What You Need to Know Before Investing in Cryptocurrency

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that exists online and was invented in 2008 by an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto!  It is a speculative currency and whilst it can be used to buy items in some shops, its mainly traded as a digital asset to make a profit from investment returns.  The first ever Crytocurrency was Bitcoin, but there are now thousands of them available – over 18,465 in March 2022.



Why is Crytocurrency different?

It is not linked to any country or government.  It uses a decentralised system to record transactions.  Records of who owns what are held on computerised databases, secured by strong cryptography using blockchain technology.  Because of its nature Cryptocurrency does not rely on banks to verify transactions.



What is Blockchain Technology?

Essentially is a system of recording information online which makes it difficult to change, hack or cheat the system.  Think of it as a virtual or digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.


Each block on the chain contains a number of transactions and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger.



Do you invest client funds in Cryptocurrency?

The answer is NO.  Cryptocurrency is a speculative currency.  Its markets are not regulated and are extremely volatile.

The assets that we DO invest in are:

1. Global Market Equity Funds
2. Fixed Interest Funds (Corporate and Investment Grade Bonds)
3. Commercial Property Funds
4. Alternative Investments Funds (Commodities and Derivatives)
5. Cash




The Pros and Cons of Crytocurrency?    


The technology behind Blockchain is game-changing and will be extremely useful to other industries enabling them to develop de-centralised databases, making businesses more efficient. Transactions will be carried out speedily and will be more cost effective.

We know Crytocurrency is speculative and high-risk and potentially you could make a lot of money if you were lucky.  We have all heard the good luck stories about Crytocurrency.  Investors making impressive profits from buying and selling on cryptocurrency exchanges – the good luck stories.

However as I draft this article, Cryptocurrency prices have fallen to their lowest level in 2022 and are now worth 50% less than its all-time high!!

  • Crytocurrency is risky. It is a speculative investment where prices can be very volatile and so you can lose your money very quickly.
  • Combine that with a market that is unregulated means you can lose ALL of your money.
  • It is not easy to spend!
  • It is open to fraudulent scams with over 25% originating on social media


Tax Returns         

If you have invested in Crytocurrency and sell on, you have to make a return on the CG1 Form whether you have made a profit or loss!

Capital Gains Tax @ 33% is levied on crystallised gains of more than €1,270 in any year.

If you sell at a loss, you can use the loss to offset gains on the sale of any other assets within the same year potentially reducing your capital gains tax bill.


Our Opinion

Cryptocurrency is not for most people.  If you take the plunge and invest in Crytocurrency you should only invest what you can afford to lose.  Think of it as a gamble.

Warren Buffett, one of the most famous investors worldwide, has said he wouldn’t take all the Bitcoin in the world for $25. His takes the view that ‘’assets, to have value, they have to deliver something to somebody’’.

If you wish to speculate take a chance on Cryptocurrency.


If you want to find out more about investing in the stock market in funds that are tailored to suit your own personal risk/reward profile, why not reach out to Gráinne Ryan on grainne@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie or 061 412388.

What the Statistics don’t tell you: The Stories behind Claim Statistics



A claim can never make up for the loss of a loved one.  But what it can do is ensure the future you had envisioned for your family is looked after.


Receiving a lump sum as a result of a claim on the passing of a loved one; or on diagnosis of a serious illness can help alleviate financial pressure.  It means that your family left behind are looked after whilst they grieve, or whilst they care for their loved one, as the financial burden is removed.


There can be a misconception out there that our industry does not pay out claims! This is simply not true – over 90% of claims are paid.  Unfortunately you will hear of claims not being paid and often this is due to non-disclosure of health or medical issues by clients.


Claims statistics are widely available and are announced each year by the Life Companies telling us how much they paid out in claims, what type of claims they paid and how the claims have changed from previous years.


When you dig deeper behind the claims statistics they tell a story!  We often see a trend in the types of claims from year to year.


Last year, as a result of the Covid 19 Pandemic, Psychological issues were the number one reason for claims paid out under Income Protection.


Income Protection is an insurance which replaces part of your salary if you are unable to work.  It is quite clear the toll that the pandemic took on mental health and I’m sure we all know someone who suffered.


This is closely followed by orthopaedic issues, which held the number one spot for many years.   Few people will manage to pay their mortgage and other bills, as well as looking after their children if they cannot work and have to depend on the State Disability benefit of €203 per week.


