Survey- Irish Don’t Think About Death Often
“Lack of Mortality Concern Might Explain Relatively Low Levels of Life Cover”
Irish people don’t like to think about death and more than half would not like to see what their life would be like in 10 years, according to research released by Royal London.
Life cover experts Royal London commissioned a recent survey of 1,000 men and women of all ages (18+) throughout the country, to see what Irish people’s appetite for looking into the future is and also to assess what level of consideration people give to thinking about death.
Explaining their approach to the survey Joe Charles of Royal London said, “Naturally, the subject of
death is not something you’d imagine people would want to spend too much time contemplating. But the conversation around death and financial planning is an important one, particularly if you have a family and/or dependents. As a general rule, we’re unlikely to properly plan for something that we rarely think about.”
The Royal London survey aimed to gauge public opinion on the topic – so they asked two key questions. Firstly, they asked how much time a week people spend thinking about their own mortality. Respondents were then asked if, given an opportunity, would they like to see what their life would be like in 10 years?
Joe continued, “It’s generally agreed that Irish adults don’t give sufficient attention to retirement planning and pension provision and from our survey results, it also looks like our mortality is similarly filed in a type of ‘do not open’ box in the back of our minds.
The results showed that over half of respondents (56%) spend less than 1 hour a week thinking about their own mortality. While the balance of 44% spending more than 1 hour a week thinking about mortality might seem a little morbid, if you really consider what may be the reasons behind it, it might be more positive than you think.
People who consider their own mortality might do so for a variety of reasons – they might simply be thankful for the life that they are living or they might be doing so with a view to trying to stay healthy
or get healthy. Or they might be putting some thought into ‘what if’ financial planning for themselves
and their family. All of which are actually healthy attitudes to have about what is an inevitable outcome for us all.”
“On average – how much time a week do you spend thinking about your own mortality?”
Royal London survey respondents answered as follows:
Less than 1 hour 56%
1 – 2 hours 22%
2 – 5 hours 11%
5 – 10 hours 5%
More than 10 hours a week 6%
Joe went on to say, “We also wanted to see whether or not people really would like to see what their life will be like in 10 years’ time. It was very interesting to see that the responses to this resulted in an almost 50: 50 split, yes and no. It would seem based on these findings, that Ireland has an equal amount of those who would prefer to live-in-the here and now and those that are curious about finding out what their futures will bring them.”
Royal London asked:
“If given the option of seeing what their life would be like in 10 years from now, would they want to see it?”
Joe concluded, “These results were not necessarily a surprise for us. We know from previous surveys that we have commissioned, that many people do not like to think about the future and the financial implications of their death, as only approximately 40% of people have Life cover in place*. Even for those that do have cover in place, the average levels of Life cover are quite low and may not be sufficient for their dependents’ ongoing needs. For example, for a family with monthly bills of €3,000, a Life cover payout of €200,000 would only last for less than 6 years.**
The good news for consumers is that the competition between Life insurance companies is very strong and has resulted in intensive price competition. Because of this, the cost of Life cover is at historic lows and coupled with that, many companies including Royal London, also regularly offer additional price discounts.
These are only available from your local Financial Broker, who will also research the market to find the best product to meet your individual needs.”
*Royal London omnibus survey findings 2015.
**The values assume that the Life cover payout is invested to achieve a return of 4% per annum after death, that the monthly income needed increases by 3% per annum and that the first monthly income is taken after one month.
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