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Over 2m don't know how funeral costs will be met

Published on 03 January 2015 12:01 AM

Over two million over 60s don't know how their funeral costs will be met

  • Almost 2.1 million people aged 60 and over don't know how the cost of their funeral would be met
  • Almost two-thirds (65%) have not made any plans for their funeral as yet
  • Oer a tenth (13%) say this is because end of life issues are too difficult to address
  • More than a quarter (28%) underestimate the cost of a funeral today

According to new research from Age UK Enterprises*, over 2.1 million** people in later life don't know how the cost of their funeral would be met. It found that for seven in 10 (70%) people over the age of 60, the cost of their funeral would need to be paid from their savings. Almost two-thirds (65%) have not made any plans for their funeral as yet.

There are many reasons for this but over half (57%) of the over 60s surveyed said it had crossed their mind but they haven't got around to getting their affairs in order yet and over a tenth (13%) of over 60s find end of life issues too difficult to think about.

Just as the majority have not got round to addressing this difficult issue, many people also under-estimate the actual cost of a funeral. More than a quarter (28%) of those surveyed estimated that a funeral today would cost £1,000 to £2,000, whereas the average cost in 2014 was £3,590***.

Many people no doubt intend that their funerals will be financed through their estate or other savings, but it is also worth considering how we can achieve the funeral we would prefer, this being part of having a dignified end of life. Many people embrace planning for events that may happen - for example by paying for certain forms of insurance such as motor breakdown cover (64% of respondents), protecting a no claims bonus on a car insurance policy (57%) or dental work insurance (11%) - compared with only one in ten (11%) who have planned for an event that definitely will happen by taking out a pre-paid guaranteed funeral plan.

Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Enterprises, said: 'Where and how we are finally laid to rest is one aspect of a dignified end of life. Of course, it's a sensitive issue, but discussing wishes with family and considering well in advance the practical arrangements for a funeral and how it should be paid for can save a lot of worry and difficulty at a deeply upsetting time.'

The Age UK Guaranteed Funeral Plan is provided in association with Dignity. Age UK's Funeral Plans enable people to fix the cost of the cremation funeral services specified in the plan in line with today's prices and helps remove the worry about rising costs. They are designed specifically for those in later life with three plans to choose from and flexible payment options to suit different requirements. They can also help people in reaching decisions about the type of service they would like and other elements of their preferred funeral.


For further information, please contact Ellie Pocock or Rachel Finlay on 0207 360 7877 or

Notes to editors

* Research commissioned from Watermelon on behalf of Age UK Enterprises found that 16% of over 60s don't know how they would fund a funeral. An online poll consisted of a sample size of 2301 of the 60+ age group. Fieldwork was undertaken in November 2014. Figures were weighted to be nationally representative of the GB population aged 18yrs+.

** According to ONS data [source] (date accessed 27th November) - the populated aged 60+ totals 13,318,200. 16% of this figure is 2,129,632

*** Sunlife Direct, Cost of Dying Report 2014 (accessed 27.11.14) [source]

Age UK

For media enquiries relating to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland please contact the appropriate national office: Age Scotland on 0131 668 8055, Age Cymru on 029 2043 1562 and Age NI on 028 9024 5729.

We provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798).). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Age UK Enterprises

To fund its charitable activities, Age UK needs a constant flow of independent income. It seeks to achieve this through a balance of traditional fund raising and trading activities.

The trading activities, through Age UK Enterprises enable it to meet the needs of older people, through products specifically designed to meet these needs; quality products such as general insurance and energy services. Age UK Enterprises is the commercial services arm of Age UK.

For more information about the products and services offered by Age UK Enterprises please visit our website by logging on to

Age UK Enterprises Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation (311438) and to introduce potential annuity customers. Age UK Enterprises Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 3156159, registered office: 7th Floor, One America Square, London, EC3N 2LB. Registered charity number 1128267. VAT Number: 710 3843 66.

Age UK Guaranteed Funeral Plans

Age UK Enterprises work in association with Dignity to provide Age UK Guaranteed Funeral Plans. Age UK's Funeral Plans are designed specifically for those in later life and offer flexible plans and payment methods to suit different requirements.

Age UK Funeral Plans have the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed to fix the cost of the cremation funeral services specified in the plan.
  • Guaranteed acceptance if you are aged 50 or over
  • No medical or health questions asked
  • Flexible payment methods
  • Allows family and friends to add their own special tribute when the time comes.

Dignity is a major provider of funeral services in the UK and one of the leading providers of pre-arranged funeral plans. Since 2009 Dignity has ranked s in the Top 50 Call Centres for Customer Service Awards receiving 1st place in 2012,2013 & 2014.

Dignity Pre Arrangement Limited ISO 9001:2008 accredited company status. Dignity is a member of the Funeral Planning Authority, the professional body that oversees the operation of companies offering funeral plans. For more information visit:

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Last updated: Jan 31 2022

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