Health insurance: Whatever your life stage, before looking for a quote, make a list of what’s important to you.  Ask your provider or a broker for policies that match your needs.

Loyalty to health insurers or packages is misplaced. Shop around every few years

Whatever time of year you launch, preparation needs to start months in advance.

Launching earlier in the year or at off-peak times ensures competition is less intense

Credit card debt is expensive. If you’ve built up credit-card debt, you need to get it under control before doing anything else. Photograph: Getty Images

Big savings are easily made to help you better manage your finances

‘Make a list and check it twice – what do you still need to buy?’ Photograph: iStock

Christmas is one day. Don’t let it ruin your new year

Know your rights and how to spot a scam

For most people, buying a house before selling their own is not a runner. Photograph: iStock/Getty

Making a seamless transition from old to new home is the holy grail for house traders

A will is not just about who gets what. With the right advice, you can ensure that your legacy brings the maximum benefit to those you love. Photograph: Tetra Images/Getty Images

‘It gives direction to your loved ones at a time of uncertainty’

As you age, you may need to adapt your new home.

Tending to gardens, heating rarely used rooms and paying property tax for the privilege? Maybe it's time to cash out.

So while sticking with your negative equity property may feel like Stockholm Syndrome – so long a hostage you develop an alliance with your captor – as a survival strategy, it may be one to consider.

For some accidental landlords, it has been a decade of playing what must feel like a zero-sum game

Many home-buyers are seeking typical holiday home locations

With the economic barometer dropping across the channel and fairer times here, more are now on a flight path home

 “I try to use the phrase, ‘Think suit, think Louis Copeland’.” Louis Copeland at his shop on Capel Street in Dublin. Photograph: Frank Miller

The man whose very name is synonymous with high-end suits has tailored his business to adjust to the economic downturn

A building energy rating certificate is compulsory for all homes offered for sale in Ireland, but does a good rating make a whit o(...)

One of the stone heads of Dublin Metropolitan policemen on Pearse Street Garda station, Dublin

Society aims to bring history and traditions of Irish policing into the public arena

The entrance of the former Magdalene laundry on Stanhope Street North in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Department of Justice to pay €11,500 to €100,000, depending on length of stay in laundries

Government policy is to support older people to live in their own homes for as long as possible, the  Nursing Homes Ireland annual conference has been told.   File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Department of Health says cannot be assumed same number older people will be cared for in residential facilities as are now

Danske, which has 100,000 personal and 10,000 business customers, is the second bank to announce plans to close this week after ACCBank said it was to hand back its banking licence next year with the loss of about 180 jobs.

Department of Finance study shows banks remain reluctant to write off debt

Jennifer Stanley: “I represent video game development companies and social media companies, and I’ve had the opportunity to do some work on a movie.”

Silicon Valley lawyer helps companies protect their IP, or get permission to use IP from others

A ’for sale’ sign is seen outside a housing estate in Keshcarrigan in County Leitrim. The Department of Finance said today that Irish banks have negotiated with consumers to restructure 71,086 mortgages of which more than half, 41,236, have been permanently restructured. Photograph: Bloomberg

Department says term extensions most regular solution to issues

Alex Craig weightlifting at her club in Dolphin’s Barn. Photograph: Dave Meehan

More and more women are finding out that weightlifting does wonders for mind, body and spirit

Ambassador of Mexico, Carlos Garcia de Alba (right) pictured at the for the launch of November’s ‘A Taste of Mexico’ with the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Oisin Quinn (left) and mariachi Antonio Garcia-Lopez. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

‘Lot of room to strengthen’ trade between Ireland and Mexico

Catherine McGuinness: As chairwoman of the National Council of the Forum on the End of Life, McGuinness will address a conference in Dublin on Thursday, on dying and death. Photograph:Frank Miller

Conference to hear how inclusivity, funeral regulation and hospital culture need to change

Seán Rowland, founder and president of Hibernia College

A lot of people turned to education as unemployment took a foothold

If given a chance by policy makers, midwives could “lead on new models of care”, INMO president Claire Mahon  has said. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

INMO to devote all resources to ensuring ‘only positive things emerge from this tragedy’

Nicola Finnerty: “I’m sort of a therapist for brands, working out people’s relationships with them.”

US job allowed Dublin woman to become expert in motivational research

The Waterford Castle Hotel and Golf Resort

Gardaí called after row leaves guests unable to leave private island

Orna Duggan: Canadians are “not as critical of their country as we are of ours”

Learning lessons about priorities in Canada

Five quick and tasty soups from the kitchen of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School. “Soups are a great fall back and they freeze well.”Photograph: Gill & Macmillan

With a busy job and school-going children, the celebrity chef’s secret is a little bit of planning

Elena Nolan, Killiney, is congratulated by her mother Dara on getting her Junior Certificate results at Loreto Abbey, Dalkey. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

‘We believe every student entitled to fair, impartial and transparent State certificate’

Bríd Courtney, with her parents, Deirdre and Brendan, at home in Ardfert,Co Kerry. Photographs: Bryan O’Brien

A conference this week aims to reduce preventable birth injuries, which lead to cerebral palsy

The Molly Malone statue at the bottom of Grafton Street, which is  due to be moved to facilitate the development of the Cross City Luas link. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Works begin on new traffic management scheme in Dublin city centre

In a pre-budget submission to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, the drinks industry has warned that the tax increase is threatening jobs and tourism

Almost one pub a day closing

Stephanie Meehan and her family have bene unable to live in their apartment in Priory Hall for two years. KBC Bank today said it would not pursue Ms Meehan for any balance on her mortgage, depite sending her a letter on August 28th highlighting arrears plus interest due. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Stephanie Meehan’s partner took his own life in July

Author and campaigner Mason Tvert.

