In Focus: When Clients' Plans Change  

Gen Z more likely to have life cover than Gen X

Gen Z more likely to have life cover than Gen X

Younger people have become more aware of the need for protection policies and later-life planning since the pandemic, research has suggested. 

While discussing end-of-life planning, the cost of funerals and the need for life insurance is often difficult to broach with clients, Steve Wallis, managing director at Distinct Cremations, said younger Brits have become more concerned about meeting the cost of long-term care.

He said they are also more aware now than pre-pandemic of the importance of being "prepared for the inevitable".

While Generation Z seems to be more prepared financially and emotionally, however, the so-called 'squeezed middle' - Generation X, seems to be the least prepared.

Research carried out among 2,000 UK adults found those aged 16 to 24 were most likely to have life insurance, at 21.5 per cent. 

They were also more likely to have put some plan in place to pay for their funeral, at 30 per cent, compared to just 18 per cent of 45-54 year olds. 

Wallis said: "Advisers need to help Gen X broach these difficult conversations. They need to think about having conversations with clients about planning and paying for end-of-life care and funeral costs.

"The last thing on people’s minds when they lose a loved one should be money. However, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Our recent research has shown that around half of people in the UK could not afford to cover the cost of a loved one’s funeral."

He said more than 77 per cent of those aged over 45 have made no plans for their funeral, while many people even in their 50s and 60s have not even written a will or put in place any inheritance plans. 

According to research last year from Canada Life, 65 per cent of people aged 45-54 had not written a will, and 62 per cent admitted they had not even thought about it. 

Wallis added: "There’s a real discrepancy between believing we should plan for our end of life, and actually doing it – despite there now being more options open for people to choose the right funeral for them.  

"Just like planning financial investments, a funeral is something that needs careful thought. It’s no secret that the cost of funerals is increasing. Finding a way to cover funeral expenses is important.

"As such, it’s imperative that financial advisers are just as comfortable in discussing funerals and funeral plans with their clients – regardless of whether they’re a long-standing or a new client – as they are discussing investments."

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com