5 Top Questions about – Income Protection

    We believe Income Protection cover should form an important part of any financial planning conversation. After all it is your income that provides the funds to pay for almost everything else. So what would you do if you couldn’t work to earn that income? In this piece, Anne O’Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions, looks at the key questions we are asked when we discuss income protection.

    What is income protection?

    In the very simplest terms Income Protection is a type of protection policy designed to protect your income. It provides an alternative income if you are unable to work due to injury or illness. This can give you financial security and peace of mind while you recover. We all have mortgage protection, car insurance, home insurance and travel insurance, to name but a few. But what pays for all these things? Your income. So why would you not consider protecting it.

    How is income protection different to serious illness cover?

    The main difference is that Income Protection pays a regular income whereas Serious Illness cover pays a once off lump sum when you claim. In addition, Income Protection is occupation dependent and covers any illness, injury or disability that prevents you from working. Serious Illness cover is available regardless of your occupation but only the illnesses specified on your plan are covered. The other big difference is in the tax treatment of each plan. Tax relief is available on your Income Protection premiums but the benefit is taxed. However, with Serious Illness tax relief is not available on your premiums but the benefit payment is tax-free.

    How much cover can I take?

    You can insure up to 75% of your income minus any State Illness benefit you are entitled to. Currently this is €220 per week (or €11,440 per year). So if you earn €80,000 you can insure a total of €60,000 less €11,440 or up to €48,560 per year. This means that you would receive a taxable income of €4,046 per month until you get back to work or your policy ends.

    If you are self-employed, then you are not entitled to any State Illness benefit. This means you can ensure up to the full 75% of your income.

    The important thing is to work out how much income protection cover you may need. Think about your income and your outgoings, how much income do you need to cover your living expenses?

    How long will I be covered for?

    If you can’t work because of illness or injury, your income protection plan gives you a replacement income until you either return to work or if you’re not fit to return before then, the ceasing age you selected when taking out the policy. You can also decide at outset when you would like to be able to access the plan, should you need to. This is called the deferred period and is usually anything from 13 to 52 weeks.

    That sounds really appealing but is it expensive?

    At the end of the day, it depends on the value you put on having an income should the worst happen. The cost varies depending on a range of factors including your occupation, your health and age as well as how much income you wish to insure. We believe that some level of Income Protection should form part of a robust financial plan and it really is down to how much you think you will need as a replacement income. There are lots of different factors that affect the cost. It can be reduced by insuring a smaller portion of your income or selecting a different deferred period. Remember to that you can claim tax relief on your premiums.

    If you’d like to take a closer look at Income Protection and what kind of plan is right for your circumstances, just get in touch with us at Quintas Wealth Management, because we know what counts.

    Is now a good time to cash in my investment?

    Please note although originally published in February 2023, this article was updated in March 2023 in light of market events.

    Anne O’Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions, shares her thoughts on investing in 2023, when a good time to cash in an investment is and how clients can rest assured during periods of volatility.

    We all expected a slightly bumpy year for investments in 2022 as markets recovered from the impact of Covid-19. What we didn’t anticipate was the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the resulting impact on energy markets, the rapid increase in inflation, and the marked effect on the global economy. These factors all resulted in both equities and bonds ending the year in a negative fashion. A question we were asked many times during last year was whether an investment should be cashed in to minimise losses. There was a negative end to the year for equities and bonds in particular. So this concern has been raised again over the past few weeks.

    How has the year started?

    The first point to note is that there has been a positive start to 2023. Markets certainly seem to be on the rebound. Energy prices, inflation and other pressures seem to have started to stabilise. The threat of recession is still with us. But, should this happen, all pointers indicate this would be mild and short-lived.

    However, the past 2 weeks have shown some significant events in the market which will once again impact conditions in the short-term. The initial reaction to the banking crisis in the US and in Switzerland saw financial conditions tighten. This did appear to make recessionary conditions more likely. However, the swift response by regulators to the emerging crisis conditions has diminished the negative impact. Interest rate expectations did drop back but as I write equities are rebounding.

    This situation brings me to my second point. This situation very much demonstrates why investing is a long-term commitment. By their nature markets have ups and downs but over the course of an investment, these tend to level out. There are many factors that can affect the markets. Volatility is usually caused by political and economic factors, industry or sector changes, or even individual company news. It can be difficult to witness any declines in your portfolio. But it is important to apply logic and not act out of emotion.

