playing field for the self-employed. PAYE workers will earn €300 more than the self-employed before getting hit for tax next year - despite the increase in the tax allowance for self-employed individuals. This allowance, known as the earned income tax credit, will increase from €1,150 to €1,350 under Budget 2019 - allowing a self-employed person to earn €1,350 next year before paying tax.

    Your Money: The budget guide for brides-to-be


    The budget may not have given everyone what they hoped for, but if there are signs the recession is over, look no further than weddings. Perhaps inspired by this year's royal nuptials, you may not have Princess Eugenie and Fiancé Jack's budget, but...

    The budget may not have given everyone what they hoped for, but if there are signs the recession is over, look no further than weddings. Perhaps inspired by this year's royal nuptials, you may not have Princess Eugenie and Fiancé Jack's budget, but couples are splashing out, according to Confetti.ie, with the average spend about €25,000.

    Your Questions: I have renewed my health cover, can I still make changes?


    Question: My health insurance renewal date has passed and I have discovered that my old and very expensive plan has now automatically renewed and the first direct debit has been paid. Can I still change my cover to another plan to reduce my...

    Question: My health insurance renewal date has passed and I have discovered that my old and very expensive plan has now automatically renewed and the first direct debit has been paid. Can I still change my cover to another plan to reduce my costs?
    VAT-hit sector hikes push up inflation rate

    VAT-hit sector hikes push up inflation rate


    The increased cost of eating out was one of the reasons the inflation rate has hit the highest level in a...

    The increased cost of eating out was one of the reasons the inflation rate has hit the highest level in a year-and-a-half.
    Permanent TSB boss accused of 'uncaring' attitude to customers

    Permanent TSB boss accused of 'uncaring' attitude to customers


    State-owned Permanent TSB stands accused of lacking care and respect for its customers following its big mortgage...

    State-owned Permanent TSB stands accused of lacking care and respect for its customers following its big mortgage sell-off.
    Median property price static amid dip in capital

    Median property price static amid dip in capital


    The most common price paid for a residential property has remained static in the past three...

    The most common price paid for a residential property has remained static in the past three months.

    Trinity professor Ronan Lyons: Downsizing is central to our housing solution


    Earlier this week, it was reported that the Independent Alliance TDs - who form part of the Government - are proposing a 'granny flat grant', that would help convert family homes into two units, as one of their flagship measures for Budget...

    Earlier this week, it was reported that the Independent Alliance TDs - who form part of the Government - are proposing a 'granny flat grant', that would help convert family homes into two units, as one of their flagship measures for Budget 2019.
    Where there's a will, there's a relative - Everything you need to know about inheritances

    Where there's a will, there's a relative - Everything you need to know about inheritances


    They say only two things are certain: death and taxes. When it comes to our national obsession with property inheritance, you can be sure of another truism: where there's a will, there's a...

    They say only two things are certain: death and taxes. When it comes to our national obsession with property inheritance, you can be sure of another truism: where there's a will, there's a relative.
    Why 'best value' corporate health plans may cost €600 too much

    Why 'best value' corporate health plans may cost €600 too much


    Thousands of people are overpaying for their health insurance in the mistaken belief they have the best cover, after they signed up for a corporate...

    Thousands of people are overpaying for their health insurance in the mistaken belief they have the best cover, after they signed up for a corporate plan.
    Insured patients warned of payments for private care

    Insured patients warned of payments for private care


    Private hospitals have warned people with health insurance they may end up paying for part of the cost of their...

    Private hospitals have warned people with health insurance they may end up paying for part of the cost of their procedure.

    Pernod Ricard's growth could make it a winning investment tipple


    There has been an explosion of gin and whiskey brands in recent years. Ten years ago there were only three distilleries for Irish whiskey. Now there are 20, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, though that's still small when compared...

    There has been an explosion of gin and whiskey brands in recent years. Ten years ago there were only three distilleries for Irish whiskey. Now there are 20, according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland, though that's still small when compared to the scotch industry. Every month seems to bring another 'new' gin to the market.

