No hope of trying to make ends meet!


Sep 6, 2013
No hope of trying to make ends meet!

I’ve just been reading the latest annual Cost of Dying report recently released by Sun Life Direct about the ever increasing cost of funerals and the impact on people in the UK. I can’t say I’m surprised that funeral costs have continued to rise; it’s been like that for the past 9 years and what with the current climate, continued rise in wholesale energy costs, previous experience of historically low death rates and increased competition, Funeral Directors face a tough old time which of course impacts you and I.

Contrary to popular belief it’s not just the Funeral Director’s that are driving this increase. Yes their costs have increased above the rate of inflation but so have cremation and burial fees which are dictated by your local authority.

The thing that really saddens me is the fact that in the last year alone, more than 100,000 people couldn’t afford to pay for their funeral. To put that into context, that’s 1in 5 families left with the burden of trying to make ends meet with no means of paying for the full cost of the funeral.

Something certainly needs to be done to address this growing issue as it’s not going to go away and will just increase as our death rates will inevitably increase with the demise of our ageing population.

It’s incomprehensible to think that over these many years of funeral inflation, one thing has not increased and that’s the Government’s funeral scheme. Those who qualify receive help towards funeral costs as well as an allowance of up to £700 for additional costs such as funeral director’s fees. Considering the fact that the average cost of a basic funeral is now £3,456, an increase of 80% over the past 9 years, things seem to be somewhat out of kilter!  
            
The problem many of us face is our complete lack of forethought and planning; at the end of the day who wants to think about death; but it does happen to all of us and it will affect those around us. 


However painful this report is, hopefully it will help people realise that as a society we need to think differently about dying. At a Government level things certainly need to change but as individuals, we need to alter our mindset too; put plans in place at an early age as a matter of course so it doesn’t weigh heavily on our minds and pockets, or those of our family as we age.

To help you get started, take a look at our website for information on what you need to consider and the options available to you. 

Surely time spent planning today is time well spent if it makes things easier for those around you and once you’ve done it you can forget about it and get on with enjoying life.


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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