    The impact of volatility

    History has shown that those who have stayed invested during previous periods of market volatility have achieved their original investment objectives. Investing in a diversified equity portfolio has been shown to provide the best return on investment over a long period. The greatest risk to investment return on equities for an investor was not from being in the market during the negative times. It was from being out of it during the more frequent positive ones.

    This brings us back to a key point we make to our clients. Once you have chosen a strategy that suits your needs and risk profile, returns may depend on time in the market rather than timing the markets. It is important to not act of haste. While we cannot predict exactly what markets will do, we can certainly draw on past experience. In answer to the question, it is down to what the objective of the investment is and how long the term is. These factors will dictate what action, if any needs to be taken.

    The importance of a well-balanced portfolio

    A well-balanced, diversified portfolio would be built to take into account the ups and downs of the market in achieving its objective. Volatility is a typical part of investing. But it’s not unusual to be concerned by periods of it, especially when this is sustained for a considerable period. If you are asking “Should I cash in my investment”? or have any questions in relation to it please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Quintas Wealth Management.

    My First Year: 5 Things I’ve Learnt

    Welcome folks, it’s Tracey here. Although most of you probably know me, I will start with a bit about myself. At this point I have over 6 years’ experience in different forms of financial services, namely within Fund services and the alternative investments space. I completed the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice designation (QFA) in July 2021, you could call it a lockdown project. January 2023 marks the start of my second full year in a brokerage. With that top of mind, I decided what better time to record my practical learnings in my first year with an independent financial advisory. Here’s 5 things I’ve learnt that might benefit you.

    A Little Today for a Better Tomorrow

    Save for your pension. As an early thirty something with (hopefully) decades of work still ahead it can be hard to prioritise saving for retirement. I’ve seen it on so many occasions this year. But when it comes to the other side, it is a huge sense of relief to have a decent pension pot in place. Yes you can argue you don’t know what life will look like in 2060, but nobody will convince me that early thirty somethings in 1990 knew how the world would look in 2022.


    Back to that inconspicuous hopefully I included in the first point. Protecting your salary should be one of the first things a graduate invests in. One of Ireland’s largest providers, Zurich have a line ‘we don’t protect against, we protect for’, and it’s true. You are protecting your financial future by investing in this. On the face of it, paying these premiums doesn’t appear as exciting as a crypto vault on an app on your smart phone, but when it comes to being physically out of work for a sustained period I know which one I would prefer to have.

    Review, Review, Review

    A term used with investing, ‘invest and forget’, meaning don’t unduly concern yourself with the market fluctuations until such time as you need the funds. However, in Quintas Wealth Management the review process is as important as the initial set up. Personal circumstances change, and what is even more common is changes to regulatory guidelines, from time-to-time life companies have offers, better terms, more suitable products. Ensure you review your plan, products and premiums at least annually.

    Time in the Markets

    It was a hectic year in markets, validating the phrase – ‘time in the markets rather than timing the markets’. My recommendation is invest long term, invest at a volatility (risk) level you are comfortable with and at an affordable level for your circumstances. The best time to invest is always when you can afford it. There is a perception that investing is for people with hundreds of thousands in deposit accounts, regular investments can start from €100 a month.

    A New Normal

    By and large the days of one job/employer/career for life are a generation or two behind us. More typical nowadays is a mix-um gather-um of employment and employer types (employed, public, private sector, self employed, contract work, multi nationals, Irish SMEs etc.). All the more reason to consolidate your benefits. Do a stock take on what you know you have and think you may have. The very first part of the first step in Quintas Wealth Management’s financial advice process is finding out this information for you.

    All in all, an enjoyable first 16 months with Anne and the team. An awful lot learned in my first year about the financial advice business and I’ve no doubt an awful lot still to learn! But as the saying goes “every day is a schoolday”!

    Should you wish to review your existing protection, savings and pension policies give us a call today.

    Why start retirement planning early

    There has been a big focus on pensions over the course of 2022. From concern around the impact of market volatility to the Government proposals on auto-enrolment and the recent tax deadlines. But one thing remains clear it is never too late to start your retirement planning. And it is also never too early!

    It is clear that younger age groups have little interest in retirement planning. The chart below demonstrates that age is a significant motivational factor when it comes to retirement planning. Interest is low at a younger age and there is only a significant increase when an individual reaches their late forties and into their fifties. While it is not too late to start a pension at that stage, it does leave far less time to make a meaningful provision.

