Am I financially secure? Single mother

LonerMhi

New Member
Messages
5
Hi everyone
I’d appreciate your guidance on my financial situation and what I’m failing at please!
Age:46
Gross income:€68k pa
Single mother to 9yo son, no involvement or financial support from bio father since pregnancy

Built my house 2005: e35k mortgage remains, tracker mortgage
Cash savings: e29k
An post bond scheme e8500 when matures in 2024
Pension current value inc avc e260k

Own my car but it’s 2008, might start costing me soon but it’s well minded, Low mileage etc
No credit card
No loans or any debt besides mortgage
Save about e900 per month

COuld anyone guide me on what I should focus on, am I doing ok financially? I’ve nobody to bounce ideas off, I know nobody that I’d share with on this stuff that is not a couple with two incomes so it’s hard to think we can plan, share ideas, or relate on financial worries ....
Where should I make changes please? Clear mortgage? College? How much should I provide to my son for college?
My house is well maintained, I keep all core functions well serviced so no large costs have hit me, eg heating, boiler, sewage system, roof/gutters, chimneys cleaned yearly etc so never hit with lump sum costs on house repairs.

Not really sure what other info to include here but i would find it so helpful to take all points of view, I procrastinate so much on this and want to feel im doing the best I can financially for us both.

Thanks so much
 

goingforgold

Frequent Poster
Messages
285
You seem very clued in when it comes to your finances, no debt apart from small mortgage debt, some savings, good pension fund. I would say keep doing what you're doing and make sure to max out AVCs. What is value of your house? Is downsizing an option when your child is much older and has moved out?
 

Thirsty

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,729
Couple of things you need to look at as you are a lone parent.

Make a will and appoint guardians for your son.

Do you have death-in-service with your pension? Make sure have a nominated person noted.

Same if you have Credit Union savings.

Consider additional life assurance if you don't have death-in-service.

I covered university costs for two children from salary; they both had part-time jobs throughout.

Leave a letter of wishes re funeral etc., with whoever you ask to be guardian; its a lot easier for them if they know what you would have liked.

Don't intend to be morbid here, but it was the one omission I noted from your post.
 
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LonerMhi

New Member
Messages
5
You seem very clued in when it comes to your finances, no debt apart from small mortgage debt, some savings, good pension fund. I would say keep doing what you're doing and make sure to max out AVCs. What is value of your house? Is downsizing an option when your child is much older and has moved out?
Thanks very much, I’ve definitely just recently considered downsizing when son flies the nest, I don’t need this size at all plus have large gardens and space extending if a buyer wished to do so .....last valuation was e320k before I put in large steel garage.
Maxing ouT AVC too, ok I’ll look at what rates allowed are re tax, thanks. I contribute 11% and then my employer contributes 7% on top of this. I could afford to do more, thanks.
 

LonerMhi

New Member
Messages
5
Couple of things you need to look at as you are a lone parent.

Make a will and appoint guardians for your son.

Do you have death-in-service with your pension? Make sure have a nominated person noted.

Same if you have Credit Union savings.

Consider additional life assurance if you don't have death-in-service.

I covered university costs for two children from salary; they both had part-time jobs throughout.

Leave a letter of wishes re funeral etc., with whoever you ask to be guardian; its a lot easier for them if they know what you would have liked.

Don't intend to be morbid here, but it was the one omission I noted from your post.
Brilliant guidance thank you. I did sort my will but not guardian and can’t believe that myself to be honest! At time, my parents were healthier and who I did document but that’s very changed now, they rely on me now so thanks for this, I definitely have to prioritize that ASAP.
I documented all my accounts to my solicitor where my savings are and gave her copy of my work contract which will pay three times gross salary upon death in service.... is this ok do you think or should I look at additional life cover? I’m very clueless on that, to be honest.
Very helpful to read too that you handled uni costs from salary for two children, I had this thought I should manage that way too if son works part time, which I’ll push for, am from an upbringing of working for what you have, whilst not drinking champagne if you’re only earning beer money I want my son to contribute to his own financial outgoings when a young adult and feel the pride that one gains from that too. Hopefully.
Not morbid at all, very practical advice, thank you!
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,533
What rate is the tracker ? I know it's probably cheap but given your 29k savings and adding 900 a month it would be better value to pay it down and be rid. You need a 15 to 20k buffer for emergencies so maybe keep savings now but overpay mortgage by 900 pm (10k pa) and you will be done and dusted in 2 years and able to put mortgage and 900 away monthly from there on long before you child is going to uni. By overpaying monthly rather than a lump sum you always have the option to redirect the over-payment towards an expense that props up.
 

