Britain's trickiest conversations

Friday 2 January 2015

• Parents find discussing future care and funeral plans as awkward as telling their children about the birds and the bees • Children are more reluctant to discuss sensitive issues than their parents • Saga urges people to resolve to tackle the thorny issues with their families in the New Year

Britain's trickiest conversations

Failing to discuss sensitive topics such future financial plans and later life care wishes with our families, can leave our nearest and dearest with a raft of difficult decisions to make when we are no longer able to tell them what we want. However new research by Saga Personal Finance shows that many of us are reluctant to discuss these issues and are therefore leaving our loved ones to organise our later lives for us, with no idea what we would have wanted.

 The research shows that almost a quarter of parents find it difficult to talk to their children about their funeral wishes – putting it right up there with the birds and the bees as the most difficult conversation to have with your children.  Future care needs are also something that we shy away from talking about; one in five people say they struggle to talk to their children about this and one in eight do not even discuss this with their spouses and yet these are the people who are set to make these decisions for you when the time comes.

One in six say discussions about their will are not easy and one in eight say inheritance is a difficult subject to chat about, with a similar number saying money in general is a hard topic to approach in conversation.

Children say they are much less happy discussing these issues with their parents, perhaps because they don’t like to consider their parents getting older.  A third of children say they find it difficult to talk to their parents about their funeral plans and over a quarter also say they that they struggle to talk about wills and future care needs with their mum and dad.

Jeff Bromage, chief operating officer, Saga Personal Finance, commented: ”Whilst no one wants to think about the time they need care, or about what happens after they are gone to their money, property and that vase handed down by great aunt Maud, the New Year might just be the right moment with family around to broach those topics.  Because if you don't do it face to face you might never get round to it and leave people with a headache worse than any New Year hangover.


“Whilst many of us baulk at the thought of discussing funerals or inheritance or other tricky subjects with our families, it really can help when the time comes for others to act on your behalf.  Otherwise how will they know what sort of care you want in later life and how you would like to fund it or what you would like your funeral to be like? 


Talking about these issues means that if decisions need to be made about your care or your finances, your family know what you want and there will be less room for costly disagreements when it comes to carrying out your wishes.”


Saga Personal Finance offers a range options to help make financial plans for later life.  These include life insurance, which will pay out a lump sum and could help with the cost of a funeral, a long term care advice service to help you work out how to pay for care, and legal services offering will writing and the organisation of a lasting power of attorney to ensure you have someone you trusts making decisions for you when you are no longer able to.



Notes to editors

* Populus interviewed 2,048 UK adults aged 18 and over, online between 26th and 27th November 2014.  Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.



Which of these conversations do you find it difficult to have with your children?

Which of these conversations do you find it difficult to have with your parents?

Birds and the bees






Funeral wishes






Future care needs




About Saga

Saga is a leading provider of products and services primarily tailored for customers over the age of 50 in the UK. The Saga brand has been carefully developed over the past 60 years to become one of the most recognised and trusted brands among UK consumers aged over 50. Saga is synonymous in the UK with the over 50s market and is recognised for its high quality products and services.  These include cruises and holidays, home and motor insurance, savings and share dealing and the UK’s award winning Saga Magazine.  Saga also provides domiciliary and primary healthcare services through Allied Healthcare.  In addition to more than 2.1 million active customers it has built a proprietary database of more than 10.4 million contactable names. 

About Saga Personal Finance

Saga Personal Finance offers a range of savings accounts, a share dealing service, a Saga-branded credit card, an equity release service for home owners over the age of 55, life insurance and annuity products, a long-term care funding product, and other financial products.  Saga has over £5 billion of customer deposits in its savings accounts. As of 31 January 2014, Saga customers held approximately 67,000 wealth products.

Saga Group also offers its customers legal services through Saga Legal Solutions, including wills and estate planning, probate services and conveyancing services.

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