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    • jamesd
    • By jamesd 20th Oct 10, 9:33 PM
    • 23,495 Posts
    • 15,831 Thanks
    Stuart_W, prepaid funeral plans are one of the worst deals around, so brace yourself for a Martin blog entry pointing that out.

    Lovingthisboard, there's an element of cross-subsidy there but Martin's comparison does a good job of illustrating how bad the deal is using the payback time to explain it simply.

    Were I Martin, what I'd be doing is what he's in effect suggested here: save he money and use your emergency fund, something he also advocates having. This combination is part of the route to being better off overall.

    The house insurance problem is a tougher one for most people because it's a rare event and the chance of having sufficient money to pay the bill is much lower for rare but extreme bad events.
    • Stuart_W
    • By Stuart_W 20th Oct 10, 10:00 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 707 Thanks
    Stuart_W, prepaid funeral plans are one of the worst deals around, so brace yourself for a Martin blog entry pointing that out.
    Originally posted by jamesd
    I have been slated on here before for mentioning these, but given that in 1997 the average funeral cost Ł1230 and in 2008 it was Ł2550, I really don't think that paying upfront for a funeral bond is the absolute con so many on here are determined to prove that it is.

    It "buys" exactly what pollydan asked for...
    I am coming up to 63 and have had ill health and find it impossible to find insurance that is within my financial reach, and was wondering if any of your readers could suggest anything that would cover funeral expenses as I do not want to leave the burden on my family.
    by pollydan
    ..when other insurance may not be available, peace of mind, knowing that no matter what happens to rest of any estate - perhaps in health care costs, nursing homes, even other debts - the funeral will be sorted.

    My mum has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and the peace of mind her funeral bond provides her with is more valuable than any monetary advantage or disadvantage. No matter what happens, she knows it's sorted. That is why it's worth every penny.
    • cepheus
    • By cepheus 20th Oct 10, 10:26 PM
    • 19,211 Posts
    • 20,338 Thanks
    Wrong tables. Those are period, not cohort, tables and aren't suitable for this purpose. I linked to the appropriate cohort tables for the latest central projection for the UK. As the Government Actuary's Department explains:........

    The tables you linked to are appropriate for looking at the past but not for looking at the future.
    Originally posted by jamesd
    Indeed, thanks for this, I think those life expectancy tables were out of date anyway hence the other reason for the low estimates. Based on your cohort tables, I think the break even age is about 84 male 86 female?
    Last edited by cepheus; 20-10-2010 at 10:34 PM.
    • mycar37
    • By mycar37 21st Oct 10, 9:19 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    It's a "Whole Life Non Profit" assurance which is guaranteed to pay out on death whenever that my occur, EXCEPT that it only returns premiums paid if you die before two years; this is how they are able to offer "no medical details required".

    So, the old adage is "Only those that want life insurance can't buy it". The plan's no good if you are in ill health because of the two year "moritorium" on payouts and no good if you are in good health because of the low sum assured.

    Michael Parkinson should be ashamed of himself!
    Originally posted by bigbloke45
    I agree 100% with these comments. Michael Parkinson and others like him who sell their souls to these spurious and rip-off compnies
    should hide their heads in shame. Michael Parkinson knows full well what he is doing and to think that he is doing it to people in his own age-group is despicable.
    • mjm3346
    • By mjm3346 21st Oct 10, 9:19 PM
    • 41,417 Posts
    • 326,386 Thanks
    Instead of waiting until you are 50 stick the Ł6/month away from your early forties then when you reach 50 you will already have saved more than a 50+ plan pays out and the interest and a small "top-up" each year (nothing like Ł6/month) should keep you well ahead of any plan payout and inflation.
  • henpecked1
    a whole of life policy bog standard will offer better benefits.
  • oakhouse13
    Avoid products advertised by celebrities. The company is paying more to market the product. It will have less money left to make the product itself any good.
  • JackieB123
    After the death of my mother in 2000, my stepfather was quite concerned that no financial burden be placed upon anyone in the event of his own death. So a timely sales call from Axa Sunlife meant him taking out a policy with them.

    He is now 79 and has been paying Ł14 (well I pay this for him actually) since May 2001, and the sum assured will be Ł1395. Therefore we have now paid in much more than we will get back. Whilst I understand perfectly that this was not an “investment”, so did not expect to make a profit on this policy, it would have been nice to now receive some form of option to reduce the payments slightly. Axa/Sunlife would still therefore make a profit, but would do so with slightly more moral ground.

    If we cashed this policy in now, I believe we would get back approx Ł500, so as Martin says, is it worth it at this stage? However, my stepfather could live for another 10/15 years (God willing), which would mean he’d paid an extortionate amount for no peace of mind, as the funeral costs would certainly exceed the sum assured by miles. Even now, the amount would not cover the costs, so where's the "peace of mind" ?

