Blog – McCarthy & Associates – Galway Talks, 18/02/2016

Question: I am 57 years of age and took out a Life Policy a year ago. I think the premium is quite expensive; would it be worth my while to shop around?
Answer: As your policy is only 1 year old and assuming that your health circumstances have not changed, then if you feel the premium is expensive, you should shop around, as you may get cheaper cover.

Issue: Financial Ombudsman reports 900 complaints about Whole of Life Policies since 2010.
Comment: I am surprised that the number of complaints in the last 5 years about these policies is not higher. I have always warned about the potential pitfalls of Whole of Life, primarily because as it becomes more expensive as you get older.
When taking out a Life Policy, you should ask the question if it is Whole of Life. If this is not suitable for you then request a Term Policy, which is Life Cover for a fixed period of time at a fixed premium.

Question: I have a sum of money to invest and I am looking for complete security on the capital. Can you advise me what my options are?
Answer: The only thing that will provide you with full capital security is a deposit account. Obviously you will earn little return on it. To get a balance between some security and a reasonable potential return, look at a 4/5 year Term Investment Bond.
These bonds no longer offer full capital security but you can get protection of circa 90-95%.
The simple rule of thumb is that, if you move off deposit you have to be prepared to take some element of risk.

Question: Do you think it is a good idea to use a Tax Refund website to do my taxes for me?
Answer: For most people making a tax return is not as difficult as they think. Unless your affairs are particularly complex, you should be able to do the return yourself without going to the expense of using a third party.
The revenue will provide you with as much information as you need if you contact them or alternatively access their website.