All Star Kilkenny Financial Services Company 2020/2021

Cleere Life & Pensions is delighted to announce that it has become the latest recipient of the prestigious Business All-Star Accreditation, having recently accepted recognition for All-Star Kilkenny Financial Services Company 2020/2021.

For the past eight weeks the team at Cleere Life & Pensions has been working with the All-Ireland Business Foundation to achieve Business All-Star Accreditation. The All Ireland Business Foundation are commended on their extremely thorough procedures and for taking the time to investigate and really understand Trust Matters’ business, team and clients.


This accreditation is an outstanding achievement and recognises the hard work and dedication of the team in providing a best in class service to all our customers.

We at Cleere Life & Pensions are very honoured and proud that we have been recognised with the reputable Business All-Star accreditation. We are building our business having recently opened our new Mortgage Store at 4 Dean St and are working hard to have our brand recognised across Ireland.

This  Business All-Star accreditation is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team who is committed to providing the highest standard of service and developing relationships based on trust to safeguard our clients’ peace of mind.”


Business All-Star accredited companies are defined as; progressive, indigenous Irish businesses which meet the highest standards of verified performance, trust and customer centricity. In achieving this accreditation, at an exceptionally difficult time, Cleere Life & Pensions joins a special group of businesses who are committed to improving service to our clients.

The three pillars of All-Ireland Business All-Star accreditation are Performance, Trust and Customer Centricity.

We can be contacted at Cleere Life & Pensions at 8 Dean St Kilkenny on 056 7721854

Mortgages During These Unprecedented Times

Getting a mortgage can be stressful at the best of times. Add a pandemic and things really heat up. Whether you are applying for a mortgage or have signed contracts for your new home, here are some of the current complications to watch out for.

If you are looking for mortgage approval, you have loan approval and are looking for your dream home or you have a loan offer and want to sign contracts, the bank wants to know the following:

Have you been affected by Covid-19 financially?

If you say ‘No’, they are looking for your April/May payslip to prove that you are not getting the Government wage subsidy. If you say ‘Yes’, then some lenders are withdrawing loan offers and approvals in principle until such time as you are back in full-time employment.

Some lenders are withdrawing loan offers in full and other lenders are giving some help. However, it is still inconsistent. They are taking the view that this is a temporary situation and you will be back at work at the same pay level as you were before. They want to see those recent payslips before they will proceed.

At Cleere Mortgages, we have access to all the lenders so we can match a lender with your needs.

Brian Hayes, CEO of BPFI (Banking and Payments Federation Ireland), stated recently “that there is no doubt that the period ahead is going to be challenging for the mortgage market and the housing market as a whole, given the changing conditions in the economy and its direct impact on incomes and employment.”

He further commented, “The change in individuals’ financial and employment circumstances will have an impact on mortgage approvals, with banks taking a pragmatic and responsible assessment of all applications from both a borrower and lender perspective.”

“Taking out a mortgage is a major undertaking for borrowers, and no lender wants to see a borrower under distress or difficulty, especially in these highly uncertain times,” he added.

There are some terrible and distressing stories out there for buyers who have paid deposits on houses, who now have been affected by the pandemic precautions and are in receipt of the Covid payment. Some lenders have now pulled their loan offers and clients are now facing losing their dream homes. Hopefully their solicitor will be able to explain the position to the lenders and these clients will get their dream home eventually.

It is hard to say if house prices will fall, as the hard data from sales is not available yet. Some buyers are holding off to see if prices will fall, while some sellers are holding off putting their home on the market until they feel the time is right.


If you were due to receive a mortgage exemption or were hoping to get one, don’t bank on it now. Under the Central Bank mortgage-lending rules, the maximum a person can borrow is 3½ times their income. Lenders are permitted to give mortgages of no more than 80 per cent of the value of a property, rising to 90 per cent for a first-time buyer.

However, lenders also have the discretion to breach the rules for 20 per cent of its mortgage book, as long as they are comfortable that a would-be borrower has the capacity to repay the loan in the agreed time frame. Some lenders have already started restricting exemptions as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. It is very hard to see when and if these will be lifted in the near future.

We at Cleere Mortgages have been busy with queries and new applicants. If your financial situation is unchanged by the pandemic and you want to get the wheels in motion to buy, the banks/lenders are open for business. We are also open for business and we are happy to help in any way possible.


