According to figures released by the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA), 147,325 were sold last year; that’s around 12,000 more than the previous year.
With funeral costs continuing to rise at an alarming rate, it’s not surprising to see sales increase by 9% as more people become aware that they can pre-plan their funeral and pay for it at today’s prices, saving their families the cost and emotional stress when the time comes.
I’m sure many of you have heard of the Coop funeralcare, Golden Charter and Dignity, but there are other FPA regulated providers such as Perfect Choice and Liberty who provide similar services, along with brand names such as AgeUK and more recently the Post Office.
All of their funeral plans offer national coverage either through their own chain of funeral directors or via local independent companies; so if you have a preferred local funeral director in mind, most providers will allow you to choose.
Funeral inflation has risen consistently above RPI over the last 10 years; in fact, in 2004 the average cost of a funeral was £1,920 but now averages an eye watering £3,590; a whopping 80% increase.
What’s more, by 2020 prices are forecast to be around £5,000, so funeral plans could be a worthwhile investment, especially when you compare the alternative; an average instant savings account with rates of around 1% gross AER.
If you have ever been in the unfortunate and unenviable situation of having to arrange a funeral, you will understand more than most just how stressful arranging a funeral at the time of need is. Let’s face it, for most of us just attending a funeral is difficult enough, let alone arranging one.
The good news is that more people are openly talking about dying and what they would like to happen when the time comes; from a simple cremation to a much grander affair. Pre-arranging your funeral helps you think about exactly what it is you want and also how much you want to pay for it. Most families are reluctant to shop around and find the best price when faced with the death of someone close, so pre-arranging a funeral means you can do that for them.
I appreciate that funeral plans aren’t for everyone; some can’t bear the thought of dying never mind discussing it and planning in advance but when you sit back and consider all the implications, taking a funeral plan out today could be one of the kindest things you can do for your family.