Tag Archives: #pensions

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.

Investing in Challenging Times

Having weathered a global pandemic over the last 2 years, you’d think we’d be due a bit of good news for a change. Unfortunately, 2022 will be a tough watch when the producers of Reeling In The Years get to work on their latest instalment. We are still investing in challenging times!

Rising interest rates, spiralling inflation, astronomical hikes in fuel prices and most tragically of all, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, have all been constant features in our daily news.

So, with so many economic and geopolitical issues going on is it any wonder, I am being asked regularly, is now a good time to invest?

The reality is that at any point in the last 200 years of the stock markets existing there has always been a reason not to invest.

Time IN the Market

The key to investing in challenging times is to remember that it is ALWAYS about time IN the market and not about TIMING the market.

The more time you apply to an investment, the lower the risk it becomes.

Making short term predictions or investing based on a ‘hunch’ is no different to walking in to Paddy Power and placing a bet.

Short Term Option

For individuals with money on deposit you will not be surprised to learn that the banks are not going to pass on the forthcoming interest rate hikes for quite some time. With inflation currently at a 30-year high, the real value of your savings is losing money.

Having said that, everyone should have at least 6 months net income on deposit. They should also have funds to cover emergencies and future large spends such as holidays, home improvements or family education costs for the next 3-5 years.

Don’t bother shopping around for a decent rate, your money on deposit is there to be accessible and secure not to generate growth.

Medium to Long Term Option

For those with savings that are not required in the short term or you want to have the funds 5 years from now you need to commit your money to an investment that will generate growth.

Long term consistent growth can only be achieved by investing in the great companies of the world. That is through stocks and shares or equities. The portion of your investment in equities should be linked to your comfort level and attitude to risk.

Diversify, diversify, diversify!

Applying time to your investment is one way to manage risk and generate growth. The other is to spread your investment across different asset classes.

A balanced investment will generally invest 50%-65% in global shares with the remainder spread between bonds, property, commodities, and cash.

Even within a balanced portfolio most funds will be invested in over 500 companies. So you are never putting all your eggs in one basket.

Be Disciplined – Stick to the plan

The final and most important component of investing in challenging times is to be disciplined and stick to the plan.

It is quite natural to want to cash in or step out of your investment during periods of volatility. History has taught us that a bell doesn’t ring when the market bottoms out. By attempting to invest when you think ‘the coast is clear’ is likely to result in you missing out on some of the days that deliver the strongest returns.

Seek Advice

Your investment should be structured around your needs and your risk tolerance. It should be viewed as an important element of your overall financial plan. For that reason, it is important to seek out advice. An impartial professional advisor will work with you throughout your investment journey.

To discuss the investment options that are the right fit for you just get in touch with us here.


Source: Charts from Dimensional Fund Advisors 2022






When I’m not at work, I’m Cycling!

Last year, in the height of another dreaded ‘lockdown’ I did what a lot of guys my age seem to do. I became a MAMIL (Middle Aged Man In Lycra)! As a kid I loved my BMX but for most of my life, cycling was always a means to an end. I enjoyed cycling to college or work but I never really saw the attraction in cycling for the sake of it.

However, after some encouragement from some long standing MAMIL friends, I took the plunge and got myself a road bike.

One of the first things I learned is that it’s not just about the bike. There is an infinite list of accessories, clothing and safety gear. And then there’s the sophisticated technology devices and apps to be got.

Fast forward 12 months and I am a fully-fledged MAMIL. I even find myself watching late night repeats of the Tour of Flanders on Eurosport to study cadence and climbing.

While I’ve probably missed the boat with the Tour de France, I have learnt that cycling can be for everyone. You’re never too late to start (a bit like a pension!) and it allows for all standards and levels of fitness.

Cycling is something you can do alone or in a group. I have had some of the best conversations with my friends while on the bike (as opposed to on a bar stool). Unlike meeting your friends in the pub, you always remember the conversation!

Mental health has become omnipresent in todays world but I genuinely feel that the greatest benefit cycling has given me is with my mental health.

Exercising in the fresh air has really helped get a good night’s sleep and sets me up for the following day.

If you are considering getting in to cycling, I would recommend the following tips:

  1. Do your research before you commit to buying a bike. Get advice from a few bike shops to understand what bike you are best suited to and use YouTube to verify.
  2. Don’t scrimp on the gear. Cycling gear can be expensive but the cheap stuff doesn’t last as long and will not protect you as much as the more established brands. Make a wish list of items you need/want and spread out when you buy them. Make sure to let people know what you want when coming up to Christmas and birthdays!
  3. Download the Strava App. It’s free and it is a great devise to record your trips. You’ll spend hours after your cycle analysing your data!
  4. If Road cycling is not for you, consider investing in an e-bike. You’ll still be exercising and can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time.

If you are fortunate enough to live in Dublin you have one of the best cycling facilities on your doorstep, free of charge! The Dublin mountains are a great challenge to conquer. The rewards you get the higher up you go are well worth the effort. Not only that, once you go over the other side you are immediately in the stunning natural countryside of beautiful county Wicklow.

If you want to take a break from the hills, then a spin out to Howth or around the Phoenix Park are just as impressive.

Pensions & Tax Relief….How does it work?

How does the area of pensions and tax relief work? Bottom line is that the State will incentivize you to save for your retirement by allowing you save some of your gross salary (i.e. income before tax is applied) in to a pension plan.

For example:

How much tax relief can I avail of?

Each individual is allowed tax relief based on their age and percentage of their salary.

Know your limits!

  • Don’t be greedy! The maximum salary you can claim relief on is €115,000 p.a. Therefore if your income is €500k p.a., you can still only claim relief up to the first €115,000 p.a.
  • If you are a member of a Company Pension scheme and your employer is making a contribution to your pension, this is NOT included in your salary limit (so you probably have plenty of scope to contribute up to your limit).
  • If you are a member of a Company PRSA Scheme and your employer is making a contribution to your pension, this IS included in your salary limit (so be careful not to exceed your limit).

Sounds good? There are even more tax benefits...

  • When you contribute to your pension, the money is invested in a fund where it is allowed grow TAX FREE! Unlike a deposit account where the growth is taxed annually, a pension fund can grow without the burden of the growth being taxed. This cumulative tax free growth is the key ingredient in your pension fund, providing you with a long and happy retirement.

What about the tax when you want to retire?

  • The tax relief doesn’t stop just because you want to retire! There are a few options but in general, the day you retire you can get at least 25% of your total pot transferred in to your bank account TAX FREE!
  • The balance of your fund can remain invested and grow TAX FREE!
  • Whenever you do drawdown on the balance of the fund you are liable to income tax. However, there are various structures and ways to minimise the tax liability at that point.

What if I die and I haven’t spent all of my pension fund?

  • Even on death your pension can be tax efficient!
  • If you die and still have a pension fund (pre or post Retirement) it doesn’t die with you. Instead, your family can inherit your pension in a much more tax efficient way than if you had left them a property or money in a bank account.

So in summary you can get…

  • Tax relief on your pension contributions
  • Tax free growth on your pension fund
  • Tax free growth on your retirement fund until you draw it down
  • Tax efficient access to your pension fund throughout your retirement
  • Tax efficient transfer of your funds to your estate on death
  • Tax free lump sum at retirement age

With all aspects of Personal Financial Planning, it is important to get professional impartial advice that is specific to your own needs and circumstances.

For an initial chat to see if we are suited to working with you, simply get in touch.