Wednesday 21 February 2018

#HaveYourSay: Average Irish funeral cost revealed - have you set aside money for your last goodbye?

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Kathy Armstrong

Just under two-thirds of us underestimate the cost of a funeral, with the average price of the final goodbye coming in at over €5,000, according to a new survey.

17 per cent of people surveyed admit they have no idea how their funeral will be paid for.

Royal London has surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide to find out how much we shell out when a loved one dies, they also got some insight into our preferences for funerals.

The €850 State Bereavement grant was axed in 2013 and there have been calls for it to be reintroduced in Budget 2018.

The cost of a basic funeral in Ireland - including things like the coffin, director fees, transport, and church - will set you back around €4,000.

Once you factor in the plot and headstone, the cost rises to over €5,000.

Just 34pc of people surveyed correctly estimated it would cost over €5,000 - 35pc thought they would be forking out €5,000, 19pc guessed €3,000, 9pc said €2,000, while 3pc figured an Irish funeral would set them back just €1,000.

When questioned how their funeral would be paid for if they died tomorrow, almost 40pc said their family or next of kin would foot the bill.

Stock picture of a cemetery
Stock picture of a cemetery

31pc said it would be paid for by their estate and 13pc have money set aside for their funeral.

1pc think their employer will cover the cost of their funeral and 17pc admit they have no idea where the money will come from.

Joe Charles, Head of Proposition at Royal London said that grieving families can be left with money woes if funds aren't set aside for funerals.

He said: “Most people seem to appreciate that a funeral in Ireland is a costly affair. However, this seems at odds with people’s apparent uncertainty as to who would pay for it when the time comes.

"We found that 38pc are relying on family or next of kin to pay for their funeral, with a further 17pc of people having ‘no idea’ of who would foot the bill.

"The majority of people are simply unaware of all the associated costs involved in planning a funeral – and these can often come as a shock when a loved one dies.”

Have you set aside money for your funeral?

The report also noted that when it comes to our own funerals, 44pc want a "simple affair with no fuss", while one-quarter would prefer a "modest but respectful and elegant event."

16pc want their funeral to be a celebration of their life and 15pc said they don't care as they don't think that "it matters in the slightest."

When it comes to our partner's funeral, one-fifth said they'd want to give them "a proper send off to celebrate their life" and one-third said they would want it to be a "modest but respectful and elegant event."  

30pc said their partner's funeral would be a simple affair and just 2pc answered that "it wouldn’t matter at all – they are gone and that’s that."  

Mr Charles said: “’A simple affair with no fuss’ is how the majority picture their own funeral.

Have you ever struggled to pay for someone's funeral?

"However, when it comes to arranging their partner’s funeral, participants seemed to want to go to more effort, with 62pc preferring ‘a proper send-off to celebrate their life’ or ‘a modest but respectful and elegant event’.

“Young adults are on top of the list across all genders, ages and regions when it comes to wanting to give their partner ‘a proper send off or wake to celebrate their life’.”

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