Why I dislike funeral cover

I realized a while back that I had a major dislike for funeral cover yet I couldn’t quite understand why especially because I have funeral cover myself too. How could I dislike something that I have invested in? It wasn’t until I met this young gentleman who put it crudely as he said, “we black people invest so much of our time and money into our deaths”. I asked him to explain himself and he said, “have you noticed how our parents spend weekends attending burial societies and save lots of money with burial societies and how we also grow up to be exactly like them?” Suddenly the penny dropped. I realized how correct he was. In fact, I remembered many years ago when I started working how one insurance sales person after the other tried to sell me funeral cover. If it wasn’t funeral cover then it was life cover. I remember one day looking at my portfolio of life and funeral covers and thinking, the only time I will ever have lots of money is when I’m dead! Happy are those who will be left behind to enjoy my money. For a second, I allowed my mind to drift off and I thought, gee, if I could fake my own death then maybe I would have a chance of enjoying my money while I’m still alive.

I started checking how many other people have invested lot of their money into death and there were lots of them. I talked to my family, cousins, friends, colleagues, etc… and I was shocked to find out just how much money most of us spend investing in death. One striking example was a good friend of mine Gugu. Gugu is from a family of 11 and they are all teachers. Gugu puts away R800 each month in funeral policies for each one of her siblings. I gave her a tip to close all of the individual covers and to take a single consolidated funeral cover for the entire family. She reported back that doing so had saved her about 50%. She still has cover for each one of her siblings but at half the cost. Please see page 19 of my book, 7 Secrets why the rich own their homes to get my views about funeral cover. By the way, remember to check the fine print on your funeral policy, some policies do not pay out if you die after age 65.

But I also realized that my dislike for funeral cover has a lot in what I view as show off. I am amazed lately when I attend funerals to realize just how much money we spend burying our loved ones. Have you noticed how well dressed we are when we attend funerals? I have no doubt some of us even have special designer outfits made for the funeral. If it were not for the coffin, one would be forgiven for mistaking a funeral for a wedding. A friend shared with me that some people even go as far as hiring expensive cars when they go to funerals. This is so that their old friends are fooled into believing they own the car. Then there is the 6- course menu and even drinks afterwards, after tears as we call it. Some insurance companies are now profiting out of death too. Lately, you can cover your loved ones for as much as R50 000 and even have a car loaned out to you for 1 week. So we go deeper and deeper into investing into our own death. Who needs to spend R50 000 on a funeral?

MaAfrika, I can blame insurance companies for all this but we have ourselves to blame. I often attend investment seminars largely attended by white people although all of us are welcome to attend. I’m amazed that no one presents about funeral cover or asks about funeral cover. People want to know how they can increase their investment portfolios to enjoy quality life while they are still alive. I hope that as African people, we will learn to celebrate life more than we celebrate death. Instead of investing lots of money monthly on funeral policies so we can buy a casket for our parents when they pass on and throw a big funeral party, how about investing that money into improving / renovating their home, furnishing it, giving them a monthly allowance, etc? When I die, I will leave a clear instruction that no food or drinks are to be served at my funeral. Just sandwiches and tea will be served and definitely no casket. Meanwhile, I am spending my money improving my home as I want to enjoy a little bit of the money that I have while I’m still alive!

How about joining me into celebrating life? Buy yourself a nice home or improve the one you already own. Or even better, how about improving your skills level so you can improve your earning potential? When you are ready to buy a home, please remember to call our call centre on 086 5133 477

Do you have family, friends or colleagues who are investing lots of money into death? How about sending them this article and encourage them to celebrate life?

I would be most happy to receive your views on this article

Phumelele Ndumo

Phumelele Ndumo

Article written by Phumelele Ndumo; author of the book, 7 Secrets why the rich own their homes and founding MD of ThuthukaSA. Remember to visit our website www.thuthuka-sa.co.za for more money tips.