    The sooner you start to make a provision for your retirement, the easier it is financially for two main reasons:

    • The cost of the outlay is spread over a longer period and so the financial impact is reduced
    • Investing early and staying invested allows more time and potential for your savings to grow

    There are many reasons cited for not starting a pension earlier. These range from paying off student loans, saving to purchase a home to not considering you can afford to start or just simply not getting around to it. However, the fact is it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Once you start working and can set aside even a small amount each month, you will be on your way to building a fund. Then as you earn more in your career, you can increase the amount you contribute.

    The key is to start. The sooner you can start to save money for the future, the more secure you’re going to feel about retirement. So, no matter what age you are or what stage of your career, it’s worth thinking about your pension. Just get in touch if you’d like to start the conversation.

    EIIS Fund Launch

    We are delighted to announce the launch of The EIIS Innovation Fund. 

    The EIIS Innovation Fund will allow investors to invest in Irish companies with excellent management teams and future growth potential while availing of up to 40% income tax relief.  

    With experience in operating EIIS/BES investments since 2005, The EIIS Innovation Fund will be managed by Quintas Wealth Management Limited (QWM) and advised by Quintas Capital Limited and Quintas Partners. The fund will be led by Quintas Capital Director, Kevin Canning. 

    Speaking on the launch, Director of Quintas Capital, Kevin Canning said, “I am delighted to be given the chance to lead The EIIS Innovation Fund. I have sourced, fundraised and managed several EIIS investments in the past and look forward to providing this service in a more structured manner. The Irish economy needs a surging SME ecosystem and EIIS investment should be the backbone of supporting young Irish SMEs. Reach out to me if you are an investor or company looking to learn more” 

    What is EIIS? 

    The Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme (EIIS) is a tax relief incentive scheme, previously the Business Expansion Scheme (BES) which provides income tax relief of up to 40% to individual investors for investments in small and medium-sized companies throughout Ireland.  

    The scheme offers one of the few remaining income tax reliefs and provides total income tax relief including: 

    • Salaries 
    • Rental income 
    • Employee share options  

    Find out more: EIIS Investor FAQs 

    EIIS Fund 

    An EIIS Fund is a professionally managed suite of EIIS investments. Investors benefit from spreading the risk of their EIIS investment across a number of companies as opposed to a direct investment in one company while still availing of income tax relief. 

    If you are interested in learning more about The EIIS Innovation Fund: Key Features Document 

    EIIS Webinar 

    We believe there is a lack of awareness and understanding of the EIIS scheme within Ireland. We would like to see the scheme used to its full potential and we are on a mission to ensure that both investors and companies benefit. 

    If you are a financial broker, investor or company looking to learn more about EIIS and our fund, we are holding a 30 minute lunchtime Zoom webinar on Friday 4th November at 1pm.  

    Sign Up: Here 

    Speaking about the launch, Anne O’Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions, Quintas Wealth Management commented “We are delighted to be able to offer this unique opportunity. This is an exciting and innovative scheme for investors which should bring benefits to both them and the companies involved.”

    If you are interested in working with The EIIS Innovation Fund, please contact: Kevin.canning@quintas.ie or EIIS@QWM.ie  

    Investor FAQ Link


    5 Top Questions About – Pensions

    It’s that time of year again. A lot of people are thinking about pensions to gain the benefit from the upcoming tax deadlines. But there’s been a lot of questions about pensions this year. From market volatility to auto-enrolment, it can seem like a bit of a minefield. Here, Anne O’Doherty, our Head of Life & Pensions answers the most commonly asked questions we have received and shares our view on how best to manage your pension.

    I haven’t started a pension yet, when is the right time to do this?

    Saving for retirement is extremely important. People are living longer and leading more active lives in retirement. As a result, it is more important than ever for you to think about where your income will come from when you retire. Starting a pension is one of the smartest decisions you can make. The earlier you start the better. But it is also never too late to start planning for the financial future you want. Have a look at this Pension and Retirement Calculator on our website. It can give you help with your retirement planning and to see you how much you need to put away for later in life.

    I’ve read a lot of headlines about auto-enrolment recently – what is it?

    Quite simply auto-enrolment is a new scheme announced by Government earlier this year. The aim of it is to try to encourage people to make adequate provision for their income at retirement. It will work by having employers automatically enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme. It is aimed at those people who currently are not in a company pension scheme. The Government has estimated this number to be around 750k between the ages of 23 and 60 (earning more than €20,000). Our recent blog covered all aspects of auto-enrolment, and you can read it here.

    Is my pension safe given the current market volatility?