    Five top mobile apps to help take control of your finances


    More and more of us use mobile phone apps to manage our money. Although the traditional pen-and-paper approach still has its advantages, apps help cut down on paper clutter - and can be a much handier way of getting a quick snapshot of your finances....

    More and more of us use mobile phone apps to manage our money. Although the traditional pen-and-paper approach still has its advantages, apps help cut down on paper clutter - and can be a much handier way of getting a quick snapshot of your finances. Apps can also take the hassle out of managing your money and make you quickly realise where you're making mistakes with your finances.

    'The best-paid gigs are usually the worst'


    Colin Murphy is a comedian from Co Down - well-known for his regular appearances on the BBC comedy panel show, The Blame Game. He lives in Belfast. His new stand-up show, Bald Ambition, kicked off last month and runs until...

    Colin Murphy is a comedian from Co Down - well-known for his regular appearances on the BBC comedy panel show, The Blame Game. He lives in Belfast. His new stand-up show, Bald Ambition, kicked off last month and runs until mid-December.

    Should we move UK pensions to Ireland?


    Query: My husband and I worked in Britain in the past and each of us have a frozen defined benefit (DB) pension over there as a result. My husband built up 25 years of service in Britain while I built up 20. We both work in Ireland now and both have...

    Query: My husband and I worked in Britain in the past and each of us have a frozen defined benefit (DB) pension over there as a result. My husband built up 25 years of service in Britain while I built up 20. We both work in Ireland now and both have defined contribution schemes through our work. With Brexit fast approaching, we're unsure what to do with our British DB pensions. Should we transfer the frozen DB pensions to Ireland - and if so, into what? Geraldine, Co Dublin
    We must step outside comfort zone and switch to save money on rising energy bills

    We must step outside comfort zone and switch to save money on rising energy bills


    We will change the car or opt for a new hair style sooner than we will save ourselves money by making a much more simple change. That is the depressing finding of a survey commissioned by the energy...

    We will change the car or opt for a new hair style sooner than we will save ourselves money by making a much more simple change. That is the depressing finding of a survey commissioned by the energy regulator.

    Households warned to switch energy suppliers ahead of steep price hikes


    Householders will be hammered by steep hikes in winter energy costs, as extra taxes and price hikes combine to push up bills by hundreds of...

    Householders will be hammered by steep hikes in winter energy costs, as extra taxes and price hikes combine to push up bills by hundreds of euro.
    Your Questions: Are there any better alternatives to putting money on deposit?

    Your Questions: Are there any better alternatives to putting money on deposit?


    Question: I'm a 50-year-old married man with two daughters, aged 10 and 8. My wife and I want to save €200 a month for their third-level education. We need the money to grow but we're not sure what to invest it in. Deposit rates don't look great, even...

    Question: I'm a 50-year-old married man with two daughters, aged 10 and 8. My wife and I want to save €200 a month for their third-level education. We need the money to grow but we're not sure what to invest it in. Deposit rates don't look great, even if we locked into An Post's best 10-year bond - it's only paying 1.5pc a year. We have been told deposits are more tax-efficient than other types of monthly savings plans. Is that correct? Should we just go ahead with a deposit account?

    Your Money: How not to make the wrong call


    LoCall numbers (with an 1890 prefix) are used by organisations to make it cheaper for their customers to...

    LoCall numbers (with an 1890 prefix) are used by organisations to make it cheaper for their customers to call.

    Calls for VAT on new homes to be slashed to zero to help fuel construction


    The VAT rate on new homes should be slashed to zero to help fuel the construction such properties, according to the executive chairman of stock market-listed home builder...

    The VAT rate on new homes should be slashed to zero to help fuel the construction such properties, according to the executive chairman of stock market-listed home builder Abbey.

    Central Bank under fire for delay in tracker scandal accountability


    Holding bankers to account for the tracker mortgage scandal would risk scaring them off to other countries, the watchdog has...

    Holding bankers to account for the tracker mortgage scandal would risk scaring them off to other countries, the watchdog has claimed.

    Workers shouldn't pay higher rate of tax until they earn €40,000 - minister


    Workers should not begin paying the higher rate of income tax until their earnings pass €40,000, a minister in the Department of Finance has...