The leading cause for Death Claims continues to be cancer, cardiac and respiratory issues.

We are seeing a rise in the amount of claims for Specified Serious Illness too, largely due to early diagnosis.  Cancer related claims now account for over 51% of all Specified Serious Illness claims.


The Facts You Need to Know




What the claim statistics don’t tell is the positive impact these payments have on the lives of families left behind, or when caring for a loved one.   Or how a lump sum payment paid to a family means that their financial stress is reduced at least, and so they can focus on treatment and getting better.


When discussing cover against unforeseen circumstances, we’ve all heard the rebuttal that ‘insurance companies never pay out’, however according to Aviva in 2020, 98% of all Life Protection Claims were paid and for specified illness claims 85% were paid out. Similarly, 92% of income protection claims were paid out.


Our own experience of Specified Serious Illness Claims ties in with the statistics.  Over the years the majority of Specified Serious Illness Claims we have dealt with have been cancer related and have been for females.  Its scary to think the average age of claimants (for females & males) was age 52 with Breast Cancer being the most common type of claim for females followed by Prostate Cancer for males.



Real Client example



One of our clients was diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years.  She was employed fulltime in an office whilst her husband was self-employed.  They have teenage children, one of which was living away in University.


Although she hoped to continue working throughout her treatment, she wasn’t well enough and ended up being out of work for over a year. Luckily she had Specified Serious Illness in place with us and submitted a claim, receiving a lump sum in excess of €100,000 within 3 weeks!


She rang to let us know how thankful and relieved she was as it took away the financial pressures from her family as they could still afford to pay their bills and maintain their standard of living.


She was able to employ a cleaner to help within the home and her eldest continued in university allowing her to concentrate on getting well.  She invested some of the lump sum and now that she has recovered she has returned to work on a part-time basis as she wishes to focus on her health going forward.


We know a claim can never make up for the loss of a loved one, or the stress of being diagnosed with a serious illness.  But what it can do is relieve financial stress and ensure the future you had envisioned for your family is possible.


You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.


We plan a cover arrangement that is personalised to your circumstances… there is no one size fits all!


Start the conversation today by contacting us at 061 412388 or email info@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie


Insurance and Irish Women: why do we undervalue ourselves?




Did you know Irish Men Insure themselves more than women ?


Most women do not have sufficient Protection in place – whether they are working within the home or employed outside the home.


The reason being they simply under value themselves and the work they do! They underestimate the contribution they make to their families and wider communities.


Women who stay at home are not paid a salary.


But if they were, it’s estimated it would be in the region of €42,000 annually to replace all the jobs they do!! For example, childcare, cleaning, cooking, taking children to and from activities, house maintenance, minding pets and relatives etc. Those at home rarely have sufficient cover in place, if any.


Women who are employed within the workforce are often subject to a Pay Gap in salary and other benefits such as pensions and life cover too.


Perhaps they have reduced their working hours to maintain a work-life balance, or maybe they have taken a number of years out of the workforce when their children were young. All these gaps can lead to a gap in the level of protection they have in place too.


This is backed up by research carried out by a leading life company over a 5-year period. It highlighted that Irish men insure themselves on average for 64% more Life Cover compared with women, and 26% more for Specified Serious Illness Cover!!


Most women will be covered on their Mortgage Protection plan which pays off their mortgage in the event of death. Outside that, research has shown that less than half of women in Ireland have some form of financial protection compared with two thirds of men.


Putting sufficient Protection in place means your family will be protected should anything happen to you. Have you any of the following protection plans in place?


Life Cover


Life Cover is one of the most common forms of insurance in Ireland. It pays out a tax-free lump sum if you die during the term of the policy. The lump sum is typically paid to your family or next-of-kin.


There are other benefits that you can add to your plan such as Indexation and Conversion Option. Indexation will index your benefits each year in line with inflation without the need for further underwriting, and ‘Conversion Option’ this will give you the option to extend the term without providing medical evidence.


Most companies offer free benefits too, such as Terminal Illness Benefit that will pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than 12 months to live, or free children’s life cover.


The following benefits are often referred to Living Benefits:

Specified Serious Illness


Specified Serious Illness cover pays out on a tax-free lump sum on diagnosis of a specified serious illness such as cancer, heart attack or stroke during the term of your policy. It is also known as Critical Illness cover or Serious Illness cover.


