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Survey Finds Few Canadians Incorporate End-of-Life into Financial Plan
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The two most inevitable things in life are death and taxes. Why, then, are so many Canadians not incorporating end-of-life planning into their overall financial plan?
According to a recent survey by Arbor Memorial, 68 per cent of Canadians feel the cost of a funeral and burial would be a financial burden to their family, but only 28 per cent think about saving for their final arrangement as part of an overall financial plan.
When asked why they haven’t incorporated funeral and burial into a financial plan, over a third of respondents state they are too young to think about it. This number increases to 80 per cent of those aged 18 to 29, and 50 per cent of those aged 30 to 44.
However, the younger you are when you pre-plan your final arrangments, the more you can take advantage of the cost savings by hedging against future inflation. To illustrate, based on inflation calculations through the Bank of Canada, a $15,000 funeral would have cost about $7,000 (or half as much) 30 years ago. The earlier you can save for something that’s inevitable for all of us, the better off you’ll be.
According to the survey, over a quarter of Canadians also believe that their funeral and burial is taken care of through their insurance or will, while one in 10 believe their family will take care of it. Pre-planning takes the guesswork out of the equation and ensures that the family does not have the added financial and emotional stress of planning during a difficult time.
Those that are thinking about pre-planning don’t have to do it alone. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your children or your aging parents. Talk about your wishes together as a family so that everyone is aware. Oftentimes children are forced to make decisions on their own, and this could be avoided by keeping the lines of communication open early on.