Mortality and Demographics in the UK


Mortality and Demographics in the UK

I guess few people outside of the ‘trade,’ read or are interested in, human mortality?

Quite obviously, as a practising funeral director, I need to be.

If we were to average-out the number of deaths per year and look back over a few decades, obvious things would be apparent – I think.
Much emphasis or focus is directed towards, ‘baby boomers.’ Whether you understand factors of this period really doesn’t matter greatly because the majority of those people born at that time are still with us – alive.

Consider this theory: those people born from 1920 onwards, young men especially reaching the age of 18, were probably called up to fight in WW II.
With the enormous number of casualties, it follows that there would be a ‘drought’ of mortality for the last two to three decades because the ‘normal’ number of deaths would be ‘short’ those that had previously died.

Up until recently, global population has increased. China took drastic action to slow-down the rise and economics, seem to be doing well in preventing family size increases too.
It is no surprise therefore that mortality rates are expected to increase significantly in the future.

We know or are told that our ‘senior’ population are living longer. We are told we won’t be able to afford or sustain financially, the care these folks need.
We all probably have heard of an instance when affordability cost the life of someone who didn’t ‘need’ to die - if not in our country, in other parts of the ‘civilised’ world.

By 2030, mortality is projected to increase by 17%. That’s just 14 years, not quite a generation.
If we look at funeral costs over the last 25 years when putting away £1000.00 for a future event would have given a chunk of change though it was quite unaffordable back then too, we should examine the acceleration of those costs relative to demographics or research.

I haven’t done this personally for two reasons: firstly, it won’t stop prices increasing and I can’t control those prices and secondly, I have a pretty good idea as to the answer from my own experience.
When I look at local crematorium rises in fees and remember back to 1990 when they increased from £138.00 to £141.00 and consider that presently they are closer to a £1000.00 – incidentally, the price mentioned above for a complete funeral; I wonder how we are planning to deal with the increases that are a certainty?

A young person asked me about pensions for the future – that there wouldn’t be enough money to support a system such as we have today; my answer? “Your generation has time to deal with it. The problem has been identified, the short-comings of ‘pension funds’ of the past has been addressed so get on with it, stop acting ‘entitled’ and make a solution – leaving answers to everyone else is simply delaying the inevitable, if you read the documentation in the future when you look back in time, it will be clear - with hindsight; your advantage is that it is also clear with, foresight!”

This article has changed in its direction. My research started by simply trying to find out how many people died in hospital each year compared to, at home and I stumbled on facts telling me that almost eight times more people wanted to die at home rather than in hospital; quite normal I imagined but, almost three times as many people die in hospital in reality.

This doesn’t indicate clearly the whole picture unless I convert it into percentages but, I don’t want to linger here – in fact, I would rather you see for yourself, if you are interested, by opening this link: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/globalassets/archive/www2/pdf/patient-choice-v-cost_graphics.pdf

I like to see the different approaches or perspectives on these subjects as future planning for our business relies to an extent on the results of research of this nature and to be adequately prepared for the sake of our clients, is a serious responsibility.

Being able to afford a funeral in the future is also of great concern to me and to my family business – naturally.
With a realistic focus on future business planning and pre-payment funeral plans for our clients, we have to try to get the message across that, amongst all the other things we should try to afford, paying for our funeral today will save out loved ones £’s in the future.

With Trust Funds separately managed and the monies wisely invested for future-proofing, all payments made today are continually performance-monitored for the future and by law, if every funeral plan needed to be paid out at the same time, the funds are supposed to be available, immediately.

For this reason, having a funeral plan simply with a funeral director (company), would be folly. Many have set-up systems in the past and failed. As with some pension funds, the money invested also disappeared - forever!

Such occurrences led to the advent of professional companies whose sole purpose was to cater for the public, for the future.
Plan and pay (often by instalments) for a/your funeral at today’s price and ‘future-proof’ the finances for the event - that will occur one day!

As a funeral director, you wouldn’t think I’d bother pre-paying for a plan, myself? Wrong – I just didn’t do it soon enough; I waited until 2003. Ten years earlier and I (my Estate), would have saved so much more. Arguably, a better rate than investors can expect - possibly?
As it stands currently, I have pre-paid funeral plans for myself and my wife and a payment towards a Memorial too. I can monitor it to see how it is performing or keeping up with the current situation but so long as there is no variation to my plan’s structure, I will have nothing further to pay or rather, my Estate won’t.

One question that could be asked is how has paying for a funeral differed or changed over the years? How do we cope with an expense we cannot afford or haven’t made provision for?

I don’t have a definitive answer for you but assume that the ‘freedom’ offered to us by credit card companies, no doubt plays a large role in the answer to the question.

‘We,’ are happy to discuss pre-paid funeral plans with you, without obligation, at our office, your home, by telephone, mail or email.

Not only are we supported by the largest supplier of funeral plans to independent funeral directors (not corporations) in the UK – Golden Charter, but we offer a completely ‘tailor-made’ (bespoke) plan to accommodate your wishes within the realms of that which is allowable.
This bespoke plan is more often than not, less expensive than the ‘set’ plans offered.
The major charities, will-writers and organisations like Age Concern and Help The Aged, are supporters of such plans and pre-paid funeral planning.

'One' could argue about saving money of course, "Once I pass away: why should I worry about leaving my children 'more' money? "
Understandably, valid - I suppose but if it is a 'first death' then providing for a partner could be relevant and if you can afford it, why not save your inheritors money that would otherwise possibly, have gone up in smoke!

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