With the rising costs of burials, cremations are becoming increasingly popular. But, hey, you already knew that. You’ve been getting ads, promotions, and notifications about options for funerals, burials and cremations. Let’s roll up our sleeves and look at the costs.
O.K., this is going to hurt. Let’s “Do it fast!” as nurses advise in taking off a bandage.
The costs of funerals have been increasing at a steady rate since the 1980’s. It’s not unusual for funeral costs to run upwards of $15,000. The average funeral runs between $10,000-$12,000.
This is probably the last thing you want to think about. Yet, it’s up on the roster for anyone who is alive—especially after a certain age. Funerals cost money. By knowing what is coming, you and your family can prepare for expenses. This may be difficult, yet it is easier than waiting for the event—and making fast decisions during a highly emotional time.
Funerals with burials are running on average, $10,000. If you’re sure you want a burial rather than a cremation, some of the typical expenses include:
Specific costs vary from one funeral home to another, seasonal variations, and regionally. The Midwest and Northeast portions of the country have the most expensive funerals. Given these variations, it pays to investigate in your area. Here is a sample of the costs for funerals with burials:
Funeral home basic fee: $2,100
Transport remains to funeral home: $325
Preparing the body $250
Facilities and staff for viewing $425
Facilities and staff for ceremony $500
Service Car $150
Memorial printed package $160
Metal casket $2,400
Cost with vault $8,755
When calculating costs, these are the key elements. Unfortunately, it is not the whole picture.
Most people can’t imagine a funeral without flowers. To get an elegant display, you may need to set aside $500-$700. Additionally, for many mourners, wreaths are essential. Wreaths are usually displayed around the casket, costing $100-$200 each. Casket wreaths can run $500-$700, depending on the florist, season, flowers used, and size.
In addition to the specific funeral costs, funeral plots are costly. Cemeteries are often separate from funeral homes. Costs vary widely depending on location. An average plot costs $1000 - $4,000. However, in large metropolitan areas such as Chicago and San Francisco, costs are likely to be higher.
Upright headstones usually cost between $2000-$5,000. Markers, which lie flat on the ground cost around $1,000. Many families are able to save money by buying headstones or grave markers from third party retailers.
For a traditional funeral, caskets often run from $2,000-$5,000. Some may cost $10,000 or more.
More and more consumers are buying caskets from third-party retailers including Amazon, Costco, and Wal-Mart. Caskets can be shipped directly to the funeral home. By law, funeral homes are required to use the casket you provide and cannot charge additional fees to handle third-party caskets.
The average cost of a cremation ranges from $1000-$8,000. The wide variations depend on the state of the country, and the services chosen. Various fees must be paid to the funeral home, which can push the cost of cremations upwards.
The National Funeral Directors Association estimates the average cost of a funeral with cremation at about $6,000.
The low end of cremation services can be from $1,000-$3,000. The higher end from $6,000-$8,000. This varies depending on states; and depending on what funeral home services are used. Cremation services are also available at a fixed-price fee from some funeral homes and cremation providers.
The NFDA reports that the rate of cremation is 53% and is projected to reach 70% by 2030. Naturally, as more consumers choose cremation, prices are likely to continue to rise.
The big idea: Your end-of-life decisions are extremely personal and important.
Share your wishes with your loved ones. If you want a funeral with burial or cremation, make your wishes known. Preparing for these final decisions can bring a sense of peace, tranquility and harmony to you and your family.