When diagnosed with a serious illness it can often prevent you from working. A lump sum payment made during this time can help you pay for your household bills and medical expenses allowing you to concentrate on getting better.


You do not need to be earning an income to get Specified Serious Illness Cover and it is recommended for stay-at-home parents.


Income Protection


Income Protection can help you maintain your lifestyle and pay your bills by paying you a part of your salary if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. You can decide on a deferred period between 4 to 52 weeks before the payment begins. The longer the Deferred Period, the more reasonable the cost.


If you are working we recommend you check out your company sick pay entitlement and work out how long you could manage your bills without a salary.


All premiums are subject to tax relief at your marginal rate of tax which makes it more affordable.


Health Insurance


Health Insurance is an insurance policy that you can take out to cover your private medical and hospital expenses for you and your family when they need health care. (line deleted here).


There are many different plans available so it can be difficult to compare them all. A good starting point is the Health Insurance Authority website www.hia.ie. as it will help you to compare different plans and benefits.


We suggest selecting a monthly budget for your plan and then comparing the best available benefits for that premium. Tax relief is given at source at 20% of the cost.


Remember you can also claim a refund of 20% on unclaimed medical expenses from the Revenue i.e. medical expenses that are not covered by the State or your Private Health Insurer.


We value our families; nearly everything we do is for them. Ask yourself what would happen them if anything happened you? It is possible to bridge that gap and give yourself and your family peace of mind.


Find out how affordable bridging the gap may be by reaching out to grainne@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie or call 061 – 412388.


The Irish Property Ladder: 4 must-know schemes

Are you a first-time buyer looking to get the first step on the property ladder? This article explains what you can do to help yourself, and the Government Supports that are available to you as a first-time buyer.


But before you begin looking for a suitable property, you will need to know how much you can afford to spend.


Most people use a mixture of savings and borrowings to purchase their first property and you can use any of the many online calculators to estimate how much you can afford to spend.


As a first-time buyer you will need a minimum of 10% of the purchase price of the property in savings and can borrow up to 90% of the purchase price. You can borrow up to 3.5 times your gross salary – based on either a single or joint incomes – in general.


The biggest hurdle is getting a large deposit together. It is likely that you will need more than 10% in savings as you will have other costs associated with buying your first property – stamp duty, legal fees, valuation fees, repairs, decoration and decking it out with furniture.


The average deposit needed to buy a home is now €52,500 for a first-time buyer (FTB) according to figures from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) December 2021.


You will need a large savings pot, not only for your mortgage application, but also to bridge the gap between the amount you can borrow and the actual cost of the property. Lenders will look for proof of employment and affordability via your savings, credit and rent history.


One of the best things you can do is to get into a ‘savings habit’ as soon as you start employment, before you even start thinking about buying a property! The longer you save, the more time your money has to grow.


When it comes to getting mortgage approval it is always a good idea to shop around to get the best interest rate and terms. You can avail of a fixed interest rate (in some cases up to 25 years) or a variable rate. Consider if you can still afford your repayments if interest rate increases even by a small percentage! It is a good idea to use a Mortgage Broker who will help you choose the best mortgage for you and who will guide you through the mortgage application process. Alternatively, you can contact lenders directly.


The good news is that as a first-time buyer there are also a number of Government Supports available to help you with your purchase and bridge the gap between your mortgage and the cost of your new home.

· Help to Buy Scheme (HTB)

This scheme is available for first time buyers of new houses, apartments or self-builds and has just been extended to 31st December 2022.

It will help you with the deposit you need to buy or build your new home. There are conditions attached to this support – you must take out a mortgage for at least 70% of the value of the property and be tax compliant for the previous 4 years.

Your property must cost less than €500,000 and you must live in the property for five years after you purchase it. When you buy or build your home, the incentive will give you a refund of Income Tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) that you paid over the previous 4 years. A tax rebate of 10% is given up to a maximum amount of €30,000.

· Local Authority Home Loan Scheme

This is a Government backed mortgage for first-time buyers and certain other applicants. Loans are offered at reduced interest rates and can be used to buy both new and second-hand properties, or to build a home. The interest rates are fixed for the lifetime of the loan.

It is available nationwide from all local authorities for those aged between 18 and 70, who are on low or modest incomes, and who cannot get sufficient funding from lenders to purchase or build a home.

The scheme has recently been extended so that single applicants with a gross income of up to €65,000 in the Greater Dublin area, as well as Cork and Galway will be eligible to apply.

