First Published October 9th, 2006
If you weren’t impressed with the suggestion of Eddie Hobbs to become a politician or to have a sex change when you cash in your SSIA, we in Value Ireland have put together a listing of things which you could actually do with your SSIA which might make more sense.
If you haven’t seen the show, you might count yourself lucky. You could check out Eddies SSIA website. But as with everything, buyer (or browser) beware – this website of Eddies is tied strongly to a profit seeking financial institution.
- Make sure you read the Value Ireland – 10 Things Not to Do with Your SSIA first. Click the link to see the things you should make sure you don’t do when it comes to your SSIA.
- Reduce any high interest rate credit that you may have – store credit cards, ordinary credit cards, or high interest loans. Divert the money you used to be paying on these types of high interest credit into some other kind of savings (possibly along with the money you used to be saving in your SSIA), or else divert it into overpaying your mortgage on a monthly basis.
- Reduce your mortgage via the SSIA lump sum, and then divert your existing SSIA savings contributions into mortgage overpayments on a monthly basis. This will significantly reduce the duration of your mortgage.
- Take advantage of the government initiative on PRSA pensions (if you earn less than €50,000) to divert up to €7,500 of your SSIA funds into your pension, and therefore investing in your wellbeing later on in life. This will be matched at a maximum of €2,500 by the government.
- If you are in a pension scheme through your job, talk to your company pension trustees about making extra contributions, called Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs). This can boost the value of your pension when you retire by diverting your current SSIA savings into your pension – getting tax relief of up to 42% on contributions – much better than the 25% the government was giving you in your SSIA scheme.
- If you don’t already have a pension, use your SSIA lump sum to start one. You’ll get the relief mentioned in point 3 above.
- Continue saving – if you think you’ll need quick access to the money in the short term, use a high interest savings account such as those provided by Northern Rock, Rabodirect, or Anglo Irish Bank for your lump sum. You can also then direct your current SSIA savings amount into this account to further build up your lump sum.
- Invest your money – decide what sort of investment product may be the most suitable for your own particular needs. Think about how long you want to invest for and whether you want to be able to withdraw some or all of your money at short notice. Also, consider whether you are willing to take some risk with your money for potentially higher returns.
- Are there things that you’ve always wanted to do, if only you had the money? Are there places you’d like to visit, or is there something that you’d like to buy, that’s always been on your mind to do or have for years. Now may be the time to spend part of your SSIA on such a thing. Doing these things now might greatly benefit you, or make you feel enormously better, while at the same time not putting you into debt. This isn’t an invitation to splurge, but by shopping around and finding the best offers, it might be realistic to fulfill some of your dreams now.
- Educate yourself – ever been thinking about doing that course, or pursuing further education? Your SSIA lump-sum will now allow you to possibly do that. It’s definitely worth checking out. And remember, that you can get tax relief on fees in some courses.
- Give to charity. You can now support your favourite charity even more, and again, remember that you can get tax relief on charity contributions given that you contribute in a certain fashion.
- Save yourself energy costs in the future by using your SSIA lumpsum to make your house more green and energy friendly. Invest now to reduce energy costs, or replace energy sources, and save money in a time when the price of electricity and gas is on the rise.
- Think carefully about some of the future expenses that you may have coming up. If you put some of your SSIA money aside now for these expenses, will it ease your cash flow in the next 12 months. Some items to consider might be car and home insurance, creche fees, yearly bus tickets, car service, apartment management fees. Put money aside in a special (high interest savings) account, to be accessed when these payments are due.
- Invest in the stock market. You may hear all about other people doing this, and might want a cut of the action. You could invest in individual stocks, or in exchange traded funds which are baskets of stocks on a particular market providing less risk. Whatever you want to do, make sure you investigate everything completely and be fully aware of what you’re getting yourself into with stock market investing – you could lose it all.
- Become your own boss. According to the Dublin Country Enterprise Board, there has never been a better time to start a business. They say that economic growth is strong, risks are low and opportunities are plentiful. They say that one thing you could do is use your SSIA money to start a business.
Value Ireland has carried out research from other websites and newspapers to bring you these tips, all together in one please. The information presented is not intended to be sufficient for you to make up your mind here and now. If any of the items above appeal to you, then go and do a full and proper research yourself. Remember, it’s your money. Don’t waste it.
Here are some places to start your research and check out more information and best deals.