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Financial fitness for the new decade

Happy new decade!

If there is ever a time to get your financial plan together, the start of a new decade is it.

Like any plan, whether it’s for weight loss, running a business or even building a house, to be successful you need to follow through. A tailored financial plan focuses on your own personal goals and provides strategies to achieve them, whether you want to expand your investments or travel the world in retirement.

To get started, there are a few fundamentals you need to consider.

1. Clearing personal debt
With sky-high interest rates and annual fees to boot, the sooner you clear any credit card debt or personal loans, the sooner you can achieve your financial freedom. Check out An Post’s 0% on transfers offer for 12 months to get ahead of your debt repayments.

2. Planning for the future
The latest statistics show that only just over half of Irish workers have savings that can supplement the government’s PRSI pension. That means everyone else could be forced to live on less than €250 a week in their golden years. It’s never too early to start planning for the longest holiday of your life, so don’t leave it until it’s too late.

3. Review your mortgage rates
If you have a mortgage on your home, it is a good idea to research the market and find out whether you could get a better deal. Some lenders are offering excellent rates for switchers that can save you thousands over the life of your home loan.

4. Creating a “rainy day” fund.
You never know when you’re going to need extra cash in an emergency, or to take advantage of a good investment opportunity. We advise keeping at least three months’ salary equivalent in an interest-bearing account that you can access at any time.

5. Protection for you and your family
How would you provide for your family if you were unable to work? Do you have enough rainy day savings to cover all your expenses if you had to take 3, 6 or even 12 months off? And what about if the unthinkable happened and something happened to you or your partner? Income Protection and Life Assurance provide the ultimate peace-of-mind, giving providing the financial security your family needs both now and in the future.

6. Saving for your child’s college fees
Third level education fees currently amount to €42,000 per child in Ireland and costs are continuing to rise. There are a number of excellent savings schemes available on the market to help you save for your child’s future that require a minimum monthly payment that is less than the Child Benefit.

7. Short-term savings goals
Why take a personal loan for a car, study expenses or your annual holiday when you can create a short-term savings goal to achieve the amount you need? Not only will you be debt free, the sense of achievement will be exhilarating!

8. Growing your investments
Take time to nurture your knowledge of your investments and the share market. While diversification is important, so is being comfortable with your level of risk. Talking it over with a qualified financial advisor can help you understand what investments best suit your risk profile and financial goals.

If you need help getting your financial plan in order, give the Hennelly Finance team a call. We are specialists in helping people achieve their financial goals and would be delighted to help you achieve yours too. Give us a call today!