Tag Archives: #CFP

When I’m not at work…I’m singing!

As some of you may know (I tend to mention it from time to time!), one of my favourite things to do in my spare time is sing with my choir.

It’s a well-known fact that group singing is one of the most effective forms of managing your mental health. It can be daunting and challenging but the rewards are worth every bit of the effort.

About 5 years ago I joined the St. Mary’s College Singers and in that time I have been fortunate enough to perform with an amazing group of people in a wide variety of locations for different occasions.

We’ve had the opportunity to showcase our talents in concerts both locally and internationally, with performances in Italy, UK, Portugal, and France.

We regularly participate in official college ceremonies, choral competitions (we’ve been lucky enough to have won a few!), Christmas Carol events and Music Festivals. We’ve also had the privilege of singing at wedding and funeral ceremonies within our extended choir family. We’ve sung in theatres, restaurants, pubs (a lot!), TV studios, shopping centres, airports, open-air events, on stages and under stages.

Christmas is our busiest time of the year, the highlight of which is our annual Peace On Earth concert in Christchurch Cathedral where we raise funds for Aidlink.  We’re also performing in Dun Laoghaire and Dundrum Town Centre so if you hear us come over and drop a few quid in the buckets.

Last year we raised over €30,000 for our chosen charities.

If you would like to support our charities here is a link to the causes we are helping out this year;

Here is a brief sample from this year’s performance in Christchurch.

Which is better Serious Illness or Income Protection?


There is no single right answer to this question. As with other areas of financial planning, it depends on your own individual circumstances. What is your occupation, your financial situation, your life stage, do you have dependants and what are your financial goals? These are just some of the questions which can help you answer which product is better for you.

In summary, Income Protection and Serious Illness are both types of insurance plans designed to provide financial security in times of need. While they share the goal of safeguarding you against financial hardships, they differ significantly in their scope, benefits, and the scenarios they are designed to address.

The Differences

The main difference is that Serious Illness cover pays a once-off lump sum when you claim. Whereas Income Protection pays a regular income. There are also differences in the way tax is treated on both the premiums and benefit. In addition, there are also a range of other differences that need to be considered.

Income Protection

Income protection cover primarily focuses on replacing a portion of your income if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. This product usually pays out a percentage of your regular income, ensuring you have a steady stream of money to cover essential expenses such as mortgage or rent, bills, and daily living costs. The payout is generally a monthly benefit and continues until you can return to work, retire, or until the policy term ends.

Serious Illness Cover

On the other hand, serious illness cover provides a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a specific serious illness listed in the policy conditions. These illnesses would usually include cancer(s) and heart conditions as well as illnesses like MND and Dementia. Unlike income protection, serious illness cover doesn’t replace lost income but provides a one-time lump sum payment upon diagnosis of a covered condition. This payment can help ease the financial burden of medical expenses or adjustments to your lifestyle, such as modifying your home for accessibility or seeking specialized treatments.

Serious Illness Income Protection
Pays a lump sum Pays a regular income
Covers only the illnesses specified in your plan Covers any illness, injury or disability that prevents you from working
Tax relief is not available on your premiums Tax relief is available on your premiums
Benefit payments are tax free Benefit payments are taxed
The plan stops once you have claimed You can claim as many times as you need (once you continue to pay premiums)
Cover available regardless of your occupation Cover is occupation dependent


As you can see from the above, there are important key differences between the two types of products. Combine these with your own requirements and you’ll see that there are many factors to be considered. When considering which type of cover to choose you need to consider the type of financial protection you need, the scope of coverage provided by the product, the cost and amount and duration of cover payment.


Choosing between income protection cover and serious illness cover will depend on your individual circumstances, financial needs, and risk tolerance. Both products serve crucial roles but differing roles in providing financial security. We can help you better understand what each cover will provide for you, and which will better meet your own requirements. Just contact us at Coleman Financial Planning to have a chat.

6 Ways to get Financially Fit for your Retirement


Retirement marks a significant milestone in life. It’s a time where you can finally take a step back and unwind. However, making sure you are financially fit for retirement is extremely important. People are living longer and leading more active lives in retirement. As a result, it is more important than ever for you to think about where your income will come from when you retire. Here are a couple of the essential steps we advise to ensure you are financially fit for your retirement.


One of the golden rules of retirement planning is to start as early as possible (but it is also never too late!). The power of compounding works wonders over time. Even small, regular contributions to your retirement fund can grow substantially over the years. Remember there is significant tax relief on pension contributions that you can also avail of.


Determine your retirement goals – where you want to live, what activities you want to pursue, and the kind of lifestyle you wish to have. If you have clear goals, it will help you estimate how much money you need to save for the lifestyle you want in retirement.


Diversification is key to managing risk. Spread your investments across various asset classes like stocks, bonds and property. Diversification can help you achieve better returns while mitigating potential losses. Many pension plans offer access to multi-asset funds at different risk levels which can help you diversify at a level that suits you.


Entering retirement with debt can put a significant strain on your finances. Prioritize clearing in particular high-interest debts like your mortgage and credit cards. Being debt-free allows you to enjoy your retirement without the burden of monthly payments.


With advancements in healthcare, people are living longer. Plan your finances with the expectation that you might live well into your 80s or 90s. This means ensuring your savings can sustain you for several decades. Retiring at 68 could mean you still have 20+ years ahead of you.


