The average cost of a funeral has risen considerably over the past decade. This can leave many families short of the money they need to pay for proper burial expenses. Understanding how much is needed to provide your loved one the funeral they deserve is vital to choosing the right type of policy or plan to carry it out.
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How Much Does A Funeral Cost?
The average funeral costs around $9,000 today. That is up significantly from about $6,000 from the turn of the 21st century. There are many contributing factors as to why funeral costs have risen, but the essential components of the funeral remain the same.
- Basic Services
- Grave Marker
- Clothes or Shroud
There may be other expenses associated with the funeral depending on the funeral home that you choose and the type of casket, grave marker, and services you want provided. For example, a chapel service can run you a considerable amount, especially if the service is conducted at a facility separate from the funeral home.
Graveside Service Only: This can often save from $500 up to $1000 depending on the funeral home. A service at the grave means eliminating the expense of renting the chapel. This is a common way to cut funeral costs.
No Vault: The vault is the liner that surrounds the grave and prevents intrusion from pests. Vaults often cost from $1,000 to $2,500 and have become quite common for many funeral services. However, they are not necessary if you do not care about the condition of the casket over time.
Cremation: For families who want the lowest cost alternative, cremation is the cheapest. Many funeral homes offer cremation services for only a few hundred dollars, and you provide the urn which is often $50 to $100. Unfortunately, cremation services are a last resort for many families that otherwise would have a proper funeral.
For families that may be looking at funeral expenses that are beyond their reach in case a parent passes away, one option is the final expense, burial, or funeral insurance.
How Does Final Expense Insurance Work?
This is like life insurance except that it only covers funeral expenses. You can pay the premiums for the benefits that cover the type of funeral you desire. The good news about this type of insurance is that the premiums tend to be significantly lower compared to standard life insurance policies. Plus, they often have fewer requirements which mean that even seniors with bad health conditions may qualify for good coverage at a low premium rate.
While the average cost of a funeral continues to rise, you can pay for what you want by purchasing the right type of burial insurance. Be sure to go over all the options first before you decide the benefit level that is needed.
10 Ways To Save Money On A Funeral
You already know that the cost of funerals is escalating and many are trying to find ways that they can save on the costs without scrimping on the memory of their loved one.
Here are 10, easy to do ways to save money on a funeral.
1. Go With A Direct Burial
Funeral homes are expensive and a direct burial will put the body in the ground without embalming or a visitation. If you can do without these and have a memorial service you’ll save a lot of money.
2. Choose A Simple Casket
Honestly, your loved one isn’t going to know what sort of casket you put them in. You don’t need a fancy casket that costs thousands of dollars. Choose a simple inexpensive option. You can also choose to go elsewhere for your casket or an urn if you’re having your loved one cremated.
3. Opt For Cremation
The Neptune Society has many great plans for this and there are other companies that will do cremation inexpensively. You can save a bundle if you go this route.
4. Go Green
Choose a green or a natural burial. Avoid toxic chemicals with embalming. Don’t use a steel casket instead opt for a biodegradable shroud or simple pine casket. If you choose the shroud method you may have to do some research to find a cemetery that will accept it this way.
5. Have The Funeral At Home Or At The Cemetery
At home, funerals can be a memorial service or a full-on service. It’s all up to you. Or, you can simply have the entire service at the cemetery and avoid any further costs.
6. Just Hold A Memorial Service
You can choose a simple memorial service at the family church, at a local park or special place of the deceased without incurring a large cost. Print out memorial cards or brochures on someone’s computer and do it up yourself. You’ll save a lot of money this way.
7. Choose A Home Burial
If you’re out of town and can get the right paperwork in, you can sometimes bury your loved one on your own property. Keep in mind that you’ll have to get permission and that the resale of your property will often go down if there is a grave on the property.
8. Bring Your Own Flowers
Flowers can be very expensive. Bring your own, get friends and family to donate flowers from their yard for the event. You can set up some nice bouquets and have a nice arrangement set up near the front.
If you, or your loved one, or any other family member, have a church they attend, have the funeral there. It can be far less costly to have it at the local church and gather together in a common area for a potluck afterward.
10. Immediate Family
Instead of having a huge funeral, have a small funeral and then a larger gathering at a local park or place that was meaningful to the deceased. This can save a lot of money.
Also, if the deceased was a veteran, look into veteran benefits. They may have some that are available to help with funeral costs. Including a free grave marker or free burial in a national cemetery.