Funeral and Burial Costs|How Much Does a Funeral Cost

Burial Costs

How America deals with Burial Costs, Funeral Costs, and Cremation:

You know that saying – “there are two things you can always count on – death and taxes.” This article is not about taxes.

No one wants to discuss burial costs unless they’re in the funeral and burial business or selling life insurance, right?

The issue is, however, that unless you plan to leave the burden of paying your funeral and burial costs to your surviving loved ones.

You have to not only discuss burial costs, you have to plan to pay for them and you should make that plan now.

How much do funerals and burials cost?

Doesn’t it seem like everything except for electronics is going up every year? Most everything is and that includes the cost of funerals, burials, and cremation.

We can measure the way funeral costs have gone up by looking at The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers from 1986 to 2017.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that expenses for funerals and burials rose 227.1 percent from 1986 to 2017 while the prices for all goods rose 123.4 percent.

It’s easier to realize the significance of this data in the chart below:

Funeral Costs

These increases can be attributed to the rising cost of hard goods that are typically used in a funeral and burial service like caskets, grave markers, monuments, and so forth.

Certainly, labor increased significantly as well due to the steady increase in paying employees.

Burial Costs versus Cremation

Although not every funeral, burial, or cremation is the same, we can take a look at the national averages and come up with a list of the typical services and products involved to determine the average price for each nationally.

Fortunately, there are several national resources to review and we’ve found that the majority of them are aligned with each other when it comes to funeral and burial pricing.

Keep in mind, however, that geography has a lot to do with funeral and burial costs so the average could be a little high or a little low depending on what part of the country you live in.

Average Funeral Costs

When we look at the breakdown of products and services involved, we need to include the funeral service costs and the burial costs.

Here’s what we found for 2019 so we should anticipate that 2020 costs would be at least 3% higher:

Burial Insurance Cost

Average cost for Funeral and Burial Service

Based on the information provided above, a moderately priced funeral and burial service is close to $8,500 without any of the extras that the funeral director will certainly recommend.

Also, keep in mind that we did not list the cemetery plot which can typically cost between $1,000 and $5,000 or more depending on the area you live in.

What if I choose to be Cremated?

No doubt, cremation is less costly than a traditional funeral and burial service, however, most surviving family members will still want to have a memorial service and might prefer to have the ashes buried rather than remain responsible for them.

If you decide on cremation, be sure and discuss it with your family since they will likely want to express their feelings about your decision.

It is, however, your decision and would certainly be less expensive than a full-blown funeral service because the following fees can be eliminated from the total:

  • Embalming fee – $625
  • Body Preparation – $200
  • Metal Casket – $2500
  • Burial Vault – $1,400
  • Grave Marker -$100 to $500
  • Hearse and Limo – $400

If you elect to go with cremation and still have a memorial service, you should be able to save about $5,000 or more on your burial costs

Burial Costs vs Cremation Costs

How can I save money on Funeral and Burial Costs?

There are ways you can reduce your funeral and burial costs in 2020. In fact, the government finally stepped in a while back and developed a list of consumer rights that apply to funeral and burial services.

It’s interesting when you consider that the two most expensive days in a person’s life is when a daughter gets married and when you die. Most people just are reluctant to negotiate on either of these days, but if you want to save money on funeral and burial costs, it’s something you need to do.

  • Shop for your casket or urn in advance – You or your survivors have every right to shop the cost of your casket or urn with a third-party vendor. Both Walmart and Amazon.com sell caskets and urns and by using them, you’ll likely reduce the markup that a funeral home will add to the casket or urn.
  • Skip the Embalming  – If you plan on a direct cremation or a direct burial, the funeral home can refrigerate the remains so that embalming will not be necessary. Depending on your state, there are laws that define the time limit a body can go without being embalmed.
  • Choose to be Cremated – With the cost of funeral and burial services on the rise every year, many folks are electing to be cremated because of the savings over traditional funeral and burial costs. The National Funeral Directors Association has a very good article concerning cremation and how it relates to aging Baby Boomers looking to save money.
  • Get your Church Involved –  Many churches are willing to participate not only in the memorial service for a member but also in the cost of a member’s funeral. Talk to your Pastor, Reverend, or Priest to find out if there might be church benefits that could reduce your funeral and burial costs or the cost of a cremation.
  • Your Social Security Benefit – Instruct your family members to contact Social Security when you pass on and claim the $255 benefit. You can learn what’s available and how to file a claim online.
  • If you’re a Veteran – Leave instructions for your survivors to contact the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to determine what benefits are provided to offset the cost of your funeral and burial or to get an American Flag for your service.

What about Life Insurance to cover Burial Costs?

Once you’ve decided how much your funeral and burial costs will be or if you are concerned enough to take care of this right now, contact our insurance professionals about purchasing a Final Expense Policy that is designed to pay your funeral, cremation, and burial costs.

A final expense policy using whole life insurance is a very affordable method to make certain that the burden of your funeral and burial costs will be taken care of in advance and not passed on to surviving loved ones.

Here are the actual rates for a $15,000 Final Expense Policy for a healthy male or female non-smoker:

Age of ApplicantMale Non-SmokerFemale Non-Smoker
50$44.42$34.86
55 $52.32 $39.96
60 $64.04 $47.70
65 $80.64 $59.91
70 $104.42 $78.26
75 $148.36 $107.71
80 $194.47 $146.05
85 $287.51 $202.25

These rates are for whole life insurance which contains the following guarantees and benefits:

  • Your policy can never be canceled except for non-payment
  • Your rates remain level forever and cannot be increased by your company
  • Your policy builds cash value over time that can be accessed via policy loans or withdrawals.

We have found over time that seniors who are looking for Final Expense Insurance to cover their funeral and burial costs will typically have medical issues.

The good news is that we can get a final expense insurance policy issued for anyone between the ages of 50 and 85 and there are final expense companies that will cover you, no matter your health conditions when you apply for a policy. Call us anytime at 844-528-8688.