    Workers should not begin paying the higher rate of income tax until their earnings pass €40,000, a minister in the Department of Finance has said.
    Permanent TSB cuts rates for new buyers

    Permanent TSB cuts rates for new buyers


    PERMANENT TSB has cut its fixed rates, but they will not apply to existing...

    PERMANENT TSB has cut its fixed rates, but they will not apply to existing customers.

    Chasm between public and private sector pay narrows to 40pc


    A gaping chasm of 46pc between the average public servant's wages and a private sector worker's pay has narrowed since the...

    A gaping chasm of 46pc between the average public servant's wages and a private sector worker's pay has narrowed since the bailout.
    Average worker's take-home pay fell €871 over decade

    Average worker's take-home pay fell €871 over decade


    The average worker's take-home pay plummeted by €871 over the past decade as tax hikes wiped out a rise in...

    The average worker's take-home pay plummeted by €871 over the past decade as tax hikes wiped out a rise in wages.
    Room to Improve: Dermot Bannon backs project to convert pensioners' homes into separate units

    Room to Improve: Dermot Bannon backs project to convert pensioners' homes into separate units


    A project backed by celebrity architect Dermot Bannon has been championing the idea of converting elderly people's homes into separate units for two years now - and it costs a lot more than...

    A project backed by celebrity architect Dermot Bannon has been championing the idea of converting elderly people's homes into separate units for two years now - and it costs a lot more than €15,000.

    First-time buyers to get savings top-up in Budget housing plan


    A special savings scheme to help first-time buyers is being considered as part of Budget 2019, the Irish Independent can...

    A special savings scheme to help first-time buyers is being considered as part of Budget 2019, the Irish Independent can reveal.
    Housing: More than 10,000 vent their anger over crisis

    Housing: More than 10,000 vent their anger over crisis


    Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry believes that there are at least half a million people in the country whose housing situation is causing them serious...

    Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry believes that there are at least half a million people in the country whose housing situation is causing them serious distress.
    Government urged to act fast on fraudulent claims legislation

    Government urged to act fast on fraudulent claims legislation


    The Government has been called on to quickly enact new legislation that will require the automatic referral of fraudulent and exaggerated injury claimants for...

    The Government has been called on to quickly enact new legislation that will require the automatic referral of fraudulent and exaggerated injury claimants for prosecution.
    'We have mortgage approval and a significant deposit - but it's a catch 22 when it comes to renting and looking to buy'

    'We have mortgage approval and a significant deposit - but it's a catch 22 when it comes to renting and looking to buy'


    Forget avocado toast and living beyond our means - the only reason that so many first-time buyers like myself are waiting until our mid-30s to buy is because of the dysfunctional housing...

    Forget avocado toast and living beyond our means - the only reason that so many first-time buyers like myself are waiting until our mid-30s to buy is because of the dysfunctional housing market.
    Savers to get small boost from cut to Dirt

    Savers to get small boost from cut to Dirt


    Savers are set for a boost in Budget 2019 - but it won't be anything close to the SSIA scheme which fuelled boom-time...

    Savers are set for a boost in Budget 2019 - but it won't be anything close to the SSIA scheme which fuelled boom-time spending.
    Diesel, coal and cigarettes: Everything we know about Budget 2019 so far

    Diesel, coal and cigarettes: Everything we know about Budget 2019 so far


    Diesel, petrol, coal and cigarettes are set to go up in Budget 2019 as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe looks for money to fund social welfare hikes and income tax...

    Diesel, petrol, coal and cigarettes are set to go up in Budget 2019 as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe looks for money to fund social welfare hikes and income tax reductions.

    Failure to switch energy deal costs consumers €300


    Consumers could save as much as €300 a year simply by switching their electricity and gas providers, new research has...

    Consumers could save as much as €300 a year simply by switching their electricity and gas providers, new research has identified.

    Unfair gap in savings taxes is punishing the prudent


    You may not be aware of a savings tax change that adversely affects most small to medium-sized savers, because it was introduced only two years...