    We are being asked this a lot by our clients given the rocky year markets have endured. The first and most important thing to remember is that a pension is a long-term investment. By their nature markets have ups and downs but over the course of an investment these tend to level out. There are many factors that can affect the markets. Volatility is usually caused by political and economic factors, industry or sector changes or even individual company news. While it can be difficult to witness any declines in your portfolio, it is important to apply logic and not act out of emotion. The most important thing for an investor to do is hold their course. History has shown that those who have stayed invested during previous periods of market volatility have achieved their original investment objectives.

    I’m getting nearer retirement, should I make any changes to my pension arrangements?

    As a general rule you need to be between 60 and 75 years of age to take your pension benefits. If you are are about 10 years from your retirement age, then there are a few things you need to start considering. There are lots of things that you have had to think about to date – building your career, paying the mortgage, educating your children and maybe even saving for a rainy day. These are important. But as you start approaching retirement it’s now important to take advantage of the last 10 years of your working life to make sure you maximise your financial position when you do retire. This can mean increasing regular contributions, making additional lump sum contributions or switching funds to lower risk options. Depending on your own personal circumstances, we can talk you through what the best approach is now.

    What is the tax situation for my pension contributions?

    It is safe to say that a pension is one of the most tax-efficient ways of saving money. Tax relief is the greatest benefit of saving into a pension. If you’re paying tax at 20%, then you’re entitled to 20% back on pension contributions. If you’re paying tax on your salary at the highest rate, then you’re entitled to get 40% back on any pension contribution that you make. So, it doesn’t cost as much as you may have thought to save for retirement. You can also benefit from higher limits for tax relief as you get older as these are age-related.

    5 Top Questions About – Market Volatility

    It’s all over the headlines. The markets are going through a period of unprecedented volatility. It is, of course, a time that may cause worry to many investors. Here, Anne O’Doherty, our Head of Life & Pensions answer the most commonly asked questions we have received and shares our view on how investors should react.

    What is market volatility?

    Market volatility is an investment term which is used to describe periods of unpredictable and sharp price movements in the stock market. It covers when prices fall but can also refer to sudden price rises. Understanding market volatility and being aware of it is an important part of investing.

    What makes markets volatile?

    There are many factors that can affect the markets. Volatility is usually caused by political and economic factors, industry or sector changes or even individual company news.

    The current market volatility that we are experiencing is being driven by the war in Ukraine, pending interest rate increases, fears around new Coronavirus variants and sudden rise in inflation among other factors.

    What does a “bear market” mean?

    A bear market is a prolonged period of decline in the stock market, usually a decline of at least 20%. It’s an indicator of low investor confidence and a sluggish economy. A bear market is usually followed by a bull market. This is when securities are once again on the rise and tends to last longer than the preceding low. 

    What impact will this have on my investment?

    While it can be difficult to witness any declines in your portfolio, it is important to apply logic and not act out of emotion. The most important thing for an investor to do is hold their course.

    History has shown that those who have stayed invested during previous periods of market volatility have achieved their original investment objectives.

    I’m not sure what to do, where can I get help?

    Investing is a long-term commitment. A well-balanced, diversified portfolio would be built taking into account the ups and downs of the market. Although volatility is a typical part of investing, it’s not unusual to be concerned by periods of it. If you have any questions or concerns in relation to your own investment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Quintas Wealth Management.

    Why you need to have a financial plan

    Anyone who has a source of income and out-going expenses should have a structured financial plan. The objective of this is to help you achieve your financial goals. But really what it does is to help you live the life you want to live. It can be as simple as paying the mortgage off early, saving for education expenses, putting a sum aside for a “rainy day” or planning for a comfortable retirement.

    Your life is your story

    At Quintas Wealth Management, we like to think that your life story is like a book. As the pages turn, your story is told. Each chapter is a different stage of your life. At each stage, you will have different challenges, opportunities, and choices. You probably have plans in place for what you wish to achieve in each chapter. So why would you not have a plan in place to financially support these plans?

    What is financial planning?

    Financial planning is a straightforward way of creating a roadmap that will help you as you journey through your story. Creating a roadmap for your financial future is for everyone. It provides a step-by-step approach to meeting your life goals. It puts you in control of your income, expenses, and investments so you can manage your money to deliver the best outcome for you. Financial planning is an ongoing process that will reduce your stress about money. It will support your current needs and help you be prepared for what you want in the future.

