The Nation Prepares: Sales of Prepaid Funeral Plans Increase as Funeral Costs continue to Soar!
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The latest annual funeral survey by leading retail analysts Mintel reveals that the average cost of a funeral is now £3609; an increase of almost 3.5% on 2013 prices and double the rate of inflation.
Coupled with the news that sales of prepaid funeral plans have increased by 7% in the first 6 months of this year to a record high of 72,000; it appears that as a nation we are starting to become more comfortable with the prospect and indeed the emotional and financial benefits of pre-planning a funeral.
The Mintel Report goes on to confirm that nearly two thirds of the fifty plus age group are now willing to discuss their own funeral arrangements with family and friends; a step closer to our European counterparts who for some time have had a more open view of their own mortality.
Whilst the news that funeral costs continue to rocket at such an inflation busting rate is shocking, it does mask the fact that actually funeral inflation is down for the first time in 10 years.
Ashley Shepherd, founder of Over50choices, an over 50s personal finance website specialising in funeral planning said, “Whilst the headline costs continue to increase, it’s positive news that for the first time in 10 years, funeral inflation has actually halved to just under 3.5%”.
Ashley goes on to say “Whilst research suggests that around 50% of people are planning to pay for their funeral with the proceeds of their estate; today’s news from the Funeral Planning Authority (FPA) that sales of prepaid funeral plans are at a record high is a clear indication that they are becoming a popular financial purchase and a step in removing some of the emotional burden from families”.
With over 567,000 deaths in the UK last year, it’s easy to see why the funeral market is big business; estimated to be worth just over £2 billion in 2014, compared to £1.5 billion in 2009.
According to the FPA, 57,000 prepaid funeral plans were used to pay for funerals last year; the first time that over 10% of UK funerals were paid for using prepaid funeral plans; testament to the fact that our attitudes to death and the impact it has on families are changing and what was once considered a taboo subject is finally becoming mainstream conversation and part of our financial planning arrangements.