McCarthy & Stone To Sell Funeral Plans
From what we can see, McCarthy & Stone will be selling a specific funeral plan, not reviewing the funeral plan market for each individual as we at the Prepaid Funeral Review do.)
Coinciding with its launch into financial services, McCarthy & Stone, the UK market leader in later living, has conducted research which highlights a taboo among retirees about discussing their future financial, housing and care needs with their children or other family members.
The research conducted by McCarthy & Stone as part of its commitment to changing perceptions about ageing and transforming later life, found that although 64 per cent of retirees are worried about the future, 48 per cent had never talked to their family about their money, pension, savings or future housing and care needs.
The survey, which covered 1,000 retired people aged over-60 across the UK, found that a third of respondents, who had not discussed their plans and concerns about the future with their family, said it had never crossed their mind; while 18 per cent said they did not want to worry their children.
An alarming nine per cent of respondents had no idea how they were going to cope in the future, which if compared to the population of over 60s living in the UK, equates to over 1.2m people.
Thirteen per cent of respondents said they found the prospect morbid and felt that it would upset themselves or their family, and 12 per cent said they did not want their children to ‘start interfering’. Other reasons listed for not initiating a discussion included the fact that 10 per cent of respondents did not think their children would want to get involved.
McCarthy & Stone, which has over 30 years’ experience of building apartments for people aged over 50, is drawing on its unique understanding of this age group, and its approach of ‘co-creation’ with customers, to launch a wide range of new financial products and services. The objective of these new products is to help people take control of their finances and live later life to the full.
These include a Pension Annuities Service which boasts a skilled team of annuity experts who assess health and lifestyle factors in order to secure a better pension income.
The annuities service is complemented by an Equity Release Service which provides people with impartial and no nonsense advice about the different ways available to release the value in their home. This could be in order to pay off debts, supplement pension income, buy another property, improve their lifestyle or help loved ones.
McCarthy & Stone is also launching a Guaranteed Funeral Plan, which will allow people aged over 50 to pre-pay their funeral costs via a one-off payment or over a series of payments that can be spread out over up to 10 years.
In addition to launching other financial products and services this year, McCarthy & Stone will also focus on the leisure and travel market needs of people in later life. It is doing this with help from its new Greater Life Advisory Board – a non-executive board, which comprises six professionals aged 50-plus who all have experience of making decisions about later life.
The members, who include former health minister Edwina Currie, have been tasked with changing attitudes to ageing and to help people live richer and more fulfilling lives.
Ali Crossley, Executive Director of McCarthy & Stone, said: “Our research shows many people are burying their heads in the sand about how they will cope in the future, hence they never discuss it with their children or other family members.
“We are extremely concerned, but not surprised, that a significant proportion of today’s over 60s have no idea how they are going to cope in the future with finance and housing.
“We are committed and passionate about thinking differently about later life and hence we are introducing a range of new products and services that will make it easier for people to take control of the future and live their lives to the full.”