    You may not be aware of a savings tax change that adversely affects most small to medium-sized savers, because it was introduced only two years ago.

    There's style and substance in this big beast of global cosmetics world


    The great George Bernard Shaw didn't always get it right. For instance, he has a character in his play 'Man and Superman' declare: "Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it's been around the house for three...

    The great George Bernard Shaw didn't always get it right. For instance, he has a character in his play 'Man and Superman' declare: "Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it's been around the house for three days?"

    'It's financially liberating to be my own boss'


    Jonathan Healy is a well-known broadcaster who works with Newstalk, RTE's Today show and Cork's Red FM as presenter of RedBusiness, Red FM's podcast-only business...

    Jonathan Healy is a well-known broadcaster who works with Newstalk, RTE's Today show and Cork's Red FM as presenter of RedBusiness, Red FM's podcast-only business show.

    Money-for-nothing deals may be worthy - if there's no catch


    Consumers are being increasingly bombarded with offers of discounts, rewards and cashback as companies compete against each other to hold on to and win over customers. Don't rush into these offers in a bid to make a quick buck, though: they may be just...

    Consumers are being increasingly bombarded with offers of discounts, rewards and cashback as companies compete against each other to hold on to and win over customers. Don't rush into these offers in a bid to make a quick buck, though: they may be just an attempt by a business to get you to spend more money with it or to change how you interact with it - thereby saving it money in the long run.

    How do I protect my child from tax burden?


    Query: I have an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) valued at €20,000. I plan to will it to my special needs daughter. I am anxious to know what tax she would pay on that amount when she receives it after my death. Her only income is her disability...

    Query: I have an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) valued at €20,000. I plan to will it to my special needs daughter. I am anxious to know what tax she would pay on that amount when she receives it after my death. Her only income is her disability allowance. John, Co Dublin
    Emergence of ghost brokers adds to the hazards faced by hard-pressed motorists

    Emergence of ghost brokers adds to the hazards faced by hard-pressed motorists


    Given the surge in the cost of motor insurance cover in the last few years, it is probably not surprising that dodgy practices have emerged. Motor insurance is expensive and compulsory, and can be difficult to obtain for some...

    Given the surge in the cost of motor insurance cover in the last few years, it is probably not surprising that dodgy practices have emerged. Motor insurance is expensive and compulsory, and can be difficult to obtain for some drivers.

    Snowballs and investors - and the magic of compound interest


    "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it... He who doesn't, pays it." This quote is dubiously credited to Albert Einstein, but the power of compounding is beyond doubt and often underestimated by...

    "Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it... He who doesn't, pays it." This quote is dubiously credited to Albert Einstein, but the power of compounding is beyond doubt and often underestimated by investors.

    Head of Central Bank hails slowdown in surging house prices


    The Governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane has welcomed indications that the surge in house prices is showing signs of...

    The Governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane has welcomed indications that the surge in house prices is showing signs of abating.

    Home alone 2: should OAPs sell up?


    Ireland is the empty-nest capital of Europe. On one hand housing is in chronically short supply, but on the other, a massive 70.6pc of homes are under-occupied, especially among the over 65s with 91pc of houses too big for their occupants, according to...

    Ireland is the empty-nest capital of Europe. On one hand housing is in chronically short supply, but on the other, a massive 70.6pc of homes are under-occupied, especially among the over 65s with 91pc of houses too big for their occupants, according to research from the ESRI.
    Meet the Strugglers: The ordinary families that are being bled as big business escapes

    Meet the Strugglers: The ordinary families that are being bled as big business escapes


    Seán and Sinéad Struggler feel they are due an explanation for why they and thousands of other ordinary families like them were forced to shoulder all of the burden of rescuing the...

    Seán and Sinéad Struggler feel they are due an explanation for why they and thousands of other ordinary families like them were forced to shoulder all of the burden of rescuing the State.
    How middle earners are still paying for the crash

    How middle earners are still paying for the crash


    Ten years after the financial crash, middle-income earners continue to be pounded by...

    Ten years after the financial crash, middle-income earners continue to be pounded by austerity.

    Do we need a new insurance policy to cover a granny flat?