· Refurbishing Vacant Properties

The Government is due to launch another grant scheme to help people refurbish derelict properties in towns or villages around the country.

The grant of up to €30,000 is aimed at people who buy derelict properties, and who renovate them to live in. To receive the grant, it is expected that the property would not have been used for a certain period of time and must be used as the main residence of those who buy it.

It is estimated that there are between 42,000 and 92,000 vacant properties in Ireland. The exact details of the scheme are expected to be announced in the coming weeks ! We particularly like this incentive as it’s about time these properties were brought back to life and used to help alleviate the housing crisis here in Ireland.

· Shared Equity scheme

This new scheme is also due to be launched this year and is aimed at first-time buyers buying a new-build home on private land. It will provide up to 20% equity to bridge the gap between the mortgage that you can secure and the cost of the property. Exact details are yet to be confirmed.


Need help or advice on saving for your Deposit? We can help you put a savings plan in place (if it’s for 5 years or more).

Just secured your mortgage?

Give us a call and we can help you put life cover in place to cover your loan. The most competitive rates in the marketplace guaranteed.


Happy house hunting !

Appy New Year 2022

Have you started the New Year with good intentions around your finances?  Do you wish to reduce your debt and start a savings habit?  With a little help each us can make small changes to our finances by budgeting helping us to keep on track.


There are lots of mobile apps that can help you with this.  Here we have focused on our top 5 that are more suited to Irish consumers.  The good news is most of them are free with addons extra.

  1. Spendee is an app that is free to download and helps you manage your expenses,

setting targeted spending goals and splitting spending targets into categories.  The great thing is that this app supports connections to Irish banks, means it will automatically take in all your incomings and outgoings in your bank account. It includes all features mentioned above, as well as ‘shared wallets’ feature that can be shared with a user’s family members, and a utility bill tracker so you know when bills are due.  It operates on a tiered pricing system, with the basic being free, and can be upgraded for a monthly fee.

  1. HomeBudget is another free integrated expense tracker designed to help you track

your expenses, income, bills due and account balances.  It offers budgeting support and analysis of your income & expenses, including charts and graphs. A lite version of HomeBudget is free, or you can upgrade for a monthly fee.  More advanced setting allow you access to Family Sync, where a group of devices within the household can exchange income and expense information within a single budget.

  1. Plum is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) savings system that launched in Ireland in

November 2020.  It is free of charge to download and works by linking up with the user’s bank account, supporting most major Irish banks. The AI then calculates a personalised amount to save, which is automatically set aside every week.  Users can customise the level of savings they require by choosing from ‘saving moods’ that range from ‘Shy’ to ‘Beast Mode’. The AI can also round up purchases to the nearest euro, saving the change.

You can upgrade from Plum Basic to Plum Pro for €2 a month. This upgrade grants access to a range of more advanced saving and money management features, including saving challenges; pockets; and cashback.

  1. Revolut Vaults

Revolut is another popular free app.   It basically is an online bank with zero chargehttps://www.revolut.com/en-IE/meet-your-financial-goals-with-vaults.s. Revolut have a Vaults feature which is particularly useful as it rounds up every purchase made using your card to the near unit of currency and saves the change in a vault. You can also make one off payments into the vault, or set up a regular payment.

Of particular interest for parents – Revolut now offer a Junior Account for children between the ages of 7 to 17. The Revolut Junior account is a useful way of teaching your children how to manage their pocket money, whilst you remain in control of what they spend!

  1. Bullet

This is a really good one for small businesses and freelancers. The Bullet app is a good way to store and keep track of your receipts – without having to keep those receipts in your wallet. Bullet allows you to photograph receipts and keep them electronically in one place. As well as cutting down on the clutter of paper receipts it is an easy way to record the expenses which you can claim off your tax bill.  It is one of the few apps which has the Irish taxation and accounting rules built into simple workflows, automating Irish tax returns.  Bullet is free – though there is a charge for optional add-on apps. .


Hopefully our app suggestions help you get on track for 2022, and if you need to take things a step further please reach out – grainne@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie.



In Remembrance of our Founder Paddy Ryan



December 30th 2021 marks the fifth anniversary of the passing of our founder, friend and father – the late great Paddy Ryan.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years already. We still have clients sharing memories and stories about Paddy to this day for which we are so grateful for.