    He was not in ill health when taking out this policy, so there was no need really for such a choice of policy with no medical required. I was not aware at the time that he was taking this out, and so had no opportunity to research this at the time, I only took over the payments a couple of months after. But when I’ve discussed this with him, he’s adamant that it was not clearly pointed out to him at the time that he could pay much more in that would be paid out. I have the letter that was sent to him welcoming him, and there was no mention of this important point at all, even though it’s a 2 sided letter with lots of information on the benefits of the policy only. However I’m sure it’s in the small print in the enclosed brochure.

    I have to quote one point they did make in the letter: “You’ll enjoy real value for money – the affordable payments will never under any circumstances be increased, your high life cover will never go down.”

    Well I think that’s quite misleading when it says “real value for money” & “high” life cover, or if not mis-leading, certainly very “over optimistic” shall we say!

    There was another page enclosed with the welcome letter stating: “WARNING – The Plan is designed to provide a lump sum when you die. If you cash it in you could get back less than you have paid in”

    Again, no mention that you could end up paying much more than you would get back, which I think would certainly necessitate the use of the word “WARNING”.

    I must re-iterate that I don’t expect to make a profit on premiums paid in, but to end up paying what will probably be twice as much as you would receive back is over the top.

    I will contact Sun Life to see if the payments can now be reduced, they’ve already made a more than fair profit on my stepfathers' policy and will continue to do so even with reduced monthly premiums, but I’m sure the answer will be in the negative.
    Last edited by JackieB123; 26-10-2010 at 7:54 AM.
  • Tryingtogetsorted
    How to rid yourself of Sun Life's mailings!
    I don't think you need to be a financial genius to work out that the Sun Life over 50s scheme is a load of !!!! and shame on Parkie for advertising it.

    What really annoys me about this scheme is the amount of sales material they send out. Clearly they don't have an environmental policy. At one point it seemed I was getting at least one letter at week, which got worse when I started sending it back! I know I'm not the only one who has been annoyed by this as I met a kindred spirit on Facebook!

    In the end I found a phone number which you can call to get yourself removed from their mailing list. If you are sick of receiving their "spam", which is what it is, you can phone 0800 9047652 and asked to be removed too. You will need to quote a number which is on their letters. I called about a month ago, and since then haven't received a single letter. Hurrah!

    • EmehEm2005
    • By EmehEm2005 6th Nov 10, 5:10 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    I have just had a letter from Santander acting for AXA Sunlife whereby I can get a 'free' gift worth at least Ł50 (a 16" LCD Freeview TV from ARGOS is one of the free gifts available) in the form of ARGOS or M & S vouchers if I take out whole of life cover with them.
    I would get the free gift worth at least Ł50 one month after AXA receive my first minimum premium of Ł6 a month although I think the first month is free. I can cancel the policy at any time in writing after only the first premium is paid and still keep the free gift worth at least Ł50 but for the first two years my estate would only receive 1.5 times the monthly premium paid in case of death.
    For Ł6 a month after two years my life cover would be Ł715.
    Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to p*** us off.
    • EmehEm2005
    • By EmehEm2005 6th Nov 10, 5:24 AM
    • 104 Posts
    • 56 Thanks
    My credit union - in line with other credit unions - offer free Loan Protection Insurance and Life Savings Insurance
    Loan Protection Insurance is designed to pay off a member’s outstanding loan balance if they die before their loan is repaid.
    Life Savings insurance means that if a member dies, the savings that they have in the credit union are up to doubled and passed onto their family.
    Terms and conditions apply so contact your local credit union for details.
    You can also find more information on the ABCUL (Asscn of British Credit Unions Ltd) website.
    Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to p*** us off.
  • amanda jane
    How can I help my Dad?
    My Dad has dementia and can no longer manage his financial affairs so I have been completing the court of protection application forms so I can act for him and on his behalf.
    One of the questions was regarding life assurance policies so I called Axa Sun Life to get the details of my Dad's policy. I was aghast at what I was told.
    Dad took the over 50 plan out in November 1998 paying out Ł26 each month ever since so thus far he has paid Axa Sun Life Ł4,056. However in the event of Dad's death the sum paid out is only Ł3,660. That's awful I thought and so asked what the surrender value would be, Ł1,210.73 was the reply so I then asked if there was an alternative. The option then offered was that the policy could be marked as 'paid up' so that no more payments would be made BUT that would result in a reduced pay-out on Dad's death of only Ł1,790. So, what do I do? Continue to pay Ł26 each month or forego the majority of money already paid in, cutting his losses? I just don't know what to do for the best. Dad is 78 this year and other than his dementia is relatively well (thankfully!) so if we were to continue paying the Ł26, I have no idea how long we might continue to do so. I don't particularly want to think about that but you do have to ask yourself these things I suppose.
  • lisa1972
    My mum is looking to set up an over 50's plan, but after reading this forum I will def tell her not to go with sunlife! Any ideas about setting up a new plan with a company who will not rip her off?
    I'm new to this forum, so I'm not sure if this is the correct way of posting a reply.
    • jowie
    • By jowie 8th May 11, 1:27 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    Another bump...
    Just came across this old thread and would like to ask about the Sun Life Over 50 Plan. My partner was considering paying into it so I thought I'd come on here to see whether it was any good or not.