Marijuana is less toxic, addictive and harmful than alcohol, says successful campaigner for legalisation

Ashling Kilduff: "[During the Celtic Tiger] people were looking for something no one else had and price wasn’t really an issue.”

Reacting quickly helped fashion business to ride out recession

Paul Daly: “I don’t think there is a more thriving, safer place in Europe at the moment with such a good standard of living as Munich.”
Wild Geese

Paul Daly, Irish pub owner, Munich

With banks determined to keep both parties on the hook, separating couples who share a mortgage are left with little choice but to(...)

Stella tatten (third from left) then...
My old uniform

Stella Tatten - Model

My old uniform

Deirdre Purcell - Writer

Louisa Crowley, with her daughters Fia and Keeva, at home in Drumcondra, Dublin. 
Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The High Court will rule on Friday in a landmark case against the HSE and its strict criteria for home births

Looking down: if an unpaid loans case proceeds to court, coming without evidence of your sincere efforts to engage with your lender will be to your disadvantage.

If envelopes with demand letters for repayment are mounting or there’s a court date on the cards, it’s still not too late to act

Under-50s are unhappy with how much they can put aside, while over-50s are unhappy with their returns

Sepa, the new Single Euro Payments Area regulatory initiative, will change the way we bank from February

Rate was a broadly stable over the past year, with a 12-month average of 2.95 per cent

Comparing May 2013 with May 2012, the value of exports decreased by 6 per cent (€448 million) to €7.1 billion. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Decline in exports of medical and pharmaceutical products drives decrease

UK supermarkets were buoyed, with Sainsbury’s rising 7.5p to 382.8p, Morrisons 2.5p ahead at 283p and Waitrose’s sales surging 16.8 per cent. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

UK blue-chip share index closes best week in six months

Isme chief executive Mark Fielding said SME dissatisfaction with government was due to upward only rent reviews and extortionate utilities. Photo: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Business leaders still unhappy with upward only rent reviews and high labour costs

Management fees can be costly but by insisting your development’s agent accounts for every cent and seeks out the best possible de(...)

Health risks: mifepristone (above) and misoprostol, which cost about €90 online, cause medical miscarriage. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Many women in Ireland are using medication to induce abortion, but the tablets are not always safe. Would the proposed Protection (...)

Changes to Hpat, the exam used for entry to university medical schools, are aimed at reducing the potential advantage to applicants who repeat the exam. Photograph: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire

Medical school entrance exam results will only be valid for a single year

Central Bank of Ireland issues John F. Kennedy collector coin. Photograph: Patrick Browne

€10 silver coin and €20 gold coin feature a portrait of President Kennedy, the first president of the United States to appear on a(...)

Alicia Liebenberg, her husband Karel, and their son Finn, who has cerebral palsy. “It’s hard for parents like me to keep fighting every battle,” said Ms Liebenberg. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Irish Lives: Alicia Liebenberg tells how special education cuts will affect her son Finn

Smile as you dial: Nev Wilshire, the hands-on-manager, with Kayleigh, one of the staff, in the fly-on-the-wall series The Call Centre. Photograph: BBC

Savvy employers are realising that happy staff are more productive. Some firms now offer advice on health, money and even love

Joan Blackbyrne is taking case against Independent TD Thomas Pringle and the Houses of the Oireachtas

Michelle McBride (39),  retail director for Butlers Chocolates. “I work, but I am a mother too and I think that’s part of my job.” Photograph: Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Passionate about work and about parenting

Aythor Harry Browne described  Bono as “an ambassador for imperial exploitation”. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Book is scathing of how it says Bono “defended U2’s partial move to Amsterdam, avoiding Irish taxes”

Susie Hall a retired teacher who was forced to give up her job at Loreto Foxrock when she got engaged . Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Susie Hall (66), former secondary school teacher

Sam Keely: at her home in Celbridge, Co Kildare. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimon

One woman finds that being in her 20s gives her time to think things through

 Ruby Wax  in Dublin: She describes mindfulness as ‘a trick’. ‘If you send your attention inside your body to feelings like your bum on the seat, nothing spiritual, your brain can’t be anxious at the same time. Photograph:  Cyril Byrne

American comedian says 24-hour nature of modern living and the constant pressure to strive is leaving many of us burnt out

Tara Humphreys and her daughter,Olivia.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish

Communications manager Tara Humphreys (40) and former Aer Lingus employee Irene Rooney (78) tell their stories

The Department of Education has said it is in contact with Bus Éireann and is investigating the incident.

Pupil of special school in Balrotherwas left on the bus as driver departed for depot

Researchers have successfully linked the climatic aftermath of volcanic eruptions to extreme cold weather events here over a 1,200-year period

Irish Annals trawled for evidence of climate change

Terence O’Rourke, chairperson of Enactus Ireland,  said the students had shown “tremendous understanding” of the social needs and challenges their projects set out to address. Photograph: Mark McCall

University beat teams from seven other colleges

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