Funeral inflation outstrips everything

funeral inflation outstrips everythingFuneral costs in the UK are rising faster than ever.

Funeral prices have become one of the most rapidly growing costs in the UK, moving above average price inflation, wages and pensions.

To battle the increasing rise of funeral costs, families are spending less on the send-off.

In fact there has been a 28% decrease on funeral expenditure in the last 5 years.

Funeral costs are also beating the likes of cost of living, food, utilities, insurance and clothing when is comes to the fastest rising fixed costs in the UK.

The funeral has seen a growth that is more than 10 times the increase in the cost of living.

The overall cost of dying has risen by 8.3% moving the average costs to £8,802.

These costs cover probate, headstones and flowers in line with the basic cost of a funeral.

44% of the funeral cost is the cost of dying.

The United Kingdom’s average funeral costs now lie at £3,897 which has rapidly doubled since first being tracked in 2004 by SunLife.

The most expensive region to die is London, with the average funeral costing £5,529. This figure is 42% higher than the national average cost.

Astonishingly, this is an increase of 121% from 2004 and a 9% rise over the past year alone.

The cheapest place to die is Northern Ireland, where the average cost is 16% lower the the national average at £3,277.

However, prices are continuing to rise higher with there being an 106% increase since 2004.

The cost in North East England has risen the most since 2004 with an increase of 137%. However, they still remain below the national average with the average cost of a funeral being £3,744.

Graham Jones, Director at SunLife commented:

“We all know that death will eventually come to us all, and therefore, we will all need to pay for a funeral, yet it is something that, as a nation, we are uncomfortable talking about or planning for.

“Unfortunately, this reluctance to talk death is not only causing financial issues, but emotional ones too.

“Our report shows that just 1% of those organising a funeral knew the preferences of the deceased which means at a difficult time, many of us our forced to make decisions about a loved one’s funeral not knowing if it is what they would have wanted.

“95% of those organising a funeral said it was easier when they knew the preferences of the deceased, yet almost a third of those people still haven’t done anything about their own end of life plans, so it is vital that we change our attitude towards death.

“Talking about it won’t make it happen, but if we don’t, we will end up putting a huge financial and emotional burden on those left behind.”

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition said:

“It is ironic that despite our increasing willingness to share all sorts of information about our daily lives on social media, many of us are still unwilling to talk about death.”

So how are people affording to pay such high amounts of money for funerals?

Research showed that 13% of participants who had arranged a funeral in the last four years found themselves in financial worry.

Of these recipients, 10% of people had to sell belongings to cover the costs, 24% put the balance on a credit card, another 10% had to take out a loan and 18% had to borrow money from a relative or a friend.

The rising costs of funerals are a big worry. The best way around the financial concern surrounding funeral prices is to plan well ahead.

Here at Informed Choice we can help ease those financial worries by incorporating the cost of dying within the Financial Plans we construct and maintain for our clients.

Do pop in to say hello, email me at shelley@icfp.co.uk or call me on 01483 274566 to find out more.

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