    The problem is, both Martin's blog and this thread suggest that the payout after two years of Ł6pm is Ł570... On the literature my partner received, it is a more effective Ł1,370. The policy he was thinking of taking out (Ł10pm) would pay out Ł2,735 - so that's more than a tenfold return.

    UPDATE: I've just checked online and it appears to be correct:

    Considering these new amounts, would people on here still think it's not worth considering?


    Last edited by jowie; 08-05-2011 at 1:54 PM.
    • Fruit and Nut Case
    • By Fruit and Nut Case 8th May 11, 10:48 PM
    • 3,982 Posts
    • 2,973 Thanks
    Fruit and Nut Case
    The best feature of this AXA Plan is the free gift on offer. Sign up at Ł6 per month and select the free TV voucher from Argos (worth about Ł120). Wait for the first Ł6 instalment to be taken from your bank account,wait for the Argos voucher to arrive, cancel the plan and take the voucher to Argos. Either take and keep the TV, or return it a day or so later for a new long-dated Argos voucher.

    This may not sound very ethical but then neither is the AXA plan itself. I know of people who've made about Ł500 from this ploy. Don't, however, opt for the other freebies e.g. the satnav unless you really want them - they are worth a lot less thasn the TV and some of them are not returnable to Argos e.g. the satnavs.
    Originally posted by csj
    I've been getting these mailings for ages and have always put them straight in the recycling bin. The latest one offers Ł75 of M&S vouchers after the first (i.e. only!) month's payment. I think I might go for that.
    Are you for real? - Glass Half Empty??
    • forestlands
    • By forestlands 19th May 11, 12:15 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Happy with Shepherds Friendly!
    Hi Folks, I took out a Life Plan Insurance with Shepherds Friendly - similar to over 50', in 2003. Been very happy with the way interest has been growing, regular updates, good customer service, and info. on tax free insurances. They have a website, Shepherds Friendly Society.

    Find Axa unethical in many ways! Have written to the Coop Bank, who use Axa, pointing out how unethical Axa is which is not consistent with the Coop Banks ethical policy. Have also produced an online petition following Axa refusal to cover a vet bill, for my Portland ram Eddie who had a broken leg as the result of a dog attack, Axa said Eddie should have been "written off"! They offered Ł100. No wonder Axa are in the top 10 list of profit making companies - think they are second!
    • forestlands
    • By forestlands 19th May 11, 12:49 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Sorry to hear of you experiance, I took a policy out with Shepherds Friendly in 2003, to cover funeral costs, pay Ł15 a month. Total payout at the beginning of the year would be over Ł3.000, get regular updates, enough to cover funeral costs and an affordable monthy sum for a pensioner. Estimate have paid out Ł1.350. Hope things work out well for you!
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 19th May 11, 1:32 PM
    • 9,023 Posts
    • 7,090 Thanks
    Have also produced an online petition following Axa refusal to cover a vet bill, for my Portland ram Eddie who had a broken leg as the result of a dog attack, Axa said Eddie should have been "written off"! They offered Ł100.
    Originally posted by forestlands
    If you think Axa have broken the terms of your contract, maybe it would be a good idea to pursue them throught the courts...?
  • vaporate
    Liverpool Victoria do a good deal.

    Ł30 a month for a Ł6900 lump sum.

    I work it out that it would take 19 years for you to start paying more than paying out.

    Yet you are buying peace of mind if you think you will not live that long, especially with heart problems (pacemaker).

    Pays out after just 1 year.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
  • yeyehinney
    axa 'savings' scam
    I too recall 'Parky' and his axa/sunlife 'savings'. and the actors used to muse over what they were 'saving' for. I especially recall the 'geordie' lass saving for a new car "something sporty"
    I recall this well because I fell for it! put in Ł25 pcm for myself and another Ł25 for my wife over 15 years (reaches for calculator), Ł9000 in. The return on each was Ł3101.xx , Yes,Ł6202!
    ASxa/Sunlife ripped us off for more than Ł3000. plus interest.

    It is true that the scheme turns out to be an insurance/investment scheme with the risks that 'investing' entails, but it is sold and marketed as a savings plan.

    If any Building Society, for e.g. tried to take in savings and return only 66% they would soon be taken to task. (unless they went bust) however Axa/Sunlife go from strength to strength.

    Imagine depositing Ł50 pcm for 15 years and when asked for it back with the interest, only returned Ł6000!!! I think there would be a national campaign, led by Martin to right this terrible injustice.

    However as the 'theft' is wrapped up in an insurance/investment it's shrugged off.

    I wonder how many 'Parky's' windows it would take to equal Ł3000?
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