While the idea of retirement can seem very attractive putting a financial plan in place for it is very important but can be daunting. That’s where we can help. Don’t hesitate to seek advice from Coleman Financial Planning to help you plan the retirement you deserve. Just get in touch to start planning your financially fit retirement.

20 Ways to jump start your financial future

The cost of living crisis is changing how we manage money. The following is a comprehensive list that includes some starting points, as well as some more complex strategies, for those who want to jump start their financial future and make a long-term commitment to financial success.

Improve your financial literacy

Don’t know much about managing your money? The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission provides impartial and comprehensive information to help you make the best financial decisions for your needs covering saving and budgeting, interest and debt, investments and retirement, and more.

Start a money journal

Explore your attitude towards money, your hopes and fears and your dreams for financial success. Doing so can help you crystallise your long-term goals so you can make a plan for the future.

Write down your long-term life and financial goals

Include them in your journal, along with a timeline for achieving them.

Reconcile your bank accounts

Check your bank account debits against the payments you’ve made, and make sure any pending bills are either paid or scheduled.

Compare interest rates for savings accounts

This is a perfect place to start building or expanding your emergency fund. While you’re at it, commit to saving a specific euro amount or percentage of your income each month.

Make an extra credit card payment

If you carry a balance on your credit cards, start paying down the card with the highest interest charge.

Determine your net worth

List your assets (what you own), estimate what each is worth and add up the total. Next, list your liabilities (what you owe), and add up the outstanding balances. Subtract your liabilities from your assets to determine your net worth.

Estimate how much money you need to retire

Wondering how much money you need to live comfortably in retirement? Use a free online retirement calculator to figure out a rough estimate. This is one to try.

Organise your important household and financial accounts

Would your loved ones know how to run your household or understand your last wishes if you became sick or injured, or died suddenly? Start organising your important documents and accounts, store them securely and share their location with a family member, financial planner and/or solicitor.

Create a budget and track your spending

To get a handle on where your money is going, try creating a budget and tracking your spending.

Automate your savings and investments

One of the least painful ways to save and invest is to automate the amounts you want to set aside each month, so you won’t be tempted to spend them.

Contribute to a retirement savings plan

If you don’t have access to a government or company pension, consider setting up your own retirement savings account. If your employer offers such a plan, consider your options for enrollment, and make a plan to participate in the programme.

Shop for insurance

Plan to purchase insurance to protect your assets in the event of an unplanned occurrence or death. Types of insurance coverage include health, life, income protection, serious illness insurance.

Look for ways to lower your monthly bills

As contracts for things like your mobile phone, cable service or utilities expire, do some comparison shopping to see if you can reduce your monthly spend. You may even be able to negotiate a lower rate with your current provider.

Create or update your will

If you have a will already, take the opportunity to review and update it as needed. If you need a will, schedule an appointment with a solicitor or appropriate estate planning professional to create one.

Make some extra money by selling unwanted items

Looking for a way to reduce clutter and make some quick cash? Explore the many online tools for selling your unwanted Before doing so, be sure to review secure ways to handle payment and delivery, and research common scams.

Create a personal document retention policy

Learn how long you should keep important paperwork, such as contracts, loan documents, tax returns or account statements. Create a system to purge documents you no longer need, and scan and save the ones you need to keep.

Talk money with your child

Does your child understand the concept of saving money? Help your child open a savings account and understand the basics of paying bills and building credit.

Start a 3rd level education savings fund for your child

While the average cost of sending a child to primary and secondary school might seem high, the expenses associated with third level education are in a different ballpark, with accommodation representing a substantial average annual cost. One measure families can take to help avoid putting their households under financial pressure is to ensure early planning around their children’s education, adopting measures such as early life savings schemes.

Make an appointment with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional

As the standard of excellence for financial planning, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER or CFP® certification helps the public identify financial planners who have met the rigorous competency, ethics and practice standards necessary to engage with financial planning clients. In addition, CFP professionals pledge to place their clients’ interests first, an important point for those looking to build a long-term, trustworthy relationship with a financial planner. If you are looking to talk to a CFP, then please just contact Daragh at Coleman Financial Planning.

Source: www.fpsb.ie, September 2022

When I’m not at work ……I’m studying (well, not anymore!)

In the Spring of 2020, during a pandemic induced period of reflection, I decided to put-off a decision that had been on my mind for a long time. To return to studying. After years of procrastination, I signed up to take on what would turn out to be one of the hardest academic challenges of my life…to become a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®).

In 2018, I completed the Certificate in Retirement Planning Advice (RPA) through the LIA. This course equipped me to provide advice with a higher level of pensions technical knowledge within the ever changing regulatory landscape of retirement planning.

The CFP® is a global recognition only awarded to individuals who have met “rigorous competency, and ethical and professional practice standards…..and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, diligence, professionalism, confidentiality and compliance”.

In Ireland, the process to attaining the certification is by first completing the Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. This is a 2 year course run through UCD and The Institute of Bankers. It comprises the following modules:

  • Financial & Data Analysis for Financial Planning
  • Tax & Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Asset Management
  • Risk Management in Financial Planning
  • Integrated Personal Financial Planning

So after almost 2 years of remote lectures, assignments, exams and lots of late night studying I’m delighted to add my name to the growing list of CFP®’s in Ireland and around the world.