Paddy’s presence is still felt here in the office and we know when we succeed he is proud. If we have a bad day, we know he is saying don’t dwell on it too much, move on, and hit them for six tomorrow!

The work ethic Paddy instilled in us all still remains, but we never take ourselves too seriously and have time for fun and frolics along the way!

Reflecting on the last five years we have achieved a great deal:

–  Grainne Ryan graduated as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in 2019

– During 2020 and we were awarded the acclaimed Business All-Star Accreditation designation.

– We also introduced Cash Flow Planning as a new service to our clients.

– We have also taken to Social Media – how did this happen ??!!@.

– Lots of new plans for 2022 in store so follow this space.

More importantly though, Paddy taught us to put our clients at the heart of everything we do, and this remains our guiding principle today.

I’ll finish with a reminder of one Paddy’s favourite quotes – still as true today as it was..

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts,”- Winston Churchill

With warm wishes

Gráinne & the Team at Sunrise

Tackling Corporation Tax: 7 benefits to business owners of a lump sum pension contribution



Business owners need to plan for the tax implications of their business, but it’s not easy.


Corporation tax is a complex area dependent on your company’s legal structure, your business activities and more.


Business Owners – do you want to reduce your Corporate Tax Bill and save for your Future? If the answer is yes, then read on!


If you are a business owner and you are approaching the end of your accounting year, 31st December – this will have particular significance for you (year end for corporation tax purposes). If your business is doing well and is in profit, tax-planning and wealth extraction are important areas for you to consider.

You have a unique opportunity to transfer profits out of your business today and into a tax efficient savings pot for your future.

As a business owner you will be looking at ways of withdrawing profits from your company in the most tax-efficient way possible. This is more commonly known as Wealth Extraction.


What is Wealth Extraction?


Wealth extraction simply means taking profits from your own company and transferring them into your own savings pot. One of the most tax efficient ways of doing this is putting them in your own Pension fund (typically via a Company pension). Essentially you are moving cash out of the business and into your own pot of money which is held in trust for you.

So instead of paying yourself a higher salary or a bonus, your company pays into your pension helping you to build up a substantial fund for your retirement. You won’t need to pay extra income tax and there are no benefit-in-kind implications for you.

If a company wants to make a pension payment for a Director or employee, the payment may be offset as a business expense against your corporation tax liability. The payment must be made before the end of your tax year in which the deduction is claimed.

Your company can fund your pension pot up to a maximum lifetime limit of €2 million once you have the required salary and years’ service.

Doing this can make real financial sense, in that your retirement income isn’t entirely reliant on the future success of your business!


What are main benefits of investing a lump sum to my pension now?


Here are some of the key benefits to you and your business:

– The company can usually make much higher contributions to a pension plan than if you contributed personally (once within Revenue maximum funding limits).

– Company contributions can normally be fully offset against Corporation tax.

– No Benefit in Kind (BIK) applies to contributions made by your company to a Company Pension Plan plan.

– Your funds grow tax-free during the investment period.

– At retirement, you are entitled to a portion of your pension fund tax-free (subject to Revenue rules).

– Possible early access to funds from age 50 – subject to conditions – you must surrender your shareholding and sever links with your business.

– Contributions can be varied year to year and are not fixed in any way, to suit finances of your company and your own personal finances.

It really is one of the most tax-efficient ways of extracting wealth from your company!


Start now

As a business owner you work hard today in order to provide yourself and others that depend on you with a better future. Through a Company pension plan you can provide yourself with an income that is independent from your business. This will ultimately give you more options later on such as – continue running business, pass it on to next generation or sell the business.

The generous funding limits for Company Directors in Ireland may change in the future, so if you want to get cash off your company balance sheet and in to your own balance sheet before the year-end, don’t delay and act now!

Reach out for assistance on 061 – 412388 to see how we can help you to extract wealth from your company.

Funding for Females: 9 Exclusive Investment & Networking Opportunities for Irish Women Entrepreneurs


Did you know in 2011 the number of start-ups in Ireland with an female on their founding team was only 7%.  Thankfully this has improved and has risen to 24%.

A Mastercard study from 2018 showed that although Ireland had the right conditions for females entrepreneurs to thrive in, motivation to start a business and self-belief remain low.


Why is this??  


