Some have been lucky enough to be able to manage to amass a decent amount in their savings account but there are many of us who can only save a minimum amount each and every month. Of course as we all get older the savings soon start to dwindle as we cease to earn and have to dip into the pot for any out of the ordinary expenses.
There are just the two of us , we are not old but we are not young either and I am acutely aware that we need to `tidy our lives up` and to make sure that if one is left behind then the other is going to be able to financially cope with the cost of a creamation or burial.
I have been the bill-payer and the secretary in our home for as long as we have been married and The Other Half has remained blissfully ignorant. But after a much needed Pow- Wow we came to the conclusion that he should know about our financial situation, so I have now compiled a file that is filled with all the necessary details and account numbers so that he will never be left in the dark.
Interestingly this review was prompted by an article that I read in one of the newspapers, it stated that there are thousands of us who have no idea how we are going to pay for our own funerals. The undertakers say that they are owed many thousands as they wait for people to find money to pay them. Some might think that the whole idea is morbid or they would rather just bury their heads in the sand and let someone else worry about it but I feel that it is our duty to make sure that we provide for our own `disposal`.We may well have family but is it really right to rely on them - or the state if it comes to that. ( unless we have no other option)
It seems that the costs of a funeral can vary and on the Co-Operative website I found out that they sell packages, the packages start off with a basic funeral and they rise right up to the most elaborate send off, but unless you send off for a brochure you are unable to ascertain the actual prices of the plans.
But I have looked on the Internet and I have read that an average funeral costs around £3,500 plus and as time goes by the prices will climb even higher.
I don't know if you have noticed but the Post Office have been running an advertising campaign on the television and it concerns Life Insurance for the over 50's.
I decided to look into this a little bit more and went onto their website to take a look around. We may well have a few pounds in the bank but who knows if that is going to be enough to cover everything at the end of the day.
I took a look around several over 50's life insurance websites including Rias, Sun life, Tesco, Asda and I also looked at the Dignity website that offers comprehensive funeral payment plans.
On the whole the terms and conditions of the over 50's Life insurance is fairly elementary and most of the websites have put the information in layman's terms.
A couple of the sites that I looked at wanted you to put all of your personal details in before they were willing to give you a quote, I chose not to do this simply because I did not want tons of junk mail flying through the letterbox.
When I went onto many of the websites I could easily attain quotes for an over 50's Life insurance plan.
The Post Office came up with a very competitive quote. The site is easy to use and it is easy to navigate.
If you want a quote then you just put in your age, your sex and the amount that you would like to cover yourself for/ or the monthly amount that you can afford to pay. Some insurance companies ask if you are using any tobacco products but the Post Office is one that chooses not to, so they have obviously calculated that they will not lose either way.
I know that some insurers ask for a higher premium if the insured is a `smoker` and I think that it is a fair step to take because there is no reason for non-smokers to cover the costs of the smokers.
Once you have popped your details into the appropriate boxes then you will receive an instant on-line quote.
You will see that the minimum monthly payment is £7 and the maximum monthly payment is £50.
you also need to take into account that there is no surrender value, if you stop paying the premiums then you will lose the money that you have already paid into the insurance plan .
If the quote suits your needs then you will proceed to the next step.
The next step is also simple, you fill in your name and address and accept that you have read the terms and conditions.
It does pay to read all of the terms and conditions very closely or you may well miss something that you really need to know.
Then you click on the `accept` button and you will receive an e-mail telling you that your policy is under way and that you will receive all the necessary paperwork within the next few days.
These are some of the important facts of the Post Office Life Insurance.
If you die through accident ( after the first 12 months payments ) then you will automatically receive double the amount that you are insured for.
But here is where the Post Office over 50s Life insurance is slightly different - many life insurance plans will not pay out the full assured sum unless you have been paying the premiums for two years, the Post Office guarantee to pay out the full sum AFTER 12 months payments.
The Post Office do not ask you to undergo any medical examinations.
As long as you are between the ages of 50 and 80 and you a a UK citizen then you may be eligible to apply for the over 50s Life Insurance plan.
It took a week for my policy to arrive and I will say one thing, I was disappointed to find six envelopes slipping through the letterbox - all from the Post Office. It seems that the Post Office thought it was necessary to put the policies, the direct debit forms and some other information all in separate envelopes - what a waste of time and resources!
But the enclosed information was as clear as a bell. The policy is easy to read and understand. There is a cooling off period and a cancellation form enclosed if you decide that the Life Insurance is not what you require.
The Post Office ask you to check the details that you have given for the direct debit and they clearly state when they are going to take the first payment. They also ask that you ensure that you have sufficient funds in the bank for the payment to be taken on the particular date that you have personally chosen.
There are three different ways of applying for the Post Office Life Insurance, you can apply on-line, you can go into your local Post Office or you can make a telephone call.
The Post Office Life Insurance is provided by Aviva and in 2008-2009 they were considered to be the best Life Insurance providers.
At the moment the Post Office have a gift to offer in return for your custom, you have to pay three months premiums and then they will send you £15 cash ( one gift per policy)
But this offer appears to close at the end of March 2010.
I felt that the process was quite straightforward, it was easy to apply and the paperwork took little time to arrive.
I would like to think that I have done the right thing, I would hate to leave any worries behind me for my nearest and dearest to have to worry about.