Terry Sheridan over at Fox Business wrote an excellent article about making funeral arrangements, and the money you can save by being a better informed consumer. As with many things, caring for aging parents is infinitely more difficult when a crisis hits. One of the most difficult issues occurs when we lose the ones we love. It’s usually at this point when certain things have to be done… and what we really want (and need) to do is grieve.
The average cost of a traditional funeral, including embalming and a metal casket, is almost $6,600, according to the most recent data from the National Funeral Directors Association. Cemetery services, including the gravesite and vault or liner, can cost an additional $3,000, says Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. — Terry Sheridan/Fox Business
Nobody wants to think about the death of a loved one. But planning ahead (as hard as it is) can alleviate a lot of heartache down the road. Identifying a funeral director that you want to work with before a crisis hits, can really pay off in the end.
Funeral directors are business people, not ministers. But people often think they are quasi-clergy, Slocum says. Make that mistake, and you’ll tend to believe everything they say, he says.”Remember, funeral homes are in business to make money,”– Fox Business
Here are a few tips from the article, but we recommend that you visit Fox Business to get the list in it’s entirety:
Planning For A Funeral
- Shopping around can save you thousands (do this ahead of time, before a crisis hits)
- You must be given clear prices up front (there is an FTC mandate to do so)
- Funeral directors aren’t clergy (they’re business people)
- Some “required” services are not required (like embalming or expensive caskets)
- Cremation services can save you some money (You can even buy your urn at Costco)
- You can buy a casket anywhere (you don’t have to buy one from the funeral director)
The bottom line is to accept the cold hard facts. We’re all aging, and as hard as it is, we can help prepare for the inevitable. We can help make preparations for our own funeral if we’re of sound mind and body. We can also make preparations for the funerals or memorials of our loved ones. Make yourself an informed consumer on this topic in your local area. Talk to a few funeral directors, and get a feel for whether you’d like to work with them down the road. Understanding your loved one’s wishes is important too. If they want a small service with family only… Or their ashes scattered on their favorite beach… I believe those wishes should be honored.
Do you have experience planning memorial services? Any tips for our readers? Let us know in the comments below!