The challenges facing female entrepreneurs are complex. They face going it alone, more often than not in a male dominated industry; juggling work and family life responsibilities; limited support and limited funding opportunities for their new business. There is a lot of evidence-based research available which clearly shows that companies with greater gender diversity in decision making and leadership positions will perform better and are more creative and innovative. Clearly there is an opportunity for forward thinking companies and entrepreneurs!


If you are a female with a business idea and you have been considering taking the plunge and setting up on your own, there are supports out there specifically geared at giving you the extra support you need to help you on your way:

  1. Acorns

This is an excellent programme for early-stage female entrepreneurs living in rural Ireland. Past participants report increased sales, exports and employment creation.


  1. AwakenHub

A new community for women entrepreneurs which started in July 2020. Their mission is to level up opportunity, access and connectivity for women founder throughout Ireland by removing barriers to scale, investment and success.


  1. Action Plan for Women in Business

State agency Enterprise Ireland launched its Action Plan for Women in Business in January 2020, which included plans to increase the number of women in strategic management positions.


  1. Female High Fliers 

This is an accelerator programme for Ireland best early stage start-ups, addressing the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. The programme run by DCU Ryan Academy will fast track your business development and leadership skills.


  1. GoingforGrowth

This is free, female-only programme was started by Paula Fitzsimons as a support network for female entrepreneurs. It is funded by Enterprise Ireland and KPMG. It offers monthly meetings with experienced female lead entrepreneurs, who offer a round-table mentoring service to small groups of female business owners. You will also get access to a national forum that gives early-stage female entrepreneurs the chance to network with leading entrepreneurs and build on the work of the roundtable sessions.


  1. The Exxcel STEM programme 

This is aimed at female entrepreneurs enabling them to develop their idea and start a business. This flexible, part-time programme runs over six months. You will meet experts who will share their expertise and experience, primarily on a one-to-one basis. This female entrepreneurship programme is for women in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) sectors and is based in The Rubicon Centre at the Cork Institute of Technology.


  1. Network Ireland

Network Ireland was established in 1983 to provide support to the professional and personal development of women. Their membership is made up of budding entrepreneurs, SME owners, professionals and leaders in indigenous and muti-national organisations across the country.


  1. Women in Business Network   

These are run by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) and provide structure support networks around the country. They run a number of events throughout the year for women in business, focusing on start-ups and smaller businesses in particular.


  1. Women Mean Business

This is a really good website dedicated to women in business in Ireland. It is a business platform for working women and it offers a dedicated space in which it highlight Irish and International businesswomen and female entrepreneurs.


What funding is available to Females?                                                                                                


One of the other main barriers to setting up on your own, is getting the necessary funding in place.  You may have to dive into your own savings, take out a loan or both !


However it is useful to know that there are a number of funds that you can apply to for additional finance:

  1. The Competitive Female Feasibility Fundis run by Enterprise Ireland, with the objective of helping female entrepreneurs investigate the viability of their business becoming a High Potential Startup (HPSU). The maximum grant available is €25,000.


  1. TheFemale Competitive Start Fund is also run by Enterprise Ireland and aims to accelerate the growth of female-led businesses that have the potential to make an impression in global markets. The maximum support available is €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake in the startup. Businesses that are existing or potential clients of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Startup department may apply. They must also be operating in the areas of manufacturing or internationally traded services, must be less than five years old and not have annual revenues of over €60,000. Full eligibility terms are listed on the website.


  1. Visa has launched its ‘She’s Next’ programme in Ireland, which aims to provide support for small businesses owned by females. Ireland is the first country in Europe to take part in the programme, which has awarded €1.25 million in supports to date to businesses right across the world. Visa is encouraging women entrepreneurs in Ireland, in all industries and sectors, to apply for one of five €5,000 grants. This years’ application date closed on 2nd November 2021 however there is always next year!


So what are your waiting for ?? Go for it and take advantage of all the supports available to help you on your way.

Sunrise Financial Planning provides investment management services and financial planning for individuals and businesses. Personalized financial plans are created by analyzing the client’s goals and objectives in order to develop a customized plan that will help them achieve their goals efficiently. Sunrise Financial Planning also offers trusted guidance on the best way to grow your money through investment strategies, insurance coverage, retirement plans, wills, trusts, tax-saving strategies, estate division strategies and more.

Unsure where to start? Send us a message in the chatbox on social media or email us at info@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie to arrange a free chat.

