#UK: #Funeral Costs to Sky Rocket :: Blame #Baby_Boomers

Post WW2 Baby Boomers force up Cost of UK Funerals

Our Leigh Park Funeral Home

As a Brit or Irish ex-pat have you underestimated the cost of the funeral of a loved one back in UK or Ireland?
In UK the costs have surged 80% in 10 years; simple send offs can cost £5000+, and 1000’s of families will not afford a sudden death. That you may already be aware, but be warned. Things are likely to become even more expensive!

The report “The Funeral Time Bomb” by the International Longevity Centre (ILC)  expects the deaths of the current baby boomer generations at the end of their natural life span to soar. The result will be equally soaring costs for a very busy funeral industry.

Baby boomers and their offspring - the 1940s through to the 1960s era - the post WW2 generations are now starting to enter their later years.

The sheer number is a major reversal of the recent downward trends in UK deaths. This will cause a 20 per cent spike in mortality in the UK population.  The ILC research highlights the concerns that many families have underestimated the cost of funerals and have not planned for the sudden expenditure.

Such is the changing situation that estimates put the funeral business to be worth £3.7 billion a year market by 2020.

If you plan to spend the final part of your life in Britain  and not as an ex-pat, the ILC also predicts thousands of families will lack the cash for paying for a sudden death.

“Families need to talk about what is often a taboo subject – death,” said an ILC spokesman.
“Our research shows nearly 110,000 (British) families went into debt to pay for funerals in 2013. The average debt was £1,305. The total funeral related debts that year hit £142 million, which is likely to rise to £250 million by 2030.”

The survey also reckons 14.5 million people in Britain would have to go into debt if a relative died suddenly unless the deceased had taken out some kind of funeral expenses insurance to help with the cost.

UK Government Funeral Financial Support is Limited

Baroness Sally Greengross, ILC chief executive, said: “Around half of (UK) homes have £3,000 or more in savings. Many will find funeral costs beyond their reach even though they will face pressure to probably spend more than they can afford. *See Infographic below as to costs around the country October 2014.

“Everyone needs to talk about the inevitable and realise the state offers little in the way of help towards the costs of a funeral.”

The average state financial support covered just over a third of the costs, according to the latest available figures released in 2012.

The costs are even higher for expats, who may want to repatriate bodies for burial or cremation.
Sending a body home by air can add thousands more to a funeral bill – but is still cheaper than a family travelling overseas to attend a ceremony.

Without being cynical or morbid it sounds like a good time to invest in publicly listed UK  funeral groups! A steady and growing business so to speak. £1 = US$1.52 at time of writing.

Infographic: Sunlife - A Useful comparison of how Wales had the biggest cost surge for a Funeral while London marginally declined between 2013 and 2014.