LonerMhi

New Member
Messages
5
What rate is the tracker ? I know it's probably cheap but given your 29k savings and adding 900 a month it would be better value to pay it down and be rid. You need a 15 to 20k buffer for emergencies so maybe keep savings now but overpay mortgage by 900 pm (10k pa) and you will be done and dusted in 2 years and able to put mortgage and 900 away monthly from there on long before you child is going to uni. By overpaying monthly rather than a lump sum you always have the option to redirect the over-payment towards an expense that props up.
This is what I want the courage to do, I’d love to just be done with mortgage .... and just fear I’m overlooking financial responsibilities I should direct the money towards ... I get no kick now from what I save monthly .... I used to. But if others also thought it’s not a bad idea to indeed focus on my mortgage, that does encourage me. The tracker is ECB rate plus 0.75% so it’s great I know. ... if there’s nothing I’m truly overlooking financially I already feel better about possibly focusing on upping my mortgage repayments and to set that as a goal. Thank you

As a person who hasn’t talked to anyone on this , I gotta say this thread has already helped, cheers
 

RedOnion

Frequent Poster
Messages
4,594
Overall, you're in a very strong financial position.

Re insurance / assurance. You've mentioned death in service benefit. Check also what happens your pension if you die - there's a decent amount there.
I would have a look at income protection. You're a sole earner, so what would happen if you were unable to work for a long period? You probably don't need a huge amount with a small mortgage. The premium is tax deductible, so costs less than you might think for peace of mind.

Best of luck.
 

Hooverfish

Registered User
Messages
126
I picked up that you said your parents rely on you, and that they have health problems. You just need to be aware how this might change your life. I'm currently minding my 85 yo Dad, rescued from London just before lockdown, after his social care fell apart due to staff shortages/COVID-19. Think through what might happen if your parents need more care or to go into a nursing home. It can really bash your earning ability and savings. They may be well able to mind themselves financially, but have you all discussed this and their wishes? NB look at it this way - it's one advantage of being a single parent that you have only two elders to help out, not four...! Feel free to message me if you don't want to go into detail on their situation here.
 

gimp

Frequent Poster
Messages
105
+1 on the Income Protection. I needed it
Tracker loan is money for nothing really. You will never get a cheaper loan. So as long as you can manage it would be a good idea to keep it.
Even though you have plenty buffer and good savings you never know when you might need to get a loan in the future if you pay off the tracker. Having to take out a loan later would cost a lot more.
Well done as a Single Parent that is some achievement and don't forget to treat yourself you deserve it.
 

Hooverfish

Registered User
Messages
126
HSE Fair Deal scheme will kick in, children are not expected to fund full costs of nursing home.
It depends what is best for the parents themselves and the OP may well find themselves under pressure to contribute to other care models with time and money? Yes, Fair Deal exists. But I've worked in good nursing homes. And there is a widespread move away from this type of care to try to follow more distributed northern European models, unless it is really needed for medical/palliative reasons, especially at the moment.
 

Coldwarrior

Frequent Poster
Messages
248
Tracker loan is money for nothing really. You will never get a cheaper loan. So as long as you can manage it would be a good idea to keep it.
Even though you have plenty buffer and good savings you never know when you might need to get a loan in the future if you pay off the tracker. Having to take out a loan later would cost a lot more.
Agreed, OP since the car is 12 years old I'd look at using some of your savings to get something newer rather than paying a lump sum off the the tracker at the moment (and then possibly having to finance a car, at a higher interest rate ). A monthly mortgage overpayment may make sense though. And well done, you're in a great financial position, especially considered the father hasn't contributed anything.
 

LonerMhi

New Member
Messages
5
+1 on the Income Protection. I needed it
Tracker loan is money for nothing really. You will never get a cheaper loan. So as long as you can manage it would be a good idea to keep it.
Even though you have plenty buffer and good savings you never know when you might need to get a loan in the future if you pay off the tracker. Having to take out a loan later would cost a lot more.
Well done as a Single Parent that is some achievement and don't forget to treat yourself you deserve it.
Thanks very much for this advice, I have wondered what people tend to do ie focus on overpaying mortgage or view the interest rate as a big factor on mortgage and instead save up for other 'big' tickets coming in the years ahead ie new car in my case at some point. My mortgage term is February 2028, not too far away now too I've just realised, when compared to a possible car loan for maybe 5 year term... you are right, saving towards a car is a smart goal to set and maybe pay off some of the mortgage too but in smaller lump sums...
I have to say again, thank you to all on here, it has truly helped me to get advice here and I appreciate everything shared and suggested.
 

elcato

Moderator
Messages
3,533
I have wondered what people tend to do ie focus on overpaying mortgage or view the interest rate as a big factor on mortgage
I was purely going on the fact that you no longer have that payment each month if you pay it off. That would give you a chance to save even quicker for other stuff. But weigh that against the buffer of having a cheap loan.
 
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