According to research by Tyde, the UK’s first online funeral booking platform, millennials are experiencing funeral price tag shock. Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed were left ‘surprised and dismayed’ by the cost of a funeral.
Millennials are set to face a £57 billion bill to cover their parents’ funerals, according to Tyde. At an average funeral cost of £4,000, millennials simply cannot afford it.
Grief and loss come at a high price in the UK
Only one in 10 (11%) millennials has enough savings to pay for the full funeral cost in cash. In fact, 58% of millennials had to partially dip into savings to pay for a funeral, according to the survey. A further 43% had to take out credit, and 41% had to borrow money from others in order to foot the bill. Others worked extra hours and even took on a second job to cover the expenses.
Perhaps more worrying is that a number of people chose to skip paying bills in order to afford the cost of the funeral.
And that £4,000 bill doesn’t include the extra £2,500 or so for additional funeral expenses incurred if you decide to hold a wake. In fact, the survey revealed that a quarter of those surveyed felt they couldn’t afford to give their loved ones a proper goodbye.
Anthony Young, CEO of Tyde, explains: “With the costs of funerals rising, for millennials to confidently tackle this financial burden and avoid funeral poverty will take more than simply cutting out lattes or subscription services. There’s a generational death wealth gap. The industry needs to offer full transparency and fairness when it comes to pricing and costs.”
This gap shows clearly in Tyde’s research. For millennials that have already had to plan a loved one’s funeral, 65% struggled to cover the cost, compared to only 18% of baby boomers.
Preparing for the cost of a funeral
Discussing the cost of a funeral with your loved ones is not an easy conversation, but it’s an important one. If you suspect your parents don’t have a will, talking to them about estate planning is a good start.
Tyde research also shows that 57% of millennials wished they’d started putting money aside for loved ones’ funerals years earlier. You can make your own plans by opening a savings account so you can set some of the cost of a funeral aside.
Services like Tyde can ease some of the burden by allowing you to plan things online at a discounted price. In the future, the company also plans to offer pre-paid funeral plans.
If you receive benefits and cannot afford the cost of the funeral for a loved one, you might qualify for a Funeral Expenses Payment (also called a Funeral Payment). You can use this money to pay for burial or cremation fees and documents such as death certificates. You can also pay for travel arrangements and other funeral and wake expenses.
Keep in mind that this money will later be deducted from anything you’re set to receive from the person’s estate.
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