    Benefits of financial planning

    1. Puts you in control

    By understanding clearly what your income and outgoings are and setting out your goals you are firmly in control. Without a plan in place, it can be hard to budget properly on a day-to-day basis, let alone plan for the future or the unexpected. A financial plan puts you in control, so you know not only where you want to get to but how you are going to get there and when.

    • Peace of mind

    A financial plan helps you manage your money efficiently. It considers many factors including your life stage and risk profile as well as your family situation. That way you can not only cover your ongoing regular expenses, but you are safe in the knowledge that future and unexpected expenses have been planned for too.

    • Cover all eventualities

    Your financial plan will be unique to you. It will incorporate the right mix of protection, investing and saving for what you want to achieve. A part of any good plan will create an emergency fund. This is a critical aspect of financial planning to ensure that your plan delivers what is right for you regardless of what happens.

    Our 4-step approach

    At Quintas Wealth Management we offer a simple 4-step approach to financial planning. This allows us to work together with you to put a robust plan in place to get you where you want to be. Our belief at Quintas is that the most constructive way of establishing a client’s financial goals and putting solutions in place to achieve them is through our financial review process. This allows us to work with you to assess where you are at in financial terms and where you are trying to get to. We consider many factors including your life stage and risk profile as well as family situation.

    We also build-in security against any unforeseen circumstances that may happen. And most importantly we review your plan regularly to make sure that it is delivering what you need and to take into account any changes you may require.

    So, if you’re ready to talk to us about your story, just get in touch.

    Pension Auto-Enrolment and Your Retirement Planning

    The Government has announced that the long-awaited Auto-Enrolment Retirement Savings scheme is set to be rolled-out from 2024. It is targeted at approximately 750,000 workers across the country. The aim is to ensure these people have made provision for their retirement if they do not have an occupational or other pension scheme in place.

    We have a lot of details on the proposed way the scheme will work but like anything there will be post-implementation issues to iron out. Anne O’Doherty, Head of Life & Pensions gives us an overview of the scheme and what we believe it means for your retirement planning.

    Anne O'Doherty, Head of Life and Pensions, Quintas Wealth Management
    Anne O’Doherty

    What is Auto-Enrolment?

    Quite simply it is a new system to try to encourage people to make adequate provision for their income at retirement. It will work by having employers automatically enrol their employees into a workplace pension scheme.

    Who is it aimed at?

    It is aimed at those people who currently are not in a company pension scheme. The Government has estimated this number to be around 750k between the ages of 23 and 60 (earning more than €20,000).

    How does it work?

    The scheme is being set up so that contributions paid by employees will be matched by their employers. This will be as a percentage of the employee’s gross income. The State will then also add a top-up to the money in the pension pot. The contribution rates are going to be phased in over a 10-year period. They will start at 1.5% for both employee and employer in 2024.

    Can I opt out?

    The scheme is opt-out rather than opt-in. This means that people who do not have another arrangement in place will not have to do anything to start paying into their pension fund.

    But employees who do not want to pay into the scheme can opt-out but only after an initial 6-month period. The opt-out is also not indefinite and they will be automatically opted-in again after 2 years.

    Will there still be a state pension?

    Yes, it has been confirmed that there will still be a state pension scheme in place. But as we know this does not function as a direct replacement for a salary. There is a short-fall – the “pension gap” which may well continue to increase due to increasing life expectancy and demographics. The idea is to bridge this gap, by auto-enrolling those that do not have an additional pension plan (company/personal/PRSA) in place into the scheme.

    Financial Market Commentaries

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine sent investment markets into freefall. For a number of weeks leading up to this we were receiving client queries regarding what the impact on their investments would be, should this happen. Now that it has, our response remains the same as events unfold.

    There is understandable concern as there always is during turbulent periods in the stockmarket. It is important to remember that these periods are part and parcel of stockmarket investing. For those invested in diversified portfolios for the medium to longer term, it is a case of let the stockmarket readjust. Historical data indicates that declines tends to be temporary.

    To assist you in understanding the impact and implications of the current situation we have included links to a number of commentaries from our investment partners. We will add to this over the coming days as the situation continues to be assessed.

    Implications of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – New Ireland

    Possible economic and financial implications of Ukraine situation – Aviva

    Investment markets roiled by Russian invasion – Zurich

    Markets Update: Russia-Ukraine Crisis – Irish Life Investment Managers

    Navigating geopolitical events – Dimensional

    Trade & Economic Impacts of Ukraine invasion – IBEC

    First reaction to the Ukraine crisis – Davy

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