Blog – McCarthy & Associates – Galway Talks, 31/03/2016

Question:  I see a lot of publicity about the lack of availability of Mortgages for new housebuyers.  However, do you think it would be a good time to look at changing an existing mortgage from one bank to another?

Reply: The volume of lending to new housebuyers is excessively low, which has forced banks into providing attractive mortgage packages to entice existing borrowers to switch lenders. The competition website at has a calculator which will help you to review the rates currently on offer.

Question:  I have a Personal Pension Plan and the funds are held in a Deposit Account. With the annual management charge it is losing value.  What are my options?

Reply:  During the downturn some people, due to fear switched their Personal Pension Plan monies into a deposit account.  Obviously with interest rates having fallen to historically low levels, these pensions are now loosing money due to the annual management charges.

The only way to address the situation is to look at switching back to an active fund that will suit your requirements and give you the potential for future growth.

Question:   I am 49 years of age and in good health.  I do not have any Life Cover other than a Mortgage Protection Policy and I am concerned my family will not be looked after if something happens to me.  Can you please advise what I should consider?

Reply:  This is a common mistake that a lot of people make, as they think it is enough to have Life Cover to clear their mortgage on death.

This is not the case, as you need to also consider the financial position your will be in with the loss of your income.  Having a reasonable level of extra cover, exclusively for this purpose will at least go some way towards making matters easier for your loved ones.

Question:  How do I calculate the size of a Retirement Fund I need at age 65 to provide me with the same level of income?

Reply:  For the vast majority of people it will not be possible to maintain the level of occupational income they have, after they retire.  This is due to the fact that the cost of providing same will be exorbitant.

You should try to target a fund that will provide you with 50% of your income post retirement. A general rule of thumb is to put as much as you can adequately afford into your pension.