Scripting Your Exit: Cost-Saving Tips for a Memorable Farewell

Scripting Your Exit: Cost-Saving Tips for a Memorable Farewell Rachel Donnelly April 5, 2024
Scripting Your Exit: Cost-Saving Tips for a Memorable Farewell

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a bit of sticker shock – and it’s not just from the grocery store aisles. Everything from a loaf of bread to a box of cereal seems to be sky-high. And it got me thinking: we strategize to save on daily expenses, but what about the ultimate cost – the price of saying goodbye?

A few weeks ago, I spoke with a family reeling from the sudden loss of a loved one. To add insult to injury, they were confronted with the staggering reality of a $30,000 funeral bill.

Death, an unavoidable chapter in everyone’s story, has its own set of expenses, ones that are quietly climbing higher. It’s a part we can’t skip, yet it’s often left out of our financial planning.

As we navigate the “Spring Clean Your Legacy” journey, we’ve come to a crucial, albeit final, chapter. 

Yes, it’s time to talk about planning our own farewell party. 

Before we dive in, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: discussing our mortality is tough, but essential. However, it’s all about ensuring your last bash is exactly how you’d like it, without burdening your loved ones financially.

A Peep into the Price Tag

What’s the going rate for a final farewell these days? According to the latest data from the 2023 General Price List Survey Report by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), laying someone to rest in 2023 carried an average price tag of $8,300. And if you’re considering a traditional burial, remember the often-necessary burial vault. Factoring this in, the expense climbs to a total of $9,995, as highlighted in the report.

Pre-Planning: Locking in Today’s Prices

One way to manage these costs and ensure your wishes are respected is to consider pre-paying for your funeral. This not only locks in current prices, protecting you from inflation but also allows you to arrange the details according to your preferences. Many funeral homes offer plans that can be customized to fit individual needs and budgets.

Smart Savings for Final Expenses

Another proactive approach is to consider setting up a dedicated savings account for these expenses allows for smoother access by survivors, especially if it’s a joint account with your named executor.  Additionally, considering burial insurance or allocating a life insurance policy towards these costs can provide a financial cushion. Life insurance benefits, directed to a named beneficiary, offer a lump sum that bypasses probate, ensuring direct and immediate access to funds for covering funeral and related expenses. Burial insurance specifically targets covering funeral costs, offering a straightforward solution to managing these inevitable expenses.

Casket & Urn Shopping: Not Your Usual Retail Therapy 

Places like Titan Casket or even Costco offer high-quality caskets at a fraction of the price. And for those leaning towards cremation, direct-to-consumer companies like Oaktree Memorials provide stylish urns without the markup.

Obituaries Reimagined 

The traditional obituary publishing route can be surprisingly pricey. Instead, Epilogg offers a cost-free platform for obituaries, ensuring your story lives on without straining the family budget.

The Importance of Sharing Your Plans

Open conversations with your loved ones about your final wishes are crucial. It ensures your farewell reflects your life and values, offering peace of mind to everyone involved.

In Summary

This isn’t about dwelling on the end but celebrating a life well-lived through thoughtful, value-reflective decisions. By exploring pre-planning and cost-effective options, we aim to lighten the emotional and financial load on our families, ensuring our legacies shine true.

Join us in the next installment of “Spring Clean Your Legacy”  as we delve into managing tangible personal treasures, like that cherished Hummel collection. Keep tuning in for more legacy-enhancing tips!