Written by Director, Gareth Coles:
As we look to the year ahead and make resolutions to take stock, get fit and try to save money after the big festive blow out – my blog today is about making sensible decisions about your future… and getting a little something back in the process.If you’re a regular reader of my blog, chances are, you’ve heard me discussing the virtues of Funeral Plans before, many times. And I’ve posted lots of the emotional stories that our customers have shared about why they have taken out a funeral plan: for their loved ones, for peace of mind, to protect their final wishes.
Today, I’d like to focus on the fact that Funeral Plans make sound financial sense. Research published in 2018 reported that the Cost of Dying increased by more than 3% again last year to circa £9000*.This ‘Cost of Dying’ comprises the:
- Average cost of a basic funeral – including fees for cremation or burial, doctor, funeral director, minister or celebrant.
- Average amount spent on the send-off – including memorial, death & funeral notices, flowers, limousines, wake etc.
- Average amount spent on professional services – to administer the estate.
And this recently published report predicts that the total Cost of Dying will continue to rise significantly year on year and could reach nearly £10,500 in just five years time.
Cremation continues to be a cheaper alternative to burial by up to £1000 – and this trend is likely to continue as burial ground becomes scarcer. It’s why more than 70% of people in the UK choose cremation. Perhaps the best news for us living here in Cardiff is that Wales is the cheapest place in Britain to be cremated. It’s also why us financially savvy Welsh are keen to plan for Direct Cremations with a service, to keep our funeral costs to a minimum whilst still giving our loved ones the chance to say proper goodbyes.
What’s really telling from the report is that in 2018, only 59% of people who put money aside for funerals made sufficient provision to cover the entire cost – leaving their families to find more than £2500 to cover the shortfall.
Perhaps worse than having to cover the shortfall, only 1% of the people surveyed for the report knew all of the deceased’s funeral wishes. And 1 in 5 people didn’t know any of their loved one’s funeral wishes.
What’s really interesting is that more than 60% who had organised a funeral in the past had been prompted to think about their own funeral and wanted to take out a funeral plan… but most hadn’t got around to doing it yet!
Does this sound familiar?
If you’ve ever had to organise a funeral and you’ve thought about taking out a funeral plan, then now is the time. Take charge of your finances, document your final wishes, and tell your family and loved ones that you’ve done it – for them, and for you. And if you take out your plan before 31stMarch this year, you’ll also save yourself £295, as prices will rise after this date.
As if saving lots of money and getting your affairs in order isn’t incentive enough – when you take out your funeral plan with us, and then refer a friend to Coles and they take out a plan with us by 14thFebruary, we’ll give you £50 M&S Vouchers…
Death finally comes to us all, so my best advice to you this year is – take time to consider your own final wishes, take charge of your finances, and take out a funeral plan. Then tell your friends and family what you have done to give them peace of mind for the years ahead.
* SunLife (2018), Cost of Dying Report, sunlife.co.uk/costofdying2018