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Top 10 Financial Planning Tips – Blog 126

informed decisions blog

Top 10 Financial Planning Tips – Blog 126

7th October 2019

Paddy Delaney

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Here I share the top 10 Financial Planning tips that I hope will help you. Welcome to Ireland’s dedicated and award-winning Personal Finance Blog & Podcast with Paddy Delaney. My mission is to share insights and ideas for investors and pension holders that will help deliver results. In recent episodes we have been looking at the value of financial advice, and Financial Planning in Ireland. This week I’m exploring the difference some small changes can make in one’s personal finance. I hope it helps.

Intro:

I was facilitating a training session for a group of Financial Services professionals last week in Belfast. They are working on improving the results they deliver for staff and customers, with a focus on making small changes to what they do to deliver big results for their customers and business. It got me thinking about how we do or perhaps don’t apply the same concept to our own personal finances.

‘Mind the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ is a well-worn saying, the origin of which I have no idea! While it might give the perception of being ‘mean’ or ‘tight’ I reckon it’s basis is in being proactive and deliberate in our approach to managing our personal finances.

If we choose to take 100% responsibility for our money and all the decisions we make with it, the difference that can have on our relationship with it is really significant. If you are paying a mortgage, it was because you CHOSE to get a mortgage. If you are paying a car loan, it is because you CHOSE to do so. If you are paying into a pension it is because you CHOSE to do so. If you are saving 20% of your salary it is because you CHOSE to do so. Likewise if you are saving 0% of your salary it is also because you CHOSE to do so!

It is not directly linked to Personal Finance, and maybe that’s why I really like it, plus I think I have mentioned it here before, but here goes again! One of the most impactful books I have read is Victor Frankl‘s ‘Mans search for meaning’. It is an incredible story of hardship and untold misery, which ultimately harks to the concept of taking 100% responsibility for your situation, whatever that may be. He firmly convinces you that you always have a choice, irrespective of whether you can initially recongise it or not! If you haven’t then do absolutely read it.

Top 10 Financial Planning Tips – Small Changes:

  1. Paying a mortgage of €300,000 at 3% over a period of 15 years instead of 20 years will reduce the interest cost by over €27,000. In addition it will have you potentially closer to Financial Independence 5 years earlier
  2. Paying 3% instead of 3.5% on a mortgage of €300,000 over 20 years will reduce the cost of that mortgage by €18.5k
  3. Saving the children’s allowance from new-born to 18 years of age, in a 90/10 Equity/Bond portfolio with 1.1% fee, has historically delivered a median pot value of €86k
  4. If you earn €100,000 per year Gross, reducing your spending by even 5% could mean an additional €200 per month to do something beneficial with
  5. Owning a slightly older car as opposed to a 2/3 year old car can save you in the region of €200 per month, mostly in depreciation. Not owning a car at all can reduce your costs by €400 per month!
  6. Saving €1,000 per year (a little over €90 per month), invested in a 90/10 Equity/Bond portfolio over 20 years has historically delivered an addition €65,000 average of final balance
  7. Paying 1.1% instead of 2.2% in annual fees will save you in the region of €90,000 over a 20 year pension plan saving €12,000 per year
  8. Sacrificing some income or utilising a pay increase by doing an AVC of €300 per month in a 90/10 Equity/Bond portfolio has historically delivered a final pot value after 20 years of €220,000
  9. You and your spouse each gifting the allowable exemption of €3,000 to your 2 kids, and your 5 grandchildren for the next 15 years could reduce the amount they subsequently inherit, and pay Capital Gains Tax on, by €630,000!
  10. Investing your ARF in a 90/10 Equity/Bond portfolio instead of a 60/40 portfolio has historically been 10% more likely to outlive you than the other way round!

Conclusion:

When it comes to Personal Finance in Ireland and the changes here some may make the point that not all of these are what you might consider small. Whether you do or don’t feel they are small, the long term outcomes can certainly only be considered pretty significant, and worthwhile. These are my take on the top 10 Financial Planning tips for many of us.

Yes they will all require some effort, many require some sacrifice or exposure of some sort. I believe that maintaining a longer-term perspective, is critical in managing ones finances effectively. Too many of us, including me from time to time, fall into the short term view. We think about this month and next month, and decide that we can’t actually afford to put that savings aside! If we balance the needs of the present day, as well as the needs of our future self we are far more likely to do what we all know is right. It might only require a small change, a relatively insignificant sacrifice, to achieve the potentially huge longer term win.

What are you waiting for…..

Paddy

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