    Question: We recently got planning permission to build a granny flat in our back garden, which I think my mother will probably use in the years to come. We are now looking at options for insurance, and I'm wondering if our current home insurance policy...

    Question: We recently got planning permission to build a granny flat in our back garden, which I think my mother will probably use in the years to come. We are now looking at options for insurance, and I'm wondering if our current home insurance policy will cover the dwelling as it's on our property, or would I have to take out a separate home/contents policy for it altogether?

    Home economics: Our property finance expert answers your questions


    Question: I received a letter from Revenue telling me that income I earned from a room letting in 2015 is suddenly liable to tax. I rented out my spare room on Airbnb for five months while I was between tenants (I live in the property).  I only earned...

    Question: I received a letter from Revenue telling me that income I earned from a room letting in 2015 is suddenly liable to tax. I rented out my spare room on Airbnb for five months while I was between tenants (I live in the property).  I only earned around €2,000 over the entire period and it cost me money in terms of linen changes, painting the room etc. This was before I understood the income was subject to tax, which I believe was clarified last year. Am I exempt under Rent-A-Room, and how do I go about proving it?
    Revealed: Fast-track plan for thousands of new homes in tatters

    Revealed: Fast-track plan for thousands of new homes in tatters


    A much-hyped fast-track housing plan to deliver thousands of new homes for families will be gathering dust for at least three years before anything is...

    A much-hyped fast-track housing plan to deliver thousands of new homes for families will be gathering dust for at least three years before anything is done.

    Winter chill - €80 gas bill hike could be first of many


    Households have been warned of an "energy winter of discontent" after Flogas announced an increase in its prices for the second time in three...

    Households have been warned of an "energy winter of discontent" after Flogas announced an increase in its prices for the second time in three months.
    Clampdown on long-term Airbnb lets in rent zones

    Clampdown on long-term Airbnb lets in rent zones


    Property owners in certain areas are facing a clampdown on the use of sites like Airbnb to cash in on short-term lets on a long-term...

    Property owners in certain areas are facing a clampdown on the use of sites like Airbnb to cash in on short-term lets on a long-term basis.

    Councils fall dramatically short of target


    Local authorities have built fewer than 500 homes in the first half of the...

    Local authorities have built fewer than 500 homes in the first half of the year.
    Spanish bank is first foreign lender since crash to enter Ireland

    Spanish bank is first foreign lender since crash to enter Ireland


    A SPANISH bank has bought Irish credit operator Avantcard in a move that raises the prospect of a new foreign lender shaking up the...

    A SPANISH bank has bought Irish credit operator Avantcard in a move that raises the prospect of a new foreign lender shaking up the market.

    Gardaí and Central Bank probing leading insurance brokerage


    Gardaí and the Central Bank are carrying out investigations into financial irregularities at a leading insurance...

    Gardaí and the Central Bank are carrying out investigations into financial irregularities at a leading insurance brokerage.
    Revealed: Average cost of rent spirals to €1,094

    Revealed: Average cost of rent spirals to €1,094


    Rents have shot up again, in a trend that piles even more pressure on Housing Minister Eoghan...

    Rents have shot up again, in a trend that piles even more pressure on Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
    Money problems still top source of anxiety a decade after crash

    Money problems still top source of anxiety a decade after crash


    A decade after the financial crash, worries about money are still the principal cause of anxiety for people in Ireland, a survey has...

    A decade after the financial crash, worries about money are still the principal cause of anxiety for people in Ireland, a survey has revealed.

    Finance chief takes long-term view on Irish pensions reform


    The Irish Life offices on Dublin's Abbey Street are a reminder of another age. At the top of the heart of the complex I'm whisked through wide corridors, huge double doors and a collection of sculptures and paintings that are straight out of the 1980s....

    The Irish Life offices on Dublin's Abbey Street are a reminder of another age. At the top of the heart of the complex I'm whisked through wide corridors, huge double doors and a collection of sculptures and paintings that are straight out of the 1980s. Irish Life chief executive David Harney's corner office could comfortably accommodate a game of five-a-side soccer with plenty of space left for us to have our conversation.