We can be contacted as follows:



P: 086  3852041 Carmel (Mortgage Consultant)

P  086  4114985 Gearoid (Financial Advisor)

P  056  7721854 Office





You may be worried and have every right to be about falling into financial difficulties during the restrictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The worry if your income drops due to coronavirus restrictions or you incur unexpected expenses, you may find you don’t have enough to cover your usual outgoings or your usual lifestyle.

It’s a challenging & uncertain time and many people have lots of worries; for themselves, their families, here in Ireland and abroad, their health/ well-being and their finances.

Firstly, your health is your wealth especially in these times, but you also have to look after the finances to ensure your well being is being maintained.

Try not to let the stress you may be feeling about COVID-19 get to you. Try get your walk/run in within the 2km radius, try some new cooking, facetime or call your friends, parents and family. Social Media is there also, but too much is not good for you either!

If you have been affected by a loss of income or think you will be in the near future please do not panic or stress.

We at Cleere Life & Pensions have Qualified Consultants to review your income, outgoings, lifecover, pensions, savings, mortgages. We can carry out a full review and set up a budget plan for you. In all the above mentioned there could be some great savings to be made by reviewing same and carrying out a full review.

We are working hard behind closed doors, call our office on 056 7721854 or 086 4114985 or to book a consultation. We will carry out a review via phone/skype/zoom, set up a plan and make you feel at ease.


Killeen Financial Services Ltd T/A Cleere Life & Pensions, Cleere Mortgages & is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Protecting your Main Asset !

Most Valuable Asset??

What is the most important asset you hold? Most people would respond by saying it’s their home, others who don’t own a property might say it’s their car, either one of these could be correct but it’s unlikely.

For the clear majority of us our most important asset is our income or rather our ability to earn a future Income. So, with this, what are we doing to protect it???

Most people have outgoings each month, be it Life Cover, Home Insurance, Car Insurance and all the other outgoings we spend daily. If suddenly we could no longer work, how long could you keep maintaining your Lifestyle, paying bills for? If you are in good employment you may be get paid for 6 months or maybe longer but want happens after this period?????

Currently the State Illness Benefit is €188 per week which might help you if you’re out of work due to illness/sickness, but this is a lot lower than the average wage, so most people would need to top this up to maintain their lifestyle. If you’re like myself and a Company Director or someone who is Self-employed and paying PRSI class S, then you may not qualify for any State Illness Benefit at all.

What can we do??

Just like all of your other assets we mentioned earlier, you can Insure your Income by taking out a policy called Income Protection,this type of cover can provide you with a replacement income if you are unable to work due to an accident, injury or illness and can kick in after 4, 8,13 ,26 or 52 weeks depending on your circumstances in employment and your affordability to pay the premium.Generally income protection policies can replace up to 75% of your income less any state illness benefit or other social welfare entitlements. It works just like any other type of insurance policy, you pay a monthly premium for the cover, the cost of the premium depends on your occupation, health, age etc. EG, A crane driver or carpenter would be higher risk than an office worker.If you are out of work for a prolonged period then your chosen Insurance company provide you with a replacement income until are able to return to work, or until your chosen retirement age.However, unlike many other insurance products, if you make a claim, your policy will continue at no additional cost to you, this means if you need to claim again in the future, your policy will still pay out for a second time.

Added Bonus of Tax Relief?

Income Protection will allow you receive Tax Relief at your marginal rate making your premium more attractive to you.

To finish, Income protection should be part of of any long-term financial plan, after all, every long term financial plan needs an income to fund it and we at Cleere Life & Pensions strongly recommend it.!

If you wish to discuss the benefits of Income Protection and protecting your main asset please feel free to contact us on 056 7721854 or

Killeen Financial Services Ltd T/A Cleere Life & Pensions is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.


Savings Fund or Pension Fund

Savings fund or pension fund: there’s only on Ireland today, the answer to this question is pretty obvious and it’s based very much on what age you are, writes Jill Kerby.

In Ireland today, the answer to this question is pretty obvious and it’s based very much on what age you are.The young – 15-24 year olds, may indeed still have a post office or bank savings account, but this age group are big spenders, often of their parent’s money, as well as their own part time incomes or their first wages once they leave school or college.

