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Bucket listers prioritise holidays over funeral costs

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Given 12 months to live, only a quarter of people would make plans for their funeral, while others would go on the holiday of a lifetime or spend more time with friends and family.

New research from SunLife also found that only 11% of people would quit their job and 15% wouldn’t do anything different at all.

In terms of ‘bucket list’ holidays, Australia and New Zealand were favoured destinations, followed by Japan, Hawaii and Canada. In terms of new sights, people wanted to see the Northern Lights, The Pyramids, Niagara Falls, The Grand Canyon and the Terracotta Army.

SunLife found that priorities changed with age: under 50s put ‘go on a cruise’ as number one and ‘make funeral arrangements’ down at number 7, while for over 50s, going on a cruise was a lower priority, while arranging their funeral came second only to spending more time with loved ones.

Over 50s are twice as likely to arrange their own funeral – a third would arrange their own funeral. Ian Atkinson, marketing director at SunLife said: “While a third of over 50s would organise their funeral if they knew they only had 12 months to live, for under 50s, even the time pressure would not make funeral plans as a priority, which gives us a bit of insight into why so many of us don’t do anything until it is too late.”

The average funeral now costs £4,271 (SunLife Cost of Dying report 2018) but 37% don’t leave any funeral provision for their relatives. Of those that do, two in five (41%) don’t leave enough with an average shortfall of £2,559. This can leave considerable hardship, with one in eight families saying that finding the money to pay for a loved ones’ funeral caused them ‘notable financial problems’.

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