Welcome to Informed Decisions, Ireland's #1 Personal Finance Blog & Podcast! Hope you managed to catch last weeks' Podcast with Andy Agathangelou, all about developing more transparency in Financial Services, it was a decent chat!
This week I am on a mission to shred some myths about that big question: Should I take my benefits out of my Defined Benefit pension scheme, or leave my benefits in my Defined Benefit pension scheme. Granted it is not a question that everyone of us will need to answer over a life-time but it is one that I see more and more in recent times. In addition to that it is a decision which can potentially have such a significant impact on one's future lifestyle and financial well-being that it deserves a closer inspection! Given that in the region of 60% of people who have a Defined Benefit scheme have left that employment and so will typically have the option to leave if they want. We're gonna try help them understand whether that's a wise move or not!
Before we begin I have to declare a bit of a bias I have on this topic......I firmly believe that generally speaking a Defined Benefit scheme is a hugely valuable benefit to hold onto for dear life, that you'd have rocks in your head to leave it, that it represents better value than you could possibly hope to achieve if you transferred your benefits out of it, that it will sustain you in retirement, and go a long way potentially to sustaining your partner if they survive you, that thousands of others would give their left and/or right arm to have the preserved benefit that you have, and that it is usually a case that your advisor may be steering you to leave because it will benefit them more than if you stay......but hey I could be totally and utterly misplaced in my bias. I'm just outlining that I do have a bias, and a belief that in most circumstances you'd want to have rocks in your head to take a transfer! Let's see if I'm way off or way on....
What Is A Defined Benefit Pension?
In simple terms a Defined Benefit pension scheme is one in which you are 'guaranteed' a certain level of income in retirement, based on your salary at time of leaving employment, and the number of years you were a member of that scheme. Traditionally they have been the Rolls-Royce of pensions, offering great security, value and certainty of income to retiring employees. In recent years their reputation has been tainted with swathes of employers 'closing' their DB schemes, due for no other reason than they are hugely expensive for employers to provide. Defined Contribution schemes, where the employer will make a certain payment each month on your behalf are far more manageable for employers, and usually less effective for retiring employees.
When Can I Take A Transfer Value From My Defined Benefit Scheme?
Hi and welcome to Ireland's dedicated Financial Planning and Personal Finance Podcast. We are on a mission to share ideas and unbiased insights that might help you make beneficial decisions.
Speaking of mission we are joined this week by non-other than Andy Agathangelou who founded the Transparency Task Force and which is on a mission to have a positive and lasting difference on financial services and on those that it exists to serve.
I was so taken by Andy and the band of volunteers that have joined him that I have accepted the invitation to become Ireland's first (and so far only!) Ambassador. It is my intent to help have a positive difference on this mighty profession so that it can survive, serve and help many more thousands in the years ahead.
Thanks for listening!
QFA |RPA | APA | Qualified Coach
Hey there and welcome back to Ireland's #1 personal finance blog. This week we are exploring what is quite a common challenge for people, the decisions about investing a lump sum now or waiting for markets to fall or crash. Funnily this is not usually a challenge for would-be investors when markets are calm and rising. It more often becomes a challenge when market volatility hits, or when media is claiming that the market it 'over-priced' or at an 'all-time high'.
The Impact Of Time
In considering this it obviously makes sense to consider what the intent is with investing. When doing a presentation last week for a group of advisors I asked them what the main purpose of investing is, 50% of the room said it is to beat inflation, while the other 50% of the room said it was to achieve decent growth. If you are considering an investment perhaps it is worth considering what your intent is with that investment. I firmly believe that unless there is a clear goal or plan for the funds then you are much more likely to make decisions that would be detrimental to your long term investment success. We can never obviously predict what the future holds for markets, and that history may well not repeat itself, but history (and the constant upward curve!) are all that we have to go on.
One piece of data I particularly like relates to the impact of time in the market, as opposed to timing. It analyses the Standard & Poors 500 (S&P500) between 1926 and 2011, and determines what percentage of rolling periods had positive returns, for various durations in that market.
1 Year - 73% of rolling periods positive (752 of 1021 rolling periods)
5 Years - 86% of periods positive (844 of 973)
10 Years - 94% of periods positive (860 of 913)
15 Years - 99.7% (851 of 853)
20 Years - 100% of periods positive!
These numbers basically speak for themselves here but to quickly look at both ends, 1 year and 20 year periods. We can see clearly that we stood a fairly decent likelihood of our investment being in positive territory after 12 months, but certainty of positive returns if we had invested for a 20 year period. Not everyone will have a 20 year window over which to invest but there is no denying that it clearly demonstrates the old and over-used mantra of 'its not about timing the market, rather time IN the market'!
Read the full Blog here.
Paddy Delaney QFA | RPA | APA | Coach
Hey there, it's great to be back after a few weeks of rest over the Christmas, it was probably good for all of us to have a break from listening to me! Anyway, very excited about developing what we are doing here, growing the community, and helping more people get the information they need to make good financial decisions for themselves. On reflection over the Christmas I am more keen than ever to keep trying to make a positive difference and to keep telling it like it is! Ever wondered how to get financial advice in Ireland?? This week in our first episode of 2019 I want to outline the options open to people who are perhaps hoping to get their financial lives sorted or who have some big financial decisions to make. Looking for financial advice in Ireland can be confusing; who to trust, how they can help, what they can do or can't do and what do they charge? Here I hope to outline the various options clearly, outline some of the possible pros and cons of each, and ultimately share some ideas that might help....I hope it is useful. If you haven't seen it then I suggest reading Blog 27 where I share ideas on what to consider prior to getting advice.
Where Should I Get Financial Advice?
This is a question that many who have had financial decisions to make have considered, some may have had an obvious answer and others less so. My intent with this episode is to outline the various options and help in your decision, if you have one to make. The answer to that question really revolves around the outcome you seek and the manner in which your advisor operates. For some people the way that your advisor works will be important, they will want to know how they are paid and what potential conflicts might be present in their advice. Others will not care one way or the other provided they get what they need in place.