Finance Bill 2021 – What changes affect you and your pension


The Finance Bill 2021 was published by the Minister for Finance on Thursday 21 October 2021. The Bill has to go through the Dail first and be passed be passed before it becomes law as the Finance Act. It introduced some significant proposed changes to Pensions which we welcome. The proposed changes are very practical, removing some of that anomalies that exist and should help to simplify pensions somewhat.


So what are the proposed changes that you need to know about?


Retirees no longer need to invest in an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF)

If you have already drawn down your pension fund, then you may already have what is known as an AMRF (Approved Minimum Retirement Fund).


An AMRF is a post-retirement vehicle for those retirees who do not require a guaranteed income known as an annuity, and is a useful vehicle for passing on wealth to your estate.


Going forward in 2022, retirees can invest directly in an ARF and do not need a guaranteed income of €12,700. This is good news for retirees as it means they can now access their ARF fund without any restrictions. Whoopee!


It is worth noting that any income withdrawn from an ARF is subject to income tax at the retiree’s marginal rate of tax.


These changes will also apply to Vested-PRSAs AMRFs.




If you have a Company Pension fund do you know what happens in death?


Currently if you are in a company pension scheme and you die in service, there is a compulsory requirement for your dependents to purchase an annuity with the balance of your funds over four times your salary. This is particularly relevant to employees who have a large fund, but possibly a smaller salary, thereby forcing their dependents to buy an annuity which does not always provide the best value for money


Going forward, any excess over four times salary can now be transferred to an ARF (Approved Retirement Fund), and does not have to be used to buy an annuity. Although the annuity option still remains.


This is a welcome change in practice giving more options and flexibility to dependents who are already going through a stressful time on the death of a loved one.

The rules for Personal Pension/PRSAs are different, and on death values are paid as a lump sum to the estate and the proposed legislation does not impact here.


Transfers from Occupational Pension Schemes (OPS) to Personal Retirement Savings Accounts (PRSA) will no longer be restricted to those with less than 15 years of scheme service

If you were a member of an Occupational Pension Scheme for more than 15 years, you were not allowed to transfer your pension fund to a PRSA. This 15 year rule limit is now to be removed.


The requirement for a Certificate of Benefit Comparison remains in place if the scheme is not been wound up, and the transfer value exceeds €10,000


If you need guidance on how these changes affect you, or if you want to find out more about ARFs – why not reach out and see how we can help you!

contact: info@sunrisefinancialplanning.ie

Ireland is the home to Halloween


Halloween has been celebrated in Ireland for over 2,000 years. Halloween’s origins can be traced back to the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.

Samhain had three distinct elements:


Firstly, it was an important fire festival, celebrated over the evening of 31st October and throughout the following day. The flames of old fires had to be extinguished and ceremonially re-lit by druids.  It’s similar to our modern New Year’s Day in that it was based around the notion of casting out the old and moving into the new.

To our pagan ancestors it marked the end of the ‘pastoral cycle’ – a time when all the crops would have been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead and when livestock would be brought in from the fields and selected for slaughter or breeding.

People also believed that the time between the night of 31st October and the 1st November was a time when the barrier between the realm of the spirits and the real world grew weak allowing souls and spirits of the departed to return to their former home – both good and bad spirits!  The good spirits, those of friends and family, were though to return home to see their loved ones and were honoured with cooked food such as Colcannon and celebrations.

The evil spirts such as Banshees, Puca, Fairie and Shapeshifters needed to be frightened off.  People dressed up in ugly masks and disguises made from animal skins in the hope that the spirits would not recognise them if they had wronged them!  Bonfires were lit and lots of noise ensued to ward off these evil spirits.

With the spread of the Roman Catholic Church the festival was incorporated into the church approved ‘All Saints Day’ on 1st November.  The church authorities did not approve of pagan rituals and ‘All Saints Day’ was used to honour Christian martyrs.

When the church merged All Saints Day and the pagan festival it became known as Hallomass.  Hallo meant saintly and so the name is meant to mean mass of the saints.  However, the 31st was called All Hallows Eve.

As the Irish began to emigrate to America during the famine and afterwards, they brought the tradition of Halloween to their new homes which is why it is celebrated in the USA and all around the world today!  Traditionally lanterns were carved out of turnips but as they were hard to find in new America pumpkins were used instead.

As time went on, the tradition developed into a fun filled festival with lots of activities such as trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires, dressing up in costumes and eating treats.

Wishing you a night full of frights and a bag full of delights!


Follow this link to see what is on locally in Limerick.