The Canadian Contradiction: New research shows most Canadians fear burdening loved ones with funeral needs, yet aren't making arrangements in advance
TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - Seniors are the fastest growing demographic according to the latest Canadian census yet, according to new research conducted for Everest, North America's first nationwide funeral planning and concierge service, as more people get closer to end of life, we are not adequately prepared for our deaths.
According to Everest's research*, Canadians are unprepared for end of life considerations. Just over half (53 per cent) have purchased life insurance, fewer than half (49 per cent) have prepared a will, and only nine per cent have pre-planned their funeral. Plus almost two-thirds (64 per cent) have never had to plan a funeral before so they have little idea how many details it may entail.
The good news is that most Canadians want to be prepared. The vast majority (84 per cent) agree that making funeral arrangements in advance is the right thing to do in order to spare loved ones the financial and emotional burden while trying to grieve.
So what appears to cause Canadians' hesitation?
Almost half (46 per cent) worry about not being able to afford it; more than a third (37 per cent) just don't know where to start, or worry about being taken advantage of (36 per cent); and finally, only a quarter of Canadians expect to live where they currently reside after they retire so locking into a specific funeral home simply doesn't make sense.
"Funerals are one of life's certainties, yet they are the one thing Canadians seem to be unwilling to plan ahead for," said Mark Duffey, President and CEO, Everest. Adding, "the disconnect is obvious: while we want to spare those closest to us the stress and cost of deciding - and having to pay for - our final arrangements, many avoid planning because they don't know where to start, don't know where they'll be, or fear they'll get taken advantage of."
To address the concerns that Canadians appear to have about planning their funeral, World Financial Group Insurance Agency of Canada, has partnered with Everest, to launch a unique life insurance package that provides Canadians with all of the necessary coverage, along with the availability of independent advisors to make all of a family's arrangements at the time the package is needed - wherever and whenever that is - all with just one phone call.
"The Everest package is completely unique to the Canadian marketplace and is specifically designed to help families when they need it most," said Rick Williams, President and CEO, World Financial Group Canada. "When you purchase the Everest package, you have access to a full concierge service staffed by independent advisors to help families take care of every last detail of funeral planning including negotiating the lowest cost, which can save people thousands of dollars."
The cost savings is significant because the average funeral and burial costs can easily exceed $10,000. Many people assume that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Death Benefit or, if applicable, their life insurance will cover these costs but the reality is CPP offers a maximum benefit of $2,500 and the average life insurance policy can take months before proceeds are paid out.
"Families are under a lot of emotional duress and without advice, may spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, more than they need to. Everest gives clients the information needed to make smart choices," concluded Duffey.
The Everest offering available through World Financial Group offers coverage from $5,000 to $30,000 and is available by visiting EverestFuneral.ca/WFG or by calling 1-888-444-4181.
About World Financial Group
World Financial Group (WFG) is a financial services marketing company whose affiliates offer a broad array of financial products and services. WFG's independent associates, located throughout the United States and Canada, strive to help individuals and families often overlooked by the financial services industry to plan for their financial futures, advocating the power of choice for clients through agreements with several of the financial and insurance industries' leading companies.
WFG is a business unit of the Life and Protection Division of Transamerica Life Insurance Company. The Transamerica companies offer a wide array of innovative financial services and products with a common purpose: to help individuals, families, and businesses build, protect and preserve their hard-earned assets. With more than a century of experience, Transamerica has built a solid reputation on solid management, sound decisions and consumer confidence. For more information, visit www.worldfinancialgroup.com.
Everest is an independent consumer advocate providing funeral planning and concierge services. Its sole purpose is to provide the information families need to make the most informed decisions about all funeral-related issues. As an impartial advocate, Everest is not a funeral home, does not sell funeral goods or services, and does not receive commissions from funeral homes or other service providers in the funeral industry. Everest has been providing service to more than 20 million customers across North America for more than 10 years now, including through some of the largest life insurance carriers in North America.
*The statistics quoted in this document are from a survey that was completed online from March 2 to 7, 2012 using Research Now's online panel. 1,167 Canadian adults were surveyed. Quota sampling and weighting were employed to balance demographics and ensure the sample's composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to Census data. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. A randomly-selected sample of this size yields results accurate to within plus or minus 2.5%, nineteen times out of twenty.
For further information:
Tara Wood, Veritas Communications, 416-301-5724, [email protected]