Rent and repaying education debt is taking a bigger chunk out of the disposable income of the 24-35 year old age cohort, but while many attempt to save for their first home (especially those who move back in with their parents) their spending pattern is very different from previous generations.

They increasingly prefer to spend on lifestyle ‘experiences’ (travel, career change) than what were considered lifestyle ‘essentials’ like car and home ownership. like an expensive motorcar, and starter home full of expensive home electronics. They live increasingly ‘virtual’ lives through new technology.

By the time the mid to late 30s come along, spending turns into serious debt. The 35-50 year olds are now supporting a mortgage, car, childcare costs on flat incomes and higher taxes. While they may aim to have rainy day and education savings fund in place, fewer than half of all Irish employees (outside of mandatory PRSI contributions) continue to an employment based retirement funds. Pension coverage (outside the public sector) continues to fall.

The big savers in Ireland continue to be older people in the over 55 age group who no longer have the high lifestyle costs they did 20 years earlier and are very conscious of their looming retirement.

Yet according to recent research by Irish Life, just under two thirds of Irish adults (64%) say they are actively saving and have some savings, However, of the other third, they claim to have no savings at all, and say they cannot afford to save.

The Irish Life research found that saving levels were higher among women (67%) than men (59%), and people over 55 years were saving the most.

Of those that are saving, 43% of people are saving over €100 a month, and people living in Dublin were found to be saving the most: 18% between €20 and €50 a month, with another 18% saving between €51 and €100 a month.

And while even this level of saving is to be commended, given the rising costs of housing, education and healthcare and many years of stagnant wages and state pension benefits, the return from conventional savings like deposit accounts and post office investments continues to fall.

Demand deposit account returns, according to the comparison website now range from absolutely nothing from Bank of Ireland to 0.05% from KBC Bank. Internet only demand accounts get a fraction more interest but to achieve even 1% interest you need to commit at least €5,000 for about five years (PTSB).

The irony is that even these puny returns are subject to 39% deposit interest tax (DIRT) unless you are over age 65 and your total income is below the tax-exempt limit for a pensioner, that is, €18,000 for an individual and €36,000 for a married couple.

Finding a safe and profitable place for savings is the great financial dilemma of our times and in a country with a rapidly ageing population and a large debt overhang from the 2008 crash.

Meanwhile, the Irish Life research found that only a third of Irish employees belong to a company pension fund, and only 25% of all Irish workers have a private pension. Generous tax relief means that every €100 saved into a pension costs only €80 for standard rate (20%) taxpayers and just €60 for marginal 40% taxpayers and many companies offer matching contributions “which can mean up to €200 into [the workers’] pension fund, for a cost of €80 or €60 to the employee based on their contribution of €100,” says the insurer.

Pensions are a hard sell, but 42% of the respondents to this Irish Life survey admitted that they could afford to save between €80-€100 a month. Yet the majority (70%) of 20-something workers decline to join their company pension scheme, a 2014 Mercer report found in 2014.

Convincing young people to forego some spending today in order to secure a comfortable retirement four decades away is probably an even tougher task.

Written by Jill Kerby

Does Volatility matter if you’re a Long Term Investor?

Does all this Market Volatility really matter if you’re a long term Investor? The answer is NO.

As a long-term investor you should not be too worried about the short-term outlook and all of the market “noise”. This type of volatility is not uncommon, it just appears dramatic or different because we’ve just come through a period where markets have been up for the past number of years and funds have been performing well. Markets will average at least one decline each year, markets will fall at least one out of every 4 years yet over the long run Equities will still outperform every other asset class including Cash.

Carrying a full financial review including risk assessment will allow you to see what type of risk you are willing to take when it comes to Investments and Pensions. It would be our opinion to hold some cash on deposit for any emergencies that might happen.

The majority of the Life Companies now offer Easy Access type funds with great flexibility to clients. A well-diversified portfolio is recommended by Cleere Life & Pensions for 5 years +. Regular Reviews are also key to ensuring you are kept up to date with your Investments. Contact Cleere Life & Pensions on 056 7721854 or for further information or a review on your existing funds.

 All details and views contained within this article are for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice. Cleere Life & Pensions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of any information and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or any losses arising from its use. Killeen Financial Services Ltd T/A Cleere Life & Pensions  is Regulated by the central Bank of Ireland.